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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem: A Place Where Cultures Unite Over Music in Israel

Kosher Meat Sports Bar and Restaurant with Live Music in Jerusalem, Israel ✈


Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel
Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel

When I’m in Jerusalem, Israel, I always try to find time to visit Mike’s Place, a live music sports bar and restaurant on Jaffa Street. Mike's Place is a convenient stop for both locals and tourists. The option to sit outside is a boon, especially during pleasant weather, offering a chance to people-watch and soak in the Jerusalem vibe. For a more intimate setting, heading downstairs presents a cozy alternative, ideal for enjoying a drink or a meal in a more secluded atmosphere.


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“To this day, Mike’s Place continues to be a melting pot of diversity, drawing an incredibly varied crowd. It's a place where globetrotters, local Israeli residents, international students, and Russian expats converge. It’s where Arab, Jewish, and Christian patrons share a space alongside journalists, diplomats, and military personnel.”

Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel
Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel

Mike's Place was founded with the intent to create a space that's both welcoming and entertaining. It has grown from its modest beginnings into a well-known establishment in Jerusalem. The blend of a sports bar with live music was a novel concept in the area, and over time, it has become a staple for both locals and visitors.

 

Mike's Place, established in 1992 by Michael Vigodda, a photojournalist, is more than just a bar; it's a cultural landmark with a rich history. Named after a bar at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, which in turn was named after former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. "Mike" Pearson, the Jerusalem establishment initially started as a cozy hub welcoming an eclectic mix of individuals.

 

In 1995, Haifa-born, Jerusalem-raised Assaf Ganzman inherited the bar. To this day, Mike’s Place continues to be a melting pot of diversity, drawing an incredibly varied crowd. It's a place where globetrotters, local Israeli residents, international students, and Russian expats converge. It’s where Arab, Jewish, and Christian patrons share a space alongside journalists, diplomats, and military personnel. This eclectic mix of individuals comes together under one roof, united by the shared enjoyment of exceptional music, a welcoming atmosphere, and quality beer.


Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel
Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel

The bar, known for its American-style ambiance, is adorned with sports memorabilia and classic rock posters, creating a distinct and lively environment. The comfortable seating, ranging from bar stools to booths, contributes to a cozy and intimate feel. The friendly and attentive staff adds to the welcoming atmosphere, making Mike's Place a perfect spot to unwind with friends.

 

The menu at Mike's Place offers a variety of choices. Being a kosher establishment, it provides a unique twist on bar food. From classic burgers and fries to more local flavors, the quality of food has been consistently good over my visits. The portions are generous, ensuring that no one leaves hungry.

 

Mike's Place offers a wide range of bar snacks, salads, Tex-Mex dishes, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and main courses. Highlights include various types of nachos, Mike’s Fried Munchies, BBQ and HOT wings, salads like Mike’s Special and Ranch Salad, and a selection of burritos. The burger section features choices like the BIG MIKE Burger and Vegan Beyond Burger. For main courses, they offer grilled bratwurst sausage, chicken fillet, and entrecote steak. Desserts include chocolate soufflé and hot apple pie, complemented by an extensive drinks menu featuring hot drinks, soft drinks, beers, wines, cocktails, and spirits.


Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel
Mike's Place Kosher Bar and Restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel

One of the main attractions of Mike's Place is undoubtedly the live music. The bar features a diverse range of music genres, showcasing both local and international talents. Whether it's a chilled acoustic evening or a more upbeat rock night, the energy is always infectious. The music adds a lively dimension to the atmosphere, making it more than just a place to eat and drink.

 

The popularity of Mike's Place in Jerusalem led to the opening of additional locations, including one in Tel Aviv and another in Eilat. Each venue carries the signature vibe of the original, yet they have their own unique flair. This expansion is a testament to the brand's success and the universal appeal of its concept.

 

Mike's Place, with its unpretentious charm, stands out as a must-visit in Jerusalem. Whether it's for a casual drink, a hearty meal, or to enjoy live music, it offers a well-rounded experience. Its growth to other cities speaks volumes about its popularity and the quality of experience it offers. As a regular, I've seen it evolve, yet it consistently retains its core appeal – an example of its enduring charm.


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