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Cafe Baginah Garden Cafe
74 Beit Lechem Road, Jerusalem
Tel: 02-6720825

Kashrut Rabbanut Jerusalem Dairy

Open Sunday - Thursday 10:00am till 12:00 midnight. Friday till 4:30pm. Saturday night till midnight. Closed Shabbat.

This write up was submitted by Deborah Meghnagi (deborah@vcimail.com).
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Cafe Baginah is located on Derech Beit Lechem in the Baka/Talpiot, neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Walking along the busy road of Derech Beit Lechem, one comes across a large garden gate surrounded by foliage. A discreet sign above the gate indicates that this is the entrance to a restaurant. Cafe Baginah, as the name proclaims, is a garden cafe, set in the grounds of an old colonial house. There is indoor seating available, but to use that would be missing the point. The garden is stunning; a lush, verdant space with trees arching over the tables, creating a restful, welcoming and shaded area to eat in. The tables are covered in cloths of deep cerulean blue with a bright floral pattern, and wicker chairs complete the ensemble.

Even if the food were inedible I expect this restaurant would attract customers, it's setting is so beautiful. Luckily, this is not the case! Cafe Baginah is a dairy cafe with the usual selection of salads and soups, pasta, potato and pastry dishes, attractively presented and tasty throughout, although portions are not particularly generous.

Special mention should be made of the bread, which comes in the form of white or brown rolls, which are freshly made, and delicious.

The menu includes dishes with interesting combinations of ingredients that raise the already good standard of cuisine to a higher level. Pumpkin soup with thyme, vegetable quiche with eggplant, tomatoes and olives, an interesting concoction of sliced potatoes and cream, and parmesan salad are some of the more unusual offerings.

This is the only restaurant in Israel in which I've seen coke floats on the menu - a concoction of Coca-Cola and vanilla ice cream that brings back memories of England.I haven't tried the desserts, but am confident they would be of a similarly high standard.

Prices are reasonable and what you would expect for a dairy restaurant - a main dish costs between 30 and 50 shekels, hors d'ouevres and desserts somewhat less. Service is friendly and prompt. All in all, this is a pleasant cafe that is lifted out of the ordinary by its stunning setting. In the relatively arid conditions of Jerusalem, it is a true pleasure to sit in such a garden for a few hours, sipping a coffee or having a light meal, surrounded by such lovely natural beauty.

Submitted by: Annice G., Date: October 6, 1999. Description: My husband and I lunched at this restaurant after reading about it on your web site. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal, except at the end when a pesky bee decided that she wanted the dregs of my salad. The review by Deborah Meghnagi states that "portions are not particularly generous." I have to disagree. My husband had the pumpkin soup and Parmesan salad, and I had the garden salad, and the servings were very ample. We were both too full for dessert. (Too bad, because the cakes looked yummy.) Glancing at the other tables, large portions seemed to be the rule, rather than the exception.

Submitted by: Charlie Kalech Date: July 2002. Description: Given the current "situation" in our country, I know that many of our friends hesitate to go out. Cafe B'Gina offers a setting which takes us away from the bustle and worries of the city and which also seems to us to provide a secure dining atmosphere. Cafe B'Gina, as the review on your site mentions, is set off of the street. To enter, you must pass by a security guard who also acts as a doorman, opening the gate for you. A fence surrounds the large premises and once you pass through the gate, you walk down a few steps before you are in the large garden. The building of the restaurant itself is set about 50 meters away from the street so that you can sit in the garden and still be quite a way away from the street with a gate and a guard between the passersby and your serene surroundings. Cafe B'Gina provides a much appreciated oasis from the city and from the "situation." It is a pleasure to spend a relaxed morning, afternoon or evening here and to take a break from it all.


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