Announcing My Latest Endeavor: Rama Food Tour App

It feels like just yesterday that I was announcing my e-cookbook! Well, I’ve had a good few months. I am now excited to announce that the app I wrote for Rama Food Tours has finally been released! Tasting Mahane Yehuda is a self-guided food tour of one of my favorite places in Israel: Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market. It includes stops at five of my all-time favorite places to eat and graze in the shuk, from the best halva you’ll ever eat (seriously, even halva haters can’t resist), to a hidden gem of a restaurant with Israeli comfort food. For only $0.99 it’s worth buying even if you’re not planning on visiting Jerusalem. You know, because you like me :-) (download it here)

Rama Food Tour Jerusalem Mahane Yehuda

One of my good friends very sweetly wrote that the app is “pretty much what I’ve always wished I had when wandering the alleys of J’lem’s Yehuda market; a mini Katherine Martinelli in my pocket to point out all the good eats and secret treats!” Aw, shucks.

I love the way Rama apps are set up. For one, once the tours are purchased they can be viewed offline so that visitors from overseas and users without a 3G connection can continue to explore with the map after the tour is over, without being connected to the Internet. Each tour includes helpful maps so you can find your way to each location. In the case of my tour I give detailed directions to some of the more confusing locations in the labyrinthine shuk. The tours also feature language tips (complete with a pronunciation guide) so you can order in the local lingo. Or, you can just show waiters your iPhone screen, where it is written out.

Rama Food Tour App - Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda

It was difficult to select just five places to include in this tour, and I definitely left out some amazing spots. So how did I choose? Even though it is $0.99, I wanted users to get their money’s worth, so as much as I love places like Marzipan bakery, chances are you’ll read about it in your tour book so I didn’t include it. Also, as much as I adore Basher Fromagerie or various spice stores, this app is geared towards tourists to Israel who probably don’t have access to a kitchen. It’s an eating, not a shopping app, so that made it easy to cut a few. I also wanted the places to all be approachable enough for even the shy tourist, so I omitted a few of my favorite hole in the wall places where they have no menus and no one speaks English. That’s for the advanced tour.

Instead, the five places I have selected should give the visitor exactly what the title promises: A Taste of Mahane Yehuda. You can probably find most of these places on your own, but a first time visit to the shuk can be a little overwhelming so it might be nice to have a digital Katherine Martinelli offering advice on where to stop. I tried to include a range of experiences and meal types that really make up the fabric of Israeli cuisine. The truth is I had a ton of fun putting this together. Huge thanks to my dear friend Beth Michelle for accompanying me on the various tasting trips!

Rama Food Tour App Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Market

The app is currently only available for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad download (note that it is optimized for the iPhone). Android users will have to wait (should be ready for you soon as well). To get it, download the Rama app for free here, then select my app to download for $0.99. You can search by author or location. While you’re at it, check out the awesome Nazareth food tour by Abbie Rosner! I’m excited to say that Rama Food Tours have gotten some great press already – check out these write-ups in Serious Eats and Gadling for examples.

If you happen to be in Jerusalem and want a more in-depth food experience, here are a few tours that I HIGHLY recommend:

HaAtelie Talie Friedman – Take a tour of the market followed by a cooking class in Tali’s gorgeous studio (read my blog post about it here and my profile on Tali here).

Israel Food Tours – Walk around the market on an in-depth, insider tour with local experts like Ariella (read my blog post here about my tour of the Negev with them).

Shuk Bites – For those looking for a more laid-back experience at your own pace then check out this self-guided option (check out my article about it here)


36 Comments

  1. Amazing!!! Congratulations!

  2. I love it how you’re taking food & publishing into the 21st century w/ all of this. While I’m not necessarily going for an app at this point, I find you really really inspiring. This is great, it makes me want to go to this market RIGHT NOW. :)

  3. You’re on a roll! Congrats! :)

  4. I agree with leaf – you’re on a roll! Great idea. Maybe you can make a career of this – visit all the major countries & cities in the world, develop an eating app? Someone is going to do it, might as well be you! Congrats – this is really nice.

  5. Wow, look at you. That app looks phenomenal. You make me miss the summer I spent in Israel, with long wonderful trips through the market. Fantastic work!

  6. How much fun is this!?!?! Can’t wait to check it out! Congratulations!

  7. Congrats Katherine! I love this idea – I WISH I was coming to Jerusalem so I could use it :)

  8. what a clever idea, congratulations on the launch!

  9. Andy Friedman

    Just bought it, excited to visit MY next week. May be a silly question but do you know whether the phone has to be connected via wireless or phone service for the app to operate? Thanks.

    • Wonderful! I am so happy to hear you bought it and I hope you enjoy! It’s not a silly question at all – once you download the app it works without wireless so you can use it when you travel. Let me know how you like it!

  10. Oh, wow, congratulations on the publication of your app! I have to get to Isreael in the next few years and would love something like this.

  11. Congrats girl..looks great!!

  12. First was the book, next is the app. I think whats next is a TV show!

  13. Congrats to the App! I am very excited for u, now if I ever get to go to Israel or if any of our goan folks are going I ll recommend your app. (lots of people go for their pilgrimage)

    Unfortunately I dont use Smart phones yet, but who knows whats in the future right? ;)

    By the way I am so thankful and thrilled for winning your puff pastry ebook over at Lizzies blog! You guys made my day!

    • Thanks Helene!!! I really appreciate that :-) Actually, the funny thing is I don’t have a smart phone either! Ha. I do have an iPad though, and can view it on that ;-) And I’m so happy that you won my cookbook as well! So perfect!

  14. Great app! CONGRATS!

  15. I have to bookmark this for when I’ll get around to come to Israel!

  16. Congrats Katherine! Ohhh you are so busy with all these huge projects with your hands! I’m really happy for you my friend!!

  17. I love it, Katherine! I can’t wait til my next visit to Israel with your app. Congratulations! You are busy with so many exciting opportunities – I’m delighted for you. :)

  18. This is SUCH a good idea. I think this will be HUGE.

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