Ishtabach is a compact, unassuming locale serving fresh Kurdish pastries in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market. The widely popular bakery-style restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Oren Sasson-Levy, who obtained inspiration from another realm. In the midst of a two-month coma, his grandmother came to him in a dream to explain he could achieve phenomenal success with anything he put his heart and soul into. Oren decided to open a restaurant in her honor—and the phenomenally successful project has now fulfilled her legacy. Patrons pack out the quirky, tightly packed space on any given night to devour his delicious baked pastries and sip frothy beers. Unsure what to order? Try the signature Shamburak, a hearty Kurdish pastry chock full of veggies and exotic meats.
It doesn’t get any more “classic Israeli kitchen” than Shamouleh and the food may put your Savtas cooking to shame. In the early morning, restaurant owner and head chef Shamouleh Nahmias comes into his restaurant to start preparing all the food from scratch. By ten o’clock, mouth watering aromas come wafting out of Shamouleh’s doors. Plates are piled high with rice, meats, and veggies; and bowls of kube are served to the brim with delicious beet broth.
Miryam Binyamin established one of Jerusalem's most beloved kitchens, Ima, in 1981 and has been feeding generations of sabras, olim, and tourists ever since. There is a saying in Israel that everything that comes out of mom’s kitchen is delicious, and sometimes there is nothing better or more needed than touching base with some good ole fashioned Israeli comfort food. The sort of comfort food that comes out of Miryam's iconic kitchen is more specifically Sephardi comfort food and it does not dissappoint.
The Mona group is a collective of restaurants and culinary experiences run by Chef Tomer Rosenfeld and headed by their flagship restaurant Mona. Nestled deep within the city of Jerusalem in one of the it's historic old stone houses, the tastes of home and simplicity are paramount in all the dishes at Mona. However, as Chef Tomer Rosenfeld likes to remind his patrons “simple is never actually simple," and with a selection of very few ingredients Mona turns out dishes of homemade taste with gourmet color and presentation. The simplicity of raw delicious food is a regular practice at Mona with dishes featuring styles such as sashimi and tartare.
Once upon a time, four friends Zakai Huja, Rafi Revivo, Uri Abras and Yotam Nissim wanted to bring their joy of life to the people of Jerusalem through food. Jako Street leaves its patrons with a stomach full of happiness. The four chefs especially enjoy bringing the love of life that is enmeshed in Kurdish cuisine to the people of Israel. However the menu pays homage to the idea of food as love and the connection between community and family which spans across numerous Mediterranean cultures. Some of their dishes include sour Kurdish risotto, harima salmon, and the ever classic Moroccan cigars served with sweet breads and chicken liver.
Chef Avi Levy's inspiration for HaMotzi came from his childhood in the Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem as well as his global travels. HaMotzi offers an authentic culinary approach to traditional North African (specifically, Algerian) cuisine while combining local elements. Some of the restaurant's iconic dishes include cigars stuffed with sweetbread and asado; pastille, a chicken, almond and saffron pastry; and bullette, a pan of crispy Algerian meatballs with cabbage and steamed onions.The copper pots and antique ovens that adorn the walls and ceiling are actually artifacts collected during Chef levy’s travels as well as from his grandmother’s childhood home. Chef Levy’s mother Miriam is a pillar of the restaurant. She is the official pastry chef and comes in daily to make all of the restaurant's desserts from scratch.