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Tito Bravo: Best Place To Grab A Slice In Jerusalem – CLOSED

Last week, I reviewed two of my favorite pizza places in Israel: The Pizza in Tel Aviv and Yeminite Food Bar in Safed. While The Pizza is an upscale artisinal pizza place that churns out pies similar to what you might find at Co and Motorino, Yeminite Food Bar was an old school hole-in-the-wall which looks like it could have dated back to the patriarchal days. But neither of these places are the norm in Israel when it comes to pizza. The most common type of pizza place is the slandered slice joint — not so different than what you might find in New York City. The problem is that most places serve up inferior slices than their New York brethren. Except for one. But first… here’s where not to go for a slice of pizza in Jerusalem!

The first pizza place I tried on my Israel pizza tour was a block from Ben Yehuda Street — a crowded pedestrian thoroughfare in Jerusalem. It was called Big Apple Pizza (so I already had my doubts before entering) and it did not live up to NYC standards. The slices were bland — particularly the cheese slice, and I was surprised to find people filling up the place around 7:30 on a Saturday evening. The nice thing is that you can eat your pizza at tables outside (inside it’s just a counter), but other than that, there’s nothing too special about this place. Overall, it was an unsatisfactory experience.

There’s another pizza place about a 10 minute walk from Big Apple Pizza down on Hillel Street named Chili Pizzeria. Although it was better than Big Apple Pizza, it still didn’t quite cut it. I tried three different slices there: (1) sun dried tomato, goat cheese, and pesto; (2) cheese; (3) onions and mushrooms. There were also slices of broccoli with almonds and feta on our pie. As noted in other reviews, it’s standard for pies in Israel to be made in quarters — with four different topping combinations each covering two slices on an eight slice pie.

One problem with this is that ingredients from different slices often get mixed together, so when the pie is cut you could be eating a slice that’s 3/4th mushrooms and onions but also contains some broccoli. Our particular pie happened to be cut quite accurately. Another problem is that often times different ingredients take slightly longer to cook than others. Despite all this — the slices here were solid, yet standard. Of note, it is one of the few non kosher pizza places in the area so if you’re looking to mix some meat and milk together on your pies, here’s your best bet at doing so.

Before I get to my favorite pizza place in Jerusalem, it’s worth mentioning one other pizza fail in the area. A few minute ride from Ben Yehuda Street is an area known as Emek Refaim — The German Colony. It’s a cute block lined with upscale restaurants and clothing stores, as well as more basic supermarkets, banks, and shwarma stands. But one thing you can’t get at Emek Refaim — good pizza! Pretty much your only option is a place called Pizza Sababa.

Translated literally, Pizza Sababa means Super Pizza. But the pizza was anything but super. Granted I stopped in around noon on a Sunday — just as they were opening. But the pizza tasted like it was frozen from the night before and had just been reheated. I had a mushroom slice and a plain slice. So unless you’re in desperate need for pizza while you’re at Emek Refaim, I suggest staying away. There are much better culinary options around.

This brings us to Tito Bravo — the best place I found to get a slice in Jerusalem. Tito Bravo is located back at Ben Yehuda, just across the way from Big Apple Pizza. I stopped by on a Saturday evening just as they were opening. I had what they called “a pesto” slice and it was delicious… easily the best slice I had in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, I was too full to try any other slices so my review is based on a limited selection, but I could tell Tito Bravo was something special. The quality of the cheese used on their pies was better than anywhere else around and the ingredients tasted fresh, unlike at other locations. The place was less dingy than it’s Jerusalem counterparts and I was surprised to find that it was empty when I was in there. The next time I’m in Israel I will without a doubt return to Tito Bravo to try some of their other offerings. And if you happen to be in Jerusalem and looking to grab a quick slice on the run — you’ve now found your new go-to place. Enjoy!


Big Apple Pizza
Dorot Rishonim St. 13
City Center/Mamilla
$ (under 40 NIS per person)
Deliveries available

Chili Pizzeria
Hillel St. 28
City Center/Mamilla
Not Kosher
under 40 NIS per person
Deliveries available

Pizza Sababa
Emek Rafaim St. 43
German Colony
under 40 NIS per person
Deliveries available

Tito Bravo
Shammai st. 12
City Center/Mamilla
40-60 NIS per person

About I Dream Of Pizza

Some guys dream about winning the Powerball jackpot, making love to Kate Upton, or scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. But personally, I spend most of my time dreaming about digging my face into a mouth watering slice of pizza. Fireworks are ignited. Music comes out of nowhere. And just like that, I’ve fallen in love once again. Since 2008, I've chronicled my pizza eating adventures in New York City and around the world on I Dream Of Pizza -- the web's most popular blog dedicated entirely to pizza.
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