Food at 1868, Jerusalem, Israel


While it hasn’t been around since 1868, the restaurant by the same name is an institution compared to the shiny new restaurants cropping up all over town. Specializing in kosher cuisine (less restricting than it may seem), 1868 blends international and local flavors, appealing to diners from all over the world. The wine list is extensive and covers all the bases, from South American vintages to the best bottles from nearby vineyards.

Food at Abu Shukri, Jerusalem, Israel

Abu Shukri

Jerusalemites are as concerned with the city’s best hummus spot as Chicagoans are about their deep-dish pies. Traditionalists back Abu Shukri’s no-frills take on the Israeli classic, served simple with just the right amount of zest.

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Dinning Area at Azura, Jerusalem, Israel


Locals swear by this spot in the Iraqi section of the Mahane Yehuda market. On first glance, it may not look like much: large vats filled with an array of piping hot soups and stews conjure memories of high-school cafeterias, but the food is some of Israel’s best. The kubbeh soup is a favorite of the local tastemakers, artists and politicians found in line daily.


Nearly hidden in a small courtyard at the end of an alleyway, Barood is worth seeking out for its excellent Sephardic cuisine (a fusion of modern Israeli and traditional Spanish cooking). The cozy, intimate spot serves homey cuisine, and the welcoming atmosphere is rounded out by delicate music playing in the background. A favorite of locals and tourists, Barood also has Guinness on tap and a small menu of pub fare, perfect after a long day of sightseeing.

Fod at Chakra, Jerusalem, Israel


Chakra attracts a buzzy crowd for its excellent Mediterranean menu and chic atmosphere. The interiors are spacious and sleek, while the alfresco patio affords leafy park views. The diverse menu features such flavorful dishes as lemon garlic cauliflower, artichoke and reggiano pappardelle and kebabs with grilled vegetables and tahini.

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Traditional Moroccan cuisine and traditional Moroccan hospitality go hand-in-hand at this kosher restaurant whose name means “our home.” The restaurant is housed in a 200-year-old building, which, coupled with atmospheric touches like stained glass windows and intricately tiled floors, truly allows diners to feel at home. Even the dishes seem to have been crafted with the tender care of a mother cooking for her children, with steaming tagines coming out piping hot and couscous served speckled with tender dried fruits and aromatic spices.

Food at Jacko's Street, Jerusalem, Israel

Jacko's Street

Contemporary and with an unusually innovative design—leafy overhangs star beside an open kitchen—Jacko’s Street is wildly popular. The buzzing restaurant is just steps from the Machne Yehuda market, where chef Zakai Huja shops daily, filling up on fresh produce for each nights dinner. The atmosphere is lively, the service is friendly and the cuisine is spot-on.

Apparels at Lina, Seville, Spain


Founded in 1960 by Marcelina Fernandez, this popular store is your one-stop shop for all things flamenco. Now run by genetically blessed granddaughter Mila, Lina stocks gorgeous, handmade dresses that are perfect for on or off the dancefloor. 

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Brilliant plating and artistic presentation are the only things Machneyuda and sister restaurant Mona have in common. The former is fun-loving and boisterous, with good food to boot (although fantastic is a better descriptor). The cheeky cocktail menu—with quite a few suggestively-titled beverages—may have been written after its author sampled a few of the spirituous libations, but all are made with skill and care. The dishes retain a sense of humor with witty descriptions and the “best fixed menu ever” (their phrase, not mine). At around 9pm, the music turns up and the party starts.

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A husband-and-wife team run Majda out of their home in the Ein Rafa neighborhood in the Judean Hills, fifteen minutes from downtown Jerusalem. While the menu changes daily, they specialize in antipasti and Mediterranean mezze, and the food—and surrounding countryside—is reliably excellent.

Read an interview with Yotam Ottolenghi, where he names Majda one of his favorite restaurants in Jerusalem.

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Mamilla Rooftop

Head to Jerusalem’s trendiest hotel for eye-level views of the Old City and spectacular cocktails. The food is delicious as well, but with so many excellent dining options elsewhere in the city, the Mamilla is best for a pre- or post-dinner drink.

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Rugelach is Israel’s take on a chocolate croissant (both share Viennese culinary roots), and Marzipan does it better than anyone else. It is the place to buy the doughy, chocolate pastry, evidenced by the hoard of locals filtering in and out and the constant chug of the baking oven.

Dinning Area at Mona, Jerusalem, Israel


Hidden within the Jerusalem Artists’ House, Machneyuda’s subdued older sister is as elegant as Machneyuda is audacious. The plates are beautifully presented, and the feel is more welcoming and homey than the raucous atmosphere at Machneyuda. The menu is refined but creative—Israeli with a Mediterranean twist. During the winter, the fireside tables are delightful.

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Rachmo is a no-frills, homey joint, known for having some of the best local food and kubbe (a delicious patty made from bulghur and ground meat) in Jerusalem. The worker’s eatery has been around since the 1930’s, and if that isn’t enough of a testament to the excellent Kurdish cuisine, the long line of Israelis out front confirms Rachmo’s authenticity.

Read an interview with Yotam Ottolenghi, where he names Rachmo one of his favorite restaurants in Jerusalem.

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The Eucalyptus

The Eucalyptus is a relaxed yet refined restaurant set in an ancient stone building in Jerusalem that serves modern interpretations of biblical foods.
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