Which are the best restaurants in Jerusalem?
There is no shortage of delicious food in Jerusalem. Whether you opt for classic Middle-Eastern flavors, fusion cuisine or something more western, you are bound to find something to tickle your taste buds, and the use of fresh, local ingredients makes it even better. But what are the best restaurants in Jerusalem?
I always claim that one of the best ways to discover a new place is by eating. You can get to know so much about it by visiting a local market, trying local food, but also by observing the eating habits of the people who live there. This is very much the case for Jerusalem.
I have been to Jerusalem countless times and each time I go I make it a point to visit at least a couple of new restaurants, and to return to those that I like the most. In this post, I will highlight the 20 best restaurants in Jerusalem, all tried and tested by yours truly.
Keep in mind that many of these places observe Shabbat, which means they will be closed on a Friday evening and remain close on Saturday until right after sunset. I will make sure to point out whether they are open or closed on Shabbat.
GOOD TO KNOW: With some exceptions, most of the best restaurants in Jerusalem will require pre-bookings – in some cases, even a month ahead! Make sure to call well in advance or to book via the Ontopo App. Remember to tip your waiter!
The 17 Best Restaurants In Jerusalem
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
By far my favorite restaurant in town, I always make it a point to go at least once every time I visit Jerusalem. Indeed, there is no doubt that Adom is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem. It’s quite a spacious place, very classy and with modern interior decor. The menu is mostly fusion European style – you will find dishes that range from shrimp risotto to chicken cordon blue and gnocchi. But keep in mind that the menu changes regularly – and seasonally. There are regular daily specials – often steak. Desserts are to die for!
The cocktail and wine list is extensive, and organized by price – just in case you don’t want to break the bank. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Located on 4 David Remez St., in the beautiful setting of Jerusalem First Station, Adom is open daily from 12:30 pm. It’s one of the few restaurants in Jerusalem that is also open on Shabbat. Make sure to book a table in advance.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
This restaurant, located close to Independence Park, first opened in 2000 and quickly became one of the most popular in town. The menu is mostly Italian inspired – but with a twist. You can expect to find very good pasta dishes (yes, said the Italian here!), a great selection of fish and seafood dishes and since you are in Israel, the land of vegans and vegetarians, some very interesting and tasty vegetable dishes too.
It’s quite expensive to be honest, but you only live once I suppose. The beef carpaccio is incredibly tasty.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Chakra is located on 41 King George St. It is open from Sunday to Friday, from 6:00 PM, and on Saturdays from 12:30 pm. Definitely book in advance!
I first ate at Tmol Shilshom a few years ago, when a local friend took me there. I immediately fell in love with the sophisticated yet chilled atmosphere. Once you get in, you will feel like you have stepped into someone’s dining room – that’s how cozy it is.
Named after the novel Tmol Shilshom by Nobel Prize Laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon, this literary café regularly hosts Israeli authors, poets, musicians and artists in general. But this is just one of the reasons it’s mentioned among the best restaurants in Jerusalem.
Food is local and always prepared to order, and there are lots of vegetarian, vegan and healthy food options. You will be able to savor some of the staples of Israli cuisine, including a fabulous shakshuka. There is a great choice of wine and other drinks. Desserts are delicious. And on top of this, you won’t break the bank!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Tmol Shilshom is located on 5 Yo’el Moshe Salomon St. It’s open Sundays to Thursdays from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm. It’s a kosher restaurant so it observes Shabbat, meaning it closes one hour before sunset on Fridays and opens again 30 minutes after sunset on Saturdays. Make reservations, especially at weekends and close to national holidays.
No post about the best restaurants in Jerusalem is complete without mentioning this incredible venue. Established by Assaf Granit, Yossi Elad and Uri Navon in 2009, this is a fun, colorful, lively place that pretty much sums up what Israel is like (and I know most of you don’t expect it to be so, but trust me, you will agree with me after you visit the country).
At Machneyuda you will be able to taste dishes that mix together local ingredients sourced from the nearby market and paired to perfection, in an easygoing environment. The calamari appetizer is mouthwatering, the steaks are delicious and the mushroom risotto so comforting. It’s not cheap, but it is worth every penny.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Machneyuda is located on 10 Beit Ya’akov St., not far from Mahane Yehuda Market. It’s open Sunday to Thursday from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm and from 6:30 pm to midnight, and Saturdays from 6:30 pm. It’s closed on Fridays. Make sure to make reservations well in advance – we’re talking a month before you intend to visit!
TIP: Yudale bar, right in front, is also part of the Machneyuda family run by the same chefs, and a fun place for a night out.
You know how museum restaurants have that overall school cafeteria feel – and taste? Well, forget that. Located inside the Israel Museum, one of the best museums in the country, Modern is a perfect place for a business lunch, a family meal or for a friends’ gathering. The tapas platter for two (pictured above) is enough to feed a family.
Make sure to try the mixed grill or the sea bass fillet – but rest assured that if you are vegan there will be plenty of dishes to pick from as well. Panna cotta is a classic, but opt for the malabi if you want a more local flavor – it’s delicious. Prices are mid-range – at least by Israeli standards.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The restaurant is located inside the Israel Museum, on Derech Ruppin; it is open from Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm, and on Tuesdays for dinner too, from 6:00 pm. Reservations are recommended.
This is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem for a fun night out with friends. It’s kind of dark inside, and loud music is played throughout the evening, so you can expect to find a younger vibe – lots of birthday parties are celebrated there. In other words, it is not the kind of place you’d go on a romantic date, or for a family dinner – I have made the mistake to take my mom there, and though she truly enjoyed the food, she wasn’t nearly as happy about the loud music!
Anyways – back to the food which is the main point here. It’s expensive, but delicious. Burgers are cooked to your liking. Sea bass, salmon and other fish dishes are made from scratch. The house specialty is the Moroccan Cigar – trust me, you have to try it! If you have room for dessert, make sure to try the chocolate tart.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Close to Mahane Yehuda Market, Jacko’s Street is located on 74 Agripas St. It’s open from Sunday to Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, Fridays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am. Make sure to book in advance.
Regularly mentioned among the best restaurants in Jerusalem, this incredibly budget friendly place is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, and where to go for the best hummus and falafel in town. Incredibly easygoing, you can expect service to be just as casual. Sit by yourself or just grab any seat available, and wait for your food to come whenever the staff decides – and trust me, it’s worth the wait as this is likely the best hummus you’ll have in your life.
Other than hummus and falafel, you can count on other local staples such as fresh salad served with copious amounts of tahina; baba ganouj and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Lina is located on 42 Al Khanka Street, near the Via Dolorosa and close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It’s open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
One of the most famous restaurants in town, Eucalyptus is located in a beautiful stone buildings facing the city walls, in Jerusalem’s Artist Quarter. You will be able to try traditional local dishes prepared with a modern twist in an environment that is at the same time sophisticated and easygoing.
The fish falafel and the azura eggplant are among the best appetizers. The ribeye, fillet and lamb are all equally delicious. It’s a good place to try Maklubah, one of the most popular dishes in Middle-Eastern cuisine. There is a tasting menu available after 9:00 pm every day, but it has to be booked in advance.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Eucalyptus is located on 14 Felt St. It is open Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 to 11:00 pm and Saturdays from 6:00 to 11:00 pm. Make sure to book well in advance as tables fill up quickly.
Anna Italian Cafe
I discovered Anna on my first trip to Israel and was happy to visit again the last time I was there. I took my mom there and she loved it. It is located inside Ticho House, one of the first places to be built outside the walls of Jerusalem in 1860. There you will find a sophisticated atmosphere, but the service is actually very friendly and the staff incredibly kind.
Food is Italian style – I said style though, not the way you’d expect it in Italy. It’s honestly delicious. I can’t truly recommend what to eat because the menu changes regularly, but the fish is generally cooked to perfection and there always is a very good selection of salads and vegetable dishes. There is an extensive wine list.
It’s expensive, but it’s honestly worth it.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: 10 HaRav Agan St. It is open from Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 to 11:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:00 am until two hours before Shabbat . You have to book in advance.
Just in case you are thinking that all the best restaurants in Jerusalem will cost you an arm and a leg, I thought I’d mention this place located in the Iraqi Shuk right in Mahane Yehuda. It first opened in 1952, and serves Middle Eastern staples and earthy portions at very reasonable prices.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Azura is located on 4 Ha-Eshkol St. It is open from Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It closes at 2:00 pm on Fridays and it is closed on Saturday. They don’t take reservations, so you may have to stand in line for a bit to be seated.
Rooftop (Mamilla Hotel)
Not only Mamilla is the best hotel in town, but it’s also home to one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem. As the name says, the restaurant is located on the actual rooftop of the hotel so you can enjoy incredible views of the Old City as you dine (you can see the ramparts in the photo above).
With regards to food, you can expect bistro-style dining, with lots of excellent pasta dishes, a fantastic grouper shawarma, and lots of vegan and vegetarian options. The wine and cocktail menu is extensive. It’s the perfect place for a romantic night out, but also to meet friends. It’s honestly worth every cent – be prepared to spend a lot!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Mamilla Hotel is located on 11 Shlomo HaMelek St. It is open from Sunday to Thursday from 6:00 to 11:00 pm; Fridays from 12:00 to 2:30 pm and Saturdays from 7:30 to 11:00 pm. A Shabbat menu is available when the restaurant closes for Shabbat. Reservations highly recommended.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
I am always happy when the best restaurants in Jerusalem are also open on Shabbat, and this is one of them!
You will love the ambience – informal, cozy – and by all means the food. The menu is not as extensive as that of most local restaurants, but on the other hand that means quality and the use of strictly seasonal ingredients. The beef carpaccio and the cappellacci are a must-try. Prices are actually quite reasonable.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Primitivo is located on 35 King George St. It is open from Sunday to Thursday from 4:00 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 pm. Reservations recommended.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
This is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem that is located on the East side of the city, inside the Azzahra Hotel. It welcomes tourists and locals alike – mostly Palestinians, for a welcome change of scenery. It’s a great place to try mansaf, mujjadara (lentil rice pilaf) and other Middle-Eastern flavors.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Azzhara is located on 13 Azzhara St. It is open daily from 12:00 to 11:00 pm.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
Another of the best restaurants in Jerusalem open on Shabbat.
This French-style restaurant was once located in East Jerusalem, during the Intifada it was closed and moved to Tel Aviv. It was finally moved back to the city and since then it has been serving delicious fish and seafood dishes, as well as a selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Prices are in line with those of the city.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Dolphin Yam is located on 9 Shimon Ben Shetach St. It is open daily from 12:00 to 11:00 pm. Reservations are recommended.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
This is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem that is actually not located in the city center. You will find it in the Talbiya neighborhood, right under Jerusalem Theater. It is a great place for an evening out, away from the main tourist track.
Food is mostly European style, but you can expect Middle Eastern influences such as zaatar to make an appearance. Make sure to order the calamari – they are superb. The wine list is extensive. Prices are reasonable, considering the quality of the food.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Talbiye is located on 5 Chopin St. It is open daily from 9:00 am till midnight. Make sure to reserve in advance, especially on Shabbat.
GOOD TO KNOW: It’s one of the best places in town for brunch!
This tiny pasta place is a bit outside the center of Jerusalem, and a real local find. The young stuff makes pasta from scratch every day, as well as pizza. I haven’t tried the pizza so I can’t comment on that, but I ate the pasta and the famous “antipasto” (which in Italian is a generic word to refer to appetizers), a selection of fresh grilled vegetables served with parmesan cheese – and I was honestly impressed.
The menu is not very extensive – but the place is so small and all food made to order, so it makes sense. Portions are huge and prices are very reasonable. There is a selection of budget friendly wines and beers.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: P2 is located on 36 Keren ha-Yesod St. It is open daily from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Brasserie Ein Kerem
Brasserie Ein Kerem is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem that is actually located outside the city center, in the beautiful historical neighborhood of Ein Kerem. Upon entering you will find a cozy place – it’s especially so on a cold winter day.
Service is excellent, though informal. Food as good as it gets. I tried the beef carpaccio and couldn’t get enough of it; and the beef entrecote was just as good. There is a selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes and a good wine menu too. It is not cheap, but it is worth it.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Brasserie Ein Kerem is located on 15 Ha-Ma’ayan St. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 12:00 to 11:00 pm, and from Thursday to Saturday from 9:00 am to midnight. Reservations are recommended, but if you turn up when it is not peak hours you may be able to get a table.
Further readings about Israel
Make sure to read these other posts to help you plan your trip:
- The 10 Best Places To Visit During A Trip To Israel
- A Complete Guide To Israeli Food
- 29 Things To Do In Jerusalem You Can’t Miss
- 21 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Tel Aviv
- 15 Great Tel Aviv Beaches
- Where To Stay In Tel Aviv: Recommendations By An Almost Local
- Tel Aviv Vegan Food Guide: The Best Vegan Restaurants In Tel Aviv
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Haifa, Israel
- 17 Truly Unmissable Things To Do In Eilat, Israel
- Everything You Need To Know To Hike The Jesus Trail
- Masada Sunrise Guide: Hiking The Masada Snake Path
- The 13 Best Day Trips From Tel Aviv
- 9 Fantastic Day Trips From Jerusalem
- What You Need To Know About Shabbat In Jerusalem
- Where To Get The Most Impressive Views Of Jerusalem
- What You Must Know Before Visiting Temple Mount And Dome Of The Rock
- The Best Bars In Tel Aviv For The Best Tel Aviv Nightlife
- 33 Tips For Traveling To Israel
- 15 Great Bars In Jerusalem