When traveling, there are a few rules of thumb that usually are universally held.
1) Try to eat dinner in another location. Go back to your hotel to work and sleep.
2) Try not to frequent restaurants that cater only to tourists.
3) Does the staff speak English? Are there menus in English?
4) Ask if credit cards and/or dollars are accepted before sitting down.
5) Check out the restrooms before ordering. If filthy, imagine what the kitchen in like!
When traveling to Israel, odds are that some of your friends, relatives or business associates have been and have recommendations.
Then there’s always TripAdvisor.com
However, remember that TripAdvisor.com is made up of reviews of fellow travellers (not the red type), who have their own agenda.
For instance, the first restaurant recommended on TripAdvisor.com is more of a café, and the second one is usually booked for events only (when a property has no web site, caveat emptor!).
My “short list” of recommended eateries in Jerusalem are:
1) “Chakra” – centrally located on King George Street and sporting an “Israeli-fusion” menu, Chakra is always full so make sure you make your reservation well in advance – especially on Friday nights!
2) “Machneyuda,” located next to the Machneyude Market, hence its name, just may be the best restaurant in the city. Everything on this Middle-Eastern/Israeli fusion menu is the special for today. Enjoy.
3) “Sima’s” unjustly rated at #90 on TripAdvisor.com has a kosher/Iraqi style menu. Lot’s of fresh salads to begin with. I strongly advise ordering the Kubeh soup (Kubeh is a meat dumpling). Not expensive and on Agrippa Street right next to Machneyuda Market.
4) “1868” sits right across the David Citadel Hotel on King David Street. Vastly underrated on TripAdvisor.com, this place is a great place for carnivores.
5) “The Culinary Workshop” located on Hebron Road across from the Dan Boutique hotel is simple fantastic.
Well, so much for my Jerusalem recommendations.