Just passed the entrance to Machane Yehuda sits the Trattoria Haba, where fresh bread and pastries are served every morning, either to takeaway or to have inside this clean and friendly café.
As you walk in, the smell of the freshly baked loaves entices you in, to look at the wonderful array of croissants and cakes on the counter, before you are welcomed to sit down and look at the breakfast menu. We were invited to sit down in their pretty garden, full of brightly coloured oil cans filled with cyclamen and geraniums and whilst choosing from the delightful menu, soaked up the sunshine and the atmosphere of the market.
The freshly squeezed orange and apple juices arrived in cute little bottles with straws, very refreshing in the morning sunshine, accompanied by large croissants filled with chocolate inside the delicate flaky pastry. The muesli was a stunning plate of labne, sheep's milk yoghurt with a fresh fruit salad of Sharon fruit, apples, oranges and grapes, and a crunchy homemade granola of oats, sesame seed, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds, topped with a swirl of date honey and beautifully decorated with chervil to give a slight taste of aniseed on some mouthfuls.
Croq Madame arrived, two pieces of toasted brioche filled with melted cheese and two perfectly formed fried eggs perched on the top, served with the traditional Israeli salad. As the fork poked the yolks, they oozed out onto the plate surrounding the sweet brioche.....delicious!
Then came the double handed old iron skillet with a piping hot Shakshuka in a perfectly spiced rich tomato sauce with just a kick of chilli, served with tahini and hunks of freshly baked wholemeal bread.
As we were leaving the lunch time menu was beginning to be served. Platters of roasted vegetables and delightful salads, fresh from the market early that morning sat majestically on the counter where the pastries had been throughout the morning rush. Plates of grilled aubergines with tahini and a tomato concasse, fish kebabs and other vegetarian delights were now being served to the lunchtime customers, no doubt continuing until tea time, where the delicious chocolate brownies and lemon tarts would be served. A great little place to recharge your energy levels before starting the journey into Machane Yehuda and beyond.