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Your Guide to Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem: In-Person and Online

Updated: May 22, 2023

Whether you're a local or a newcomer to Jerusalem, navigating the grocery shopping landscape can be a daunting task. From pricing and quality to the best places to shop, our ultimate guide covers everything you need to know about grocery shopping in Jerusalem, both in-person and online.


1. Understanding Grocery Pricing in Jerusalem


Grocery prices in Jerusalem can vary depending on the store, location, and product type. Some products may be more expensive than what you'd find in the United States, while others may be more affordable. To get the best value for your money, it's essential to compare prices and shop around.


2. Where to Shop for the Best Value


Jerusalem offers a wide range of shopping options, from open-air markets and small shops to large supermarkets and online retailers. Here are some popular shopping destinations for different goods:

  1. Shuk Mahane Yehuda: This bustling open-air market offers an authentic shopping experience, with fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies at reasonable prices (usually).

  2. Supermarkets: For a one-stop shopping experience, consider visiting large supermarkets like Rami Levy (also online), Shufersal, and Mega Ba'Ir. They often have competitive prices and offer a wide variety of products.

  3. Discount Stores: Osher Ad and Yochananof are two popular discount grocery stores in Jerusalem, offering lower prices on essential goods. Osher Ad carries many American brands, including Kirkland (Costco).

  4. Online Shopping: Online retailers like eSupermarket, yBitan, and Shufersal Yashir offer convenient delivery services and competitive prices, especially on non-perishable items.

3. Standards and Common Groceries


When shopping in Jerusalem, it's important to be aware of local standards and common groceries. Some differences you may encounter include:

  1. Kosher Products: Many groceries in Jerusalem adhere to kosher standards. Look for the appropriate certification on packaging to ensure a product is kosher.

  2. Fresh Produce: Jerusalem is known for its fresh, locally-grown produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are abundant and often more affordable than imported goods.

  3. Dairy Products: Israeli dairy products, like cottage cheese and yogurt, may taste different from their US counterparts due to differences in production methods and ingredients.

  4. Government Controlled Pricing: Some products like certain sizes and types of milk, eggs, bread, and cheese are fixed in pricing whether you buy them in a large grocery or a corner store.

4. Comparing Brick-and-Mortar and Online Grocery Shopping in Jerusalem vs. the United States


While there are similarities between grocery shopping in Jerusalem and the United States, there are also some key differences:

  1. Shopping Experience: In-person shopping in Jerusalem can be more vibrant and lively, especially in markets like Shuk Mahane Yehuda. In contrast, US grocery shopping tends to be more subdued and focused on large supermarkets.

  2. Online Shopping: Online grocery shopping is growing in popularity in Jerusalem, but it's still less common than in the United States. However, many local supermarkets offer online services, and delivery times are generally fast. Some websites like ybitan.co.il have an English option, though most websites are purely in Hebrew and even with Google Translate can be difficult to navigate.

  3. Payment Methods: While US, Israeli, and digital (Google or Apple Pay) credit cards are widely accepted in Jerusalem, it's also common for smaller stores and markets to prefer cash or debit card payments.

5. Comparing Common Products: US vs. Israel


While many products are available in both the United States and Israel, there may be differences in brands, quality, and taste. Here's a comparison of some common items – aluminum foil, tomato sauce, cheese, and yogurt – to help you find the closest Israeli alternatives to their US counterparts.

  1. Aluminum Foil: US brands like Reynolds Wrap are available in some stores in Jerusalem. Israeli brands such as are often more affordable, and comparable in quality when the thickness is 16 microns or above, as opposed to the common 14 micron thick sheets, which are often disappointing.

  2. Pasta / Marinara Sauce: Raw tomato paste is common, while sauces like Barilla can be harder to find and more expensive, but Israeli brands like Osem and Taaman offer a variety of tomato sauces and pasta products. While the taste might be slightly different, these Israeli alternatives are still suitable for most recipes requiring tomato sauce.

  3. Cheese: Israel has a wide range of local cheeses, such as Tnuva, Gad, and Strauss. While some varieties like feta and mozzarella are similar to their US equivalents, other Israeli cheeses, such as white or yellow Tzfatit, have a unique taste and texture. Ask for a 1/4 kg of yellow Emek cheese to try something common to US cheeses.

  4. Yogurt: Israeli yogurt options, like Yoplait and Danone, may taste different from their US counterparts due to variations in ingredients and production methods. Some Israeli yogurts are thicker and creamier, with a tangier taste, while some popular Israeli yogurt brands like Tnuva, Strauss, and Yoplait have flavored options that are runnier. High protein and high fat yogurts will be thicker, and provide a more familiar feel.

Conclusion


Grocery shopping in Jerusalem offers a unique and exciting experience, with diverse options for both in-person and online shopping. By understanding pricing, knowing where to shop for the best value, and being aware of local standards and common goods, you'll be well-prepared to conquer the Jerusalem grocery scene. Whether you prefer the bustling atmosphere of an open-air market or the convenience of online shopping, our ultimate guide has you covered. Happy shopping!

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