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Wander no more, frugalista

by josh November 28 2008


Just like momma used to make

Don't let the popular Jerusalem business lunch fool you. While some may cater to the suit and tie set (OK, no tie), most of the time, the budget meal option has nothing to with your profession and everything to do with bringing in the mamon (hence "business") to whatever establishment decides to implement the much beloved menu scheme. Nowhere is that more true than in Jerusalem's abundance of misadot poalim (laborers' restaurants), the Israeli equivalent of America's lunch diners.

This isn’t the kind of place you bring a date or a potential client. But when you need to get your snack on with no pretensions at all, these blue-collar hummusiot, falafel shops, sandwich bars and Mizrahi strange stew joints serve up the perfect Israeli lunch that won't break your piggy bank. Even if you do dress up like something other than a video game character to go to work, don't worry, you'll find plenty of your lantslaite also eating on the cheap, something of a Jerusalem (or, day we say, Jewish) tradition. An electrician and an accountant dining together? The end times truly are upon us.

Speaking of end times, just in time for the collapse of the economic system as we know it, Mapa has released a feature listing the restaurants that offer cheapo - as in, under 30 NIS - business lunches, 74 throughout the country with nine in our own Jerusalem:

(Not included in our guides but coming soon)

  • Haptiliya  - Beit Yisroel 1, 02-624-8801
  • Rochelle's sandwich - Derech Beit Lechem 17, 02-6713918
  • Tozeret Haaretz - Yaffo 212, 02-5022711
  • Morris - Machane Yehuda
  • Chen - Yaffo 30, 02-6257317

They haven't added a handy way to search for these establishments on their own website, so you either have to click here or type "misadot poalim," in Hebrew, into their search box to get the list.

Mapa, which started off as little more than map printing house, has made the leap to the internet age with surprising alacrity, developing a number of products designed to do more than just get pabulum into Jerusalem's hungry mouths. The site has developed into a kind of a Hebrew Jerusalemite on steroids, with maps, events, guides, reviews and more and more niche offerings across the land. But do they have a wifi hotspot map? We didn’t think so.

Photo of Azura by Asaf Kliger for Jerusalemite.

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