The main reason I started this blog in the first place was because local and visiting friends were always asking for recommendations of where to eat in the Holy City, especially during the hagim, so despite being less focused on writing over the last few months, I could not let Pesach pass without a new post.
For me it is a very exciting time in Jerusalem right now. New restaurants are opening all over the city and people are getting savvier about what they want and like. In contrast to last year, Shabbat falls in the middle of Hol Hamoed so fewer places are staying open but there is still a good selection to choose from.
Top of my list this year is Kedma (non-kitniyot), it has been around for a few years but until recently I had not eaten there. Located on the top floor of the inside Mamilla Mall, the whole restaurant overlooks the old city walls whether you sit inside or on their large terrace. The menu has a wide variety of meat and fish dishes and there is something to suit every palate. To start with, I highly recommend the Homemade Mini Sausages served with guacamole (41 ₪) or the Beef Carpaccio (54 ₪). For serious meat eaters, the simple Entrecote (122 ₪) will not disappoint and I also really like the Goose Breast with a wild berry sauce and mashed potatoes (84 ₪). The Kedma Burger is served with seared Foie Gras (92 ₪) and is one of the best burgers I have had. For a lighter main dish, try the Lamb Kebabs with tabuleh (78 ₪). Kedma is far less formal then the traditional steak restaurants and just as tasty.
Of course the usual steak restaurants are all open and as always are non-kitniyot. Angelica is top of my list for an all-round dining experience, while Gabriel is a great option for steak lovers. Lara is less formal with an interesting selection of dishes and La Boca on Emek Refaim is great if you want something a bit different with its South American flare!
For those who are not restricted by a kitniyot free diet, there is a great selection of Asian/Sushi restaurants to choose from this year. Yan under the Jerusalem Theater has a vast sushi menu as well as a delicious choice of noodles and other Asian meat dishes. Sushi Rehavia is only opening its large branch in the City Center but will also be doing deliveries from there. The sushi is incredibly similar to the rest of the year and other meat dishes are served with rice instead of noodles. The new kid on the block is Frangelico, at the bottom of Shlomtzion Hamalka. They have most of the usual selection of sushi but the prices are higher and portions smaller. The funky setting and the fact that it is a bar as well as a restaurant is a draw for a lot of people and be sure to try the Maki Crispy Tuna or Salmon as they are both delicious!
Most of the coffee shops around the city will be open as usual. Muize on Rehov Azza is a new edition to the mix since last year. The menu has a wide selection of breakfast, salad and other main dishes. The décor is bright and modern and the service is friendly. As well as a small outside area and the tables in the main restaurant, there are seats at the bar so you can watch the magic being made and a bench for those who want to sit with laptops. Great free WiFi service and it is kitniyot free.