Ramallah highlights

Stars-and-Bucks-Bethlehem

Ramallah restaurants, shopping, and nightlife

Ramallah has a growing reputation as a cosmopolitan city with a booming nightlife. The following locations are listed courtesy of a Ramallah expat’s blog, Business Ideas in Palestine, with slight modifications.

Restaurants (you can order food at Otlub.ps or ClickAndPick)

  • Darna Restaurant — Very good Palestinian cuisine. A bit pricey though.
  • Mövenpick Hotel — Mövenpick prices… Best Italian food in town. Try the exclusive wine collection!
  • Cafe De La Paix — The teryaki salad is my favourite
  • Ziryab — Cosy environment, especially for wintertime
  • Cafe La Vie — Our favorite restaurant, with a cozy atmosphere, cultural activities, good prices, and the best cakes in town
  • Chilis — Best burger in town
  • Zaman — A Ramallah institution, this coffee house now has 2 branches; try the tasty tuna sandwich
  • Jasmine, Azure — Nice chilling with waterpipe
  • Segafredo (Al Masyoun near Ankars Suites) — Franchise coffee bar with large terrace
  • Shwarma shops: Anywhere from Manara Circle down Rukab Street and towards Clock Square.
  • Flaming Saj on Irsal street has decent local style pizza at very affordable prices (12 shekel for a large pizza)

Groceries

  • Fruits and vegetables: Specialized shops tend to be better than supermarkets. There is a large fruit market between Manara Circle and the Jerusalem bus stop.
  • Supermarkets: Though most grocery stores name themselves “supermarkets”, Ramallah has few actual supermarkets. Bravo is a large chain with the closest outlet to downtown next to the Mövenpick Hotel; another is at the modern Plaza Mall in the northern Al-Baloo district. These contain many items that are not available in the smaller shops (e.g. Balsamic vinegar, imported cheeses, muesli, etc.).
  • Specialities: Max Supermarket, near HSBC bank (see openstreetmaps) has Hagen Dasz icecream, Illy Espresso, and several other nice gourmet imports.
  • Bread: Zaman Cafe has good dark bread, in case you miss it. Al Bayt Al Kadeem Baker makes good  fluffy Arabic bread. If you miss German style bread, you can get it at Yehuda market in Jerusalem. Can be cut and deepfrozen. Crumbs, a new bakery on Rukab Street, also has excellent bread (as well as delicious and cheap cheesecake).
  • Alcohol: The best collection available, and the cheapest prices you find at Jubran, on Al Khuleiah Al Ahlela street, shortly before Rukab street.
  • Pork: There is one butchery in Beit Jala (next to Bethlehem), and otherwise you will find a smaller selection of things in a small shop in Ramallah tahta, on the street of the mosque, 100m on the left side, almost in front of a bakery, with red painting. Also there is Yanni Grocery across from Stones, which sells bacon.
  • Meat: There is a good (halal) butchery on Rukab street opposite the gas station.
At Area D, we have plenty of dining room space for groups

Dinner with a view

Nightlife
  • La Grotta is a small bar in the old town with a great alternative ambiance, whose owner often plays live music for the regulars.
  • Andareen resembles something between a bar and a disco with occasional salsa classes. Entrance is somewhat hidden, via elevator, 4th floor, opposite Baladna ice cream and Ziryab Restaurant on Rukab Street.
  • Sparkles in Mövenpick has mostly house music and Arabic dance music; the clients are mostly upper-class Palestinians. Often it is the last resort after most other places close. Decent cocktails.
  • Basement is a proper club located in a basement  with DJs and a good sound and light system.
  • Beit Aneeseh is the most popular bar in town despite its high prices, overly-crowded Thursday nights, entrance fees and arbitrary couples-only policy.
  • Sangria’s is a restaurant/bar with a nice garden and cosy winter area.
  • Orjuwan is more of a restaurant with a cocktail bar, with sporadic dancing going on. Cocktails are nice though.
  • Barameal is a nicely-decorated pub, a few steps uphill from Sangria’s. They host occasional live music or DJ parties, sometimes private events.
  • Lawain is a pub with occasional DJ and dancing; its style looks somewhat bohemian. Located three doors down from al-Qasaba Theater.
  • Snowbar (aka Al-Snobar or Snobar) has the best landscaping in town, comfy seats under trees, and includes swimming pool. Nice to hang out in summer, and occasionaly they host events with DJ. It features heavily in the New York Times article linked above. Requires a short cab ride to reach.

 

Major activities

This Week in Palestine is a free monthly magazine with interesting articles and up-to-date event listings. For the Ramallah area, the RamallahRamallah Yahoo Group is the go-to English-language resource for events; it also serves as a useful message board for people looking to share rides, find housing, and sell second-hand items.

Little-known facts:

http://www.palestiniansurprises.com/surprises.php?surprise_id=86