Jerusalem Market - Hopping Day & Night (JRS)
I am a complete fan of exploring local markets. I love the energy and towers of food - - and it's a great chance to mingle with locals. However, Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Shuk is extra special for two reasons: it's essentially an open air art gallery - and it transforms itself into a hipster flashpoint as soon as the sun sets!
Day Transforms Into...
Stellar Vegetable Displays
The sites and colors of this market are off the map. They have all the regular - AMAZING - displays of vegetables and fruits....but they also have an abundance of decadent desserts, pastries, and middle eastern treats! While I went expecting to be disciplined - I left with bags of pastries, tarts, and gourmet halva – which is really about as fattening as eating pure butter. At one point (I swear) I saw the witch from Hansel & Gretel picking up treats for her cottage!
Mountains of Pastries & Candies...
...and Gourmet Halva!
Spices for Rice
I saw something new here too: spices specifically for rice dishes. If rice wasn't banned from my house (I can't eat just one bowl) - I would have snapped up some of these concoctions!
You MUST visit the market during the day - and THEN return at night....the place is completely different! It turns from a spot frequented by grocery shoppers - - to one overflowing with uber hipsters and artists! The place has wall to wall seating - and the music is turned up loud. I have never seen a transformation quite like it!!
You can pick your poison at the night market. They have everything from craft brewed beers and organic wines - to local specialties like Arak - - which is Israel's contribution to the Mediterranean love of Anise flavored drinks. You didn't need to twist my arm to try that delicious treat!
To me, what was truly amazing was the street art on hand. Two local artists are pursuing their passion - and one-by-one painting all of the iron shutters that come down at night. There are local heroes, animals, fantasy characters, and biblical figures spread throughout the complex. The juxtaposition between vegetables-by-day and art-by-night is stunning - and thrilling!
There is a TONNE to see in Jerusalem. The religious and historic options are almost overwhelming – but don't miss out on making two visits to the market!