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 western dishes, you are bound to find something to tickle your taste buds. But which are the best restaurants in 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. So, if you are looking for the best places to eat in town, I have you covered.
Many of the places mentioned in this post observe Shabbat, which means they will be closed on a Friday evening and remain close on Saturday until right after sunset. I will point out whether they are open or closed on Shabbat.
Most good restaurants in Jerusalem require pre-bookings Call well in advance or book via the Ontopo App. Also, remember to tip your waiter!
The 17 Best Restaurants In Jerusalem
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
By far my favorite restaurant in town, this spacious restaurant is very classy and with modern interior decor. The menu is mostly fusion European style, with 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 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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 4 David Remez St., First Station; open daily from 12:30 pm. Book 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. It serves very good pasta dishes (yes, said the Italian here!), a great selection of fish and seafood dishes, a delicious beef carpaccio and some very interesting and tasty vegetable dishes too.
It’s quite expensive to be honest, but you only live once I suppose.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 41 King George St.; open Sunday to Friday from 6:00 PM, and Saturdays from 12:30 pm. Book in advance!
Tmol Shilshom has a 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. 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 Israeli 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!
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 5 Yo’el Moshe Salomon St.; open Sunday to Thursday 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. Book in advance!
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 where 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 comforting. It’s not cheap, but it is worth every penny.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 10 Beit Ya’akov St., not far from Mahane Yehuda Market; 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. Book well in advance.
TIP: Yudale bar, right in front, is also part of the Machneyuda family run by the same chefs.
You know how museum restaurants have that overall school cafeteria feel – and taste? Not Modern. Located inside the Israel Museum, this 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.
Try the mixed grill or the sea bass fillet, or one of the many vegan options. Panna cotta dessert is a classic, but opt for the malabi if you want a local flavor. Prices are mid-range – at least by Israeli standards.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: Inside the Israel Museum, on Derech Ruppin; open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Tuesdays from 6:00 pm. Book in advance.
Great for a night out with friends, it’s kind of dark inside, and loud music is played throughout the evening. It mostly caters to younger vibe. Definitely don’t go on a romantic date, or for a family dinner, as you may be disappointed.
Food is fabulous, with burgers cooked to your liking, sea bass, salmon and other fish dishes made from scratch. The house specialty is the Moroccan Cigar – just try it! If you have room for dessert, opt for the chocolate tart.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: Close to Mahane Yehuda Market, on 74 Agripas St.; open 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. Book in advance.
This incredibly budget friendly place is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, and serves the best hummus and falafel in town. Incredibly easygoing, service is casual. Sit by yourself or just grab any seat available, and wait for your food to come whenever the staff decides – it’s worth the wait.
Other than hummus and falafel, you’ll find fresh salad served with copious amounts of tahina; baba ganouj and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 42 Al Khanka Street, near the Via Dolorosa and close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Located in a beautiful stone building facing the city walls, in Jerusalem’s Artist Quarter, it serves 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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 14 Felt St.; open Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 to 11:00 pm and Saturdays from 6:00 to 11:00 pm. Book in advance.
Anna Italian Cafe
Located inside Ticho House, one of the first places to be built outside the walls of Jerusalem in 1860, you will find a sophisticated atmosphere, but the service is actually very friendly and the staff incredibly kind.
Food is Italian inspired and delicious. 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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 10 HaRav Agan St.; open Sunday to Thursday from 12:00 to 11:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:00 am until two hours before Shabbat. Book in advance.
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: 4 Ha-Eshkol St.; open 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 stand in line for a bit before being seated.
Rooftop (Mamilla Hotel)
The restaurant is located on the actual rooftop of the hotel so you can enjoy incredible views of the Old City and the ramparts as you dine.
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!
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 11 Shlomo HaMelek St.; open 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. Book in advance.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
At Primitivo 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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 35 King George St.; open from Sunday to Thursday from 4:00 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 pm. Book in advance.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
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 staples.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 13 Azzhara St.; open daily from 12:00 to 11:00 pm.
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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 9 Shimon Ben Shetach St.; open daily from 12:00 to 11:00 pm. Book in advance.
OPEN ON SHABBAT!
This is one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem outside the city center. You will find it in the Talbiya neighborhood, under Jerusalem Theater. It’s perfect if you want to get away from the tourist track.
Food is mostly European style, but you can expect Middle Eastern influences such as zaatar to make an appearance. Calamari is superb. The wine list is extensive. Prices are reasonable.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 5 Chopin St.; open daily from 9:00 am till midnight. Book in advance.
GOOD TO KNOW: This is 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. Try the “antipasto” (which in Italian is a generic word to refer to appetizers): it’s a selection of fresh grilled vegetables served with parmesan cheese; and one of the many pasta dishes.
The menu is not very extensive and all food made to order. Portions are huge and prices are very reasonable. There is a selection of budget friendly wines and beers.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 36 Keren ha-Yesod St.; open daily from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Brasserie Ein Kerem
Brasserie Ein Kerem is located 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.
ADDRESS AND OPENING HOURS: 15 Ha-Ma’ayan St.; 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.
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
- The Best Airbnbs In Tel Aviv