Whereas opportunities to connect with Jerusalem’s storied past through historic tours or museum visits are commonplace, these eateries allow you to engage with the Holy City’s history through a different sense: taste. Dine on a menu inspired by flavors of the Bible, eat a meal in the room where the Israel-Jordan peace treaty was signed, or grab a bite at the café at the heart of the secular, Zionist literary movement. These spots combine the delicious flavors and years of history of a city whose significance extends throughout the timeline of humanity.
Jerusalem restaurants that add a taste of Jewish history to any meal
There's nothing like shouting, pushing, and bargaining to work up an appetite, so lucky for locals and travelers alike, Mahane Yehuda Market is teeming with eateries to get you through any shopping or touring experience. Dig in to any meal of the day – including midnight drinks and snacks – at spots ranging from sit down restaurants to pita-on-the-go eateries. There are international flavors from Georgia and Yemen, classic Middle Eastern style fare, and pastries that are savory or sweet. Don’t just feast your eyes on the stalls of fresh produce and assortment of sweets, fill your stomach with some of the freshest bites in Jerusalem.
At La Regence, you will be impressed by the talent of Chef David Biton. At 33, the boy wonder has already held the post for a decade. The star of his impressive display is the light and stunning duck raviolo and shimeji. With a fabulous tasting menu and extensive wine list, La Regence is the place to experience the King David like a king. Located inside the stunning King David Hotel property, this lavish restaurant and wine bar is the place to indulge.
When the Jerusalem Railway Station opened in 1892, it included a two-story stone building, a mechanism to change the train’s direction, and a large water tank. Over 100 years – and one major renovation – later, The First Station has become a central location in the entertainment and dining scene in Jerusalem. With restaurants serving up fresh international flavors, favorites from notable Israeli chefs, and an array of Kosher offerings, the complex attracts hungry diners looking for an Asian bite or Italian meal. Stop by to fill your stomach and feast your eyes on years of history.
A cozy cafe that doubles as a literary salon, this popular bookstore located in a 150-year old building is stuffed with books, vintage furnishings, and bohemian vibes. Tmol Shilshom is named after Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's novel (translated as Those Were the Days). It’s an ideal place to munch on shakshuka, sandwiches, and their sought-after cheesecake.
Chef Moshe Basson is famous worldwide for his revival of the biblical menu. The award-winning restaurant is located just steps away from the Old City, where Chef Basson showcases the flavors of plants like hyssop and meloukhia that have been served up for generations in traditional Jerusalemite kitchens. The menu changes according to what mushrooms and plants he finds on his daily trips to the Judean Hills. Choose one of the exquisite tasting menus for the full Eucalyptus experience.