When I was in Jerusalem I had the opportunity to try out BiteMojo, an exciting new travel app. It’s a sort of cross between a walking tour, a food tour and a restaurant crawl. A unique and fun way to explore the culture and cuisine of a city.
What is BiteMojo?
BiteMojotis essentially a self-guided food tour, using a smartphone and GPS navigation. What makes it different from other walking tour apps is that the cost of the tour includes food, or “bites”, as you go around. All you have to do is show your phone at certain preselected locations and you will be given a delicious snack, plate of food, or a drink.
BiteMojo is still very new, and it currently operates in Berlin, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. There are plans to add London and Rome to the list later this year, and that’s just the beginning… Each city offers a choice of tours, with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. For instance, the choices for Jerusalem include the Machne Yehuda Market Veggie Food Tour and the Jerusalem Nightlife Food Tour. When you take a tour the app gives you detailed notes about the food, the café and the proprietor.
East and West Jerusalem Food Tour
I was on the East and West Jerusalem Tour, taking in parts of the old and the new city. Our first stop was at Hummus Ikermawi on Ha-Neviim Street, described in the BiteMojo notes as one of the most famous hummus cafés in town. It was certainly the best hummus I ate on this trip, served with falafels, bread and pickles. We had a long chat with Muhammad, the friendly owner, while we ate (an added benefit of BiteMojo is that, if you visit when they’re not too busy, the proprietors may take time to engage you in conversation).
Our next stop was for a pastry and a cup of refreshing mint tea at the nearby El’am’in Bakery. Then it was on to the rooftop restaurant of the Notre Dame guesthouse. We had an appetising plate of cheese and fruit, with a glass of wine, but the real attraction here was the building itself. Notre Dame is a grand old building, once a Crusader hospital, and now a Vatican-owned hotel for pilgrims. And there are fabulous views from the rooftop.
We’d had as much as we could eat by now, and decided to save the rest of the bites for another day. But we hadn’t finished with the exploring: each BiteMojo tour also features “Hidden Gems”, lesser known places to discover along the route. On this tour we passed artisan workshops and the quirkily named “They are Not Nice” Alley (the name refers to Golda Meir’s description of the Black Panther movement in the 1970s).
If this tour was anything to go by, you’d need a large appetite to eat all the bites in one session! But the unused bites don’t go to waste. You can use them on another day, or convert them to “Bite Credits” to use against another tour, or even to claim a single standalone bite. One of the great strengths of this app is that you can tour, and eat, at your own pace.
BiteMojo tours are not just designed for tourists. They are proving popular with locals too, as a way of discovering new places in familiar neighbourhoods. In the Notre Dame restaurant I chatted to a fellow blogger on the BiteMojo tour. “I live in Jerusalem, but I didn’t know about this place,” she said.
Many thanks to BiteMojo for letting me try the app out for free. I’m looking forward to it coming to Rome and London…
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