Copyright: Mazen Said /
DESTINATIONS israel jerusalem Dining Azzahra


Try out authentic Palestinian cuisine at Azzahra, located in a beautiful mansion only a ten minute walk away from the Old City. If in doubt, choose their typical, well-reviewed makloubeh: its Arab name literally means "upside down", because this dish of lamb, rice and toasted almonds is served upside down after cooking. Their bakdoonsiyyeh, a parsley salad served with bread and tahini dip sauce, is also recommended. They also offer stone-baked pizzas, and their wine list is extensive.


Jerusalem has been a melting pot of cultures for millennia, which is reflected in its cuisine that boasts an exciting variety of specialities — your culinary experience here will be one to remember. In the city, local, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes mix with Jewish tradition brought back from around the world: Israeli Jewish Fusion Cuisine has been a thing since the 1970s. "Mizrahi", Middle-Eastern Jewish cuisine, is similar to the Arab one, focusing on rice, roasted meat, salads and stuffed vegetables. Along with the obvious falafel, hummus, pita and couscous, try Middle-Eastern dishes like mujaddara (a typical Israeli rice dish), shakshuka (poached eggs, fried onion and peppers), local variations of shawarma (the Arab name of kebab), and spicy sauces (skhug, amba and pilpelchuma). When Ashkenazi Jews came back from central Europe, they brought schnitzel, Russian salad and cholent, a beef stew for Shabbat; Sephardi Jews from the Balkans introduced yogurt and Turkish dishes. Most distinctively, Jews prepare food according to the religious rules of the Kosher tradition. Jerusalem is also an ideal spot for vegans and vegetarians: many traditional dishes are plant-based, and 13% of Israelis were vegetarian or vegan in 2015 according to a poll by Globe. With such a variety of options, you just can't go wrong.