Machane Yehuda


The Mahane Yehuda Market is Jerusalem’s central food market and one of the main tourist attractions in Jerusalem. The market was established at the end of the 19th century, under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, when Arab farmers from the surrounding villages would bring their produce to sell in Jerusalem

The farmers would set up near the Mahane Yehuda neighborhood, between Jaffa street and Agripas street in an empty lot owned by the wealthy Chaim Valero family. The market was initially called the Valero Market, and only later became Mahane Yehuda, as it’s known today

The market, during the 1920’s and 1930’s, began spontaneously. Set up by hard-working farmers, it was far from glamorous and lacked proper infrastructure, despite several initiatives led by the British Mandate and the city’s elite

Over the years, the market expanded and evolved. The Arab farmers were replaced by Jewish vendors, and more products filled the market, from spices and meats to sweets and baked goods, houseware and kitchenware to small food businesses and falafel stands

The most notable change, though, was the building of a permanent market. It came about thanks to a combination of things; vendors wishing to move into permanent shops and make a stable living, and the pressures of the British Mandate to tend to better hygiene and sanitary standards. It began when a row of shops were built by the “Etz-Haim” Yeshiva and Jewish philanthropists. Later on, several other shops were built in new streets, named today the Agas (pear) street and the Tapuach (apple) street. And later still, during the 1980’s, Uri Amedi led the initiative to better the market’s infrastructure, aesthetics and image

Today it’s a bustling and lively place, full with vendors selling their produce by day, and busy with bars and restaurants by night