Jerusalem is in many ways a modern Western city, but those visitors wanting a raw whiff of true Middle Eastern life have only to walk 10 minutes from the city center up Agrippas Street to Machane Yehuda, better known to Jerusalemites as the shuk (market). Lining its two main aisles, which run between Agrippas and Jaffa, and the complex warren of smaller aisles between them, are dozens of stands, stalls, shops and small restaurants, offering a dizzying array of goods ranging from cleaning supplies to still-wriggling fish. The main attraction is, of course, the cornucopia of food, especially authentic Middle Eastern delicacies.
The delis feature massive spreads of salatim, known to the rest of the Mediterranean as mezze, and mountains of exotic cheeses. Olives rise to mighty peaks, hills of spices tempt the eye, the smell of fresh ground coffee with cardamom lingers outside the coffeemaker's stall, monolithic blocks of halvah are offered to passersby, and fresh fruit can be had for the cheapest prices in town, exactly like the La Boqueria market in Barcelona Religious Jews from abroad, who tend to have more limited dietary options, will be thrilled to know that nearly everything for sale in the shuk is kosher. Click here to check availability of hotels near Machane Yehuda.
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