Jerusalem, Israel: Where to Take Visitors for Dinner

Food, Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Judy Lash Balint on November 15, 2011 at 8:21 am

Jerusalem shows itself off best via its neighborhoods, and the best places to take visitors for dinner are those that showcase the varied architecture and cuisine of the city.

Take the Rooftop Restaurant of the Mamilla Hotel, for example.  No doubt your visitors will have spent a good portion of their time wandering around the alleyways of the Old City, taking in the sights and smells of the different quarters.  A leisurely dinner at the Rooftop Restuarant, with its views over a portion of the 16th-century wall and the Tower of David will put their experiences into perspective. Everyone will enjoy a selection of grilled meat and fish, an excellent Israeli wine list and some delicious desserts along with the view.

Jerusalem Old City walls © Judy Lash Balint

A very different experience awaits visitors to The Modern, the chic and sleek restaurant that’s part of the renewed Israel Museum that’s bound to be on the itinerary of your visitors. With its clean lines and bold, colorful decor, The Modern stands out as a fine example of the new Israeli dining experience. A menu that changes with the seasons and excellent attentive service means that visitors don’t have to head into town to find their fine dining experience after spending the day at the Israel Museum.

For a more funky atmosphere, take your visitors to Tmol Shilshom, the dairy restaurant hidden away in a stone courtyard in the Nachlat Shiva area of downtown Jerusalem. What Tmol lacks in elegance is more than made up by the plentiful portions of thick vegetable soups and home-baked bread, the pasta dishes laden with flavorful veggies and Israeli cheeses and an atmosphere that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a European salon.   The book-lined Tmol with its comfy seats and mismatched tables is a place to linger with your guests as they ponder their next tour.

Way more upscale is La Guta in the residential Baka neighborhood south of downtown. Boasting a French-accented menu with Israeli overtones, La Guta is the place to impress your visitors with the sophistication of Jerusalem’s restaurants. La Guta is known for its superb meat dishes and extensive wine list and is popular amongst English-speaking and French immigrants–be sure to make a reservation for this one.

There’s a similar ambiance at 1868 on King David Street. With its Jerusalem stone low-ceiling dining rooms and proximity to the Old City, this is a place that exudes Jerusalem atmosphere.  The menu is a creative fusion of French and Mediterranean flavors that will leave a strong impression with your guests.

Tags: "Old City", getting around Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Jewish Quarter, mamilla mall