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Looking for some good moderate/lower priced restaurants to go while touring in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Eilat, kids are preteens. May want a break from middle eastern food for dinner, as our tour includes all breakfasts, and most dinners but we have a couple "free" nights. Any recommendations for lunch places, dinner as well would be appreciated. We are staying at the David Citadel in Jerusalem, Carlton in Tel Aviv and Royal Beach in Eilat.

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  1. This is a very comprehensive and updated thred on the subject: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844093

    1. All I can add is try to make sure your kids taste things. As a 5 yo, our daughter lived on schnitzel and nothing else. This week, as a 10 yo, she has discovered that she loves kubbe, shwarma, goose, mushroom bourekas, and other things she can't even believe she was willing to try.

      Absolutely try to get to Azura in the Iraqui shuk at Machane Yehudah. The kubbe (and everything else) is great and the owner speaks English more than adequately.

      Also, bring bug spray. The flies seem to be out of control and are driving me nuts.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rockycat

        To add to the list of places in the Shuk to try, Cafe Mizrachi and Cafe de Paris are owned by a man who was the first to bring cafes/eateries to the shuk. Cafe Mizrachi (in my modest opinion), is the best version of the "Israeli cafe" in Jerusalem. It has a really great mix of salads, sandwiches, amazing breakfast options, and fun specials. Once I was there when they had 'homemade bureakas' as a speciality, and every time I return, I desperately hope they have those again.

        Cafe de Paris is more of a bar (and so perhaps less appropriate for preteens), but it has a fun history/story attached to it (as a former British Officers club - unsure whether the story is true or not) and does serve food along the lines of cured meats/fishes/finger food. It's open in the afternoon and has great space to people watch in the shuk.

        Azura is great for the mix of classic Sephardic and Ashkenazi dishes depending on what they're serving that day.

        The shuk has really become home to many many eateries and bars of late, and like many situations that have gone from niche to trend - not all are created equal. That being said, there is a new kebab place located amongst a small side street that has many butchers in the shuk that I'm really interested in trying.

        1. re: cresyd

          While Casino de Paris (not Cafe) is a bar, for lunch is is a great destination for families. The food selection is limited but with a nice selection of sandwiches, platters and wraps that are inspired by traditional local dishes. There is a great selection of local micro-brewery beers which are quite refreshing in the summer heat. One of the partners in Casino de Paris is Shaanan Street, the lead vocalist with Hadag Nachast, Israel's leading hip-hop band. (http://hadagnahash.com/?lang=en)

          1. re: israeladventure

            Oops, that's right. My bad.

            But yes, it has a really lovely courtyard in the middle of some back alleys in the shuk (and one of the best bathrooms in the shuk as well). Also - I believe there is still a stairwell near the back entrance of the bar that leads to a rooftop that overlooks the shuk which is great for photos n such.

      2. Down on Beit Lehem Road in Baka, there is a small place called Itzhak's Place (Makom Itzhak) - next to Cafe Kalo and the fruit stand. The sign is wooden, and in Hebrew. He has the best shakshuka I've tasted in Israel, and great salads and sandwiches, pasta dishes for a reasonable cost. Also, Itzhak's the nicest Israeli you'll ever meet.

        Cafe Mizrahi in the shuk, also good and along the same lines as Itzhak's.

        Azura or Tsofia (in Hebrew, just up stairs from Azura - the cheaper hole in the wall version, also great food) in the Iraqi shuk in Mechane Yehuda: great Sephardi cooking for lunch. I take ALL my guests to eat at one of these establishments and they are always wowed. (Today's guest at Azura: "This is the best food I've eaten in Israel.")

        Chakra is our favorite restaurant for date nights in Jerusalem. Not kosher, if you need that, but great food. They have a new cafe upstairs too for nice lunch food. On King George Street.

        1. In tel aviv: A cafe/ coffee shop with a great atmosphere and very tasty food that kids would like is 'the streets' there is one on ibn gvirol and arlozeroff and one on king george just north of dizengoff center. For 'mizrachi' food, i like Shipudei hatikva, there are a bunch of branches but the easiest one might be by the ocean on hayarkon next to the american embassy - this is great for kids, if they like pretty plain meat or chicken on a skewer (who doesn't?). In the namal (port) i think the mid range food is overpriced and bad, expect for shuk hanamal which isn't great for kids, and Landver, which is another coffee shop/ cafe that is tasty. Dr. shakshuka in yaffo is famous for its shakshuka, but I prefer the abulafia restaurant where you can sit on the roof.

          1 Reply
          1. re: supergoldie

            I found Dr. Shakshuka to be a bit of a tourist trap. We had to argue with them to sit us inside on a hot night. Then when we sat down they started a high pressure sale of the tasting menu, when we turned that down the woman helping us lost interest and had someone else wait on us.

            Bottom line the service was bad (even for Israel) the food was just OK and expensive for what we got.