Food plays a huge part in the Jordanian culture. Jordanians love to eat and to invite people. When you get invited they will push you to eat a second or even a third plate. If you want to upset a Jordanian is by not eating enough. So be prepared!
Jordan, due to its geographical location has culinary influences from Africa, other Middle Eastern countries, and the Mediterranean.
If you are a food lover like us, then you should try one of the dishes on this list!
Bread will be served with almost everything you order.
Olive Oil you can find it on every table. It seems like Jordanians dip everything in olive oil.
Za’atar is wild thyme mixed with other herbs, sesame, and salt. Dip your bread into olive oil and then into Za’atar. DELICIOUS!
Hummus is a dip made from chickpeas that have been cooked and mashed, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. We ate hummus at least 2 times a day when we were in Jordan.
Our absolute favorite Jordanian dish! You can not leave Jordan without trying Mansaf. Mansaf is a dish of rice, lamb, and jameed. Jameed is a dry goat-milk yogurt used to pour over the rice and lamb. This dish is garnished with bread and nuts.
Mansaf is important in Jordan, Jordanians make this dish to show their wealth. It’s also common to eat at celebrations and festivals.
We had the best mansaf in Amman.
Al-Quds Restaurant -Â Al-Madina Al-Monawara St 220, Amman, Jordan
Maqluba means literally upside down. Maqluba includes meat or chicken on the bottom, rice, and spices, all cooked together in one pot. Once the dish is ready, the pot is flipped over onto a big plate, so the rice stays on the bottom and the meat or chicken on the top. Maqluba is garnished with parsley and nuts.
We had a delicious maqluba cooked by Omar’s grandmother.
Falafel is a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas. You can eat them for breakfast or as a snack. Falafel balls are often stuffed into a sandwich.
We had the best falafel in Amman.
Hashem Restaurant -Al Malek Faisal St, Amman, Jordan
Musakhan is a Jordanian and Palestinian dish of slices of bread, chicken, and lots of olive oil. The ingredients are stewed together until the onion, chicken, olives, and bread are tender and the spices have blended and harmonized.
The taste will blow you away, it is sweet and sour. This dish is very popular in the winter.
One of our Uber drivers invited us at home to have musakhan with him and his family.
Another typical dish is mujadara, a mixture of rice, and lentils seasoned with lots of cumin. It’s also a favorite for vegetarians.
We cook it a lot at home because it’s easy to prepare.
6. Warak enab
Warak enab, are grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat, cooked in a giant pot. You can eat it cold or hot. This dish looks simple but takes lots of effort and time to prepare.
We had the best Warak Enab in Amman.
Sufra Restaurant – Al Rainbow St 26, Amman, Jordan
Kibbeh consists of meat, bulgur, and onion, formed in a ball shape. You can eat it as a starter or as a side dish.
We really love kibbeh!
We had delicious Kibbeh in Sufra Restaurant in Amman.
8. Shorebat addas (Lentil soup)
One of the most ordered dishes in restaurants is this lentil soup. This soup immediately heats you up and strengthens your immune system.
We love lentil soup and make it a lot at home during the winter season.
9. Chicken Liver
Commonly served as a mezze dish, along with dishes like hummus and moutabel, chicken livers is another Jordanian dish to complement your meal.
The chicken livers are typically sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic, parsley, and salt. It’s not our favorite dish but Jordanians love to eat it. You can eat it as a side dish.
Zarb is a Bedouin Barbecue that is cooked underground for four hours. First, the meat is marinated with spices and placed on a tray with vegetables. Then the tray is placed into an underground oven that has been pre-heated. The oven opening is then covered with sheets of Aluminum foil and a carpet before being buried in sand and left for four hours. After four hours the meal is served.
This was one of our favorite dishes in Jordan!
We had a bedouin barbecue in Wadi Rum.
Sun City Camp – Wadi Rum, Jordan
This Arabic pizza is essentially a round of dough, topped with zaâ€™atar, olive oil, and can be topped with cheese, eggs, or meat. It’s baked in a brick oven.
You can eat this pizza as breakfast. We had one with za’atar and cheese in Amman and it was delicious!
Bait Al Manakish – Abu Azzam Commercial Complex, Mahmoud Al Thaher St 5, Amman, Jordan
Shawarma is a dish consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. It can be lamb meat, chicken or beef.
We had a shawarma sandwich from Reem in Amman. It’s a very famous place. They serve more than 5000 sandwiches a day.
Reem Shawerma – All Kulliyah Al Elmiyah Al eslamiyah St 54, Amman, Jordan.
Two layers of pita bread, filled with minced lamb, onions, and parsley. The ara’yes are grilled so that it turns golden brown and crispy on the outside.
We had ara’yes in Aqaba.
Khubza & Seneya – An Nahdad St 18, Aqaba, Jordan
Kanafeh is made with white cheese, topped with crunchy pastry, then drenched in sweet syrup and topped with crushed pistachio and cashew nuts. The Kanafeh from Habiba Sweets in downtown Amman is DELICIOUS!
Habiba Sweets – Mohamed Taha Al Harahsheh Complex, Al Madinah Al Munawarah St 197, Amman, Jordan
Jordanian coffee, or Al-Qahwa, is made from coffee beans roasted very lightly or heavily from 165°C to 210°C and cardamom and is a traditional beverage in Arabian culture.
In Jordan, we learned how you offer coffee to your guests. You have to serve coffee with your right hand. Another rule is that coffee must always be served to your left.
Whenever a guest comes to visit, you must be ready with a cup of hot coffee because cold coffee is considered rude. Arabic coffee is a bit too strong for us but worth trying!
Jordanians drink mint tea after every meal for digestion. Sipping a cup of mint tea was our favorite evening ritual.
You can find a fruit juice stand on every corner in Jordan. We love to wander around with a fruit juice in hand.
We hope you enjoyed this list! Have you ever tried one of these dishes, or which one would you love to try? Let us know in the comment section below.