On the walls of this long-standing establishment in the Machane Yehuda Market hangs a letter of appreciation from the founder of the “Slow Food” movement. That is pretty much all you need to know about “Azura”. Few would dare challenge the fact that Azura is the best place in Jerusalem for sampling true local soul food at its best. For more than 50 years the Shrepler family (Azura is the nickname of Ezra, the father of the family) is cooking here, over kerosene burners, some of the dishes that have become Synonymous with the Jerusalem: Sofrito – fried potatoes and meat cooked together, Kubbeh Hemo – a huge kubbeh doused in a spicy chickpea soup, Kima – lamb kebabs slowly cooked with spinach and eggplants, Hamusta – the tangy, sour Kubbeh and much more. Even the more mundane dishes, like hummus or rice with beans have a distinct flavor that is nearly impossible to reproduce. The place, which started out as a tiny restaurant in the Iraqi market now spans over 2 spacious locations in one of the Market’s main squares. Some argue that a part of the authenticity had been lost in the process. And indeed the place tends to be very very busy, especially on Fridays, leading to sometimes sketchy service. The prices have also gone up the past few years – it’s by no means an expensive fancy place now, but some Jerusalemites frown upon the change. And the food? The food remains extraordinary and is still cooked fresh everyday by the same people who have been making it for the past five decades. In brief? It’s more than worth the wait.