City Bites: A meal fit for a queen

Heleni Bistro Bar is the only Mizrachi-style Italian restaurant in Jerusalem, serving up a variety of tasty dishes.

Heleni Bistro Bar 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Heleni Bistro Bar 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the Heleni Bistro Bar offers a rich, varied menu populated by delicious dishes that are the result of the unlikely fusion of the Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines. And when the sun goes down, the strictly kosher Heleni pulls out a special night menu featuring a variety of alcoholic beverages and light snacks.
In a recent interview with iTravelJerusalem, Yaakov Cohen, the owner of the Heleni, talked about his restaurant.
“Heleni was built with an unprecedented investment,” Cohen said. “We are an Italian meat restaurant with a very special menu. We have meat dishes, chicken, chef’s soups, a great variety of desserts, alcoholic beverages. At night we have a special deal -- NIS 49 for a bottomless beer.”
Asked whether there were any dishes on the menu that he personally recommended, Cohen cited the pasta bolognese with ground meat, tomato sauce and root vegetables (NIS 44); the vitalo, a pasta dish with veal, peppers, balsamic vinegar, chili sauce and olive oil (NIS 39); the kebab San Marino, which is served on a bed of green leaves, parsley, pine nuts and white rice; and the Heleni-style chicken wings, cooked in soy, teriyaki and chili sauces and served on a bed of sauteed veggies (NIS 44).
However, he added, what really sets Heleni apart from other Jerusalem restaurants is that it is a “Mizrachi-style Italian restaurant, the only one of its kind in the city. Everything is prepared to order, on the spot. The atmosphere is very pleasant and the cooking is done by induction, with a laser beam. We have control of the entire cooking process and the whole thing is done without odors, without smoke and without oil.”
When it comes to seating options, variety is also the key word. The restaurant offers outdoor and indoor tables, and a second floor that can host events with up to 35 guests, business lunches. is a new online international travel portal offering all the latest information on things to do and places to stay in Jerusalem.