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Traditional Food in Jerusalem

London, United...
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Traditional Food in Jerusalem

Hi, we are looking a restaurant with traditional Jewish food. Could anyone recommend me any (not very expensive one?)

Thanks for any help.

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1. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

There's no such thing as "traditional Jewish food" in Israel. If you are from London, you're probably referring to tradtional eastern European Ashkenazi food. If that's the case, you're probably more likely to find that in London or New York than in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Jewish cuisines from the Middle Eastern countries are more prevalent in Israeli restaurants. (And perhaps rightly so...very tasty!). You'll find a range of Jewish food from Iraq, Yemen, and North Africa served in many restaurants in Jerusalem (and elsewhere in the country).

Darna, for instance, is an excellent choice in Jerusalem for traditional Moroccan Jewish cuisine.

Save the bagels and lox, matzo ball soup and chopped liver for your next trip to New York City. :-)

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2. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

As Dave noted there is no "traditional Jewish food" Jewish food was affected greatly by the various cultures and customs in the diasporas where Jews lived.

If you are asking about Eastern European Jewish cuisine - there is a small place in Rehavia that offers that menu - "Heimishe Essen" 19 Keren Kayemet St.

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3. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

Also Ima near the Mahane Yehuda serves traditional Jewish food from Eastern Europe.

Chana

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4. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

In Tel Aviv are Cafe Batia and Keton, both on Dizzengof street.

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5. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

For excellent American-Jewish-style lox/bagels/whitefish salad/etc, try Tal's Bagels.

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6. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

Chana's comment about Ima restaurant surprised me so I checked their website and as I thought - all the dishes come from Eastern (Kurdish/Iraqi) cuisine, nothing Eastern European there at all.

It is a really nice restaurant though and I recommend it - and as people have explained, it definitely serves "traditional Jewish food" in the Israeli sense.

Bete'avon (bon appetit)

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7. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

Ima as mentioned, Gueta and Dr. shakshuka (Lybian Jewish, Jaffa), Sara (Bulgarian Jewish, Jaffa), Niso (Turkish-Jewish, Tel Aviv) . Samarkand (Uzbekistan Buchara, Jewish, Jaffa & Or Yehuda) and so many more

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8. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

All of the Jewish cuisines that have been recommended by Shoshi are delicious and very representative of the great variety in Jewish cooking in Israel. But, once again, if you're coming from London, you probably have in mind a completely different cuisine - the tradtional food of eastern European Jewry (the traditional food of the vast majority of the Jewish communities in the Western world).

The fact is that European (Ashkenazi) Jewish cooking traditions have been much more steadfastly preserved in the Jewish Diaspora outside of Israel (primarily in the USA), than right here in the Jewish State. One of the reasons for this is ideological - Jewish pioneers from Eastern Europe who settled this land in the early years of the 20th century were keen to revolutionize Jewish life and create the "new Jew" in the Land of Israel. This new identity they were seeking to forge was to make a clean break with the culture of European Jewry - and this even includes the food. The early settlers were anxious to become 'locals' in the Middle East and were happy to adopt much of the Middle Eastern cuisine.

I say when in Israel try Moroccan Jewish food, Yemenite Jewish food, Iraqi Jewish food, Lybian Jewish food... It's all very different from the gefilte fish of Poland and Russia (and New York), but oh so very tasty!

Edited: 25 November 2011, 15:40
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9. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

In Machane Yehudah, I've seen different types of cuisines from middle eastern to European. When I was last there (about 1.5 years ago), there were plenty of stalls with multiple different "salads" of different regions, including herring (pickled, matjes, and other varieties), other deli salads, and also deli meats. You could also get tehina, humus, etc. There were bakeries with European-style rugelach, but also more middle-eastern fare. Stalls selling borekas and malabi, falafel and shwarma. Kibbeh. Various types of dried fruits and nuts.

In other words, you can easily find "traditional" Jewish European food, but you can also find Israeli attempts to combine the different cuisines together. (Think: Falafel with pickles and french fries, topped with tehina and amba.)

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10. Re: Traditional Food in Jerusalem

Actually, I heard about some "crazy" chef in Jerusalem that made a research of traditional yerushalmi dishes (as suprising as it sounds) and products (including wild vegetables and herbs that collected by himself). I've lost all data and adress about him, but I told my fiancee that we will try it if we find it.

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