Probably one of the most authentic examples of Jewish cuisine, challah is a semi-sweet braided bread eaten on the Jewish Sabbath. While it’s true that homemade challah is pretty hard to beat, these bakeries in Jerusalem, Israel make some of the best challah in the world. Here are Jerusalem’s most delicious challahs and where to find them.
This challah looks like an ordinary braided bread with a light sprinkling of sesame seeds on its crust, but don’t be fooled by its modest appearance. The “best challah” award in Jerusalem goes to Duvshanit because of their perfectly sweetened fluffy dough, as well as their delicate and delicious crust that boasts just enough crunch without scattering too many crumbs. At a very inexpensive six shekels per loaf, you can buy a few loaves (without emptying your pockets) to satisfy your challah craving. Duvshanit sells their baked goods at a location in Machane Yehuda and also has a café location on HaPalmach.
Duvshanit Café, 42 HaPalmach, Jerusalem, Israel, +972-2-566-2622
One of the best challahs you can find is at Teller Bakery, either in Machane Yehuda or at its central location on nearby Agrippas Street. This challah’s crust look bright and brown, but the dough has a mild flavor and is a tad less sweet than others around town. It’s still one of the tastiest challahs out there, with a great balance of doughy and fluffy texture. Teller is also known for its fabulous European-style breads and pastries and is definitely worth a visit.
Teller Bakery, 74 Agrippas Street, Jerusalem, Israel, +972-2-622-3227
Magdaniat Pe’er is Jerusalem’s oldest bakery and one of the best. You can’t miss their eye-catching display of pastries and breads if you walk along the inner part of Machane Yehuda, and if you happen to stop by, you should get a loaf of their sweet challah bread. Magdaniat Pe’er’s challah has a heavy, doughy quality and a sweet flavor, so you may find that Magdaniat Pe’er’s challah suits your sweet tooth. While you’re there, also be sure to grab some pastries and cake before heading out.
Chavah Brothers’ Bakery in Machane Yehuda has a stunning array of breads and different types of pita, and this bakery is perhaps one of the more widely known of the bread bakeries in and around Jerusalem. If you get their challah, you’ll enjoy a homely-feeling challah that despite its lack of sweetness has a much more dinner-appropriate taste and goes magnificently with soup. The challah has a light brown, thick and crunchy crust and very fluffy white dough, and this bread stays soft and tasty for several days. Also, if you’re looking for a deal, it’s normally no more than five shekels per challah and often less towards the end of the day on Friday.
Berman Bakery, one of the oldest bakeries in Jerusalem, offers a variety of breads, challahs, pastries, cakes and cookies. One of the most highly recommended challah categories is Chalot HaBayit, which literally translates to ‘house bread.’ Their challah is similar to Chavah Bakery’s challah, though with a somewhat doughier texture and a thinner, browner crust. It goes perfectly with dinner and is particularly delicious when paired with dips, salads and soups.
Berman Bakery, 42 Agrippas Street, Jerusalem, Israel, +972-2-563-6786