Who has not heard of Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem?
Established in 1928 for locals to buy their food goods, Mahane Yehuda is part of Jerusalem identity. It’s always full with a mix of people strolling its streets: Orthodox and Secular Jews, Arabs and Christians, and tourists of all around the world.
Let’s visit the market and feel the smells of herbs and spices, see the colors of seasonal fruits and vegetables and hear the screams of the vendors – Jewish and Arabs.
“It’s fantastic to walk around, get lost in.” – Yotam Ottolenghi
It’s open all weekdays, except for Shabbat. Each day has its typical kind of clientele. Mid-week shoppers are “regular people” from Jerusalem, doing all their shopping in the market. Young students who live in the alleys around the market come unplanned to buy only two plums and three cucumbers. On Wednesdays, you will find the hardworking woman who starts preparing Sabbath early, soaking beans and other grains some days before. On Thursdays evenings, the pubs and restaurants stay open late and the streets are crowded with locals and tourists. On Fridays, you’ll find a busy and bustling market full of Jerusalemites rushing to do their last minute shopping for Shabbat.
You won’t believe it, but in “Mahaneyuda” – as the Jerusalemites pronounce it – you can also find a modern espresso bar, boutique wine, cheese bars, bakeries, designer jewelry shops, and even fashionable clothing shops.
Besides tasting excellent pickles, herring, cheese, halva and other delicacies, you can get a good meal for a fair price in one of the local restaurants. There, you can taste delicious food cooked on kerosene burners. The best ones are in the “Iraqi market” section. They specialize in Kubbeh soup, dough balls made from semolina or bulgar stuffed with ground beef. You shouldn’t leave before trying it.
Photo by Emanuel Dyann at Flickr