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Traditional Jerusalem Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Jerusalem is complete without tasting the traditional Jerusalem food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Jerusalem to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Chickpea paste (Hummus): food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.
  • Chopped liver: livers, onions, eggs, oil.
  • Gribenes: crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions, a kosher food somewhat similar to pork rinds.
  • Matzah brei: matzo fried with eggs.
  • Tehina: sesame paste, garlic, lemon, olive oil.


  • Chicken soup: chicken, onion, carrot, celery, dill and parsley.
  • Lentil soup: red or green lentils, carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley and onion.


Main courses

  • Challah: is a special braided bread eaten by Ashkenazi Jews, on the Sabbath and holidays.
  • Charoset: a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder.
  • Cholent: a traditional Jewish stew of meat, potatoes, beans and barley.
  • Gefilte fish: a poached fish mince stuffed into the fish skin.
  • Kreplach: small dumplings filled with ground meat, mashed potatoes or another filling, usually boiled and served in chicken soup.
  • Latkes: potato pancakes traditionally eaten by Jews during the Jewish Hanukkah festival.
  • Matzah ball: a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dumpling made from matzah meal.
  • Matzo: flour, water and one of the following: wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats.
  • Mujaddara: consists of cooked lentils together with groats, wheat or rice, garnished with roasted onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.
  • Passover Seder Plate: a special plate containing symbolic foods eaten or displayed at the Passover Seder.
  • Ptitim: an Israeli toasted pasta shaped like rice or little balls.
  • Shakshouka (שקשוקה): eggs, tomatos, peppers, onions.
  • Tzimmes: sweet stew typically made from carrots and dried fruits.


Fast food

  • Bamba: corn, peanut butter.
  • Bissli: an Israeli wheat snack produced by the Osem corporation.

Street food

  • Burekas: strudel dough (thin leaves)or rising dough stuffed with cheese and spinach.
  • Falafel: chickpeas and /or fava beans wrapped in a pita or flatbread, salads, pickled vegetables, hot souce, tahini.
  • Jerusalem Mixed Grill (Meurav Yerushalmi): mixed grill of chicken giblets and lamb with onion, garlic and spices.
  • Sabiḥ: pita stuffed with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs.
  • Shawarma: a delicious meaty roll.

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

Drinks (Alcoholic)

  • Kosher wine: grape wine produced according to Judaism's religious law.

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