I love to eat and luckily, Jerusalem is full of great restaurants. In this post I would like to share with you my favorite budget restaurants in Jerusalem, most of them even open on Shabbat! They offer delicious things to eat at prices that range from around 10 ILS to around 30 ILS, which is about 3 to 8 USD. Ready? Let’s start with a short video about Israeli street food by Israel (not shot in Jerusalem, but still quite good), so you can see what some of the food looks like:
And now… Let’s move to the list of my favorite budget restaurants in Jerusalem.
The post was last updated on 14 June 2022.
Table of contents:
Aricha Sabich (in Hebrew: אריכא סביח)
Let’s start with my favorite. This little restaurant on Agripas Street, on the other side of the road from Machane Yehuda Market, is where you can get super tasty Sabich for just around 20 ILS. Sabich is a traditional Iraqi Jewish dish. It’s a pita stuffed with fried eggplant and hard-boiled eggs. On top of those you can add to the pita whatever you want – tahini sauce, salad, amba, spicy sauce, and chopped parsley.
The place doesn’t have many tables, but if the place is busy you can always take the Sabich as a takeaway, as it comes in a pita. The service is fantastic. They take your order and then ask what you want in your pita. It takes just a few minutes to get your Sabich and then the only thing left is to eat and enjoy!
Check out their Facebook page here.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9:30 AM to 11 PM, Friday from 9:30 AM to 2 PM. Saturday closed.
Address: 83 Agripas Street, in the Machane Yehuda Market area.
Jahnun Bar (in Hebrew: ג’חנון בר)
Another great place to eat is Jahnun Bar. I usually go to their branch in Machane Yehuda, but they also have a branch on Hillel Street, which is open also on Shabbat (the one in Machane Yehuda isn’t). In Jahnun Bar you can taste some dishes from the Jewish Yemenite cuisine.
The Jahnun is made of rolled-up dough and a lot of butter and is traditionally served with a tomato dip, hard-boiled eggs, and skhug, which is a hot sauce used by the Yemenites. In Jahnun Bar they sell delicious jahnuns for just about 20-25 ILS.
They also sell malawach, which is a kind of flatbread, brushed with oil and cooked flat in a frying pan. You can ask for whatever fillings, and they will wrap it up for you. It costs around 25 ILS. Their service is also fantastic and you can take it as a takeaway or stay to eat it in the market, which also as a great vibe.
Another dish they offer is the Shakshuka, which isn’t Yemenite originated. It’s a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, garlic, and spices, and is a very popular dish for breakfast in Israel. I’ve tasted the jahnun and the malawach and can recommend them very much! I still need to go taste the shakshuka, but suppose it’s also great.
Check out their Facebook page here.
Opening Hours: The one on Hillel Street is open 24 hours a day.
Address: In Machane Yehuda Market – 30 HaEgoz Street. Outside the market – 28 Hillel Street.
Hummus Lina (in Hebrew: חומוס לינא)
You’ve probably wondered where you can get great hummus in Jerusalem. There are a lot of hummus places in the city, but the one I recommend most is Hummus Lina in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. First of all, unlike other places in the Old City, Hummus Lina has a menu with prices, so it would be hard to work on you and sell you something at a higher price than it actually is (which sometimes happens in other places). Other than that, Hummus Lina has wonderful hummus and also very tasty falafel balls. A plate will falafel balls will cost you around 10 ILS and a plate of hummus – around 20 ILS. There’s hummus with fava beans, hummus with hummus beans, or hummus with pine nuts.
Hummus Lina has plenty of room to sit and enjoy your food. The place is a family business that started about 60 years ago, and it seems like they have a winning recipe!
Check out their Facebook page here.
Opening Hours: Every day from 8 AM to 4 PM.
Address: 42 Al Khanka Street.
Hummus Ben Sira (in Hebrew: חומוס בן סירא)
Although Hummus Lina is great, it’s not Kosher. So if you want to eat Kosher hummus, I recommend you leave the Old City and start eating towards Hummus Ben Sira. This hummus restaurant is Kosher and located just a few steps away from the Mamilla Mall.
Their hummus is very-very good, especially when they add meat to it. But you can also get hummus with fava beans, hummus with hummus beans, hummus with mushrooms, and hummus with cauliflower. The hummus costs around 15-25 ILS, depending on which type you choose. The other things on the menu are – in my point of view – less successful. And another thing you should keep in mind is that the service here is usually very-very-very slow.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11 AM to 4 AM (the next day), Friday from 11 AM to an hour before Shabbat, and Saturday from an hour after Shabbat to 4 AM (the next day).
Address: 3 Ben Sira Street.
AHummus Shel Tchina (in Hebrew: החומוס של טחינה)
If you want to try something special, AHummus Shel Tchina is the place for you. It specializes in hummus but gives it a unique twist. When I was there, I ordered the “traffic lights hummus,” which is a dish of hummus divided into three colors – red, green, and white. The red is made from a mix of hummus and dried tomatoes. The green is made from a mix of hummus and parsley. And the white is just hummus (and maybe tchina). It was delicious. They bring it with some sliced pickles, olives, and warm pitas.
The hummus costs 28 shekels. If you want to add something to the hummus, like an egg, mushrooms, fried onion, or many other options, you’ll need to add a few shekels. We added eggplant, which was a great addition, but it cost us an additional 4 shekels. They also sell falafel balls, chips, and salads, so… you might end up spending more than 30 shekels, but it’s worth it.
The place is hidden in a side alley leading from the main Agripas Street, next to the Machane Yehuda Market. It is nicely designed and has good, young vibes. The waitress was also very welcoming.
Check out their website here (in Hebrew).
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11 AM to 10 PM, Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Saturday closed.
Address: Nisim Bachar Street 23.
Pasta Basta (in Hebrew: פסטה בסטה)
Pasta Basta is my favorite budget food chain in Israel. It serves fresh pasta. It’s not Israeli food, but it’s delicious, fresh, and on a budget! Jerusalem’s Pasta Basta is located at the end of Machane Yehuda Market and has plenty of places to sit. The menu consists of pasta types, pasta sauces, and toppings. What you need to do is form your perfect pasta dish by choosing your favorite pasta type, sauce, and toppings. If you choose to eat without toppings, the maximum amount you’ll pay will be 31 ILS, and the minimum amount – 23 ILS. The pasta is ready within minutes from your order and the only thing left is just to enjoy your meal. I’ve never been disappointed!
Check out their Facebook page here.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11 AM to midnight, Friday from 10 AM to an hour and a half before Shabbat. Saturday closed.
Address: Tut Alley 8, Machane Yehuda Market.
There’s no better way to finish a culinary post than with some sweets. A friend of mine took me to Jafar Sweets in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City a few years ago and I’ve been returning to this place for sweets ever since. The place is named after Mohammad Jafar, who opened it in 1951.
If you’re passing by, you should definitely try their sweet and super tasty kanafeh. Kanafeh is a traditional Arab dessert made from pastry or dough soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and layered with melted cheese. Another type of sweet they sell is baklava, a pastry made of layers of filo, which are filled with chopped nuts, and held together by honey or sweet syrup.
Jaffar Sweets is a huge place with plenty of places to sit and great service. On each table, there’s a water pitcher if you’d like to drink between the sweet bites.
Opening Hours: From early morning until late.
Address: 40 Beit HaBad Street, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
A Bit Above the Budget:
At the beginning of the post, I said that the restaurants I’ll talk about offer meals that are under 30 ILS. If you don’t mind going a bit above the budget, I highly recommend checking out Knaf in the Machane Yehuda Market, just across from Jahnun Bar. This place brings a twist to the original kanafeh, a kadaif pastry filled with melted cheese. Instead of cheese, they fill the kanafeh with meat (or with a vegan filling). And it is delicious! It costs 38 ILS for a meat filling and more for a vegan filling. Although it’s super yummy, I wouldn’t call it a meal because the portion is quite small. If you’re hungry, you would probably need to buy something additional after this.
And if you’re not interested in budget places at all, you can try out the famous Azura restaurant or the excellent Mano BaShouk, which are both located in the market and offer mid-range prices. Mano BaShouk also has a few items on the menu that are less than 30 shekels, so you can also count it as one of the budget restaurants in Jerusalem.
Another place I love is Habash Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar, located on Mashiyah Barukhof Street, a small alley leading from Jaffa Road to Agripas Road. At Habash, I always order injera topped with stews and a fresh salad, which costs 40 ILS. There’s also an option to order injera topped with meat, but that would be more expensive. I always go there with a friend, because you can’t finish the injera on your own – unless you’re very hungry! And get ready to eat with your hands. Injera is a spongy-looking sour fermented flatbread. To eat the meal, you tear a piece from the injera, scoop the stews with it, and eat.
There are many budget restaurants in Jerusalem that offer dishes for less than 30 shekels. And they don’t sell only hummus. You can also get pastas, falafel balls, jahnun, sabich, kanafeh, and many more food items for a reasonable price. Hope my list of favorite budget restaurants in Jerusalem will help you find a great place to eat. Have a yummy time in Jerusalem!
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