Jerusalem is known for its busy colorful markets, but no market is as famous as the Mahane Yehuda market.
By 8 am every morning all the stalls are already up and most days also very busy. The market spreads out on to two large avenues and countless alley ways and side streets. The abundance is overwhelming: Fruits and vegetable of the season are piling on top of each other, green leaves and spices of every kind add some great colors and the smell of the baked goods are intoxicating.
Some of the best restaurants of the city are hiding between the Bastot (stalls in Hebrew and Arabic) and every Friday morning lines form outside the most famous ones.
This paragraph is true and relevant today almost as it was during the British mandate. But, if years ago after. the last cucumber was sold and the last serving of soup was scraped from the bottom of the pot the stalls and restaurants would shut down and the market would fall asleep, not any more:
The Shuk (Market) has become one of the hottest hot spots for locals to hang out in after dark. It started with small alternative gathering of students from the neighboring hip neighborhood Nachlaot who would turn over milk crates and bring their own beer and it has turned in to an empire.
And there is something for everyone: Throw cushions and blankets are thrown on to the fish stand and high tables are pushed out to form open-air bars and pubs for more casual drinking and dancing nights. Whilst down one of vegetable peels covered streets you can sling on some stiletto heels and have a fancy cocktail for a chic experience. There is a Greek bar, an Irish pub, a local bruery and a Parisian style bistro all showcasing the Jerusalemites passion for partying. Soldiers on vacations, College students, young professionals and neighbors can always find something to do after dark in the sticky alleyways, If it’s sinking your teeth in some hot Belgium waffles or having a bowl of fresh pasta with your beer.
The market after hours has become the place to be while visiting towng.