Recent years have seen increased tourism in markets throughout the world. The local market, Mahane Yehuda, is no exception. We examined the mix of businesses in the market, so as to see how this trend has manifested here.
The boundaries of the market are not clearly delineated, but we defined them for the sake of this assessment as covering the streets between Jaffa Road to the north and Agripas to the south, Ets-Haim (the roofed part of the market) to the east, and the Iraqi market and Mahane Yehuda Street to the west. In all we examined a total of 370 businesses situated within an area of 19 dunams (1 dunam is approximately ¼ acre). By way of comparison, the Malha Mall has nearly 230 stores spread out over some 20 dunams in a building with two and a half floors of commercial space.
Most of the market’s businesses still focus on selling food. Fruit and vegetable stands are the most prevalent type of stall (82 businesses), constituting 22% of all market businesses. There are 25 kiosks for nuts, seeds, and snacks (7% of businesses), 22 butchers (6%), 18 bakeries and 18 spice shops (5% each), 12 fish shops (3%), 9 pastry shops, and 7 pickled goods stalls. In all, these comprise over half the businesses in the market (52%).
The market has a wide variety of businesses, including 24 clothing and accessories stores, 15 housewares stores, 3 stores for cellular telephone accessories, 3 jewelry stores, 2 lottery stands, and one synagogue (on Ha-Egoz Street).
Specific types of stores are concentrated in certain areas. Thus, for example, if you have a craving for fish, chances are good you would buy it on Ha-Tapu’ach Street, which has four fish shops (and until recently a fifth), a third of the fish shops in the market. If you want to buy meat, you likely looked for it on Ha-Harov Street, which has five butchers, a quarter of the market’s total. The Iraqi Market and Georgian Market have large concentrations of fruit and vegetable shops.
If you want to take a break and eat something, you’ll find the widest variety of restaurants and pubs near the intersection of Ha-Tut and Ha-Egoz Streets, where your options range from falafel to kubbeh, fish and chips, or jahnun. A total of four food service chains operate in the market, three falafel stands, and one ice cream stand. Some of the restaurants and pubs stay open after the market stalls have closed, thus extending the hours of market activity.
If you make plans to meet someone near the Ethiopian spice shop, you’d better be specific: each of the parallel streets Ha-Shazif, Ha-Afarsek, and Eliyahu Banai has a shop of Ethiopian spices, legumes, and dried foods. All findings are current as of our tour and examination of the market, after we used the services of Google’s street view as a basis.
Translated by Merav Datan