Everything you need to know about restaurants in Jerusalem open on Friday night and Saturday/Shabbat.
Much as this blog is a creative outlet for me, I also try to provide local information that is not easily available. Sometimes I am surprised by the popularity of certain posts versus others. I always knew that there was a severe lack of information online about non-kosher restaurants in Jerusalem and restaurants which are open on Friday night and Shabbat.
I have already written a few different posts on this topic but as these are some of the most-read posts, I thought it made sense to collate all the information into one post.
Non-Kosher Restaurants in Jerusalem
Let’s start with the general topic of non-kosher restaurants in Jerusalem. They generally fall into three categories:
- All the food is ‘kosher’ but the owners do not wish to have a kosher license or they are open on Shabbat
- The food is not kosher but they only serve ‘kosher’ meat and fish (no seafood and pork etc)
- Fully non-kosher with seafood and/or pork and bacon
I want to clarify that not all non-kosher restaurants are open on Friday. Most significantly, Machneyuda, one of the best restaurants in Israel, is closed on Shabbat, as it is located near Shuk Machane Yehuda. The whole area around the shuk is closed on Shabbat. Yudale Bar and Dekel are two other restaurants from the Machneyuda Group, which are located in the same area, so they are also closed on Shabbat.
Read more: Top Ten Non-Kosher Restaurants in Jerusalem
Cafes in Jerusalem Open on Shabbat
I am often asked by people where they should eat in Jerusalem on Saturday/Shabbat, especially by first-time visitors. Most of Jerusalem closes down on Friday afternoon, however, there are still plenty of cafes that are open on Shabbat, you just have to know where to find them. There are many options in the city center, including Zuni, which is Jerusalem’s only 24/7 sit-down restaurant and Focaccia Bar, a popular hang out on Shabbat with a large covered courtyard.
Read more: Shabbat In Jerusalem – Cafés and Diners.
If you are looking for fast food on Shabbat in Jerusalem, then you can find all the usual suspects to choose from like pizza, burgers, sushi and noodles. You can also try more local food such as Jachnun Bar, which serves Yemenite comfort food and is open 24/7. Find out more about eating Fast Food on Shabbat in Jerusalem.
Friday Night Dinner in Jerusalem
Visitors who want a traditional Friday night meal in Jerusalem can go to one of the many hotels in the city, but they are normally expensive. For a cheaper and more intimate option, you can eat with a local family through Eat With or Shabbat of a Lifetime.
Some of the most frequent online searches that lead people to this blog are those looking for ‘restaurants open on Shabbat Jerusalem’ or ‘open restaurants Jerusalem Shabbat’. As well as the more casual restaurants open on Shabbat that are mentioned above, there are also some great high-end restaurants. These restaurants offer a mixture of local and Mediterranean cuisine for locals and tourists to enjoy dinner on Friday night. All of them are usually very busy on a Friday night, so I would recommend making a booking well in advance.
Read the full list here: Top Ten Friday Night Restaurants in Jerusalem.
These lists are based purely on my personal preference and are by no means all-inclusive. If I have not tried somewhere personally, I have not included it on the lists. I am always happy to hear feedback on places you have tried and would recommend to others.
Here are some more posts about eating and drinking in Jerusalem which might be of interest:
- Jerusalem Top 10 Kosher Restaurants
- Street Food in the Jerusalem Shuk
- Tasting Tour of the Jerusalem Shuk
- Top 10 Breakfasts In and Around Jerusalem
- Top 10 Jerusalem Area Winery Visits
If you are traveling around Israel and want more tips about where restaurants and wineries, here are some additional suggestions:
- Top 10 Kosher Restaurants in Tel Aviv & Herzliya
- Dining in Sarona
- Quick Bites in Sarona Market
- Kosher Sarona
- Top 10 Kosher Restaurants in Israel
- Top 10 Winery Visits in Northern Israel