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Jul 17, 2008 03:21 PM

Israel: Do these restaurants still exist?

In 2000, I last visited Israel and had very good meals at the following two restaurants: Barbunia (Tel Aviv) and the restaurant in the YMCA across from the King David Hotel (Jerusalem). I loved the mezze that were served before the fish at the former and the Harira soup is the stuff of my dreams at the latter. Does either of these restaurants still exist? If so are they still good?

I remember eating at another restaurant that followed the same model as Barbunia: a house-selected assortment of mezze followed by a fish/seafood main course. One of these places was kosher and only served fish and the other was non-kosher and included shrimp. I can't remember which was which.

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  1. There is a restaurant in the YMCA (Three Arches?). I have not eaten there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudgeMaven

      Thanks. Now that you've supplied the name, I recognize it. This many years later, I don't remember the details of the rest of my meal but the harira soup was sublime. Lemony. Spicy. Yum!

    2. Both restaurants still exist. If you're looking for restaurants like barbunia, I would certainly suggest trying Manta Ray. Great mezzes and fish, with the added benefit of being right on the beach.

      Likewise, in Jerusalem, there are a lot of great restaurants, including non-kosher restaurants. It's a shame for you not to know about them. For the best guide to Jerusalem restaurants, go to
      For a good all around site for Israeli restaurants, go to