by Lin Arison & Diana C. Stoll/The Desert and the Cities Sing

Much of the food scene in Jerusalem revolves around one of the world’s greatest food markets, Machane Yehuda, which bustles with some 250 stalls selling fruits and vegetables, baked goods, fish, meat, cheeses, nuts and spices, wines and liquors, clothing and housewares.

Vendors entice, cajole, and sometimes browbeat potential customers in a gamut of languages; and buyers in turn elbow one another in an effort to gain access to the ripest pomegranate, the plumpest chicken, the nicest bit of halvah – quickly filling up bags and wheeled carts to be dragged squeakingly home.

Just about anything food-related can be obtained here. Two small dining places that have been embedded in the market for decades are Azura and Rachmo, both of which serve delicious Sephardic foods – hummus, kibbeh, stuffed vegetables, and much more – all exquisitely prepared.

The busy Teller Bakery offers crusty European-style loaves and sweet, soft challah, and everything in between.

Basher Fromagerie brings in the finest cheeses from every corner of the world.

The gray-bearded Yemenite Uzi-Eli Hezi makes juices from any fruit you can think of (including the etrog, the citron that plays a central role in the Jewish festival of Sukkot).

Cylindrical mountains of chalky white sweetness await at Mamlechet haHalvah, the appropriately dubbed “Halva Kingdom.”

Any taste can be satisfied at this thriving market.

Machane Yehuda market  

Machneyuda 

Basher’s Fromagerie 

Uzi-Eli Hezi 

Azura 4
HaEshkol Street, Jerusalem

Rachmo
5 HaEshkol Street, Jerusalem

Teller Bakery
74 Agripas Street, Jerusalem

Mamlechet HaHalvah (Halva Kingdom) 
12 Etz HaChaim Street, Jerusalem

Lin Arison & Diana C. Stoll are the creators of The Desert and the Cities Sing: Discovering Today’s Israel, a treasure box that highlights Israel’s creative achievement and innovation.