If you love fresh food and creative cuisine, Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market is Israel’s latest foodie heaven. Here are just a few of our favorite places to eat in the Shuk.
All the Meat you can Eat!
Hatzot Steak House has been serving its famous Jerusalem Mixed Grill since 1970, making it one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in the Shuk. Today it has been completely refurbished and is run by the second generation of the Ajami family, but they are not sharing the secret recipe for their trademark dish, which combines different cuts of meat and offal cooked in a delicious mixture of spices! If you are looking for the original Israeli ‘steakiya’, with its fresh bread, tasty salad appetizers, and choice of grilled meat skewers, look no further!
Crave is a new American gourmet street food restaurant offering diverse reworked American dishes including tortillas, charcuterie, pates and roasts. Try their meltingly awesome New York brisket pastrami or their traditional Sloppy Joe, or see how they have kosherized the Reuben sandwich with fake melted cheese, and even made kosher bacon! Be warned that the lines are long and Crave doesn’t take bookings, so plan ahead if you are craving some American flavors in the Shuk.
East Meets East!
If you love fusion food, the idea of Far Eastern street food in a Middle Eastern market should get your taste-buds tingling! The Street Market is a section of the Mahane Yehuda Market featuring Asian food stands, offering stir-fried dishes, dim-sum, sushi, yakitori, bao, samosas and more, with somewhat of an Israeli twist. Try a falafel-flavored sushi roll or a chicken bao sandwich with combined tehina-yuzu sauce. You can even enjoy a Japanese beer with your meal as you listen to the Hebrew chatter around you. The world just got smaller!
Valero is the Shuk’s newest Restro-Bar offering a wide range of Mediterranean dishes with a Jerusalem twist, created by Chef Aviv Moshe. The bar serves creative cocktails and the restaurant has become a hot spot after dark when the market closes. It is best to book in advance if you want to dine at night, or arrive before 8.00pm to avoid the crowds.
Bringing Restaurants to the Market
One of the most famous restaurants in the Shuk, PastaBasta is now franchised all over Israel, but their first branch opened inside the Shuk in 2010 as one of its first sit-down restaurants. Until then, no one had thought that a produce market could have real eateries, but only ‘steakiyas’ and cafeterias designed for the market staff. Suddenly the idea of the gourmet food market was born, and the Jerusalem Shuk has a new night-life identity, as well as the serious business of selling produce during the day. PastaBasta makes its handmade pasta fresh every day, and you can choose from their range of different sauces and toppings to make a customized Italian meal to suit your taste.
Tourists have always loved the Shuk as a lively, aromatic and character-filled maze of stalls offering food to taste, buy and take home. Now with the increasing choice of restaurants open during the day and late into the night, Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem is a must-visit gourmet heaven for foodies from all over the world.
Talk to Shatour about taking a Culinary Tour of the Jerusalem Shuk, or one of Israel’s other markets, including making and eating your own meal with one of our master chefs, or including a delicious meal at one of our favorite Shuk restaurants on your next visit to Jerusalem.