Jerusalem has become famous around the world for its food traditions and lively dining scene. In addition to dozens of new restaurants, including many around the bustling Machane Yehuda central outdoor market area, the city is home to multiple food festivals each year. No matter when tourists visit the city, there is a good chance there is a Jerusalem food festival happening.
Don’t miss out on going to a fall Jerusalem food festival
Fall in Jerusalem brings shorter days and cooler pleasant weather. That makes it a perfect season for the annual JLM Dessert Fair at First Station, a century-old restored train station that provided the city’s first rail link, and is now home to a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. For a few days each year, bakers and chefs from around the city set up booths offering cakes, frozen treats and other interesting sweets.
Each November also brings the Open Restaurants event, another popular Jerusalem food festival. During this week-long event, many of the city’s most loved chefs hold workshops and other events in their kitchens. In addition, there are food tours of different neighborhoods and other cultural events focusing on the city’s unique culinary traditions.
Winter food experiences in Jerusalem
Just because it may be cold and rainy outside doesn’t mean that Jerusalem’s culinary activities stop. In addition to the Inbal’s popular and tasty winter soup festival, offering a large variety of homemade soups and bread, other great winter food experiences include culinary tours of the Machane Yehuda market and sampling the growing variety of creative and fancy sufganiyot, of Hanukkah doughnuts offered by many of the city’s bakeries.
Every Monday night in February features the Sha-on Horef festival features music and other cultural events, with many restaurants offering special menus and events. Plus, each year, near the end of winter, the Judean Hills Food Festival happens in the towns and villages just outside the city.
Celebrating food from around the world in the spring
Just before the spring Passover holiday, the grassy open area next to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate is filled with dozens of booths offering internationally-inspired cuisine from local restaurants. This Taste of the World event is organized geographically, with Asian, Middle East and North American sections. This Jerusalem food festival also has live music and features whimsical decorations of landmarks from around the world, including a giant Statue of Liberty.
A summer Jerusalem food festival to remember
One of the most exciting culinary events is the annual summer food truck festival next to the OId City walls. Each week for six weeks during July and August a different group of Jerusalem restaurants serves a special menu of items out of food trucks in the Gei Ben Hinom Valley Park. In addition to food, there are other events, including live music and craft workshops for children. This Jerusalem food festival is one of the many highlights of summer in the city.
The Jerusalem wine festival on the grounds of the Israel Museum is another local favorite. During this annual festival, dozens of the country’s wineries offer tastings, along with cheese platters and other food. There is also live music each night. Of course, visitors also won’t want to miss the Inbal Hotel’s Summer Focaccia Festival, which features focaccia made in a traditional tabun oven, as well as a fresh selection of salads and spreads.
Visitors looking for a Jerusalem food festival can find unique culinary events all year round in the city.