Top Five Desserts in JerusalemOnce upon a time, options for eating out in Jerusalem were limited to local common phenomena such as falafel and schwarma, and maybe the occasional pizza shop or café.
Once upon a time, options for eating out in Jerusalem were limited to local common phenomena such as falafel and schwarma, and maybe the occasional pizza shop or café. Desserts were even more limited – and usually not given all that much thought – even the more upscale eateries didn’t usually venture past what came to be the conventional hot chocolate cake and apple pie, which were usually shipped to restaurants by suppliers. In recent years, however, the demand for a higher standard by an increasingly popular “foody” culture in Jerusalem has driven up the standard and the competition, which continues to mean good news for Jerusalemites with a discerning sweet tooth.
Located near the Old City’s Damascus Gate, Jaffar’s Sweets churns out abundant Arab sweets – usually combinations of shredded filo dough, chopped nuts and pistachio garnish, all drenched in honey. A regional specialty is knafeh, composed of alternating layers of sweetened, melted goat cheese and shredded phyllo with a sweet, nearly-fluorescent orange topping.
Not far away, in a stately building behind a heavy gate occupying the corner of Al-Wad Road and the Via Dolorosa in the Old City's Moslem Quarter, is the Austrian Hospice Café: a coffeehouse in the Viennese tradition. The cafe serves a continental menu of coffee, tea and alcohol, along with what well may be the only traditional Austrian fare in Jerusalem, including authentic Viennese apple strudel, which smells irresistible and tastes even better.
Since the turn of the century, an entire network of waffle bars has sprung up in Jerusalem, offering large, sweet waffles of the Belgian variety, drenched in a wide ranging assortment of syrups, creams, and other specialty toppings. Don't miss the waffles on offer at tiny Babette's, at the foot of Shammai Street, and Waffle Factory, on Emek Refaim.
A Mediterranean bistro-style restaurant set amid pastoral surroundings, Brasserie takes art and design seriously: the walls are adorned with the works of local artists and much attention is given to the presentation of the items on the menu. The apple crumble is no exception: adorned with cranberries, hazelnuts, and cinnamon cream and served in a designer mini fry pan, this unique treat is a feast for the eyes as well as much as it is a mouthwatering one for the palette, sure to be devoured down to the very last bite.
Candied nuts – peanuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds – you name it, coated with a thin, crunchy layer of melted sugar – have long been an irresistible favorite on-the-go confection sold on the streets of cities around the world, and Jerusalem is no exception. When strolling through the Old City, one can smell them a block away, and as they’re usually quite on the affordable side, it’s hard to find a reason not to treat yourself to a bagful.
Photo: The American Colony
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