While there are some very good kosher restaurants all around Israel, especially some hidden gems in the North, the majority of the best kosher dining experiences are in Jerusalem. Here is a list of my top ten must-try kosher restaurants in Jerusalem. If you want recommendations from all over Israel, here is my Top Ten Kosher Restaurants in Israel list and for cheaper options in Jerusalem, take a look at my guide to Street Food in the Jerusalem Shuk.
- JACKO’S STREET
It will be no surprise to anybody that knows me personally or follows this blog that Jacko’s Street is my favorite restaurant in Israel (not just kosher ones) and will always be top on my list of recommendations. It is my go-to place for taking out-of-town guests and even those who don’t eat kosher are impressed by the creativity of the menu and energetic atmosphere in the restaurant – it epitomizes the expression “fun-dining”.
The menu is a Middle Eastern fusion, with many dishes offering an elevated version of traditional home-style recipes. My favorite starters are the Moroccan Cigar (NIS 64), Asado Bruschetta (NIS 66) and the Red Tuna Fricasse (NIS 58) and for mains, I normally order the Gourmet Burger (NIS 78)or the Entrecote (NIS 148) but the Fish Fillet and Whole Sea Bream are also delicious options. After 9 pm the music is lively so if that is not what you are looking for, either go early or find somewhere else.
- LA REGENCE, KING DAVID HOTEL
The style of the menu is European with an Israeli twist. Signature dishes include the Tomato Leather filled with Sea Fish Salad and the Chicken Consommé to start, Roasted Duck confit with Black Garlic for main and the Chocolate & Olive Oil is an extraordinary dessert. At a cost of NIS 380 per guest, it is definitely a special occasion option for most people and it is a very formal, old-school hotel style restaurant. There is also the option to order from the regular menu.
- ROOFTOP, MAMILLA HOTEL
For the ultimate “Jerusalem” setting, Rooftop Restaurant, Mamilla Hotel is a must. The view over the Old City is incomparable and the menu is always fresh and interesting with mostly Mediterranean dishes with a Middle Eastern influence.
I love the Iron-Rich Herb Salad (NIS 48), Beef Tartare (NIS 68) and Grouper Shawarma (NIS 74) starters. For main I cannot resist the Entrecote (NIS 160) as it is one of my favorites in Jerusalem, but the Roast Goose Breast (NIS 134) and Catch of the Day (NIS 132) are also great dishes. The service is slightly hit or miss but the view and quality of the food make it worthwhile.
- ANNA ITALIAN CAFE
If you are looking for a delicious Italian experience in a historic setting, then Anna is the place. The food has simple flavors and is well prepared, with efficient and friendly service. I recommend ordering a few starters to start with as there are so many to choose from. My favorite starters are Parmesan Butter Roasted Fennel (NIS 46) and White Fish Crudo (NIS 58). For the main course, the “Burro di Limone”, Pappardelle, Striped Bass and Lemon Butter (NIS 96) is a perfect combination of pasta and fish, the Tartuffo Linguini (NIS 76) and Stuffed Sea Bream (NIS 106). For dessert, the Lemon Tart (NIS 42) is a house specialty. The domed ceilings and stone floors make the restaurant noisy so if possible, try to sit on the balcony.
- VILLA BROWN
I am reluctant to include Villa Brown in this post because part of the charm is how quiet it is sitting in the beautiful courtyard, so close to the city center. The brunch costs NIS 120 per person and includes a choice of the main dish (omelet, burekas, green shakshuka) and unlimited refills on the delicious dips, salads, pastries and drinks. They also serve afternoon tea which I haven’t had a chance to try.
Villa Brown, 54 Ha’Neviim Street, 02 501 1555
1868 offers an interesting and diverse menu with a combination of European charm and Jerusalem history. It is a perfect location for visitors looking for a meal in an authentically Jerusalem surrounding. There is also the option to order from the extensive cocktail menu at Zuta, which is located at the back of the restaurant (click here of full review of Zuta).
- JOSEF BURGER
Even though other burger joints have opened in the area, Josef Burger is still my favorite. My preference is for the Angus Burger (NIS 45) which I find to be more tender and juicy than the regular Josef burger and worth the extra money. They have a great choice of toppings and the service is normally quick and friendly. There is also a good business lunch deal for NIS 55 including a main, side dish and drink. My standard order is a medium Angus burger with goose breast and green salad and as a special treat, I get goose liver and/or chili pineapple toppings.
This popular steakiah (meat grill) has a separate takeaway window along with street-side tables. The extensive takeaway menu includes their famous Jerusalem mixed grill and my personal favorite, succulent pargit (NIS 54 in laffa), both with their secret spice mix. There is also a selection of salads and main courses in takeaway containers if you are extra hungry or don’t want bread.
- JLM SUSHI
Jerusalem has very few good sushi restaurants so it is refreshing that JLM Sushi offers simple, clean sushi, where the focus is on the quality of the fish. Despite the name, it is more of a Japanese bar than a sushi restaurant, with a variety of Japanese dishes, including sushi. Recommended dishes are the veal short ribs steamed buns served with a barbecue plum sauce and pickled carrots (NIS 24) and Japanse take on Caesar salad (NIS 46). The coconut crème brulee with fresh mango (NIS 35) is the best parve crème brulee I have tasted, and I am a huge fan of crème brulee.
The concept at Dwiny is open or closed sandwiches so each dish can be ordered either inside a pillowy fresh pita, or on top of small toasted pita bruschetta style. All the ingredients are fresh and interesting with fillings including seared entrecote, osso buco, fried red mullet and crispy cauliflower. My favorite dishes are the Entrecote pita (NIS 38) and the Lamb Siniya with tahina and pickled lemon (NIS 42). You cannot reserve a place and there are only about 30 seats but if you dont mind waiting, you can normally find a place.