Derech Beit Lehem
Derech Beit Lehem is the main commercial street in the neighbourhood of Baka. The street itself is well known for its great cafes and restaurants with perhaps some of the best (and most expensive) fruit available in Jerusalem. Although it is probably the busiest street in Baka, it doesn’t feel like that and the place has a relaxed vibe to it, aided by the large amount of people sitting outside enjoying their food and each others company.
The street itself is a reflection of Baka, which is to say it is much greener than other areas of Jerusalem with many trees lining the area and it is somewhat more expensive and higher end than other parts of the city. Follow the road north and you’ll arrive at the Tachana Rishona complex, crossing the Park HaMesila on the way there.
In addition to the Tachana Rishona, The ‘top’ end of Derech Beit Lehem also opens on to the Gan HaPaamon Park which contains among other things Jerusalem’s only dedicated skate park.
Follow Derech Beit Lehem south and you’ll eventually end up in Talpiot where there’s great supermarkets, hardware and home furnishing stores and tons of niche shops and services for every household need. Beyond that it merges with Derech Hebron and connects down to Bethlehem (which is the literal translation of the name “Road to Bethlehem”).
Restaurants & Cafes
There’s a great selection of restaurants on Derech Beit Lehem, though these tend to be mostly dairy based cafe establishments. These include Grand Cafe which is a high end, French style cafe, Kalo which is a great brunch spot and many more. The weather in Israel suits sidewalk dining and the width of Derech Beit Lechem lends itself nicely to plenty of outdoor seating without blocking the way for other street users which gives the entire street a great relaxed, European vibe, making it a favourite spot amongst locals to grab a bite to eat.
Annual Derech Beit Lehem Street Festival
Derech Beit Lehem is host to a free annual street festival which sees the road being entirely closed to vehicular traffic with food stands, market stalls and live entertainment being brought in to take their place. The festival is family friendly and you’ll find many young families taking the opportunity to bring their kids out for the evening’s entertainment.
The street festival is usually held around Sukkot (autumn) time which if you’re visiting town for the high holidays, it’s a great opportunity to get a taste of the local life here.