Mahane Yehuda Food Market

Things to Do in Jerusalem

Mahane Yehuda Food Market (Shuk Mahane Yehuda), is a great marketplace in Jerusalem. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market’s more than 250 vendors! sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat, and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; and housewares, textiles, and Judaica. In short a cool place to visit and get yourself exposed to the local vibe! Trust me, as a private tour guide in Israel, I take my guests all the time to eat there and just walk around because it’s so much fun.



More About Mahane Yehuda Food Market

In and around the market are delicious falafel stands; savory shawarma that you would destroy in a second; sweet kanafeh, baklava, halva, and the famous Jerusalem mixed grill stands! Not the mention the fresh juice bars; cafes, and restaurants. The color and bustle of the marketplace are accentuated by vendors who call out their prices to passersby. On Thursdays and Fridays, the marketplace is filled with shoppers stocking up for Shabbat, until the Friday afternoon sounding of the bugle that signifies the market will close for the Sabbath. In recent years, the ‘Shuk’ (as it called by locals) has emerged as another Jerusalemite nightlife center, with restaurants, bars, and live music.



The History of Market

The Mahane Yehuda Food Market slowly began to form in the late 19th century (Ottoman period); when Arab peasants from the villages of Lifta; Deir Yassin; Sheikh Bader and other villages west of Jerusalem began to bring their agricultural produce for sale on the Jaffa Road, near the Mahane Yehuda neighborhood. At that time there was an empty and spacious plot of land owned by the Haim Aharon Valero family, a wealthy Spanish Jewish family. So the peasants took advantage of the empty space to offer their products to both passers-by and the Jewish residents of the nearby Nachlaot. As a result, the success of the makeshift market was almost self-evident: the residents of the Nachlaot spared themselves the long walk to the distant Old City markets, as did the residents of the Arab villages.

Ben Yehuda Street
In This Photo: Ben Yehuda Street Intersects With Jaffa Street

Gabriel Cohen, a member of the nearby Beit Yaakov neighborhood, described the market in those days in his book “Beit Avinu”:

It was a market without special arrangements. Baskets and boxes were stacked side by side in the open field. The vegetable growers and sellers, often familiar, sat by their wares and waited for the buyers. The buyers were Jews, while the sellers were Arab peasants from the villages near Jerusalem. And so the two peoples stood opposite each other, which gave the market a special character. Jewish housewives tried to speak Arabic, and the Arab peasants tried to get rid of their goods in Yiddish. The commotion was great, and amidst this commotion of shouting, bargaining, trafficking, and cursing, the children also tried to benefit. It was not easy to carry a fresh cucumber, green onion, or lettuce leaf to your palate.



apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Holocaust Museum Tour

RELATED POSTS

Pelter Winery

So Pelter Winery is an Israeli boutique winery. This top winery was founded in 2001 by Tal Pelter, who studied in Australia, to which his ...

Top 10 Restaurants in Israel

Which are the top 10 restaurants in Israel? Frankly, that's a tricky question! Because Israel is blessed with fantastic food.

Margalit Winery

Margalit Winery was established by Yair Margalit (Ph.D.). Today is the one of the top wineries in Israel and for sure worth checking out!

Mount Herzl

Mount Herzl is the site of Israel’s national cemetery and other memorial and educational facilities, found on the west side of Jerusalem beside the Jerusalem ...

Best Wineries of the Golan

Let's go guys and explore the best wineries of the Golan Heights! There are a couple worth going and in this post, we'll check them out!

Visiting the Holocaust Museum

Visiting the Holocaust Museum invites a new experience. Due to its unique design, visitors are not the same after touring Yad Vashem.

Clos de Gat Winery

It’s hard to think of a more beautiful and interesting wine trip than a visit to the Clos de Gat winery in Mitzpe Harel. And ...

Best Local Restaurants in Israel

where are the best local restaurants in Israel? Well, there are some that are already turned into famous places for decades and decades while some ...

Levinsky Food Market

Levinski Food Market is a street with lots of shops selling vegetables, and spices, joined by many restaurants and eateries. Super fun!

Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv

What are the Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv? Well, I went on a search and brought some updates about Tel Aviv’s food scene 2021. So ...

Need help?

Skip to content