Tis’ the season! Our favourite one for sure- to spend extra time with family, give and get gifts, and have a solid reason to eat a lot of carbs. Especially in Israel, where Sufganiyot (the Israeli jelly or custard filled donut) takes the stage and truly shines.
It’s the last month of 2019- The streets of Jerusalem ring with Channukah cheer, menorahs are dusted and polished, and candles ready to be lit. Holiday parties are arranged and tasks assigned.
Are you in charge of the sufganiyot? A daunting task indeed, with tens of bakeries dotting the city, and each donut with a topping more extravagant than the next, how are you to choose….
We’ve compiled a list of 5 bakeries with our favorite sufganiyot in Central Jerusalem- so get out a map, grab a box, and enjoy the first donut of the season! (I won’t tell if you try them all!)
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO and guess how many donuts we ATE IN A DAY?!……
1. Kadosh Cafe
This quaint European-style Cafe is one of Jerusalems most popular- for a brunch with friends or just a quick coffee stop. Always bustling and busy, the food at Kadosh is delicious, but it’s the pastries that really take the cake. Made fresh in a bakery located directly above the restaurant, you can expect fine flavours no matter what you choose. Our favorites? The perfectly balanced Pineapple cream(voted the customer favorite of 2018- for good reason), and the slightly tangy and bright purple Forest Berry Cream, perfect for a shot on your Insta!
Location: Queen Shlomziyon St 6, Jerusalem
Meet Raquella Raiz, professional videographer and hip-hopper, and also my donut tasing bud.
I have a lot of friends who left Israel and said- “I would come back to Jerusalem if only to eat at Chabas!”. This beautiful and tastefully decorated bakery sits right along the edge of the train tracks at Machane Yehuda Market. Entering the bakery, you are greeted with the aroma of fresh bread and an open taboon. Head upstairs to see the sufganiyot being filled live-in-action through a glass window in the in house bakery, or sit at the bar and people watch. Expect great service and great desserts. Our favourites? The white chocolate mascarpone donut topped with glazed strawberries and the cheesecake donut with a shot of strawberry jam! I didn’t get to try the Halva and white chocolate sufganiya, but that’s what tomorrows are for, right?!
Location: Jaffa St 119, Mahana Yehuda Market, Jerusalem
This lovely bakery sits in a quiet corner of Kikar Hamusica, right off the bustling Main Street of Ben Yehuda. Run by a husband and wife team, Gourmandise really surprised us with a wonderful array of Sufganiya flavors. The owners were so sweet and there was a lovely family feel- and lots of comfortable and tasteful chairs to lounge in while we tried donuts! Our favorites? The one of a kind Candy Apple Donut with a crunchy red candy shell(we loved this!)- filled with sweet apple and cinnamon. I also loved the caramel cream, which was topped with sesame crunch candy that surprisingly paired perfectly!
Location: Yo’el Moshe Salomon St 10, Jerusalem
Walking into this sidewalk-centre bakery, you are greeted by an array of pastries stuffed with custard cream and towering with strawberries. Croissant sandwiches with smoked salmon and fresh dill line the countertops, and traditional French Baguettes reach halfway to the ceiling. We were really tempted to try everything! Gouge de Paris was highly recommended by passerby as having some of the best sufganiyot in Jerusalem, and they didn’t disappoint. Fancy flavors set aside, the emphasis here is really on the donut itself. Delicious and fluffy, not too sweet, and filled with simple traditional flavors. Our favorites? The house-made strawberry jam filled donuts and the caramel. Grab a coffee and a pastry, and sit at a table to enjoy the hustle and bustle in the center of town.
Location: King George St 14, Jerusalem
Very possibly the most famous bakery in the Jerusalem shuk, Marzipan was first known for its chocolate rugelach. Channukah time they offer up an eye-boggling display of donuts, from the traditional jam and powdered sugar, to Lotus, hazelnut, and candy topped confections. Something to note- Marzipan carries many dairy free options(parve), and the price, at only 5 shekel a donut, is on point. Great for picking up a platter for a party, or getting your sweet fix while shopping. Our favorites? The Ferrero Roche cream filled Sufganiya with hazelnuts, and the lotus filled donut!
Location: Agripas St 44, Jerusalem
What are your top choices for donuts in Jerusalem? We would love to hear in the comments below!
Of course we had to stop for lunch on our sufganiya-finding journey. Our Top Pick?
Lunch Stop: Piccolino
– a delicious Italian cafe set in Kikar Hamusica.
Location: Yo’el Moshe Salomon St 12, Jerusalem, 9463312
We walked in from the cold and were greeted by warm staff, live music, and a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. We sat down, ordered some drinks(hot cider for Raquella and cold coffee for me, and went on the recommendations of the waitstaff. Take a look at all the beautiful food…
Thanks for reading our Top Picks! Hope you all have a lovely Channukah!!