Jerusalem, being the multicultural city that it is, has food from all countries, cultures, and tastes. Besides the ubiquitous falafel stands, there is European, Ethiopian, Medditeranean, and Middle Eastern foods. There is also a large ranges in prices from the ritzy and exotic Emek Refaim to falafel stands centered around Machaneh Yehuda and the Central Bus Station. A good rule of thumb is to look for restaurants filled with Hebrew or Arabic speaking locals.
If you keep kosher, Jerusalem will be a wonderful place to visit. In the Jewish sections of the city almost everything is kosher. However you should still check for the paper on the wall. The Jerusalem rabbinute issues Kashrut certificates that are good for 3 months at a time, and color coded. If you don't see it displayed do not hesitate to ask the staff. If they don't show you one its a good sign to move along. The certificate should be stamped "Basari" (meat) or "halavi" (Dairy) in Hebrew. The current certificates are cream colored with red print for dairy and pinkish-red for meat restaurants. These will be good until Sept 22 (Rosh Hashana) after that the rabbinute will put up new certifications. Note it is not unusual for it to take a few days to get the new certificate up.
It is usually the policy of the Jerusalem rabbinute to not certify a chain store as kosher unless all the branches in the city of Jerusalem are kosher. For this reason McDonalds and some branches of Aroma in Jerusalem are not certified kosher.
Burgers BarA small chain of stores, one can be found on Emek Refaim St. and another on Shamai St. (near Ben Yehudah St.) Kosher, also on French Hill, though they have relatively slow and sloppy service and questionable hygiene at busy hours. The food is relatively cheap, about 50 NIS for a 150g hamburger, fries and a soft drink.
New Deli33 Hillel StreetKosher
Meat BurgerBurger, fries, and drink NIS 35-45. Not Kosher.
Mike's Place33 Jaffa RdLive-Music Sports Bar and Grill with a large International Menu including American and Tex-Mex standards. The only branch of the Mike's Place Chain that is Kosher. Mike's Place first opened in Jerusalem in 1992, and is a landmark of Jerusalem nightlife.
Agas VetapuahPhone: 02-6230280Safra Square 6, Sun-Thur: 11 am-11 pm, Sat: after Sabbath-12 am. This restaurant is considered to be among the best Italian restaurants in Jerusalem. The restaurant is owned by Yonatan Ottolenghi, an Italian from Milano, who is often in the restaurant and sells his handmade liqueur in the restaurant. The restaurant serves various Italian dishes such as: pizzas, pastas, lasagnas and antipasti; and its blintzes are famed throughout Jerusalem. OU Kosher.
Abu Shukri, This is regarded as one of, if not the, tastiest and most affordable in Jerusalem. It is located where the Via Dolorosa and Al Wad Road meet. It's renown for its hummus and falafel. Go early on Saturday. That's when lines of Israelis wait for tables on afternoons. Not Kosher
Hashipudia, 6 Ha-Shikma St. This restaurant exclusively prepares skewers of lamb, beef, hearts and livers, geese and chicken breast, and goose liver. Also, it bakes fresh Iraqi pita bread every afternoon. Not Kosher, it is Halal though.
BASTI Restaurant: 70 El Wad Road, opposite to the (AUSTRIAN HOSPICE) & 3rd station of Via Dolorosa, ☎ 026284067. 9am-10 pm. A family-owned restaurant that has been open since 1927. If you don't like the pizza it's free. Also offers shawrma, chicken shishkabab and lamb shishkabab (all are served with saldes and humus and chips) as well as natural lemon with mint juice. .less than 13 $. edit
The Eucalyptus, The Artists Colony by the old city, biblical Israeli cuisine best known for its "shir hashirim (song of songs)" tasting menu. There is a view of the David citadel from the restaurant and the chefs are internationally acclaimed. Reservations recommended. Kosher.
Matameh Tziona, French Hill Town Center, Small family run restaurant. Hailed by university students as some of the best food in Jerusalem. Falafel, Shawarma, Schnitzel, and many other delicious dishes. open Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Kosher.
Shalom Felafel36 Bezalel StreetOpen Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.8:30 p.m. This is the classic Jerusalem Falafel place. Kosher.
Try me'orav yerushalmi (lit. "Jerusalem Mix"), a pita or laffa bread stuffed with a tasty mix of spices and grilled meats and chicken innards. One famous place is Steakiyat Hatzot, Agrippas St., near the Mahaneh Yehuda Market. Check out the photos on the wall.
Melech HaShawarma, Agripas and King George. The best shawarma in Jerusalem by far, a real treat. And only 20 NIS for a great shawarma. Best deal all around. Kosher.
HaSabikh, past the Ben Yehuda midrachov on the right. Home to the tastiest Sabikh in the city, in pita made fresh at the restaurant.
Falafel Hamelech (Falafel King) at the intersection of King George and Aggripas st, right in the center of downtown. Cheap and fair. A falafel in pita with a soda will be 14nis. Be sure, however, to try your Falafel with "amba", a delicious mango-based condiment that you cannot get outside of the region easily! Kosher, Rabbinate.
Steakiat Tzidkiyahu Talpiot, Israeli "Steakiya" place, which is to say various types of meat on skewers. About 45-60NIS per person but very good. Also they will fill your table with various Israeli salads and fresh bread. Amazing value! Kosher Mehadrin l'Mehadrin.
From Gaza to Berlin55 Gaza StAt the corner of Gaza St and Berlin St, with a second branch downtown. A small and friendly place selling hummus and falafel, has excellent Kube soup of different types. Coming here on a Friday afternoon is a truly classic Israeli experience. Kosher.
Marvad Haksammim, 2 branches: King George St and Emek Refaim St. With its large serving sizes this is one of the best places for Yemenite food in the city. Be sure to try the Kuba soup (red, sweet, and spicy with round meat dumplings), Saluf (think large, thick, and crispy burritos), Shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato sauce), and Malawakh (doughy sweet pancake). Entrees are NIS 15-40. Kosher.
Ethio-Israel experience, Turn left on Havatzelet St. when going on Yafo St. towards the Old City. Then turn right on Elyashar street and follow it to the left. In the little cul-de-sac is an incredible little restaurant. You won't be able to stop eating.
VersaveeJust next to the Jaffa gate, next to the Imperial Hotel. A lovely bistro/cafe/bar. A pleasant atmosphere, good prices and the staff are friendly and all speak English. Try the local Palestinian beer called Taybehonly 18 NIS. One of the nicest and cleanest cafes in the Old City. This small indoor/outdoor cafe/restaurant/bar is a nice spot for lunch, dinner or late night snack. The atmosphere is lively, the food very good, prices reasonable, service prompt and friendly. It is also one of the few eateries open at night in the Old City. Cafe Kadosh6 Shlomzion HaMalka StPhone: 02-6254210Founded in 1967, this Cafe is considered to be one of the best in Jerusalem. Serving excellent pastries, eggs, pastas, and much more, you will feel like you are in Europe. Reservations are recommended, especially on Fridays. Kosher.