kubbehBedouin tradition values home cooking over eating out.
As a consequence, most of Jordan’s restaurants are simple places serving straightforward fare. Excellent restaurants do exist, but must be sought out. Unadventurous travellers can easily find themselves stuck in a rut of low-quality falafel and kebabs, departing the country never having tasted the best of what’s on offer.Food and Drink In Jordan

How to eat
Unless you stick to a diet of familiar “international” cuisine and take every meal in upmarket hotels or restaurants, you’re likely to be eating with your fingers at least some of the time – especially if you sample local styles of cooking, whether at low-budget hummus parlours or gourmet Lebanese restaurants.
In budget diners, the only cutlery on the table will be a spoon, used to eat rice and soupy stews.
More upmarket restaurants will provide cutlery, but even here, flaps or pockets of flat bread (similar to the pitta bread seen in the West) count as knife, fork and spoon – torn into pieces for scooping up dips, mopping up sauces, tearing meat off the bone and constructing personal one-bite sandwiches.
Food and Drink In Jordan
Since the left hand is traditionally used for toilet purposes, Jordanians instinctively always eat only with the right hand. In restaurant situations no one will be mortally offended if you use your left hand for a tricky shovelling or tearing manoeuvre, but using your left hand while eating from a communal platter in someone’s house would be considered unhygienic.
When to eat
Most people have breakfast relatively early, before 8:00am.
Lunch is eaten between 1:00pm and 3:00pm, and many people take a break around 6:00pm for coffee and sweet pastries.
The main meal of the day is eaten late, rarely before 8:00pm; in Amman and Aqaba, restaurants may not start to fill up until 9.30pm or 10:00pm.
Food and Drink In Jordan
However, in keeping with the bedouin tradition of relying on home cooking, you’ll find that even quite large towns in the bedouin heartland of southern Jordan, such as Madaba or Karak, have a bare handful of small, plain restaurants that do a roaring trade in early-evening takeaways and close up by 9:00pm.

Food and Drink In Jordan.  Food and Drink In Jordan.  Food and Drink In Jordan


Jordanian cuisine

The traditional Jordanian breakfast is a bowl of hot Foul (boiled broad/fava beans mashed with lemon juice, olive oil and chopped chillis), served with a long-handled ladle from a distinctive bulbous cooking jar and mopped up with fresh-baked khubez (flat bread) – guaranteed to keep you going for hours. Hummus, a cold dip of boiled chickpeas blended with lemon juice, garlic, sesame and olive oil, is lighter. Bothfuul and hummus can be ordered to takeaway (barra) in plastic pots. Bakeries that have an open oven (firin) offer a selection of savoury pastries, including khubez bayd (a kind of small egg pizza) and bite-sized pastry triangles (ftayer) filled with cheese (jibneh), spinach (sabanekh), potato (batata) or meat (lahmeh). Larger bakeries also have chunky breadsticks, sesame-seed bread rings (kaak), thick slabs of crunchy toast (garshella) and rough brown bread (khubez baladi). Along with some olives (zaytoon) and runny yoghurt (laban) or creamy yoghurt (labneh), it’s easy to put together a picnic breakfast. Read More in Jordanian cuisine.  Food and Drink In Jordan

Prices are nominal. A bowl of foul or hummus costs around JD0.75; small baked nibbles half that. Bread is sold by weight, with a kilo of large khubez (about five pieces) or small khubez (about eleven pieces) roughly JD0.50. Food and Drink In Jordan

Hotel breakfasts vary wildly. At budget establishments, expect pretty poor fare (thin bread, margarine, processed cheese, marmalade, and so on). Larger hotels, though, pride themselves on offering absurdly lavish breakfast buffets, encompassing hummus and other dips, dozens of choices of fresh fruit, fresh-baked bread of all kinds, pancakes with syrup, an omelette chef on hand and a variety of cooked options from hash browns, baked beans and fried mushrooms to “beef bacon” (a substitute for real bacon, which is forbidden under Islam & Traditions). Some offer Japanese specialities such as miso soup and sushi. Food and Drink In Jordan
Food and Drink In Jordan

Street snacks

FaliafelThe staple street snack in the Middle East is falafel, small balls of a spiced chickpea paste deep-fried and served stuffed into khubez along with some salad, a blob of tahini (sesame-seed paste) and optional hot sauce (harr). Up and down the country you’ll also find shawarma stands, with a huge vertical spit outside to tempt in customers. Shawarma meat is almost always lamb (only occasionally chicken), slabs of it compressed into a distinctive inverted cone shape and topped with chunks of fat and tomatoes to percolate juices down through the meat as it cooks – similar to a Turkish-style doner kebab. When you order a shawarma, the cook will dip a khubez into the fat underneath the spit and hold it against the flame until it crackles, then fill it with thin shavings of the meat and a little salad and hot sauce. Read More in Jordanian cuisine.

Depending on size, a falafel sandwich costs about JD0.50, a shawarma sandwich about JD1. Food and Drink In Jordan

Food and Drink In Jordan

Restaurant meals

The cheapest budget diners will generally only have one or two main dishes on view – fuul, stew with rice, roast chicken and the like – but you can almost always get hummus and salad to fill out the meal.

In better-quality Arabic restaurants, the usual way to eat is to order a variety of small starters (mezze), followed by either a selection of main courses to be shared by everyone, or a single, large dish for sharing. Good Arabic restaurants might have thirty different choices of mezze, from simple bowls of hummus or labneh up to more elaborate mini-mains of fried chicken liver (kibdet djaj) or wings (jawaneh). Universal favourites are tabbouleh (parsley salad), fattoush (salad garnished with squares of crunchy fried bread), warag aynab (vine leaves stuffed with rice, minced vegetables, and often meat as well) and spiced olives. Kibbeh – the national dish of Syria and Lebanon and widely available at better Jordanian restaurants – is a mixture of cracked wheat, grated onion and minced lamb pounded to a paste; it’s usually shaped into ovals and deep-fried, though occasionally you can find it raw (kibbeh nayeh), a highly prized delicacy. Portions are small enough that two people could share five or six mezze as a sizeable starter or, depending on your appetite, a complete meal. Bread and a few pickles are always free. Food and Drink In JordanFood and Drink In Jordan

Mezze are the best dishes for vegetarians to concentrate on, with enough grains, pulses and vegetables to make substantial and interesting meat-free meals that cost considerably less than standard meaty dishes. Filling dishes such as mujeddrah (lentils with rice and onions) and mahshi (cooked vegetables stuffed with rice) also fit the bill.

Main courses are almost entirely meat-based. Any inexpensive diner can do half a chicken (nuss farooj) with rice and salad. Lamb kebabs are also ubiquitous; the chicken version is called shish tawook. Lots of places also offer meaty stews with rice at lunchtime; the most common is with beans (fasooliyeh), although others feature potatoes or a spinach-like green called mulukhayyeh. Food and Drink In Jordan.Food and Drink In Jordan

Jordan’s national speciality is the traditional bedouin feast-dish mansaf – chunks of boiled lamb or mutton served on a bed of gloopy rice, with pine nuts sprinkled on top and a tart, creamy sauce of jameed (pungent goat’s-milk yoghurt) on the side to pour over. You’ll also find some delicious Palestinian dishes, including musakhan (chicken steamed with onions and a sour-flavoured red berry called sumac) andmagloobeh (essentially chicken with rice). A few places, mainly in Amman and the north, do a high-quality Syrian fatteh (meat or chicken cooked in an earthenware pot together with bread, rice, pine nuts, yoghurt, herbs and hummus, with myriad variations). Food and Drink In Jordan. Food and Drink In Jordan

Good fish (samak) is rare in Jordan. Pork is forbidden under Islam and only appears at expensive Asian restaurants.

Simple meals of chicken, stew or kebabs won’t cost more than about JD5 for a stomach-filling, if not a gourmet, experience. Plenty of Arabic and foreign restaurants dish up varied, high-quality meals for JD10–12. It’s possible to dine sumptuously on mezze at even the most expensive Arabic restaurants in the country for less than JD20 a head, although meaty main courses and wine at these places can rapidly torpedo a bill into the JD40s a head without too much effort.

Best restaurants in Aqaba

Best restaurants in Aqaba - Arabic fast food
After Eight Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0)79 678 4075.
Al-Arrab Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0) 79 6115371.
Al-Mazar Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 3 205 0707.
Al-Mohandes Restaurant
Address: 3rd Commercial Area
Phone: (0) 3 201 3454.
Al-Tarboush Pastry & Barbeque 
Address: 1st Commercial Area
Phone: (0) 3 201 8513.
Ala Kifak Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 79 560 0102.
Brownies Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0)79 598 4553.
Foron El Shobak Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: 0) 3 205 0707.
Foron Sabah w Masa Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area An Nahada St.
Phone: (0) 797618793.
Hala Broasted Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 3 203 0940.
Hani Ali
Address: 1st Commercial Area
Phone: (0) 3 201 5200.
Jafra Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0)79 922 7421.
Kushari Shatta/Shawerma Ishta Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 3 205 0707.
Martini’s Lounge
Address: InterContinental Hotel.
Phone: (0) 3 209 2222.
Ostool Al-Hurria Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial Area.
Phone: (0) 3 206 1900.
Pizzeria Quattro Stagioni Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area An Nahada St.
Phone: (0) 79 5996885.
Sahselni Restaurants
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 3 206 3737.
Shawerma Reem
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0)796862992.
Shawerma Tatbileh Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0) 79 549 1718.
Sheba Restaurant
Address: Aquamarina IV Hotel – An-Nahda St
Phone: (0) 3 205 1620.
Sheikh Al Hara Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area An Nahada St.
Phone: (0) 3 206 0111.
Snack Corner
Address: Hotels Area An Nahada St.
Phone: (0) 78 800 4191.
Snack Corner Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area An Nahada St.
Phone: (0) 78 800 4191.
Tasqeya Restaurant
Address: 3rd Commercial Area.
Phone: (0) 79 988 7222.
Best restaurants in Aqaba - oriental food
Al-Mabrouk Beach Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial Area
Phone: (0) 3 2063304.
Al-Mazar Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 3 2050707.
Al-Saj snack Restaurant
Address: Aquamarina II Hotel.
Phone: (0) 3 201 5165.
Al-Sham Palace Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial
Phone: (0) 3 201 4788.
Al-Shami Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial Area.
Phone:(0) 3 201 6107.
Al-Sufara Restaurant
Address: Aqaba Castle Area.
Phone: (0) 79 577 8190.
Al-Tazaj Restaurant
Address: Aqaba Castle Area.
Phone: (0) 3 201 6226.
Ali-Baba Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial Area
Phone: (0) 3 201 3901.
Bedouin Garden Village
Address: South Beach.
Phone: (0) 79 560 2521.
Burj Al-Hamam Restaurant
Address: InterContinental Hotel.
Phone: (0) 3 209 2222.
Captain’s Restaurant
Address: Hotels Area – An Nahda St.
Phone: (0) 3 201 6905.
El-Beit Beitak Reataurant
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0) 3 203 2032.
Fawanees Haretna
Address: Hotels Area As- Sa’ada St
Phone: (0) 77 726 2678.
Golden Cost Restaurant
Address: King Hussein Bin Talal St.
Phone: (0) 79 548 3548.
Hayat Zaman Restaurant
Address: 1st Commercial Area.
Phone: (0) 3 201 4767.
Liliano Rest & Coffee Shop
Address: As Sa’ada St.
Phone: (0) 3 206 0772.
Marsa Saba Restaurant
Address: Prince Muhammad St.
Phone: (0) 3 203 5196.
Sheba Restaurant
Address: Aquamarina IV Hotel – An-Nahda St
Phone:(0) 3 205 1620.
Best restaurants in Aqaba - oriental sweets
Abu-Gharbiea Sweets
Address: Prince Mohammad St.
Phone: (0) 3 205 0234.
Anabtawi Sweets
Address: Amru ibn Al-As St.
Phone: (0) 3 201 8181.
G&Bee Sweets
Address: Plaza Maswadeh hotel.
Phone: (0) 3 206 1399.
Hani Ali
Address: Raghadan St.
Phone: (0) 3 201 5200.
Moroccan Kitchen Sweets
Address: Ayla Park – Ar Rashid St.
Phone: (0) 777 289301.
Ra’ed Al-qadi Sweets
Address: Aqaba Castle area.
Phone: (0) 3 203 3070.
Food and Drink In Jordan. Food and Drink In Jordan. Food and Drink In Jordan

Sweets in jordan

A Western-bred, guilt-ridden “naughty-but-nice” attitude to confectionery can only quail in the face of the unabashedly sugar-happy, no-holds-barred Levantine sweet tooth: most Arabic sweets (halawiyyat) are packed with enough sugar, syrup, butter and honey to give a nutritionist the screaming horrors.

Sweets in jordanThe traditional Jordanian way to round off a meal is with fresh fruit. Restaurants may offer a small choice of desserts, including some of the items described below, but inexpensive places frequently have nothing sweet. However, all large towns have plenty of patisseries making halawiyyat fresh: it’s common to take a quarter- or half-kilo away in a box to munch at a nearby coffee house.Food and Drink In Jordan

There are three broad categories of halawiyyat: large round trays of hot, fresh-made desserts, often grain-based, which are sliced into squares and drenched in hot syrup; piles of pre-prepared, bite-sized honey-dripping pastries and cakes; and stacks of dry sesame-seed or date-filled biscuits. The best of the hot sweets made in trays is knaffy (or kunafeh or kanafa), a heavenly Palestinian speciality of buttery shredded filo pastry layered over melted goat’s cheese. Baglawa (the local way to say baklava) – layered flaky pastry filled with pistachios or other nuts – comes in any number of different varieties. Juice-stands often lay out tempting trays of hareeseh, a syrupy semolina almond-cake, sliced into individual portions. Of the biscuits, you’d have to go a long way to beat maamoul, buttery, crumbly rose-scented things with a date or nut filling. Everything is sold by weight, and you can pick and choose a mixture: a quarter-kilo (wagiyyeh) – rarely more than JD2 – is plenty for two. Food and Drink In Jordan

Large restaurants and some patisseries also have milk-based sweets, often flavoured deliciously with rosewater. King of these is muhallabiyyeh, a semi-set almond cream pudding served in individual bowls, but the Egyptian speciality Umm Ali – not dissimilar to bread pudding, served hot, sprinkled with nuts and cinnamon – runs a close second.

Curiously elastic, super-sweet ice cream (boozeh) is a summer standard. During Ramadan bakeries and patisseries make fresh gatayyif – traditional pancakes – often on hotplates set up on the street. Locals buy stacks of them for stuffing at home with nuts and syrup. Food and Drink In Jordan.Food and Drink In Jordan
Food and Drink In Jordan

Tea, coffee and other drinks

The main focus of every Jordanian village, town and city neighbourhood is a coffee house, where friends and neighbours meet, gossip does the rounds and a quiet moment can be had away from the family. The musicians, poets and storytellers of previous generations have been replaced everywhere by TV music or sport, although a genial, sociable ambience survives. Unlike the contemporary espresso bars which predominate in West Amman and elsewhere, traditional coffee houses – which also serve tea and other drinks – are male domains and bastions of social tradition; foreign women will always be served without hesitation, but might feel watched.

Coffe-potThe national drink, lubricating every occasion, is tea (shy), a strong, dark brew served scalding-hot and milkless in small glasses. The traditional method of tea-making is to boil up loose leaves in a pot together with several spoons of sugar to allow maximum flavour infusion. In deference to foreign taste buds, you may find the sugar being left to your discretion, but the tannins in steeped tea are so lip-curlingly bitter that you’ll probably prefer the Jordanian way. Food and Drink In Jordan

Coffee (gahweh), another national institution, has two broad varieties. Turkish coffee is what you’ll come across most often. Made by boiling up cardamom-flavoured grounds in a distinctive long-handled pot, then letting it cool, then reboiling it several times (traditionally seven, though in practice two suffices), it’s served in small cups along with a glass of water as chaser. Sugar is added beforehand, so you should request your coffee unsweetened (saada), medium-sweet (wasat) or syrupy (helweh). Let the grounds settle before sipping, and leave the last mouthful, which is mud, behind. Food and Drink In Jordan

coffee in JordanArabic coffee, also known as bedouin coffee, is an entirely different, almost greenish liquid, unsweetened and pleasantly bitter, traditionally made in a long-spouted brass pot set in hot embers. Public coffee houses don’t have it, and you’ll only be served it – often, rather prosaically, from a thermos flask – in a social situation by bedouin themselves, for example if you’re meeting with a police officer or government official, or if you’re invited to a family tent in the desert.

Coffee houses also serve soft drinks and a wide range of seasonal herbal teas, including mint, fennel, fenugreek, thyme, sage and camomile. In colder seasons at coffee houses and street-stands, you’ll come across the winter-warmer sahleb, a thick milky drink made from a ground-up orchid tuber (or, nowadays, just cornflour) and served very hot sprinkled with nuts, cinnamon and coconut.

A coffee house is also the place to try a tobacco-filled water pipe, known by different names around the Arab world but most familiarly in Jordan as a “hubbly-bubbly”, shisha or argileh. Many upscale restaurants offer them as a postprandial digestive. It is utterly unlike smoking a cigarette: the tobacco is nearly always flavoured sweetly with apple or honey, and this, coupled with the smoke cooling as it bubbles through the water chamber before you inhale, makes the whole experience pleasant and soothing – though, in health terms, smoking one shisha is roughly equivalent to five or six cigarettes.
Food and Drink In Jordan. Food and Drink In Jordan. Food and Drink In Jordan

Water in Jodan

Although Jordanians drink water freely from the tap, you might prefer not to: it is chlorinated strongly enough not to do you any harm (it just tastes bad), but the pipes it runs through add a quantity of rust and filth you could do without. All hotels above three stars have water filtration systems in place, which help. Bottles of mineral water, both local and imported, are available inexpensively in all corners of the country. A standard 1.5-litre size costs roughly JD0.40 if you buy it individually, less if you buy a six-pack from a supermarket or grocery. Expect to pay more in out-of-the-way places – JD2 or so inside Petra. Check that the seal is unbroken before you buy. Inexpensive diners always have jugs of tap water (my aadi, mai men el-hanafieh) on the table, but in restaurants waiters will quite often bring an overpriced bottle of mineral water to your table with the menu – which you’re quite entitled to reject. Recycling facilities for plastics are few and far between.
Food and Drink In Jordan

Fresh juice and squash

kharroobMost Jordanian towns have at least one stand-up juice bar; these are great places for supplementing a meagre breakfast or replenishing your vitamin C. Any fruit in view can be juiced or puréed. Sugar (sukkr) and ice (talj) are automatically added to almost everything; however, considering ice blocks are often wheeled in filthy trolleys along the roadside and broken up with a screwdriver, you might like to give it a miss – if so, request your juice bidoon talj (“without sugar” is bidoon sukkr). Most freshly squeezed juices, and mixed juice cocktails, cost JD0.40–0.50 for a “small” glass (actually quite big), double that for a pint. Mango, strawberry and other exotic fruit cost a little more.

More popular, and thus easier to find, are cheaper ready-made fruit squashes. Dark-brown tamarhindi (tamarind, tartly refreshing) and kharroob (carob, sweet-but-sour), or watery limoon (lemon squash) are the best bets; other, less common, choices include soos (made from liquorice root, also dark brown and horribly bitter) and luz (sickly sweet white almond-milk). All are around JD0.20 a glass.  Food and Drink In Jordan
Food and Drink In Jordan


Drinking alcohol is forbidden under Islam. Apart from in big hotels, the only restaurants to offer alcohol are upmarket independently owned establishments and tourist resthouses at some archeological sites. Most big supermarkets and some smaller convenience stores sell alcohol. Amman has a lot of bars, not all of them inside hotels. Places such as Aqaba and Petra that serve tourists (or Madaba, with a prominent Christian population) also have some bars. Elsewhere, expect to find little or no alcohol at all. Food and Drink In Jordan

Drinking alcohol in public, or showing signs of drunkenness in public – which includes on the street, in cafés or coffee houses, in most hotel lobbies, on the beach or even in the seemingly empty desert or countryside – is utterly taboo and will cause great offence to local people. Food and Drink In Jordan

Food and Drink In Jordan. details