Tmol Shilshom, a venerable restaurant-cum-reading room on the top floor of a classic Jerusalem stone building in historic Nachalat Shiva, overlooking the Yoel Salomon pedestrian mall, is almost invariably one of the first places that comes to people's minds when asked about the best Jerusalem spots for a great lunch, a good cup of coffee and a quiet place to read, with a serious kosher dairy menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The menu distinguishes itself with mountainous salads, filling soups, shakshuka, fish dishes and various pastas. Signature dishes include the salmon filet in fig sauce and Amanda Salad. The hot drinks menu is also excellent. Get into the Holy Land spirit with a drink made of hot milk and honey, enjoy a sweet chai, or try one of the cafe's two varieties of sahlab, a hot Egyptian pudding.
As for its non-culinary charms, Tmol Shilshom built up its considerable reputation on the backs of its literary clientele; the cafe is named after a S.Y. Agnon novel and famous Jerusalemite poet Yehuda Amichai was a regular. You'll still see aspiring authors tucked away into corners, scribbling into notebooks - and the cafe tips its hat to its history with a cute menu (sample menu heading: "The Plot Thickens...") and walls lined with hundreds of books for your reading pleasure, both in English and Hebrew. If you happen to like the book, you can buy it. And Tmol Shilshom is constantly playing host to lectures, readings, workshops and other various literary events starring prominent local and national authors - check the "Events" tab for upcoming talks.
Sunday to Thursday, 8:30 until after midnight; Friday 8:30 to afternoon; Saturday motzaei Shabbat to 2:00
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