I visited Jerusalem very briefly a few months ago with the lovely bunch from iTravelJerusalem as they were getting ready for TBEX, but I had just enough time to explore the amazing vegan food of the city in my time there. If you imagine a vegan visit to Israel as being a hummus-soaked escapade, you’d be imagining correctly! In what’s said to have the most vegans per capita in the world (I was surprised to read that!), being vegan in Israel is falafelly easy and utterly enjoyable. So without further ado, here are the ten best spots I found for a vegan grub in Jeruz. Yayay, Vegan Jerusalem!
1. Village Green
The Village Green has been running since 1992, and apart from a very few dishes with milk in them, everything here is vegan. It’s all homemade from scratch by the lovely owner, and is completely fresh and natural. The service is incredibly helpful and friendly.
As might be expected, the menu had lots of hummus dishes, as well as home baked bread and daily specials. They serve the best vegan shakshuka in the city which comes with homemade vegan sausage, and have amazing cakes, takeaway pickles, and vegan cheese.
Generally a meat heavy restaurant, Modern Restaurant also has plenty of vegan options and is the perfect place to stop for lunch or finish up a visit to the museum with. The food is extremely fresh, and is mediterranean and tapas inspired. The atmosphere is, well, modern but relaxed, and the staff is extremely friendly. If you see something on the menu you like the look of and want veganizing, they’ll be happy to help.
Hamarakia, which means ‘the Soupery’, not surprisingly has a large selection of delicious and filling soups, most of which are vegan. The hummus was a little disappointing, but the soups and the large amount of bread served alongside them are worth visiting for.
4. Hummus Lina
Hummus Lina have now been making the same hummus for the past thirty-five years, so they should be good at it by now – and thankfully they are. The flavour is quite mild, but it’s delicious and is widely regarded as one of the best hummus joints in the city.
5. The Vegetarian Shawarma
Who can resist a vegetarian Shawarma? Me, unfortunately. Because of my short visit and conflicting opening times, I didn’t make it here. I’ve heard good things, though, so if you’ve visited let me know what you thought.
6. Abu Shukri
Abu Shukri serves freshly in-house-made falafel, baba ghanoush, tahini, and hummus, with plenty of vegan options. Located in the Muslim quarter of the Old City, at station V on the Via Dolorosa. If you eat anywhere in the market, make sure you ask for the price before ordering, or risk paying a fair bit more than you should.
One of my faves for vegan breakfast in Jerusalem, Tmol Shilshom is a beautifully decorated literary cafe. They have plenty of vegan options – just check they don’t have dairy – including an amazing shakshuka and a dessert thingy, I’m not sure what it was but it blew my mind just a little. It’s a lovely place to work or just hang out for a few hours and read.
Nocturno Bar has been a meeting point for Bohemians and intellectuals of the city for the past 21 years. Located near the market, everything is made fresh and they have a fabulous selection of vegan and veggie friendly sandwiches, freshly squeezed juices, and tasty coffee.
9. Natural Choice Cafe
Another one I didn’t make it to, Natural Choice Cafe have a selection of vegan options that include raw and dehydrated food. They’re located just off Mahane Yahuda, so they’re good for a quick lunch when you’re sightseeing.
Zmora has a fully vegetarian and mostly vegan counter at the front of their shop with loads of vegan food. Everything is organic, and a lot of things are also gluten free. In the health food store they have things such as vegan cheese and vegan ice cream, and nice things to bring back home such as plump dates, flavored dead sea salt and organic tahini.