Whether or not you’re looking for kosher restaurants, Jerusalem offers a wide range of options that are both mouthwateringly delicious and suitable for a plethora of palates. Unlike many of the world’s other top destinations, in the Holy Land, you’ll find fantastic culinary experiences that aren’t solely expensive (thanks in large part to the city’s unparalleled Israeli markets). Here’s a look at the best restaurants in Jerusalem and what the thriving restaurant scene has to offer. Believe us, after a day of travelling throughout Israel or shopping at Mamilla Mall for Israeli jewelry and designer clothing, you'll be grateful for a reason to wear your newest purchases. And for those of you that are still up and pumping, try out the Jerusalem nightlife scene, it will surprise you.
Jerusalem restaurants you've got to try
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.
Boasting a romantic view of the Old City walls, this Mediterranean chef restaurant is named after Judah Touro, a Jewish-American philanthropist who contributed to the neighborhood. A few different cuisines from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern to Asian all come together to present wonderful ingredients and a kosher meat and fish menu.
Founded by a team of entrepreneurs, this restaurant boasts a young and vibrant spirit. The menu is made up of a range of dishes from a fattoosh Mediterranean salad to fresh focaccias with 3 different dips and seafood gnocchi. Lavish brunch, a creative cocktail menu, and amazing desserts make this a popular neighborhood restaurant.
Discover a rooftop balcony overlooking the Jerusalem Hills at this lively brasserie in the dreamy Ein Kerem neighborhood. This spot doubles as an art gallery showcasing beautiful work by local artists, while the menu boasts a myriad of detail-oriented options. Try the purple gazpacho with blue cheese, or the ‘masabacha’ calamari - a variation on hummus with chunky chickpeas on top accompanied by fresh calamari, labane, and eggplant cream.
Zuni is your regular around-the-clock brasserie, except for the view out of its windows: instead of Paris, you get to look out at the picturesque back streets of Jerusalem’s Nahalat Shiva. The atmosphere inside, however, still maintains a certain European charm with black leather seats, dark hardwood floors, a wide bar, and waiters in fine uniform. The menu, which changes between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is similarly full of treats from far away lands. Recommendations are endless, but you’ll be wise to keep one thing in mind: the French toast – available within all three menus – is by itself reason enough for a pilgrimage.
Located on the bottom level of the Cinemateque, this restaurant with its stone walls and beautifully enclosed patio offers sweeping views of Jerusalem’s Old City and Mount Zion. You can start off with a romantic dinner for two featuring a menu of Italian goodies like pasta, fresh focaccia, and risotto, and continue with a foreign or independent film upstairs.
Offset in a little nook just off the main drag of Jerusalem’s famous Machne Yehuda market, Hamotzi is the kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot that every traveler hopes to find for its sheer authenticity. Quaint in its intimacy, the actual restaurant is quite small, which only adds to its charm. The open kitchen constantly pumps aromatic flavors and smells into the homey atmosphere, somehow making the whole place feel like a warm, family dinner. The menu stems straight from the kitchen of Chef Avi Levy’s family’s deep roots: North African delights are his staples, and Levy’s talents of melding spices are supreme. The 2012 winner of Israel’s MasterChef is all smiles and personable charm, bidding patrons into his kitchen to see where all the magic happens.