February 24th 2015
It’s hard to imagine what might give adventurous international travelers a more effective taste for local culture than its street food. In Jerusalem, like cities all over the world, relatively inexpensive eats are available at stalls, stands and counters all over town. Here are our top three picks for street food stands you really must try to have the full Jerusalem experience.
Slightly Under-baked and Exceedingly Well-Loved
The retail end of the Marzipan bakery on Agripass Street at Machne Yehuda is not much more than a standard shuk shop with a cash register in the middle. Although they sell challah, packaged cookies and other pastries, the most famous product here by far is the chocolate rugelach. On Fridays, American students and tourists as well as locals line up to buy dozens of the rich, oily, sticky chocolate dream pastries warm from the oven. Marzipan chocolate rugelach are a Jerusalem institution.
A Worthy Bite at Any Hour
Right on Ben Yeuda Street in the center of Jerusalem, Moshiko Falafel is a falafel and schawarma palace disguised as a walk-up counter. The sandwiches here come wrapped in a laffa or in a pita, and, unless you’re seriously starving, the half-size is enough for most eaters. Complement your order with a full range of veggie toppings and savory sauces. Although some like to get their food to go while they walk up and down Ben Yehuda’s pedestrian mall, Moshiko has outdoor tables for when the weather cooperates. Be forewarned that it’s generally packed in the evenings, which is not a surprise, considering the food is excellent and the prices are quite reasonable. And, as with all street food vendors who do a brisk business, the food at Moshiko is always fresh.
Imported from Haifa and Thriving in Jerusalem
Not far from Marzipan on the open side of Machne Yehuda is the Original Bourekas from Haifa stall. Bourekas are filled flaky filo pastries with a Middle Eastern flair. Both sweet and savory variations of bourekas are served at Original Bourekas from Haifa. Try the Turkish or Spanish bourekas, which are served on a plate with a baked egg, pickles and tehini. On the weekends, the stall also offers sweet bourekas stuffed with chocolate, halva, nuts or cheese.
Hungry? Don’t leave Jerusalem without trying at least some of these mouth-watering local street food sensations.