Jordanian food its known to be flavourful and fresh. With simple ingredients and plenty of history, Jordanian food offers time-honored, perfected recipes that are well loved.
Most of Jordan’s food is considered to be Levantine or Eastern Mediterranean. Most of its recipes come from Syrian and Palestinian influences. The rest of the popular Jordanian foods come from bedouin traditional barbeque, known as a zarb.
Below you will find plenty of food from Jordan.
Food from Jordan
Hummus is like its own food group. This chick pea and tahini (sesame paste) dish can be made with all kinds of flavors, from lemon and garlic to pine nuts or cumin. Nothing like what you will find in the store, freshly made hummus is a must when you are visiting Jordan. You can get it all over Jordan, with hotel breakfasts and with mezze style dining.
One of the most popular restaurants in Amman to get hummus mezze is Hashem Restaurant.
A must for any trip to just about anywhere in the Middle East is these deep fried bits of deliciousness. Falafel is a combination of chick peas, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings like salt and pepper and coriander.
\Whether you have it at Hashem Restaurant with a spread of mezze (appetizers) or in a falafel sandwich, it is a popular snack food in Jordan that you should try at least once!
If you love breads, get yourself a falafel sandwich. Falafel balls are flattened and then put into a pita making the perfect size meal. The pita is stuffed with varied accompaniments, either made to order or in a self serve topping bar. You can expect hummus, eggplant, salads, sauces and even french fries in a falafel sandwich. It is all up to the cook, or the customer!
Another ubiquitous Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dish is a Shawarma. You will find plenty of Shawarma stands in Jordan. Shawarma is a slow cooked meat (usually beef, chicken or lamb) that is then shaved into thin slices and served in thin bread. Each Shawarma has its own array of spices and everyone will have an opinion on who makes the most delicious flavoured meat. It is served with chopped salad, tahini, pickled vegetables
Knafeh / Kunafa
Knafeh is a popular Arabic dessert that can be found in Jordan. It consists of melted cheese topped with a pastry or shredded wheat topping, then soaked in sweet syrup. It is usually sold by weight and is heavily addictive.
There are two types of knafeh, most easily explained in English as “soft” or “rough.” One is topped with shredded wheat (kheshna) and the other is topped with semolina… (na’ma). Try both and see which one you like better.
The most popular knefeh in Amman will be found at Habibah in downtown Amman. Situated in a tiny alley, you will likely find the alley packed with locals and tourists, enjoying their dessert with a foam plate and plastic fork.
Baklava is a delicious filo pastry dessert. The layers of pastry are generally filled with different types of nuts and held together with a sugar syrup. You can find it at Jabri sweets in Amman.
Mansaf is a traditional Jordanian meal. It is served on a large platter with a thin flatbread, then rice is added and topped with lamb, nuts and a fermented yoghurt sauce called jameed.
It is often served for special occasions or to show appreciation to guests. You can find it in many restaurants in Jordan, if you are looking for somewhere in Amman, check out Al Quds Restaurant.
In English, makloubeh is often called “upsidedown” as the method of serving the dish is by turning a massive pot upsidedown and the layered contents of seasoned potatoes, eggplant, onions and rice spilling onto a massive plate on the table.
Zaarb is a mix of meat and vegetables cooked in an underground oven. It is commonly served at bedouin camps in Wadi Rum.
Mulukhiyah is a popular local dish made of greens and chicken atop a bed of rice. Squeeze some lemon on top for the perfect about of tartness!
The easiest way to describe Arias is like spaghetti sauce inside a pita. It is then toasted on the BBQ and served like a sandwich.
Fuul (Fava Beans)
Fuul is another staple and is fava beans mixed with lemon, chillis and garlic. Every restaurant makes theirs a little different. Often breakfast buffets in hotels will have fixings on the side to add to your fava beans. They are often served in a tall ceramic tear drop shaped container with a long spoon.
Musakhan is a chicken based dish with sumac seasoned onions and olive oil. It is served with thin bread to scoop the meat and onions.
Zait and Zaatar with Bread
Basic breakfast can be bread (which is usually pita) with olive oil and a blend of zait and zaatar.
Mannaquesh (also often spelt Mannaesh) is breakfast pizza in Amman and a popular Jordanian food. Traditional mannaqesh is a round dough topped with zaatar (thyme mixture with salt, sumac and sesame seeds) and olive oil and baked in a fire oven. You can also try an array of different options depending on the restaurant. I like the halloumi (a salty cheese), and eggs and dried meat. I usually order all three types for just a few JD
Fatteh or Fattet typically consists of pieces of pita bread and chickpeas that have been layered in a serving dish and soaked, making a soupy type hummous that is eaten with a spoon. It is topped with a tahina sauce. This specialty is usually garnished with toasted pine nuts or almonds, fresh parsley or paprika and olive oil.
Do you want a deep dive into food culture in Amman? Check out a tour with Amman Food Tours!
Lindsay fell in love with Jordan when she first visited in 2016. She now goes back every year to explore more of this special place. Lindsay is also the owner of Amman Food Tours, a social enterprise that is women-owned and hires local female guides. This project provides meaningful employment for women in Amman.