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Apr 30, 2008 06:36 PM

Restaurants in Israel

I'll be going to Jerusalem and Haifa in May and am excited to sample what I hope will be a wide variety of delicious restaurants.

Has anyone been to either city lately and can anyone recommend restaurants? I'd be interested in one or two high-end restaurants, but primarily mid-range. Any type of cuisine is great (especially that which is not easily found in NYC).


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  1. I spent two weeks in Israel; there I dined at a restaurant in Haifa called Papagaio. It is a meat, all you can eat, establishment that for about $30 pp offers you a choice of some 12 choices of fish and meat.

    To see what I mean, check out
    They also have a branch in Jerusalem, check out

    This is an excerpt from the above (the Haifa review) web site to "wet ones appetite"

    Papagaio is a South American meat restaurant with the emphasis on meat, meat and more meat, sizzling on the grill and brought to you in abundance. Meat lovers, take a look at the rotisseries on top of large gas fires at the cooking range near the entrance to the restaurant. It is impressive, even fun to watch. .

    This is a restaurant with a lot of action. Waitresses are up and about between the tables carrying lovely looking trays laden with food and drinks. Grill men scurry about the restaurant wielding sword-length skewers of meat. There is bouncy South American background music and a houseful of guests. Not your quiet romantic hide-away, Papagaio is a hub of activity, as its name suggests.

    P.S. Don't forget to print out the 10% off coupon from the eluna web site!

    1. there is a middle east chowboard and you will find lots of recommendations in Israel there.

      3 Replies
      1. re: smartie

        The problem with the Middle East board is that no one mentions whether or not the restaurants are kosher. I don't have the resources to do the research myself, and sadly it's not a given in Israel anymore.

        Thanks for any suggestions!

        1. re: kosherfoodie

          Can I assume you know about the website Shamash? If you have internet access, you certainly have "the resources" to access that site. It may not give you all you want to know, but it's a start. Either choose Israel under "Country," or specify an area under "Metropolitan Area." Don't know why this link is not showing up as clickable, but you can cut and paste or just retype it.

          1. re: queenscook

            Papagaio is great, and they have a branch in TA and Jerusalem. They start you out with a loaf of bread and salads, and then the grill men come with chicken, sausage, wings. The better meat comes out later. So pace yourself and try a little of everything, as they will come back.
            If you can stop by Tel Aviv or Herziliya on your way up there are some great restaurants there too, if you're interested.
            Jerusalem has a huge selection.
            Low End - Burgers Bar,
            Mid Range - Joy Grill, Olive, Angelo's (Italian Dairy), Little Italy (Dairy)
            High End - 1868
            Go to which has restaurant write ups by city, and 10% off coupons for most places. It's better than Shamash.

        1. Hi Kosherfoodie,

          I live in Jerusalem, but don't go to high-end places (I'm poor) so I cannot recommend any based on personal experience. You can check eLuna, which has been mentioned here, for places as well as coupons.

          I liked Joy (meat) on Emek Refaim, there is also Joy Express down the street (prices are cheaper). The "steakiya" restaurants on Aggripas and in the Talpiot Industrial Zone are quite good. You get a skewer or two of grilled meat of your choice, french fries (called 'chips' here) and a bunch of salads. Meorav Yerushalmi is a mixture of grilled organ meat. "Ima" is the most famous (and pricey) of these types of restaurants but wow is it good. Located on Aggripas.

          For hummus I like Hummus Talpiot (meat) on Yad Harutzim. I just paid 20 shekels for mushroom hummus and my fried spent 25 for hummus with meat. Burekas Ima (dairy) on Rivka St for cookies and burekas. About 38 shekels for a kilo of burekas.

          If you want sabich, there are two places: one on Shlomtzion Hamalka and one on Hahistadrut. Both good and I forgot both their names....

          If you get the sushi craving I like Japanika on Shlomtzion. It is the only koshe brarnch of this chain. Sushi Bar Rehavia (Azza St.) is also good but a bit more expensive.

          Aldo on Emek Refaim for ice cream (about 12 shekels a small cone, maybe more). The ice cream is good but I have a hard time paying that much for a cone.

          I am sure I could recommend more, these are the things that came into my head first. Most of the recs are in the southern part of the city because this is where I live. Let me know what you are looking for!


          1 Reply
          1. re: JudgeMaven

            Sima (perhaps Sami) on Agrippas are also very good for Meorav Yerushalmi. Zion Hakatan is also very good. If you focus on the "Israeli" type restaurants rather than the touristy places, you will generally get a better deal.

          2. Papagio- Brazillian all you can eat restaurant (Talpiyot/Baka on Yad Ha'harutzim St., Jerusalem) (Kosher)

            Buffalo Steak House- Meat, Emek refaim, Jerusalem (Kosher, L'Mahadrin

            Joy - Meat, Emek refaim, Jerusalem (Kosher, L'Mahadrin

            Pasha - Meat, Turkish, 28 Pierre Koening St. Jerusalem (Kosher, L'Mahadrin
            )(the Pargit (cornish hen) stuffed with pistachios is good as well as the Mas'hana a bread like pastery w/ peices of meat and spices on it. Try the Kuba Hamusta soup [if you like sour] and the sambusak a pastry filled with tabila, a meat and onion filling)


            Caffit- Dairy, Emek Refaim, Jerusalem (Kosher)

            Sami- Meat, Israeli, Mizrahi (Oriental), skewers etc... 80 Aggripas St., Jerusalem. (Kosher
            ) (Hebrew/ some english


            Sima- Meat, Israeli, Mizrahi (Oriental), skewers etc... 82 Aggripas St. Jerusalem. (Kosher)


            I also endorse Judgemavens reccomendations of

            Burekas Ima - Dairy Bureka take out on Rivka St. Jerusalem (Kosher)

            The Talpiot Steakiyot and Shipudiot (Grill and Skewers restaurants) like Tzidkiyahu and Tzion Ha'Katan (Kosher)

            Aldo on emek refaim for excellent icecream and sorbet, try the Chocolate sorbet, its amazing.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Faune

              Thank you all for the recommendations! I can't wait to sample. I'll report back if anyone is interested. Todah rabah!

              1. re: Faune

                Tzion HaKatan on Yad Harutzim closed. Go down the street to Tzion HaGadol (and Tzidkiyahu and Bibi and the one in Kanyon Yisrael and the one in Kanyon Hadar and...)