Bagel and Za’atar
If you’re in the Old City, do not miss out on the extraordinary (so large they look distorted) bagels being hawked from carts by the locals. Make sure you get your little package of za’atar (a green aromatic spice mix) that will come wrapped up in a little piece of newspaper. Sprinkle it on or dip your bagel into it. Both ways work fine. Tip: if you’re getting your bagel and za’atar to take away, dunk you bagel in some olive first before you hit the za’atar and you’ll get a peculiarly Israeli treat!
The Old City is pretty hit and miss for anything too seriously culinary. Instead, head to the New City for an unforgettable falafel smack bang in the centre of bustling Ben Yehuda Street . Check out Moshiko ( 5 Ben Yehuda St) where you get your crisp, hot falafel balls stuffed into a pita with a selection of their mountains of mouth-watering salads. Keep an eye out for their trippy slogan “Some people buy falafel, here falafel buy people”. Yeah, we have no idea either.
The best place to sample this flaky, hot and comforting Israeli Jewish food has to be at the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. Try potato, mushroom, spinach, or my favourite, cheese. While you’re in the neighbourhood, you may as well try a couple of local sweet pastries a red-hot go.
Seek out Marzipan (Agrippas St) at Machane Yehuda, which is famous for its rugelach – a bready rolled gooey pastry flavoured with chocolate. Be warned: one will not be enough.
Israelis aren’t big alcohol consumers, but there are plenty of places to get a drink in Jerusalem. Try any of the bars, restaurants or cafes on Nachalat Shiva, just off Ben Yehuda Street.
It’s safe to drink the water in Jerusalem