Categories
Food Jerusalem

My Favorite Budget Places to Eat in Jerusalem

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 how some of the food looks like (the photo in the heading was taken from Pixabay. I don’t usually take photos of my food…):

And now… Here’s my list of favorite budget places to eat in Jerusalem:

Aricha Sabich (in Hebrew: אריכא סביח)

Let’s start with my most 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 take-away, as it comes in a pita. The service is fantastic. They take your order first and then ask you 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 9:30AM to 11PM, Friday from 9:30AM to 2PM. Saturday closed.

Address: 83 Agripas Street, in the Machane Yehuda Market area.

The entrance to Aricha Sabich Jerusalem
The counter

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 whatever fillings for it, 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.

Jahnun Bar in Machane Yehuda Market

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 have 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 8AM to 4PM.

Address: 42 Al Khanka Street.

The entrance to Hummus Lina in the Old City

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 11AM to 4AM (the next day), Friday from 11AM to an hour before Shabbat, Saturday from an hour after Shabbat to 4AM (the next day).

Address: 3 Ben Sira Street.

Just behind the car – that’s Hummus Ben Sira
The inside of Hummus Ben Sira

Pasta Basta (in Hebrew: פסטה בסטה)

Pasta Basta is my favorite budget food chain in Israel. It serves fresh pasta. It’s not an 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 11AM to midnight, Friday from 10AM to an hour and a half before Shabbat. Saturday closed.

Address: Tut Alley 8, Machane Yehuda Market.

Pasta Basta in Machane Yehuda Market

Jafar Sweets:

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, held together with 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.

The entrance to Jafar Sweets in the Muslim Quarter

And a Bit Above the Budget:

At the beginning of the post I said that the restaurants I’ll talk about offer meals which 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.

Knaf at Machane Yehuda Market

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.

Hope you’ll have a yummy stay!

Pin this post for later!

More posts you might find useful:

Top Free Things to do in Jerusalem

Free Things to do in Jerusalem Old City

Shabbat in Jerusalem: What’s Open?


Do you have any recommendations on budget places to eat in Jerusalem? Tell me in the comments or send me a message through my Facebook page.

If you liked this post or found it useful, I’d really appreciate a like, share or comment from you (:

Also, feel free to follow this blog and like my Facebook Page – Backpack Israel.

And check out my budget walking tour – Hidden Sites of the Old City.

Yours,

Lior

Categories
Eilat Food

The Thai Corner in Eilat – Super Friendly

It was a chilly night. I just arrived from Jerusalem and was driving to my parents’ home when my phone rang. A friend I haven’t seen for a long time asked if I wanted to meet and eat somewhere. I said – “Why not. Where do you want to eat?”

That’s how I got to know The Thai Corner (הפינה התאילנדית).

This cute little place, divided to a Thai stall and a suchi restaurant, is located across the road from the Central Bus Station in Eilat. You can’t see it from the street, because it’s hidden behind some trees and bushes, at the back of the square.

The staff at the counter smiled at us when we showed up, asked how we are doing and what we want to order. My friend is a vegan. She had loads of options on the menu, and they were all reasonably priced. I found a lot of options, too. I wasn’t planning to order any meat anyway, but if you’re planning on something meaty, you’ll find plenty of options. All reasonably priced. I don’t remember anything over 50-60 Shekels, and most things are around the 40 Shekels.

After we ordered, we chose to sit outside. All the waiters asked us if we’re sure we want to do that. “Are you sure you don’t want to sit inside? It’s really cold outside,” they said, and we didn’t believe them. But after a few minutes we understood what they were talking about. Nevertheless, we stayed outside.

The meals arrived within a few minutes. They were made of the spot. My noodles were excellent and the portion was perfect! If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, yummy place, that provides people not only with meat options, but also with vegeterian and vegan options, make your way to The Thai Corner. Perfect, quiet place!

Where? City Center Plaza 8, in front of the Central Bus Station.

Opening Hours: Sundays until Thursdays from 9:00 to 21:00.

Prices: $-$$

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Have any questions about Israel? Feel free to post in the comments or send a message on Facebook.

You’re also free to look in my website – www.backpackisrael.com .

Yours,

Lior (:

Categories
Food Haifa

Tasting Wadi Nisnas

Today I want to tell you about Wadi Nisnas, a small neighborhood in downtown Haifa, which is the main city in Northern Israel.

The residents of the neighborhood are Arab Christians and Muslims, living side by side, in peace with each other. In the past the neighborhood also had a lot of Jewish residents in it, but for some reason they left, which is a real pity.

I visited Wadi Nisnas a few days after the fire stopped flaming through Haifa. If you haven’t heard, Israel was on fire last month, literally. Fire burst in many locations across the country, all at once. In Haifa, more than 500 houses were burnt down. Many believe that the Israeli Arabs inflamed the country. So… When I came to Wadi Nisnas with a group of people, they were wondering if there even could be a co-existence between the Jewish and Muslim people living in Israel. Because Wadi Nisnas is all about co-existence.

Near the entrance to the neighborhood sits a very special institution called “Beit Agefen” (“The House of the Grapevine”). It’s a Arab Jewish cultural center in Haifa, that is creating dialogue between the two groups through art and culture. There are doing a super important job!

But I want to tell you less about the co-existence (although it’s interesting) and more about the food, because if you visit Wadi Nisnas, you should definitely try the food.

First Stop – Mama Pita:

If you like pizza, you should stop by “Mama Pita”, a great family-run pizzeria. I recommend you order a pizza with hyssop (“Zaatar” in Hebrew). It’s delicious! And cheap!! You can find the place on Alenbi 57, Haifa. It’s open from 7:30 in the morning to 15:00 in the afternoon. The owners and workers believe that it’s not all about the business, and that they need some time with their family and for themselves. That’s why the don’t work until very late.

Some of Mama Pita’s Delicious Pizzas

Second Stop – Pastry Shop of the West (קונדיטוריית המזרח) 

If you like sweets, this is a great place for you! Sadly, they sell the sweets per kilograms, which means that if you’re not planning to share it with others, I suppose you won’t need so much. But I do recommend you try the fantastic, sweet and fresh tamarind (“Tamar Indi” in Hebrew) beverage, which costs only 3 Shekels per cup. I’ve never drank such a wonderful drink, which also has a wonderful aroma of roses. Highly recommended! You can find the place on Alenbi 34. It’s open from 7:30 until late.

Do try to find a place that sells kanafeh for a reasonable price! It’s a sweet pastry that I highly recommend tasting!

The Tamar Hindi Drink – Best Drink Ever!

Third Stop – Falafel!

There are many places to eat falafel in Wadi Nisnas. I recommend eating in one of two places: “Falafel Ha’zkenim” (פלאפל הזקנים, “The Old People’s Falafel”) or “Falafel Micheal” (פלאפל מישל), which is right in front of the other falafel place. Falafel is a deep fried ball made of ground chickpeas or fava beans. I recommend you ask for some tahini on top.

Falafel Ha’zkenim is located on The Wadi 18 Street and is open from 8:00 until 20:00.

Falafel Micheal is loated right in front of the other falafel.

Inside Falafel Micheal with Micheal

That’s all for now! Hope you have a great trip in Wadi Nisnas when you come here!


Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. Busy with my studies and such. But I haven’t forgotten you all! Hope to post again soon.

Yours,

Lior

Categories
Food Tel Aviv

“The Best Falafel in Tel Aviv”

I’m not a big fan of falafel, but people here love it. Two days ago I met a young girl who is part of an interesting program named “אחי ישראלי” (or in translation to English: “My Brother is Israeli”). I can tell a lot of interesting stories about our meeting, which took place thanks to CoachSurfing, but today I would like to concentrate on the falafel side of the story.

The truth is, we didn’t talk a lot about falafel. We just talked a bit about my website, Backpack Israel, amongst other things, and then she said that I should recommend a specific falafel place in Tel Aviv, located on King George Street. “They sell the greatest falafel I’ve ever tasted, and it’s only 6 shekels for a meal!” she said. But when I looked on the Internet for a falafel place on that street, I found a lot of results.

“There’s no way I’m going to find your falafel place!” I said.

She said she’ll search for it for me and after a few minutes she found the place. “Falafel Ratzon,” she said, “That’s the one.”

Then she took a peice of tissue paper and wrote the details down on it:

“Falafel Ratzon

King George 17

Tel Aviv”

So if you want to taste one of the best falafels in Tel Aviv, you should make your way to Ratzon’s. 6 Shekels is without a doubt a superb price! Enjoy.

Opening Hours: Sundays to Thursdays from 10:00 to 20:00, Fridays from 10:00 to 15:00.

Visit Falafel Ratzon’s Facebook page – here.