On each journey down Jaffa Street in downtown Haifa, one can see a long, yet flowing queue winding around a corner. Despite what one may believe upon first impression, they are not handing out gold, but rather one of the best shawarmas in all of Haifa. Shawarma Chazan Ha'Ir has become legendary across Israel. Although many have tried to replicate their lamb and veal shawarma, Chazan Ha'Ir is irreplaceable when it comes to their recipes and atmosphere.
Falafel Orion was named ofter the Orion Cinemas, which was once the hottest hangout for teenagers from Haifa and the suburbs. The cinema may have shut down, but the falafel restaurant still stands today. There is a small selection of exceptional salads, each prepared at a high quality. The delicious falafel is always fresh, crispy, and made with care.
Chef Shamli received his culinary training in Sofia, Bulgaria, making it only suiting for him to open an authentic Bulgarian grill. His wonderful grill house is a community meeting spot for all Bulgarians in Haifa, situated amongst the small stalls and old shops of the neighbourhood. The smells of his famous meatballs and bean soup saturate the area. Shamli Grill Bulgari is considered the parliament of traditional cafeteria style restaurants, offering diners a taste of the past.
Bourekas Bachar Ha'Agala started its legacy as a small cart, which came to meet the seamen as they passed through the harbor. Today, the bakery has opened many branches, which continue to sell light and delicious bourekas and pastries. Fillings from potatoes, to spinach, to kashkaval are available to satisfy passerby. The bourekas are so tasty that they are generally devoured whilst standing, in good company, complimented with a side of hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and freshly grated tomato purée.
Near the Turkish market in Haifa lies one of the only original taverns in the country. Maayan Ha'Beera is a warm and inviting corner which always attracts a myriad of customers, welcoming them with a warm heart. Maayan Ha'Bira was founded by Nachum, and in later years, was taken over by his son. This go-to hangout is best known for its fantastic beers, and the variety of Eastern European food that is available at the bar, including chopped liver. One of the classic pieces featured at the bar is an ancient beer tap, still serving customers even after 64 years. Maayan Ha'Beera is the place to be on a Tuesday night, with live jazz bands, and a lively, cheerful atmosphere.
Cafe Glida Yonek is a Romanian restaurant that has been around since 1948, and was founded by Yehuda Millstein. The sounds of knives clanking on dishes, and satisfied diners ready to lick their plates clean only adds to the exciting atmosphere. Three generations later, what once was an ice-cream parlour, now leaves customers raving about their kebabs, which have been prepared for years from a secret recipe!