It's not easy to find restaurants in Jerusalem which are open on Friday night and Saturday outside the Nachalat Shiv'a "secular enclave". "Colony" and two other neighboring restaurants are located in an enclosed yard at the entrance of Bak'a, across from the German Colony. It defines itself as a "Salon-food-bar".
The decor is slick and modern, the atmosphere is very lively, and it is always full on Friday nights: make sure to make a reservation! The menu is varied, including meat, fish, pasta, salads and more.
As for the food: The salmon fillet was tasty; the grilled entrceote was fine; the beef was medium-rare although we asked for medium-well done; the meat lasagna was mediocre.
The desserts were delicious, especially the pear-gratin.
The service was friendly and efficient.
"Lev-Smadar" cinema is a landmark in Jerusalem, tucked in a narrow lane in the German Colony, showing quality movies to a select audience, many of whom are Hebrew-U students and Jerusalem's secular intellectuals and bohemians.
"Cafe Smadar" is located in the one-storey cinema, between the ticket office and the hall entrance. This is the place to sit down, sip coffee (or cider or beer), have a meat or dairy sandwich or a salad, discuss the movie you've just seen (or going to see), have movie stars smile at you from the photographs and posters...
The ambience is special in Jerusalem, and Cafe Smadar is an answer for an "unmet need" for places like this in the Holy City...
I met with VT UnaS for brunch at one of her favorite spots, Cafe Rimon. She likes this place because of the relaxing atmosphere (read: you can sit and have your coffee or pastry for hours without being rushed out to give the table to another patron) and because the food is good.
We sat on the outdoor tables and enjoyed watching those coming from Ben Yehuda street and Zion Square, while I had a pair of cheese blintzes. A blintz could be defined as a pancake (sweet) filled with some soft, sweet cheese. My pastry came with a small bowl of fruit, whipped cream and syrup. This pastry cost me 45 NIS (plus tip, price of May 2010).
Yesterday the four of us were shown promptly to our dinner table at the Joy Restaurant on Emek Refaim. Within seconds after we were seated, the previous occupant of the table raised his head and slowly crawled up the stone wall. I quickly rose and stepped over to the waiters’ station.
“There’s a cockroach, a juk, on the wall at our table,” I calmly told the pretty, young waitress. The three of us, myself, the pretty waitress, and a waiter who had overheard my remark, rushed to the table.
By the time we arrived the juk was staring eye-to-eye with my wife. She wore a concerned expression and, from the agitated motions of its antennae, I imagined that the juk was similarly concerned.
Upon our arrival the juk seemed to feel it had attracted too much attention, so it jumped from the wall into my wife’s lap and thence to the floor. Once on solid ground it scurried for the front door as if trying to evade paying its bill. The waiter demonstrated some agility in stomping on the juk and providing it with a clean napkin for a coffin. We were left with only a wet spot on the floor as a memoriam.
As if in reward for our adventure, the waiter placed a serving platter in the center of the table so that the four of us might share the complimentary appetizers. The platter contained three small dishes the size of my wife’s petite palm; one each of some eggplant mixture, a piquante sauce, and eleven olives. These were accompanied by one loaf of crisp bread quite a bit smaller than the steer’s pizzle that it resembled.
After several minutes we were able to flag a waiter and request water. Four glasses (of two different designs) were provided along with a used wine bottle filled with room temperature tap water. At least the wine bottle gave the impression that we were a group of bon vivants, though that impression may have been somewhat spoiled by the glasses.
I searched the dinner menu in vain for the beautiful lamb chops pictured in the restaurant’s Internet ad and finally settled for the fillet steak that I ordered grilled very rare. My wife ordered the chicken breast cordon bleu; one our friends ordered the spring chicken and one chose a skewer of beef chunks.
Here’s the food review. My fillet steak was composed of the kind of one-centimeter thick beef rounds that you buy in frozen packages at the supermarket. One centimeter is obviously too thin to grill rare, so the four small pieces arrived medium to well done. The accompanying steak fried potatoes were good.
My wife’s chicken cordon bleu was seemingly made from a rooster that had died of old age and or had been cooked to death. Even a steak knife was inadequate to the task of rendering it into edible portions.
The spring chicken in Szechwan sauce satisfied one of friends, but did not elicit a rave review. Alas, our other friend enjoyed his skewered beef for longer than any of our other meals, since he had to spend an inordinate amount of time chewing.
I ordered the advertised keg beer with my meal, but I was told that something was wrong with the draft mechanism.
At the end of our meal, the manager came to our table and inquired about our satisfaction. We gave her a candid appraisal.
Perhaps in memory of the dead juk, the manager sent complimentary desserts to our table … a single plate of ice cream and a single chocolate cake-based concoction with four spoons and napkins so that we could share them among us.
Is it any wonder that I have written this generous review and awarded Joy one star for the Szechwan chicken?
Favorite Dish: None
An old basement room in the Bezalel Artists House.
The Mona has carefully kept an old world atmosphere while serving top of the line meals.
Excellent staff, quiet, pleasant and polite.
Low ceilings, small tables, private rooms available on most evenings.
Music on some evenings. Occasional spontaneous live jam sessions.
Indoor/Outdoor seating in summer.
Do make a reservation in advance for weekend evenings!
Sunday - Thursday, 1700 - 0200
Friday and Saturday, 1200 - 0200
Favorite Dish: I had a lovely shrimp gnocchi made with fresh shrimp, fresh made gnocchi and Parmesan cheese in a white wine sauce. Enjoyed a glass of the white [house] wine with my meal. Very satisfied.
For a snack or a light lunch on your way to or from the shuk (open market place) try the Cafe Agrippas.
This is a small owner operated place with great grilled cheese sandwiches, baked goods, excellent coffee and cold drinks. Fresh squeezed orange juice also available.
You will hear mostly Hebrew being spoken around you.
Favorite Dish: Examples:
Order a grilled cheese sandwich (tost g'vina) . You will be asked if you want it with tomato, peppers, pickles, pesto, or, or, or...
Cost is NIS32 with coffee.
For a breakfast snack a cup of really good coffee and a breakfast cake (yeast cake) costs only NIS14.
I should say Israeli breakfast plentiful and very varied. Though it was Pesakh and they didn’t give us any bread.
Passover or Pesakh is a Jewish holy day and festival commemorating the Hebrews' escape from enslavement in Egypt. When Pharaoh freed the Hebrews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread". Matza (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday. This bread that is flat and unrisen is called Matzo.
You can see it on my photo. You can also see "Bon Apetit" in Russian!
Snacks are also available in the hotel's restaurant as are lunch and dinner.
Let me just start by saying I love local, authentic, great tasting street food that is affordably priced and the Levy Bro's did not let me down. Located at the Machne Yehuda Market (Open Market) I took notice that there was a constant line of customers purchasing food from this stand. I did a google search on the name and found the following story along with a few other choices of eateries in the Market area:
I went back and bought a falafel sandwich and I thought it was the perfect blend of herbs, spices, consistency and the kosher pickle was great!
Best way to find this place is if you are entering from Jaffa, this is the first row of the market furthest from the Old City, go all the way to the other end of the market and the Levy Bro's are just outside of the gate entrance. Bon Appetit
Favorite Dish: Falaffel with everything
I was looking for some cheap eats for breakfast and stumbled on this place called "Omelet" on Jaffa road just a block or two from the bus station going towards the old city (away from the suspension bridge) on the left side.
it's small place, can seat about 5 people on bar stools, two nice young guys were working, they spoke English and answered my numerous questions about the type of food they were serving. I ended up with a sandwichcalled shashouka which was full of pickled veggies on a baguette then stuffed with a light chili sauce and eg.,Iin shor,t it was one big messy but delicious sandwich, washed it down with a nice cappucino and it didn't break the bank. There were other items on the menu that I wish I could have tried but one can only eat so much!!
Favorite Dish: Only tried the Shashouka (I think that's how you spell it)
The Eucalyptus is the most incredible dining experience I have ever encountered in my years of travel. Also, it is Glatt Kosher restaurant for those who follow Kashrut. If you want a place be sure to make a reservation, because they fill up everyday of the week. Its also recommended that if you are taking the tasting menu and particular bottle of wine to let them know from advance. From the first time I ate here years ago I can't stop planning trips to Jerusalem just to satisfy my desire for some of the stuffed figs, boutique wines, and slowly cooked lamb. The Eucalyptus is an incredibly unique dining experience that takes its customers through a culinary tour of the history of Israel, the rich ingredients of the land, and the stories of how kitchens from across the world combined biblical culinary traditions to create the modern Israeli culinary scene. The Chef is know to do presentations throughout the night where he explains the plants that are used to make the dishes. He passes the herbs around the table as he tells stories of his mothers kitchen in Iraq, how children ate Mallow during the 1948 siege on Jerusalem, and how the soup of Jacob and Esau came to be served on his table. If you have never ate here before, then I recommend that you take the ten course tasting menu that runs for about 200 NIS. Come hungry and you will not be disappointed. Every time that you think that the next dish cant possibly surpass the previous one you will be proved wrong. This meal is a true culinary experience that gives you a historical culinary perspective of the land and leaves you counting down the days until you can return to taste the figs stuffed with chicken and covered with tamarind sauce once more. The restaurant also has an incredible selection of wines that are hard to find at other restaurants in the area. If you are looking for something unique, but that won't break your pocket book I recommend that Teperberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. If you are willing to spend a little more I recommend the Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Special Reserve. Its a very rare wine that has been held in the personal private wine seller of the chef over the years. I have looked for this wine elsewhere, but its hard to find outside of this restaurant and its much more expensive elsewhere. Another tip for wine lovers is that '96 and '97 were very good years for wine in Israel. If you are a wine lover, I also recommend you take one of the many tours available of wineries in Israel. Also interesting, I learned over the years that both the chef and his son, Ronny Basson, have won a number of culinary awards for Israel. In fact, both have won the international couscous competition for Israel. The title was most recently taken by Ronny Basson in 2007. The restaurant is also affiliated with the slow food movement that honors local cultural culinary traditions and practices.
Also, from the roof terrace there is one of the best views of the David Citadel in all of Jerusalem. A great place to enjoy a glass of Israeli wine and the view at night when the tower is lit up.
Favorite Dish: I don't think that I could possibly choose a favorite dish. I suggest that you try them all! However, if you don't want to pay for the tasting menu then I would recommend taking a few different dishes. The figs stuffed with chicken over tamarind sauce is an incredible dish that I have yet to see on menus elsewhere in the world. The Maglubeh, an upside down casserole of sorts, is a rice dish with generous portions of moist chicken and vegetables. The dish is traditionally served by the chef with a special ceremony. I also love the trio of soups. My favorite soup is the Jerusalem Artichoke soup which is made from a sort of root that was revived in Kitchens across Israel by the chef Moshe Basson. If you are a meat eater, one of the best lamb dishes that I have ever tasted in the slowly cooked lamb neck. It comes with generous portions of meet and is the most tender and moist piece of lamb that I have ever tried. As far as desserts, I would recommend the almond cream or the Basbusa. They are both original and savory treats. Also, be sure to make the herbal tea. It is made from local home grown herbs.
Just around the corner from our hotel, Olive & Fish was the location of our group's "farewell dinner". Since our group was so large (48 people), we had half the restaurant to ourselves, and the menu was fixed. As with every dinner I had in Israel, it began with a large selection of "mezzes" - small dishes with hummus, baba ganuche, pickled carrots, stuffed grape leaves, and various other things I could not identify but which were very tasty.
The main meal came, and we were served broiled fish in a savory sauce, chicken breast strips in a tahini sauce, and more of the mezzes. Served with wine, and ending with a dessert which I thought was ice cream, but was in fact some kind of tofu with a red sweet sauce. It was tasty - but for me, if it's not chocolate, it's not dessert...
Some in my group had eaten here a few days before and said the prices weren't bad. I never saw a menu, so I don't know how "not bad" they are.
The waiters were very attentive and nice. It seemed like a very nice, casual restaurant, and the food was very good.
The"Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family" was officially opened on 19 March 1863. With some major interruptions it serves as a hostel, restaurant and haven for pilgrims from all nations.
1987 the building was completely renovated. Pilgrimage activities resumed in January 1988,since then, guests from all over the world have been able to enjoy its hospitality.
One of the many highlits is its "Viennese Coffeehouse", serving many of the delicious dishes usually available only in Vienna: In addition to numerous classic coffee variations, teas, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, here you can find the range of dishes on offer in a traditional Viennese cafe, like Sachertorte with whipped cream, Apple Strudel, Goulash soup and Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad as well as special sandwiches.
There are also hotelrooms and dormitories available at fair prices
Favorite Dish: Sachertorte with whipped cream and Viennese Coffee, a "Melange"
This was a nice change from the shawarma, felafel, and kosher pizza we had been subsisting on for most of the last two weeks... We were shopping on Ben Yahuda Street when the hunger pangs began. Sam's is nice and clean, and I likened it to "Subway" in that you get to pick your flavor of bagel, and then pick what you want on it. It was very fast, and somewhat inexpensive. My bagel and a bottle of Diet Coke came to 32 NIS, which at the time of this writing is ~$9.72.
Favorite Dish: I had a wheat bagel with chicken salad, lettuce, tomato and black pepper. My companion got the "everything" bagel with lox.
If you had enough of chickpeas (humus), lamb shish-kebab and Knafe in the Old City, how about some authentic apple strudel?
No, this is not a gustatory hallucination or a fata morgana, there is a genuine Austrian bakery in the midst of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few meters away from the Arab market!
I am talking about the coffee house at the Austrian Hospice. Right on Via Dolorosa, next to the 3rd station of the cross, where Jesus fell for the first time.
An Austrian nun dressed in a white habit will serve you good coffee and your choice of Wiener cake: an apple strudel, or a Sachertorte if you so wish. You can sip your coffee and enjoy your strudel outside, in the garden, or indoors, with Franz Josef glaring at you from the wall.
Jerusalem is a microcosmos, full of contrasts and surprises, and this is one of them. But it's a very pleasant surprise!
This is a gem in the busy, bustling Machane yehuda market. A tiny low-price restaurant, its 7 or 8 small tables always full, serving delicious vegetarian Indian dishes.
We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch in Ichekdana, with the market atmosphere and aromas all around us. We ordered talis, and licked our fingers. The samosas and pakoras were also very tasty. The service was good and efficient.
Favorite Dish: Tali