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Hut cuisine for Sukkot in Jerusalem

by michael October 13 2008
HolidaysFoodThings to do
This sukkah brought to you by a six-year-old girl

Multinational pizza chains and the third world aside, it's not often that you get to eat your dinner in a hut. But during Sukkot, religious Jews are required to take their meals inside a sukkah, the modest huts designed as reminders of the temporary dwellings of the Exodus-era Israelites, and dozens of the city's kosher restaurants provide their customers with the opportunity by erecting sukkot on their sidewalk space or in their courtyards. The profusion of sukkot may clog the walkways, but it adds a palpable holiday spirit to the city, the sense that a modern urban center has become one big communal campsite. Sure, many of the sukkot are the lame pre-fab ones (Cafe Rimon's glitzy super-sukkah, pictured above, notwithstanding), but no other city can claim so many.

So all you have to do to tap into that Sukkot spirit is visit a restaurant or a bar. And in Jerusalem, of course, there's a sukkah for every palate: Asian food lovers can go to Gong, Sheyan, Yoja, Kohinoor and Corusin; pescavores can cast their nets at Ahavat Hayam and Beni Dagim; Italian connoisseurs are extremely well taken care of with sukkot at Angelo, Little Italy, Luigi, Luciana, Macaroni, Pera e Mela, Primavera and Rosemary; South America get a sukkah shoutout at La Boca, Vaqueiro, El Gaucho and Papagaio; you can fine dine under the palm fronds at La Guta, 1868, Spoons, Eucalyptus, Canela, Gabriel, Eldad V'Zehoo, ZaZa and Darna or have a cup of coffee and a light lunch at Cafe Rimon, Cup o' Joe, Cafe B'Gina, Tmol Shilshom, the Ticho House, Masaryk, or Simone; and you can get a plate of honest Israeli workingman's food in a sukkah at Rachmo, any of the Marvad Haksamim locations, Hamishpacha and Hatagine. And that isn't all. Keep your eyes peeled - in a city where even Burger King has a sukkah, you're bound to be surprised (say, by Nachlaot bar Slow Moshe's Sukkot shanty).

And don't forget to keep checking Jerusalemite over the course of Chol HaMoed - we'll be bringing you full coverage of the holiday, its events and its cultural phenomena as well as an extra-special photo essay of the city's finest neighborhood sukkot (it's as close as Jews can come to driving around to check out Christmas lights).

Chag sameach!

Photo of Cafe Rimon's highly decorated 2007 sukkah by Ben Jacobson for Jerusalemite.

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