When you think of the holy city of Jerusalem, your mind probably wanders to ancient sites such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Temple Mount. But did you know that there is also a foodie revolution happening there? Here are the top chef restaurants not to miss in Jerusalem.
Let's start with Touro, which will delight and amaze your palette. Located in Yemin Moshe (named for Moses Montefiore), close to the Windmill and the Old City's walls, this restaurant is named after the other of the two philanthropists who helped build up its surrounding neighborhood. Its menu includes starters such as fire-burnt eggplant, beef ravioli, and bean soup with chestnuts; main courses like whole oven-baked fish, 7-hour short ribs casserole, and a sous vide chicken breast.
Also close to the Old City walls, you will find another chef restaurant called Eucalyptus. This restaurant's modern interpretation of biblical foods makes it a must-see when you are in Israel the next time. The unique approach to cuisine had given it the distinction of being called the best restaurant in Israel by many critics. Seared mallard breast, St. Peter's fish, and figs stuffed with chicken are just three of Eucalyptus' featured dishes.
One of the first gourmet restaurants in Jerusalem, 1868 is located inside a stone building erected by the Jews who left the Old City walls to establish an additional Jerusalem community. It has the distinction of carrying a diverse wine menu in addition to its rich dining menu. Veal tongue marinated in red wine or a Jerusalem artichoke soup are excellent ways to begin your meal. Follow them up with slow-cooked lamb roast or salmon in cashew and porcini crust and you will remember this experience for a long time.
Just a couple of streets from the Old City's walls, Gabriela is located just off Jaffa Road. This dairy and vegetarian restaurant is distinctive in its Italian influences. Enjoy the hearty breakfast for two of fresh breads, an omelet, and locally grown vegetables or dine on ricotta and spinach cannelloni for lunch. Any time you try Gabriela, you will not be disappointed.
While you are deciding which one of these gourmet chef restaurants to try, don't forget that renting a car in Israel give you your best chance of seeing the country in your own time.