"Panoramic Golden City". previously called Papa Andreas Restaurant, is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, in the center square of the Muristan section.
We climbed the stairs to the large, spacious roof, and had a very good lunch (the usual Middle Eastern fare) with a great view all around us: The Muristan square with its small fountain right below us; the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer very close on one side, and the Holy Sepulchre Church nearby; the roofs and balconies of the Christian Quarter all around; the golden Dome of the Rock a bit further, and the Mount of Olives in the distance: the most inspiring background for an enjoyable meal. For a rainy day, there is also an indoor dining hall one floor down.
Favorite Dish: You can order all the salads (usually served as starters) for NIS 120. This includes 10 small dishes, such as humous, tehina, a plateful of falafel balls, eggplants salad, pickles, Turkish salad (spicy tomatoes and onions; the menu calls it "Turkey salad" but don't let that confuse you: there is no turkey in it at all!!); quite enough for 3 people who do not want to have a full meal.
Address: 130 Aftemos Market, Christian Quarter, Jerusalem
Directions: Muristan Square, Christian Quarter, two minutes from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
- Family Travel
- Religious Travel
Dairy restaurant that has survived the fads of trendy restaurants.
Established in 1994, Tmol Shilshom is named after the novel by S.Y.Agnon and translates into Those Were the Days. It's one of the nicest places in Jerusalem and is 'very Jerusalem' - a building more than 130 years old in the middle of Nahalat Shiv'a.
Two rooms and an adjoining terrace all on the first floor, its a miasma of the eclectic. Stone floors, overstuffed chairs, a hotchpotch of paraphernalia on the shelves. Part bookshop, part cafe/restaurant, Tmol Shilshom also presents regular literary events.
It's open from 9am until 1am - you can go for coffee and park yourself for most of the day with your laptop or go for lunch or dinner. Along with its cheesecake, Tmol Shimshon is renowned for its salmon fillet in fig sauce.
Favorite Dish: The beauty of Tmol Shimshon is the simplicity of the food. As a dairy restaurant, no meat is served but there is plenty of fish on the menu.
Pasta and couscous are the mainstay - the portobello mushroom in cream sauce with linguine has to be one of the best ever!
Address: Yael Solomon St
Directions: It's to be found in the alleys of Nahal Shiv'a and off Yael Solomon St.
- Budget Travel
Part of the cinematheque complex and one of the best cafe/restaurants in town. Great views, especially from the outdoor terrace (covered during the winter). Halfway between a cafe and a restaurant, its good for breakfast through to dinner - from coffee to 3 courses.
Formally Cafe Cacao, it became more upmarket when the culinary delights of Belgian trained Israeli chef Michael Katz took over (he also runs Adom - see separate tip - and Colony restaurants in Jerusalem) and, more recently, he dropped the vegetarian tag to incorporate meat (with the cinematheque open on Friday nights and Saturdays, the restaurant could never be Kosher anyway).
Result is the food is a lot simpler - superb but enormous focaccia pizzas (bulgarian fetta and eggplant particularly fine), schnitzel with coleslaw and chips, burgers etc as well signature salads - but still excellent.
Favorite Dish: It's the simplicity of the food that is the attraction of Lavan.
Address: 11 Hebron Rd
Directions: Part of the Cinematheque
This is an argentinian restaurant in the city centre. We could go without reservation but bvery early(7pm) so, if you have the chance to rserve a table, that would be a good idea.
Asado was very good and so the other grill meat we got.
Favorite Dish: Asado was good but it's even better and more convenient if you order the grill mix for two(there is some asado, entrecote and more).
The Yarden red wine they suggest is really good.
Address: 22 rivlin street
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
We entered this restaurant because on the menu shown outside, there was written also cuscus and I cannot say why, we were in the mood of cus cus.
The first day they said cus cus was finished, so we ordered roasted chiken that was good anyway.
We went back the day after and they said they could not cook cus cus that day, so we took some steak, hommos and decided we would eat cus cus at home.
Favorite Dish: The roasted chiken was particulary good, their hommos is nothing special instead
Address: Yoel Solomon street
Directions: If you arrive from Jaffa street you will find it on your right side.
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Disappointed we didnt get to eat at local places but as it was the sabbat we struggled so we ate at:
-Mikes place - an expat place that does mexican and burgers - we had nachos and a pitcher of beer for 86 NIS.
-Focachetta - on 4 Rabbi Akiva st - this is a great place to go on the Sabbat when everything else is closed here it stays open and its packed. get there before 8pm or you wilol queue. We had pizza and pasta and a beer each for 160NIS.
Nothing fancy here, just a bare table top with some mismatched chairs. The ENTIRE place has 6 tables crammed into a place barely large enough for 4, so if you want elbow room, find someplace else.
But if you love homecooked meals, this is the nearest you can get without going to grandma's house. The second photo here shows the cooking area...and I took the photo from my seat.
This is one place where you can enjoy the smells of the cooking almost as much as the actual food itself, it was a joy for the nose.
Favorite Dish: You can order several small portions to try out different things, we sat 6 at our table and each tried different things and we shared them all, not a single complaint.
I would recommend this to all my friends.
Address: Shuk Mahane Yehuda
Directions: They have no phone or website, but if you enter the market (shuk), just ask around a few times at the shops, someone will point you in the right direction.
- Food and Dining
We had dinner in Focaccetta on a Friday evening: It is one of a few restaurants in central Jerusalem which is open on the Sabbath.
The menu was quite varied, with diferent kinds of meat, fish and seafood prepared in a variety of styles, from Thai-style noodles to Mexican fajitas. The menu also included a variety of starters and a selection of sandwiches and salads.
The service was good and efficient, and the decor trendy and quite pleasant. There was mainly indoor seating on the entrance floor, with a gallery above and a few small tables outside, on the pavement.
The main drawback was the noise: There were several families with children, and the noise was not dimmed by the acoustics in the restaurant. Maybe on other, less busy, evenings it feels different.
Address: 4 Shlomzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem
Directions: Near Jaffa Road, a few minutes from the Mamilla Boulevard or from the Nachalat Shiv'a neighborhood.
Open Sun-Fri 08:00-02:00, Sat 11:00-02:00.
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Michael Katz's (see Lavan tip) first place, Adom is to be found behind 31 Jaffa Rd in the old Feingold Cinema courtyard along with a number of other trendy/good eating places.
A dining courtyard and interior restaurant long with a sealed bar (smoking allowed) make this the perfect spot for lunch or dinner or simply a drink.
Atmospheric 19th century building with exposed stone, incredibly friendly staff and clientele (particularly in the bar - may have something to do with the free shots of Arak the bar staff frequently pour out!) and a diverse menu make it a great destination any night of the week.
Favorite Dish: Vegetarian food is particularly good - the eggplant, the goat's cheese ravioli, pea and pistachio risotto. But meats also good. Menu changes regularly according to season and fresh produce in the market.
Address: 31 Jaffa Rd
Directions: Head through the arch on Jaffa Rd and into the narrow courtyard. At the bottom on the left is Adom.Add to your Trip Planner
Spread over two levels with the balcony overlooking the main dining area, eclectic in style and eclectic in its menu, Mehane Yehuda is currently one of the places to be seen.
Close to the main market of the city means produce is collected early in the morning and what's best determines the menu of the day - it can change almost hourly!
It's diverse in choice and is likely to please almost everyone - if you can get a table. It's on the frantic side so don't expect a quiet romantic dinner for two, but with the chefs in the open kitchen on the ground floor frequently bursting into song or 'playing' the kitchen utensils, it's full of energy, fun and superb food.
Favorite Dish: Menus change frequently, but the menu box 'We love vegetarians' alongside mouth-watering lumps of meat and fish give you an idea that they really love their food. Salads are excellent as is the "Wooden Block" for vegetarians (although for some reason meat is featured on the platter - make sure you tell the waitress and they'll either remove it or serve it in a dish) and the Okra Moaz fantastic. But then so are the meatballs served with humus and tahina and the bread in little paper bags....
Address: 10 Bet Yaakov Street
Directions: A couple of streets down from the market.
Phone: 02 5333442
Grilled meat bars abound throughout the Middle East. One of the best in Jerusalem is Sima. Large, always busy (market very close by), straightforward formica top tables, marble floors.
Salads precede the main dish - usually variations of kebabs, shishliks etc. Speciality is Jerusalem Grill - grilled hearts, livers and other 'entrails'. Nowhere near as bad as it sounds, although once is enough!
Favorite Dish: Shishliks - but should try the Jerusalem Grill once.
Address: Jaffa St
Directions: Far end away from the old city in the market area.Add to your Trip Planner
Appealing cafe-bistro - light, airy, friendly with outdoor dining on the terrace (protected from the worst of the noise from the road by plenty of thick foliage).
What it lacks in atmosphere it makes up for as far as convenience and quality of food, especially if you are staying in the Liberty Bell Gardens region.
Favorite Dish: Good Italian style pastas and antipasta as well as standard bistro type food and excellent salads. Great coffee and a very good breakfast menu.
Address: 36 Keren Hayesod St
Directions: Great location at the junction of Keren Heyesod & Hamelekh David near Liberty Bell GardensAdd to your Trip Planner
A wonderful, tiny, atmospheric Jerusalem institution that has been here for 70 years. You have Harry's Bar in Venice, The Foreign Correspondent's Club in Phnom Penh and you have Finks.
6 tables in an intimate Austro-Hungarian or French auberge style bar/dining room. Wooden (well actually its formica painted dark brown to look like wood) panels half way up the wall, white walls above covered in a lexicon of original paintings and sketches from local artists of the 1940s and 1950s. One wall is dominated by the bar (and which provides a further 6 or so seats) and there is certain hushed reverence: this is more to do with the atmosphere generally than any enforced silence or overt respect for the other diners!
Its has been here so long there are many stories to be told - the popularity of the place with foreign correspondents and world press (CNN reporters, at the end of the Gulf War, flew in from round the region, had a celebratory meal and then made their way back to the airport); Kissinger being turned away twice - once as a result of his security men wanting to clear the restaurant so that he could eat (no way!) and the second occasion when he wanted to eat on a Friday evening (another no no): the owner respecting his customers to such an extent that only on one occasion as he asked a table if they would take coffee at the bar - a certain customer had been waiting 30 minutes already. That certain customer was Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister at the time....
Favorite Dish: Traditional Austro-Hungarian fare: soups, steaks, goulash, strogonoff, schnitzels and a good (if safe) wine list. Some 100 whiskies are allso on offer. There's nothing trendy or faddish about this place - the menu, like the decor, has remained the same for years. (It closes every August for a month for redecoration: the colours are the same, the paintings hang in exactly the same place!)
The food isn't the best in town, and its overpriced for what it is but nevertheless its still good wholesome fare and the rarified atmosphere makes it a must for at least the experience.
Fink's has now sadly closed.
Address: Hahistradut St
Directions: Top end of Ben Yehuda St (turn right at the end of the pedestrian part of Ben Yehuda)Add to your Trip Planner
Variation on a theme of Middle Eastern. There are suprisingly few simple, decent places to eat in the Old City other than the more obvious 'felefal fast food joints' or, in the Jewish quarter, overpriced coffee bars (actually evrything is overpriced in the old city!).
This is a bit of a haven, close to the Jaffa Gate but surprisingly seems a bit off the beaten path. It's in the basement of a building on the street leading from Jaffa Gate towards Zion Gate (so easily found, unlike many other places in the Old City), with a tiled interior, fountain gently splashing in one corner. In all, it oozes atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: Most of the meat dishes, especially the kofte type meatballs and variations on a theme. Tend to be a mix between Turkish and Persian - slightly spicier than Turkish, a little more basic than exotic side of Persian cooking.
Address: Armenian Patriarchate Rd, Old City
Directions: Turn right at Jaffa Gate, head up the street to the left of the square.
Stunningly beautiful recreation of traditional Moroccan palace. It may be a little on the pricey side, but outside of Morocco itself, few places where you could eat in such sumptuously beautiful surrounds. Several small rooms of varying sizes and styles with each one unique.
Favorite Dish: Pigeon pie and or the many tagines on offer as well as sweets and coffee... A genuinely wonderful experience.
Address: Horkanus St
Directions: Near the Russian Compound