A decade-long initiative to renovate Machane Yehuda's 100-year-old market in Jerusalemknown to locals as "the shuk"has inspired restaurateurs to open market-to-table places all along its edge.
"The shuk is the nerve center of the Jerusalem food world," says Tali Friedman (right). A veteran of some of Israel's top restaurants, Friedman now leads insider tours of the market that are followed by a cooking class and a wine-paired meal in her nearby kitchen space.
Eat & Drink in Jerusalem
© Avital Pinnick
On the shuk-inspired menu are sandwiches made with cheeses from famed Basher Fromagerie (left) and seasonal soups like sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash. Must try: Emmental cheese and avocado on whole-grain bread.© Mauricio Rosales
Homemade ice creams and sorbets feature seasonal Israeli produce. Must try: Saffron ice cream or pomegranate sorbet.Courtesy of Machneyuda
Two blocks from the market, this spot is run by a trio of Jerusalem's top chefs and must be booked weeks in advance. Dishes reflect traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Reserve a seat at the chef's counter, where Israeli song lyrics are stenciled into the concrete surface. Must try: Chamshuka, a dish of hummus, ground beef, labneh (yogurt) and preserved lemon.Courtesy of Yudaleh
During the day, it's the prep kitchen for Machneyuda. At night, it morphs into Jerusalem's buzziest wine bar, with a serious small plates menu and pulsing soundtrack. Must try: Herb-flecked antias (yellowtail) fish cakes.
Chefs and purveyors gather early each morning at Café Mizrachi for killer cappuccinos, plates of roasted eggplant with shakshuka (eggs cooked in a tomato-pepper sauce) and a generous serving of daily market gossip.
Shop in Jerusalem
This new ceramics co-op on the shuk's edge sells work by Jerusalem's best artists. Hot item: Boldly striped bowls.
A few blocks south of the shuk, this boutique in a 150-year-old storefront stocks clothes from Israel's top designers. Hot item: Cable-knit sweater vests from Rhus Ovata.