baka neighborhood jerusalem

10 Local Foodie Gems Of The German Colony & Baka

The Baka/German colony neighborhood is located in the South/West part of Jerusalem and is a popular area for Olim. The residential neighborhood is filled with greenery, beautiful housing, trendy shops and cafes, parks and playgrounds, and is located adjacent to Jerusalem’s rakevet (the former train track, now converted to a scenic park path). Many streets in Baka are named after biblical figures, like Yehuda, Menashe, Shimshon, Gidon and Boaz, and really give you the sense that you are living somewhere historic. The neighborhood is also famous for Emek Refaim Street, dividing Baka and the German Colony, which hosts a number of incredible restaurants, cafes, and local shops. For religious olim, there are a number of well-known synagogues in the area, including Ramban, Nitzanim, and Shir Chadash, which provide a sense of community for Anglos and young families. And of course, the area hosts your very own Asden Israel! But perhaps one of the biggest attractions of the neighborhoods are the local restaurants, cafes, and food gems. Below, we’ve broken down the top 10 food spots in the German Colony and Baka that are an absolute must!

The Top 10 Restaurants & Food Spots in the German Colony and Baka

1) Grand Cafe

Finding the perfect brunch spot is no easy task, but Grand Cafe on Derech Beit Lehem may very well be it. Offering a variety of brunch options, pulling from Israeli, French, and American cuisine, Grand Cafe has something for everyone. Brunch options include eggs benedict, pancakes, shakshuka, Israeli salad and more. And don’t get us started on their pastries! It’s no wonder that the cafe is almost always busy and bustling with locals and tourists alike. The cafe is located in the heart of Baka, which gives diners the opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and ambiance of the area while they enjoy their meal. Grand Cafe has been a staple of the Baka community for quite a few years now and will likely continue to be for many years to come. 

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2) David Laor 

On any given morning, you’re likely to find a line of local Baka residents lining up in anticipation for David Laor’s French pastry. David Laor has become the talk of the neighborhood, and for good reason. Native to Israel, David Laor spent significant time in Paris expanding his culinary skills and learning to bake like the French. Now he combines French and Israeli gastronomy, offering his customers baguettes, croissants, pies, cakes, mille-feuille, saint honore, gugelhupf, babka, quiches, and so much more. Many of his creations are far from ordinary, including a croissant filled with artichokes, red pepper and feta and a savory brioche with handmade butter, saint maure cheese and pear marmalade. It’s really like nothing you’ve ever had before. We can’t recommend this Baka gem enough!

3) The Juice Bar

For this next spot, you won’t find any information online, and those not local to the area have probably never heard of it. But if you’re a resident of either the Baka or German Colony neighborhood, we’d be shocked if you’ve told us you’ve never had a freshly squeezed juice from the Juice Bar. Located at the cross-section of Derech Beit Lehem and the rakevet (old train track), The Juice Bar offers a variety of freshly squeezed juices, including orange, grapefruit, lemonade, apple, pomegranate and many more. You can actually see all the fresh fruit they use stockpiled along the kiosk. High quality fresh fruit makes all the difference and you can taste it in your juice. The location on the rakevet is not only super convenient for local residents, but absolutely stunning. Surrounded by greenery at day and decorated string lights at night, there just isn’t a bad time to stop at The Juice Bar. 

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4) La Cherolais 

This French treasure is a more recent addition to the Baka neighborhood, but it’s one that has certainly made quite a splash since it’s arrival. ‘La Charolais’ is the top level of cows in France and represents what this butcher shop is all about. They’re not just another Israeli meat shop, but a luxurious speciality French Butchery where you can get the highest quality meats. When you walk into the shop, you’ll immediately see a giant open refrigerator behind the counter filled with hanging aged-meats. All the steaks are dry-aged, and you can order sirloin, entrecote, and filet mignon. They also serve rotisserie chicken, deli, pre-made take-out, specialty wines, and a number of French and American products to pair with your meats. More recently, they’ve actually become quite popular as a restaurant too. While dining isn’t their main goal, they have limited seating for those who wish to try their fine meats. You can order steaks, chicken, wings, and even charcuterie filled with roast beef, salami, crackers, pickled onions, and cornichon pickles. It is so impressive, that many are even calling them ‘the best non-restaurant in Jerusalem’. 

5) Bruno

 Over the last couple of years, Bruno has gotten a reputation for serving some of the best meat sandwiches in the city. It became so popular that this past year it moved from its original location on Derech Beit Lehem to a bigger and more popular venue on Emek Refaim street. What makes Bruno so popular? Well, the restaurant is probably most famous for their mouth-watering legendary asado sandwich topped with garlic confit, chimichurri, and their own homemade aioli. However, a close second is an equally monstrous, Friday-special schnitzel sandwich, served on challah bread with matbucha, pickled lemon, and roasted eggplant. But perhaps what sets them apart from the other great sandwich makers in the city is that they run their restaurant as if it was their home. When you walk into Bruno, you are welcomed and spoken-to like a friend. All the workers are outgoing and talkative and actually care about you. The whole atmosphere is warm, friendly, and you’ll find locals hanging out, laughing, and sometimes even bringing their dogs into the restaurant. The restaurant is a perfect reflection of the incredible community that surrounds it. 

6) Super Moshava 

It’s not too often that you see a supermarket make it to any ‘Top Local Food Gems’ listings, but Super Moshava is an exception. Naturally, many Olim have a longing for some of the American and Foreign food products they once had abroad. And while more and more foreign goods are becoming available throughout Israel, there are still some products that are tough to find. For the American products you crave, but can’t find anywhere in Israel, you go to Super Moshava. Somehow they seem to have it all. Shelves at this Jerusalem supermarket are often stocked with rare American products like Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Pumpkin Pie Filling, Imagine Chicken Broth, Reeses, Froot-By-The-Foot, Tropicana Orange Juice, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, Marshmallow Fluff, Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and Root Beer, Black & White Cookies, Tofutti Cream Cheese, and so much more. It’s a true treasure for Olim who land themselves in the Baka/German Colony area of Jerusalem and one they don’t take for granted!

7) Rendezvous

This French establishment is well known for making some of the best pizza in Jerusalem, but what makes Rendezvous a real gem though, is that it isn’t flashy or fancy like some of the other great restaurants in the city. Rendezvous is a small family owned establishment and is true to its French roots. In fact, they’ve only just recently started offering the menu in English in addition to the original French one. The restaurant opens to a small courtyard filled with greenery and European-styled seating, adding to it’s European ambiance. Locals often order their famous four-cheese pizza and French pastry desserts, among many of their other extraordinary dishes. Customer service is personal and sincere and you feel like you are part of their warm French family. With so many successful restaurants today set on expanding and their profit margin, finding a gem like Rendezvous, is something you want to hold onto!

8) Zmora

We’ve spoken a lot about the best meats and pizzas in the Baka/German Colony neighborhood, but this next gem will give you the chance to eat a little bit healthier. Zmora Organi is an organic health food store that simultaneously operates as a vegan cafe. They serve breakfast and lunch and offer a variety of fresh soups, salads, juices, and health-food bowls. They also add specials to their menu on almost a daily basis with new and different healthy creations. And even though their dishes are super healthy, they’re actually quite delicious too. Portions are really generous and their pricing is super affordable. The real treat of Zmora though, is their well-known all-you-can-eat-buffet on Friday mornings. If you’re vegan this place is a no-brainer, but we’d bet even the biggest carnivores will find this shop to be truly remarkable and a real neighborhood gem. 

9) The Coffee Mill

It’s fairly established and agreed upon that the best coffee in Jerusalem can be found at the Coffee Mill, located at the very beginning of Emek Refaim Street. The small and charming coffeehouse is stocked from floor to ceiling with coffee beans from all over the world. Customers can get a cup to order or buy beans by the kilo. Flavors range from the classics like Guatemalan, Sumatran, Ethiopian to creative and unusual coffee flavors like mint chocolate and butterscotch. Other customer favorites include the caramel latte, vanilla nut iced coffee, and Viennese coffee that comes with chocolate cubes. If you’re serious about your coffee, then this is definitely the spot to be. The shop’s atmosphere is quaint, warm, and filled with the scent of freshly roasted coffee beans. It’s a great place to meet up with friends, get work done, and get away from the busyness of life. And while the Coffee Mill is best known for their coffee, they’ve also got a pretty delicious selection of sandwiches and pastries too. 

10) Falafel Oved 

If not for the long line of customers waiting along the street, at almost all hours of the day by the way, you probably wouldn’t think twice about Falafel Oved. Located on Derech Beit Lechem, Falafel Oved is essentially a whole in the wall. However, this falafel stand has been a staple of the neighborhood for over 41 years. Parents who grew up eating this falafel are now bringing their children to experience the same joy and flavors. For Israeli sabras, olim, religious, traditional, Jewish, Arab, young and old, this is a spot that everyone in the community can enjoy. The falafels are fresh, hot, crispy and seasoned to perfection. Their homemade iconic garlic herb sauce is to-die-for and the fresh salads, roasted eggplant, chips, and pita all come together to make the perfect falafel pita. While it is without a doubt the best falafel you will get in the Baka/German Colony area, many claim Falafel Oved even takes the crown for the best Falafel in Jerusalem. Some will go as far to say it is the best falafel you will get in the Middle East! No need to take our word for it though, we recommend you try it and decide for yourself! 

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