If you’re looking to get your Middle Eastern fix at the market, Hummus HaCarmel is the perfect stop. The interior design of this cafe is inspired by synagogues with stained glass windows and Judaic texts lining the walls. It’s easy to order – go up to the counter and point out what you want in your bowl of hummus. Options include pickles, fava beans, boiled egg or chopped onion. At only ten shekels a bowl this place is popular so come early to avoid queuing for your warm bowl of grub.
Bar Ochel (Food Bar)
Located in the middle of the market, Bar Ochel is the definition of simple market fare. Bar Ochel’s dishes are sourced straight from the market and focus on grilled vegetables, salad and meat. Grab a stool at the bar, review their new English menu and tuck into a Jerusalem mix, kebab or shakshuka. Most plates are served with fresh crusty bread and dips. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of limonana (lemon and mint soda).
Arepa’s is the new kid on the block serving Venezuelan food including arepas (a maize flour pancake with fillings which are gluten free), empanadas and patacones. The arepas are the most popular and are served with various fillings including chicken, guacamole vegetables or shredded beef. The cheese filling is highly recommend as once it’s filled, the chefs put it back on the grill to let the cheese melt even more inside your arepa. They are messy, but worth it.
Mafiyat Lechemim (Bread Bakery)
There aren’t many things better in life than a fresh cheese stick straight out of the oven, which is exactly what you will find at Mafiyat Lechemim. An unassuming bakery located towards the middle of the market, Mafiyat Lechemim sells bread and a range of bakery treats that they warm up for you. For Purim they bake a range of savory hamantaschen with fillings such as sweet potato, goats cheese and walnut. Thankfully their warm cheesy breadsticks are offered all year round and baked throughout the day – pick up a free sample or more inside.
If you feel yourself working up a thirst there’s no better place to quench it than at Beer Bazaar, a street bar which offers up to 80 different Israeli craft beers from a range of Israeli microbreweries. You will find everything from stout to Indian pale ale to lager and even a few ciders for non-beer drinkers. If you can’t commit to one beer, the Beer Bazaar has a tasting plate of up to five different beers. They also offer a range of bar snacks if you work up an appetite from all your beer tasting.
Café B’Shuk replaced Café Stern which had been serving the perfect brew to its customers for more than 30 years. Thankfully, not much has changed since. The cafe sells a range of coffee accessories, coffee beans (brown and green), flavored coffee beans and teas. Coffee lovers can also take a seat, order a coffee or tea and a small snack, and sit outside the small store watching crowds of people walk through the market.
Mercaz HaBureka Shuk HaCarmel (הכרמל שוק הבוריקה מרכז)
This one-man bureka stand sells a range of vegan burekas served on their own or in a pita. The filings on offer are egg, potato or potato and egg which are surrounded by thin filo pastry and deep fried right before your eyes. Served with a dash of chili sauce, they are the perfect mix of oily, crispy, flaky outside and delectable spiced inside. You can also buy Moroccan donuts and eggs at the stand. At only ten shekels a piece, they are a real steal.
For those with a sweet tooth, Halva Center is a must-do. It sells a range of halva and Turkish sweets. The halva is handmade meaning it has great texture and isn’t too sweet. Varieties include cocoa bean, coffee, cinnamon, seven layer nougat, pistachio and walnut and for those health conscious shoppers, Halva Center also has a range of sugar free halva. Don’t forget to ask for a sample before you buy to make sure you get your perfect matched flavor.
Café Basara (קפה בשרה)
Café Basara is located in the meat section of the market and serves a variety of meats in a pita, baguette or roll. Your meat options are listed on a menu entitled ‘Roni’s Meats,’ suggesting he is the owner and chef extraordinaire of the small cafe. Your options include sabich, shakshuka, schnitzel, chicken kebab, chicken livers or hamburger all served with salad and sauce (Roni’s chili sauce is particularly good). Roni grills your meat as you like it, giving it a sensational smoky flavor. The baguettes are a meal for two, so bring a friend or get Roni to pack up half for your next meal.
If you feel like a real home cooked meal, Petit Mamo is your stop. They serve an array of hot dishes including stuffed zucchinis, meatballs and stewed meat. You can order a small, medium or large plate and fill it with anything you like. The serving sizes are generous so make sure to come with an empty stomach. There isn’t much seating, so if you can’t grab one of the seats at the bar, get your food to takeaway and eat it while you finish adventuring around the market.