One of the best ways to get to know a city is by going to a café and people watching over a cup of coffee and a pastry. This is especially true in Jerusalem, where the cafés are frequented by the much of the population every day, rain or shine. For a unique and memorable experience, try one these boutique cafés.
Etz Café is a non-profit café in downtown Jerusalem that belongs to the non-profit organization ‘Voice of Many Waters.’ It offers delicious hot drinks, not least of which is their coffee, and a sizable menu given their small space. The owners of Etz Café dedicated the entirety of their income to aiding the homeless and needy in Jerusalem, and the café itself is open twice daily for the homeless to receive a free meal and counseling. If you’re planning to go to Etz Café, come with a sweet tooth and order the French toast alongside a coffee or decadent hot chocolate.
Nocturno in the ‘Designers in the City’ compound is the place to be, and for the last 17 years, it has provided a distinctive café experience by day and a dynamic pub experience by night, complete with live music and beer from the keg. The menu consists of all manner of hot drinks as well as dairy and vegan dishes, all served on handmade ceramics made by artisans who work at the same compound. And in case you fall in love with the plate you are eating from, you can buy it and take it home. This highly rated café is a hub for all kinds of artists, intellectuals, writers, and students, and is great for families, couples, or people just looking to hang out.
Tmol Shilshom is a cozy bookstore-café restaurant whose name is a Hebrew expression meaning ‘those were the days.’ This perfectly captures the essence of this café, which evokes feelings of nostalgia, comfort, and warmth upon entering. You’ll feel warm when you leave, too, particularly when you’ve indulged in some tea and cheesecake, or a full dinner. Tmol Shilshom is a very well-known café in Jerusalem that has gained much of its renown for hosting readings by famous Israeli writers such as Amos Oz and Yehuda Amichai. If you love books, food, and a sincere atmosphere, come to Tmol Shilshom and you won’t regret it.
The family-run café Kadosh was established 41 years ago by Meir Kadosh and, despite renovations and expansion, maintains its original quality and feel, thanks to continued management by Meir’s son. The menu’s tasty items, including fresh and smoked fish, sandwiches and pastries, are all homemade in the patisserie upstairs. This café attracts regulars, newcomers, and families for its incredible food and welcoming atmosphere. Drop in for a light snack or enjoy a heartier selection from their generous menu.
If you’re looking for great views, a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, and great food, look no further than Mamilla Café. Not only can you sit on the terrace with a full view of the Old City, but you can watch the hustle and bustle of Mamilla Mall below while enjoying a pleasant day or night outside. In the event that the weather proves to be less than hospitable, you can sit just as comfortably inside and enjoy the clean and attractive décor. The kosher dairy menu has excellent choices at fabulous prices, and if you sit on the terrace, you receive a special menu.
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