Mahane Yehuda-Jerusalem’s Biggest Open-Air Market

by Sarah on September 27, 2010

There is nothing stranger than a sleeping shuk, devoid of the bustling interactions of a typical market day.

Mahane yehuda- empty

But in the morning the cycle begins again; produce is delivered, carefully arranged and the first buyers start trickling in.

mahane yehuda , hummus vendor

mahane yehuda israel

Very quickly the narrow corridors are flooded, while the merchants haggle for their attention with increasing intensity before the day winds down.  Some have unusual tactics to keep their customers coming.

mahane yehuda azura

At lunch time, holding up a sign to Azura restaurant

Mahane Yehuda halva kingdom

Kingdon of Halva giving out free halva bites

The shuk changes with the season. Cherries, almonds, sour plums, pomegranates, fresh garlic, strawberries…. each have their own time to shine.

mahane yehuda strawberries jerusalem

fresh garlic mahane yehuda jerusalem

But some things stay the same:

mahane yehuda israel

the ubiquitous tomato, everyday, every season
mahane yehuda schoog vendor jerusalem

Schoog vendor a fixture at the shuk

A rapport is developed between the regular buyer and merchant. Pleasantries are exchanged and at times politics or sports are argued about before the transaction is complete.

mahane yehuda jerusalem fish monger

And nestled within between stalls of fruits and vegetables are spice stores, fish mongers, butchers, bakeries, shops selling ready-made food, and small home-style restaurants.

mahane yehuda, israel

Mahaneh Yehuda has taken a modern feel with more European style cafes, but the cozy Middle Eastern restaurants have remained popular as ever and are often packed during lunch hour.

While some people go the shuk to buy food, others go there to experience life.

mahane yehuda

mahane yehuda, jerusalem

Nobody goes home unaffected.

mahane yehuda, israel

Location: Between Jaffa Road and Agrippas Street

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