This past week I had fun playing tourist with my friend Eliana and a super cool food tour app. Whether you're a major foodie, or just a hungry tourist, you MUST download Bitemojo—the self-guided food experience with nothing but your smart phone.
This Jerusalem-founded app provides you with self-guided, food-based tours in 5 major cities – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berlin, Barcelona, and Rome (and London coming soon!). From romantic to off-the-beaten-path, each tour you choose comes with 6 bites and leads you to discover each city through its food. In between each food stop are local landmarks, historical sites, and more.
My friend Eliana and I took the "Creative Class Tour" in Jerusalem. For 27 Euros, the tour took us through the creative community of Jerusalem, from artistic Bezalel street, through Shuk Machane Yehuda, and to Kikar Hamusica (musical square). Although we are both locals (living here a few years each), we both discovered amazing new flavors of our own city! Here are the places we tasted:
1) Nocturno Cafe
7 Bezalel St.
This super trendy cafe is located right on Bezalel street near the famous Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Come here for the hipsters and stay for the delicious vegan and dairy food. Our bite included a baby Nocturno sandwich filled with marinated mushrooms, fresh greens, garlic confit, pesto, and tehina, accompanied by a root vegetable salad. The sandwich was very flavorful and delicious, served on great whole-wheat bread. Personally I found the beet root salad to be a bit bland.
2) Basher Fromagerie
Agripas St 21
Although we actually didn't get to taste Bashar on our tour because they ran out of bread, this is one of my ultimate favorite spots in Jerusalem. With multiple branches throughout the city, Bitemojo takes you to their shop on Agrippas street, just before the Shuk. With a huge variety of products from around the world, these people know their cheese and wine. Other than the sampler platter and brichettas on the tour, I personally recommend getting half a sandwhich on freshly baked baguette. You can choose what kinds of cheese to put in it, but I let the experts surprise me with something unique and tasty.
3) Etrog Man Juices
HaEgoz St (in the shuk)
Do you know the Etrog Man? Uzi Eli the Etrog Man is not just peddling the freshest juices at his shuk basta (stand), he is a medicine man. Visit the famous shop for fresh, unique juice blends, such as apple-pomegranate-cayenne pepper, passionfruit-goat yogurt, apple ginger, and more. Perhaps the most unique and well-known blend is the etrog and gat, made from a lemon-like citrus fruit and "medicinal" plant brought to Israel by its Yemenite immigrants. The shop also produces other medicinal and cosmetic products made from all natural ingredients.
4) Street Market - Sushi and Asian
HaAfarsek St (in the shuk)
If you're looking for an interesting asian-fusion spot, then Street Market might be the spot. It is one of the newer "sit-down" dining experiences that are popping up in Shuk Machane Yehuda (Jerusalem's outdoor market). Located close to its sister restaurant, Street Wok, the Market is cooking up a wide variety of asian dishes from Poke bowls and sushi to Dim Sum. Eliana and I sampled their Dim Sum dumplings, and although they were pretty far from authentic, they were pretty tasty.
5) Tmol Shilshom
Yo'el Moshe Salomon St 5
A truly Yerushalmi establishment, this used dual cafe/used-book store is tucked in one of Jerusalem's downtown alleyways. It is named for one of famous Israeli author, Shai Agnon's books, and is known for hosting some of Israel's greatest literary minds, past and present. I actually frequent this place for its famous Shakshuka, but the bite on the tour was a sampling of their beet gnochi. It was to die for! With a slightly sweet flavor, perfectly chewy texture, and topped with a creamy sauce, I am 100% going to oder a full serving of this next time I'm there.
6) Babette Waffles
Shamai St 16
You can't end a night out in Jerusalem without a sweet treat, and one that is pretty popular in Israel is waffles. This hole-in-the-wall establishment is serving up Belgian waffles and a choose-your-own-toppings dessert experience. From halva cream and lotus cookies, to a ton of other fruit and candy toppings and sauces, it seems impossible to go wrong.