Contributed by: Dani Klein | Last Date of Visit: June 2006
Kosher Info: As capital of the Jewish state, J-town is filled with kosher eateries in almost every neighborhood.
The Ben Yehuda area is filled with all kinds of kosher restaurants:
- Burgers Bar – amazing huge burgers and great potato cut fries
- Holy Bagel – one of the places to get a traditional bagel, although not as good as New York bagels.
- Cafe Rimon – has a separated dairy and meat section. Huge selection on both sides, large portions and so yummy.
- Sbarro – the Italian eatery is Kosher in Israel and is awesome.
- Burger King – some question the hashgacha
- Also look down many of the side streets in this area, its filled with many places to grab a bite. (especially Italian)
Old City – Jewish Quarter
“The Rova” has a few places to grab food, nothing fancy. Within a few feet from each other exists 2 pizza stores, a falafel stand, and a couple cafes. By the stairs to the Kotel there’s a Holy Bagel, and a couple shwarma places.
There are a number of eateries both inside and outside of the central bus station and inside the Center1 building. In that area you will find a popular shwarma joint called Massov.
Geula & Me’ah Shearim
- Since this is the most religious area of the city, basically every shop is kosher and fairly cheap.
As an additional resource, you may want to check out Jerusalemite.net’s Kosher Restaurant Guide.
In terms of buying food at markets, all supermarkets carry a nearly all-kosher lineup of products.
On Pesach beware if you are Ashkenaz and do not eat kitniyot. Many products are listed as Kosher for Pesach that contain kitniyot. This applies to all of Israel.
Tourist Info: Such a beautiful city and so much to see and do. The Jewish quarter on the Old City deserves a walking tour and obviously a visit to the Kotel. (Is it blasphemous to call the kotel a tourist site?). The Jewish quarter is filled with all types of historical and religious sites, including numerous excavations. Check out the Kotel tunnel tour which runs deep under the Muslim quarter built above. Clostrophobes may not enjoy this tour.
Behind the old city is Ir David or David’s City, an archeological site allowing you to venture underground.
Directly outside of the old city is Mishkenot She’ananim, a beautiful artists village where you will find the Windmill. On the other side is Gan HaPaamon (bell park).
In the center of town the Ben Yehuda area is bustling day and night with tourits, students, and the local youth. There are all different types of shops, bars and restaurants, and be sure to check out the street vendors in the square behind Ben Yehuda. This is by far the easiest place to exchange your currency to Shekels.
Check out the Israel museum which includes extensive collections of Judaica, ethnography, fine art, artifacts, and rare manuscripts. Also see the Shrine of the Book.
For those who are not Chasidic (ultra-orthodox), walk through Geula and Me’ah Shearim. My only comparison is Boro Park in Brooklyn, but not nearly as nice. You cab find dirt cheap sefarim and other Judaica products. Visitor beware: if you plan to enter this neighborhood improperly dressed, there will be numerous signs advising you otherwise. The residents take that rule fairly seriously.
Jewish Info: Jews are commanded to visit Jerusalem 3x a year… no wonder there isn’t a city in the world with more Jewish history or charachter.
Every neighborhood has shuls and when in doubt, head to the kotel for round the clock minyanim. You can probably catch a late Shacharit while others are saying Mincha.