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Machane Yehuda - A Holy Land Gem
Machene Yehuda is one of Jerusalem's more colorful venues attracting 10's of thousands of tourists and locals weekly. Known locally as, The Shuk, because it's the largest shuk in Jerusalem it is a partically covered outdoor market that encompasses a small neighborhood situated between Yafo and Aggripas. (by the way Aggripas is known to locals as "rehov haSteak" because of all the great little steak places that dot the street).And don't miss Marzipan's world famous rugelach which people actually take home with them on the plane.
Machane Yehuda (pronounced Machane) is renowned for not just its low prices and wonderful selection of produce - but this outdoor market offers numerous unique finds that can be found amongst its 350 businesses. Visitors can find imported cheeses from Bashers, the gourmet cheese store where the owner flies to France every three weeks to select and import over 350 types of French cheese. The fish vendor, David, keeps over 40 fresh varieties of fish available (in the supermarket you can find less than 5). Specialty boutiques ranging from the Avi Wine shop, the Ceramics cooperative, clothing boutiques, Pereg Spices etc as well as upscale coffee houses such as Mizrachi's where visitors can enjoy a delectable piece of cake alongside their "cafe hafuch" - hebrew for "backwards coffee" which is really quite like a blend betweeen a cappuccino and a coffee latte.
Prices are marked with chalk on blackboards stuck in amongst the produce, and what sells for 6 IS (Israeli Shekels) a kilo on Monday morning may be down to 2 IS before the trumpet sounds Friday afternoon for Shabbat. The market is open late on Wednesday and Thursday nights as locals frequent the place in preparation for shabbat. Friday the market is open until an hour before the Sabbath.
During the summer months the venue takes on an additional role when on Sunday evenings the place emerges as a festival venue with food, drink and music offered on the streets.
Machene Yehuda borders on the neighborhoods of Nachlaot and Even Yisrael, both of which are worthy of walking tours. Is a 10 minute walk from the market to Ben Yehuda (if even) and the curious tourist on foot can easily walk from the market, through the nearby neighborhoods to Ben Yehuda and onto the cute downtown district of Nachalat Shiva and further east to the Jaffa Gate. The entire walk would take less than 35 minutes and pedestrians can really get a feel for the city and its numerous hidden gems that make a visit to this city of gold so worthy.
For those on a budget - enjoy the 3.5 hour Machene Yehuda market tour coordinated through Abraham's Hostel, situated one block from the market at Davidka Square. This tour includes shopping in the market, a guided tour, cooking dinner with ingredients purchased at the market, and drinks. Cost - $22 per person (80 shekel). To register for this tour click here.
If you are seeking a more upscale experience - we can arrange a culinary tour complete with arranged tastings at a number of the local vendors including a visit to a chef kitchen overlooking the market with tastings. You will eat food that will satisfy you for both breakfast and lunch and learn about the many unique seasonings, vegetables, fish and other products that are for sale as well as meet the various vendors and hear their unique stories. Priced from $55 per person for a group of 15 or more.
For the true cook, sign up for a cooking class, tour and tasting - 4.5 - 5 hours. Priced from $95 for a group of 15 or more. Contact travelujah if you would like us to arrange your program.
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