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Best kosher Jerusalem restaurants -- time for an update

Mostly interested in meat, but veg or dairy recs gladly accepted. What's new and exciting?

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  1. RYU on Emek Refaim is not exactly new, but it was new to me when I went there a few weeks ago. They serve Jerusalem Mehadrin "Israeli-Asian fusion" - nicely cooked meat with lots of fresh veg, interestingly seasoned. NIS 428 for 4 of us.
    In terms of what's new, the First Station area is very new and has a pleasant atmosphere. The whole renovated train track/park is a great place to stroll or bike and mingle with a real cross section of Jerusalem society. http://www.firststation.co.il/en/
    Several of the restaurants there are kosher. I tried only Fresh Kitchen - definitely not recommended. It's dairy/veg and very very bland. Seems like it's run by the food police. We asked for butter for the bread and were told that they do not use it all, since it is "unhealthy." About NIS 60 per main dish.
    Also tried Caffit & Cafe Cafe for the first time recently. Meh. Cafe Kadosh (restaurant/cafe) and Lechem Shel Tomer (bakery/very simple meals) seem like the best bets in terms of dairy.

    1. I liked Herzl in the new Mamila mall. But it fell short of being great.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DeisCane

        Is Herzl the place opened by the chef from the now defunct Joy?
        Can you be more specific about what you liked/didn't like? Thanks.

        1. re: almond tree

          I don't know Joy, so I can't comment.

          The food was all good but nothing made me stop and say, "wow, this is delicious." The steak was a touch fatty and not in the marbled way. It also could have been hotter. I don't remember what my wife had but I remember that the presentation was plain. For those prices and for its locale, I expected more polish, flavor and creativity.

          1. re: DeisCane

            Thanks for the details.
            Joy was a very popular, usually packed Jerusalem restaurant that abruptly closed a couple of months ago after years in business. Don't know why. Apparently it is the same chef,

      2. RYU a 10
        Rosas excellent
        PAPAGUYO in Talpiot

        1. Sorry to disagree with the places suggested below but in my opinion they are all sub-standard options that do not offer good food but simply appeal to tourists and people looking for quantity over quality, which is not normally what this site is about.

          If you want really good kosher restaurants, you need to go to better places. Angelica moved to near the King David hotel and is excellent, one of the best kosher meat restaurants in town. Jacko's Street is a newish kosher meat restaurant near the shuk, good food and great atmosphere - they also have good cocktails.

          For dairy - Cafe de Paris on Azza is a great new addition. There is also a new dairy place near the shuk on Yafo called Trattoria Haba.

          I am not a fan of any of the kosher options at The First Station but it is a nice place to visit.

          You might find this group of interest https://www.facebook.com/groups/20126...

          6 Replies
          1. re: debs76

            <Sorry to disagree with the places suggested below>

            Which places specifically? Can you detail your objections?
            And BTW, I am not a tourist ... at least, not unless I travel outside of Jerusalem.

            1. re: almond tree

              RYU - some dishes are good but there is no atmosphere, bad service and it is overpriced.

              Joy/Herzl - it is the same owners - i never liked Joy or Herzl separately, the service is bad and the food very average and it is not value for money. I prefer to pay a little bit more for a really good meal. The only people that seem to like it are American tourists.

              Papagio is not a good restaurant - it is a just a lot of grilled meat. I much prefer Hatzot for a good grill restaurant.

              Kadosh and Lechem Shel Tomer are both good places but they are more cafes than dairy restaurants, I think Cafe de Paris and Grand Cafe are the best all-round dairy options in Jerusalem and Mamilla Cafe to a level up.

            2. re: debs76

              Really useful Facebook group. Very up-to-date posts on what people are liking in Jerusalem restaurants right now.

              1. re: AdinaA

                What's the name of this FB group?

                As an aside, we love Rozas, thought HaChatzer was pretty good but very expensive, and really, really enjoyed Agas v'Tapuach (Pera e Mela) for dairy.

                1. re: DebbyT

                  Linked form the post by debs76

              2. HaMotzi off of Agrippas was amazing and is meat. Cafe Kadosh, which is dairy and right by the Mamilla is also wonderful. Highly recommend both.

                1. Seeking the top Jerusalem places to have a truly great meal.

                  Longish trip; we will mostly be cooking / doing takeout and casual with small children, BUT if the children are in the right mood may try for some great lunches, and will certainly hope that adults can go out some evenings for extraordinary food after the kinderlach are tucked up for the night.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AdinaA

                    Not sure how old your kids are but the food at Waffle Bar is actually very good and kids love it. There are lots of places to choose from in Jerusalem so do you have a preference of type of food and prices range? My top recommendations for people looking for an authentic Jerusalem meal are always Jacko's Street and Steakiat Hatzot.

                  2. Hi. Wondering if someone can suggest some low end (price, not quality) options. We are willing to be pretty adventurous food-wise but on a limited budget.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: JackieR

                      I you're looking for cheap and adventurous (I strongly suspect this place is kosher - but should be confirmed) is Yamani (Jaffa 25), a Yemenite meat restaurant.

                      There are chances to really try some offal dishes as well as other Yemenite meat offerings not regularly found. The turkey in particular is excellent, but you can also get oxtail, lungs, etc. Very modestly priced, including wine prices (though clearly not top end). It's a nicer place to eat outside than inside.

                      1. re: cresyd

                        That sounds amazing, assuming it is kosher. Thank you so much!!

                        1. re: JackieR

                          Definitely double check. I do know that it's closed during Shabbat hours - but as someone who doesn't follow kashrut I don't trust myself 100% unless I've had reason to double check.

                          I also want to recommend this bakery (that I do know is kosher) that's on HaNevi'im across from Havatzelet Street. There's a local falafel place (that I find ok, but high praise by others) - but the bakery has (in my humble opinion) the best burekas in Jerusalem. In particular the savory items made with spelt are particularly special. The spelt with mushroom and another with goat cheese.....truly wonderful. It also is next to a small local grocery store - so if you need to get food for lunch during a day trip, it's great combo to what you might need.

                      2. re: JackieR

                        You have to go to Rachmo - a great "workers" restaurant where you take your food from a hatch into the kitchen. Great home cooked food and you get a real feel for what locals eat. Specialties are kubbeh soup, rice with beans and okra, fried kubbeh & falafel and humous. I always go to the one near the shuk but there is also one on Yoel Solomon Street in town.

                      3. 1868. To be sure, I don't live in Jerusalem and have not tried them all (although I am trying) but 1868 is wonderful. Lovely venue. Attentive service. Excellent sommelier. The tasting menu lets you sample a soup, 5 small plates and a desert, (Or a soup, a fish dish 8 small plates and 2 desserts if you share them all with someone.) Either way, it is a nice amount of food - not overwhelming. You can let the sommelier pair the wines for a wonderful experience. Menu refreshes ever month. Some highlights were a fresh pea soup, a cured chicken that was heavenly, a nectarine drizzle served with meat, and a wonderful duck confit that was shredded and accompanied by... several wonderful things. Honestly the wine, the jet lag, the dazzling array of tastes and flavors, I don't remember the details, I don't take notes when I am enjoying a meal, but it was wonderful, just wonderful.

                        1. restaurant at the king david hotel-best meal I had in my life