There is a quote in Jordan which goes something like this:

‘Even when you are full, you can still eat 40 more bites of food’.’

Jordanian cuisine is a rich and enticing blend of Circassian, Palestinian, North African, Persian and Mediterranean with Turkish influences. Many dishes you will come across are those typical of Arabic cuisine and which you may have come across before: falafel, hummus, kebabs, stuffed grape leaves and a wide variety of salads. Jordan cuisine is very much farm to table and there is a rich history of vegetarian and vegan dishes. For those who are vegetarian or vegan, you will most certainly be able to find a good selection of food. If you have allergies, we recommend you stay away from street food.

Sahtein! Enjoy your food!


, Select.joBreakfast typically features hummus, falafel and fava bean dip called foul. 

Our recommendation: Hashem Restaurant, downtown Amman. This place is legendary; even the king visits! It’s very casual but you can’t find hummus, falafel and foul as good as this anywhere else. You can enjoy breakfast at any time of the day!

Kaak Sandwich: A favourite of many Ammanis is the kaak sandwich which, consists of a moreish sesame topped roll filled with roasted eggs, cheese, salad and the eponymous and phenomenal spice zata’ar (a mixture of thyme, roasted sesame and sumac).

Our recommendation: Salaheddine Bakery, King Hussein Street in Abdali. The rolls and eggs come piping hot out of the wood-fired oven. Careful not to burn yourself as you dive in! The toppings are provided on the side. Don’t miss this place!

ManakeeshThe Middle Eastern pizza. A huge variety of toppings from meat, to vegetarian and vegan are available although usually without tomato sauce. This is a popular breakfast food yet can be enjoyed any time of the day. We recommend waiting for the fresh ones rather than purchasing the premade ones.

Our recommendation: Try the za’atar or za’atar with labneh manakeesh. Labneh is similar to Greek yoghurt. You can find these small bakeries dotted all over.



Mansaf: Without question the number one dish of Jordan. It is a food, reserved for special occasions: weddings, promotions, a new baby and funerals, to name just a few. This traditionally consists of lamb (and sometimes chicken) slow cooked in a fermented yoghurt sauce made of jameed. Jameed comes from dried goat or sheep milk and the taste is phenomenal. It’s salty, rich and has that umami punch. The meat is served with plenty of rice on top of a bed of thin bread called shrak topped with pine nuts and almond slivers, and most importantly, a bowl of that divine yoghurt sauce.

Our recommendation: If you want the most unique experience of mansaf then try Al Quds or Jabri. They have several locations including downtown. For a more upmarket fare, go to Tawaheen Al Hawa located on Wasfi At-Tall Street or Sufra Restaurant, 26 Rainbow Street. While in Madaba, check out Haret Jdoudna, King Talal Street and very close to St. George’s Church.

Maqloubeh: This show-stopping Palestinian dish features roasted aubergine,, cauliflower, potato, carrot and either meat or chicken with the fluffy, fragrant rice forming part of this dish. The name ‘Maqloubeh’ roughly translates as upside down and this is the unique/fascinating part. The chef will dramatically invert the pot on a serving dish and then the dish is turned back over.

Our recommendation: Sufra Restaurant, 26 Rainbow Street.

Knafeh: An umami, cheesy and sweet dessert. Served piping hot, it consists of, shredded pastry named kataifi, gorgeously stringy cheese from Nablus in Palestine and sweet sugar syrup. This famous and unique dish dates back at least five centuries, with some reports dating it back much further. Don’t miss it!

Our recommendation: Habibah, the downtown branch: King Faysal Square (close to Duke’s Diwan) with other branches to be found around town

, Select.joBaklawa: Layers of filo dough are filled with chopped nuts, usually pistachio or walnut, and then sweetened with syrup. There is a huge variety of shapes and varieties to choose from. This dessert goes back centuries although its origin is contested. You can purchase it by piece or take a box (or three) home with you. They make great gifts!

Our recommendation: Habibah, various locations. Jabri and Zalatimo also make amazing baklawa.

Musakhan: Considered a Palestinian staple and the national dish. Created to, celebrate the olive harvest, Musakhan features chicken roasted to perfection on a bed of taboon flatbread that is baked in a clay oven and heavenly fragrant caramelised onions spiced with sumac, allspice and saffron. A modern version has been created where thin shrak bread (the one used in shawerma) is stuffed with chicken and caramelised onions. A must try!

Our recommendation: Musakhan Sultan, just off Al Bayader Street, 8th Circle Amman.

, Select.joShawermaChicken or lamb is spit-roasted and stuffed in pita or thick shrak bread, accompanied by either garlic aioli for chicken or a tahini lemon dressing for lamb.

Our recommendation: Shawerma Reem, just off 2nd Circle, Amman. This is without doubt the best place to savour shawerma. Shawerma Reem was even featured in the New York Times. It is also now available in Petra.

, Select.joMujadaraThis amazing vegan dish is simple yet delicious. Made of rice and brown lentils cooked together, it’s served with crispy fried onions and a salad.

Our recommendation: Try making your own at Beit Sitti.

Zarb: The Jordanian version of smoking and slow cooking. Lamb and chicken, are slathered in spices and then placed in a pit dug under the sand. The pit is then filled with wood and slow cooked. The end result is phenomenal.

Our recommendation: You can find zarb being served in the camps of Wadi Rum.

Booza ice cream: Although not Jordanian, this ice cream became famous, here after the influx of Syrian refugees fleeing the Civil War. What makes this ice cream unique is the mastic which lends it a chewy and stretchy texture. It is not made by churning but by being pounded in metal drums which makes a delightful tune!

Our recommendation: Bekdash can be found within the Gold Souk and behind Habibeh on King Ghazi Street. Luckily, Amman got its own Bekdash, the famed booza shop in Damascus which opened in 1886. Located conveniently close to Habibeh, many people get a scoop of ice cream on their knafeh.

HerbsJordan is famous for za’atar, a spice blend of roasted sumac, sesame, seeds and thyme. Za’atar is extremely versatile and we recommend taking some home with you. Other herbs popular in Jordan include sage, which is brewed with tea and which you will definitely get to try while here. We also love rosemary and lavender too, along with many others.

Our recommendation: Visit one of the ubiquitous spice shops and pick up some delightful blends to take home. The spice shops also sell Arabic coffee and different tea blends. Don’t forget to pick up some za’atar!

Olive oil: Jordan is one of the top ten largest producers of olive oil in the, world; averaging a yield of 23-24,000 tonnes of olive oil every year. This number is weather dependant though, as higher temperatures can lead to lower harvests. Jordan is home to around 10.5 million olive trees covering 56,000 hectares (138,400 acres) of olive groves that take up around three-quarters of the kingdom’s agricultural land. Most of Jordan’s olive groves are located in the north of the country and provide livelihoods to more than 80,000 Jordanian households. Jordan produces premium olive oil. It’s unique in regards to the fact it has some of the oldest olive trees in the world; the oldest being some 3,000 years old.  Every November and Olive Festival is held in Amman, a four-day event that showcases the over 20 varieties of olives grown in the kingdom.

Our recommendation: If you visit from mid-October to mid-November, check out the olive presses along the main roads.

BreadNamed khobz in Arabic. Bread is the main staple of Jordan, with rice, coming a close second. Bread is consumed with every meal and there are many different kinds. Some of the most popular include taboon bread which is baked in a clay oven and round pita-style bread. Bread is sold by the kilo here, and prices are fixed by the government.

Fruits and vegetables: Thanks to its different climes, Jordan has an, abundance of vegetables and fruits-including tropical ones such as dates bananas, passionfruit and guavas. Almost all of the produce is grown within the kingdom and people enjoy most of the produce seasonally. This means that everything is fresh and costs are competitive. Jordan has a large date industry, with its exports going all over the world. Jordan is famed for the Medjool date which is arguably one of the best in the world. Definitely don’t forget to take some of these home with you!