The Wonderful Emek Refaim Street
You may have heard of Emek Refaim, one of the most well-known streets in Jerusalem. Emek Refaim is the main street that runs through the heart of the German Colony, which is bordered by the Greek Colony, Katamon, Talbiya, and Baka. Many Olim Chadashim choose to buy their homes in these areas specifically to be near the hustle and bustle of Emek Refaim.
Emek is particularly popular because of how walk-able and accessible it is. You can park your car in one of the First Station parking lots, or take one of the many bus routes that line the street, and walk all the way up and down Emek Refaim.
In addition to the wide variety of stores, shops, cafes, restaurants, and even salons that Emek offers, The Orient Hotel is a new luxury hotel situated at the top of Emek, famously known for its rooftop infinity pool!
Emek is also home to a large community centre (12 Emek Refaim) which hosts a multitude of classes and events as well as a weekly organic food market on Fridays. The centre also holds communal gatherings for annual events such as Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut.
The community centre is also home to the famous “Shira Chadasha”, a minyan set up specifically to enable women to lead and be involved in the services. Further down Emek, just inside the adjacent Greek Colony, you’ll be able to find “Ramban” one of the more popular synagogues in the area, with a large crowd of Olim attending, particularly at the Friday night services. There are several Sephardi shuls in the area as well. At the bottom of Emek you can find the Nitzanim Synagogue.
As such a beautiful street with so much to offer, it's no wonder why so many families choose to settle in the German Colony or surrounding neighborhoods. Be sure to check out Emek Refaim and the German Colony the next time you’re in Jerusalem on holiday or looking for a family home!
Check out the following list we’ve put together of some of our favorite restaurants on Emek Refaim:
This popular sushi restaurant has a branch situated in a beautiful arab style villa on Emek Refaim street. The restaurant offers a sit-down service, as well as a take out menu & deliveries. There’s a wide range of options to choose from, including non-sushi items on the menu. Sushi Rehavia also operates a membership program that lets you collect points from each purchase that can be put towards future meals at any of the chain’s branches.
With a second branch located in the city centre of Jerusalem, Roza sells hearty meat dishes and earned a reputation for their steak sandwich.
Pompidou is a dairy, Italian restaurant on Emek Refaim with a large outdoor seating area. There’s a range of food available, including the classic large Israeli breakfasts that require an extra table or two for all the things, pastas, pizzas and more.
Aldo isn’t quite a restaurant, given that it only sells ice-cream, but you can sit there and the ice cream is delicious, so we’ve included them in this list. Aldo sells both dairy based ice cream and non-dairy based alternatives like sorbet, so if you’re keeping 6 hours between meat and milk, you can still drop in for a scoop or two.
Bagel Cafe is a dairy restaurant, which surprisingly has a clear focus on selling bagels. The restaurant has a large bar of spreads, cheeses and other fillings for your bagels though other food (for example, salad) is available, as is take out.
Burgers Bar has branches all over the country, but this chain of restaurants got their start on Emek Refaim. While they have moved from their original location, Burgers Bar still maintains a presence on the street.
Caffit is a chain of dairy restaurants that like Burgers Bar got their start on Emek Refaim when they opened their first cafe on the street back in 1987. The menu is an Israeli one, with several great salad options.
Focaccia Bar’s main draw is their large focaccias that you can order there. Most of the dishes at the restaurant are meat based, but there are some vegetarian/vegan options available on the menu.