Amman is Jordan’s largest city, having a metropolitan population of approximately four million. The dishes of Amman overflow with flavor and local pride due to the liberal use of herbs such as thyme and mint. You will be smacking your lips in no time.
As you might expect, deciding what to eat may be difficult. You will find our list of dishes to eat in Amman, Jordan, useful.
Meals and Appetizers
Jordanian food is a delectable reflection of the country’s rich culture, served at tables all around the nation. It is a colorful mix of Bedouin flavors and regional variations on some of the Levant’s most well-known dishes.
Manakish is a staple, and you can find it all across Amman. The base is a circle of dough usually coated with olive oil and za’atar (an aromatic herb mixture) and cooked, similar to pizza. Manakish also has excellent variations with halloumi cheese and egg. Jordanians eat this dish for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack. Thus you may get it in a bakery at any time of day.
Moutabel is a dip made with roasted eggplant, sesame paste (tahini), and yogurt. It has a great flavor and texture of creamy roasted eggplant, garlic, sesame paste, and olive oil.
Musakhan is a Jordanian meal made with bread, chicken, onions, aromatic spices like allspice and cinnamon, and a generous amount of olive oil. The onion, chicken, olives, and simmered bread provide a great texture with the mixed spices.
Mulukhiyah is a soup made from the green mulukhiyah herb, extracted from the leaves of the nalta jute plant. It is popular among Jordanians. Before serving with chicken and rice, the herb is coarsely chopped and mixed with garlic and onions.
Mansaf, Jordan’s national cuisine, is a meal that symbolizes Jordan’s culture, kindness, hospitality, and love of lamb and yogurt. Aromatic rice is placed on a layer of flatbread and topped with roasted lamb and a generous amount of jameed, a fermented yogurt. It typically comes on a platter or large tray with a thin bread base. Mansaf is traditionally shared and eaten with family and friends.
Maqluba, which means “upside-down,” is a dish that comprises chicken and spices on the bottom of a pot and rice on top. When they cooked the meal, they put it on a tray. They put the rice on the bottom and the meat or chicken on top. Since they cook the rice with chicken, it develops a beautiful broth flavor similar to chicken rice. They garnish the Maqluba with parsley, fried pine nuts or other nuts, and lemon slices.
This meal features tomatoes cooked until soft and pureed, along with a few ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, and salt. The tartness and sweetness of the tomatoes shine through, and it is tasty scooped up with toast or served with rice.
Hamleh is just fresh green chickpeas still in their pods and, in some cases, on a stem. The roasted pods get mixed with chickpeas. Street vendors often serve these pods in a cone-shaped newspaper wrapped with salt. It is a tasty early-summer street meal.
Hummus is a simple, delicious, and nutritious food. It consists of mashed chickpea dough with garlic, oil, red pepper, semolina, and tahini. It comes with pita bread, sticks, vegetables, or your desired ingredients.
Fattet hummus is a unique take on traditional hummus. While it has a similar garbanzo bean flavor with hints of lemon juice and olive oil, the texture is very different—it almost feels like whipped hummus. It is light and fluffy, like whipped cream. And nowhere near as solid or thick as classic hummus.
Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern fast food that crosses boundaries. And Jordan is no exception; you can find these golden balls of crushed chickpeas wherever. It is best as a sandwich: portable, easy to eat, and wrapped in fluffy pita with a dusting of sumac. If you are visiting Amman, you should try out the flavorful falafel sandwiches on sesame bread, dressed lavishly with tomato and pickles.
This dish, pronounced “Fuul,” is made with dried fava beans reconstituted by soaking in water. They come dried or canned and are fried with some garlic before being topped with onions, tomatoes, and olive oil. The wonderful vegetarian dish that results is an excellent pita bread dip.
Salads are a sort of food that is available on a global scale. In Amman, the Fattoush is a vegetable salad containing tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and crunchy pieces of bread and yeast. Sometimes, seasonings like pepper, olive oil, lemon, and sumach top the dish.
Ful Medames has Egyptian origins. But it is also popular in Jordanian cuisine. It is the best breakfast in Amman and will keep you full well into lunchtime. Cooked fava beans are the main component of this dish. Other ingredients include finely chopped tomatoes, tahini, sumac, and olive oil.
This hearty winter soup contains lentils, groats, and wheat. It gets its Jordanian touch by adding fermented yogurt (jameed), which gives it a distinct flavor before being served with sour pickles.
If you enjoy yogurt and cheese, you will enjoy this dish. Labneh is a fresh cheese-yogurt made with milk from cows, sheep, and goats. It is a ball-shaped snack dipped in olive oil to preserve it. It is frequently served with a mint leaf to add flavor.
Warak Enab and Kousa Mahshi
Warak Enab, or stuffed grape leaves, and Kousa mahshi, or stuffed zucchini, are sometimes served together and are a great addition to any meal in Amman. The grape leaves and the zucchini are loaded with rice, ground pork, onions, and light seasonings before being wrapped and slow-cooked.
Tabbouleh, another Levantine cuisine, is a mixture of finely minced parsley, tomatoes, garlic, and bulgar wheat, all seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Like hummus or moutabel, tabbouleh is not commonly eaten with bread in Amman but with a spoon.
Chicken livers are another wonderful Jordanian dish to enhance your dinner. Chicken livers are often sautéed in olive oil with a few simple seasonings such as garlic, parsley, and salt before being topped with lemon juice. A piece of bread with some liver and hummus is a fantastic combination meal.
Kibbeh Bi Laban
Kibbeh is deep-fried nuggets of minced beef, onions, and spices wrapped in a bulgar wheat crust and deep-fried till golden crispy on the outside. You can have the dish on its own, as a mezze dish or snack, or with other hummus or moutabel. But, for Kibbeh Bi Laban, the kibbeh is cooked in a yogurt sauce. It modifies the taste and texture and elevates them from a snack to a complete meal.
It is a circular sesame bread eaten for breakfast that can be round or oblong. You can eat it with hard-boiled eggs. It is a common variety of bread in Jordan and a must-try street dish for anybody visiting Amman.
Kofta Bi Tahini
Kofta Bi Tahini is a dish containing a bottom base layer of chopped kebab (or kofta) meat. It is flattened out into a patty, covered with thin slices of potato, slathered in a thick tahini sauce, and then baked, similar to shish kebabs.
The bottom meat is like a sausage base with beautiful parsley-scented minced Kofta. The white sauce that coats the kofta bi tahini is a white gravy made with tahini milk. It has a little nutty flavor and is not as heavy as a dairy-based sauce.
Shish kebabs (kofte)
In Amman, shish kebabs traditionally contain minced lamb combined with parsley and a generous amount of salt, then shaped onto large sword-like skewers and grilled over hot charcoal. The salinity of the meat, and the meat-to-fat ratio, ensure that the kebabs have the most grilled flavor possible.
Shawarma consists of thin slices of meat (typically lamb or chicken) roasted on a vertical spit in a rotisserie style. As the flesh spins around the spit and cooks, it is chopped off the edge, resulting in little pieces of grilled meat collected in a pita sandwich with salad, onions, and hot sauce.
While most of us are a little acquainted with the buttery, nutty baklava, we do not know Warabat, Hareeseh, Knafeh, Muhallabia, and Halaweh. They are no less delicious! Here is a look at some of the delicate desserts from Amman that you would like to try.
Baklava is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert. It is often accompanied by tea or coffee as an after-dinner treat. In a pan, thin layers of filo dough are separated by melted butter and laid out. After baking, the pastry is soaked with syrup and interlaced with chopped nuts and honey.
There is no better way to eat Knafeh than straight from the pan, so make sure you have room in your tummy. It is one of the best meals available in Amman! It consists of a layer of cheese, shredded-wheat pastry coated with vermicelli cooked in butter, soaked in simple syrup, and frequently sprinkled with crushed pistachios.
Like the Baklava, it is a phyllo pastry filled with soft cheese or custard and drenched in sugar syrup. It can also contain sweet cheese, almonds, walnuts, or pistachios as fillings.
Hareeseh, a sweet made of semolina, coconut, cream, sugar, yogurt, and almonds, is one of the popular desserts in Amman. Hareeseh is in the shape of a bar, similar to the size and density of a brownie. It is a sweet dish with a slightly floral flavor to complement the powdery texture of the semolina.
A popular dessert in Middle Eastern cuisine is a creamy pudding. It has a milk base, is thickened with rice flour, and has rosewater, vanilla, or orange flavoring and nut toppings. It is light and refreshing and served cold.
They are fried dumplings covered in honey or sugar syrup. It is everyone’s favorite during celebrations, get-togethers, weddings, and the holy month of Ramadan. Although luqaimat is frequently consumed with Arabic coffee, you can also eat it on its own.
People of all ages will adore Faluda. It consists of starch-based vermicelli-thin noodles that are partially frozen in syrup with sugar and rose water. Faloodeh has toppings like lime juice, jelly, and crushed pistachios. This delicious dessert is perfect for serving after dinner!
Every Jordanian hamlet, town, and city neighborhood has a coffee shop. Families, friends, peers, and neighbors gather and gossip to share a peaceful moment in a coffee shop.
Arabic coffee, brewed strong and bitter with cardamom, is a staple in all households in Amman. Coffee is an essential aspect of Jordanian culture. They serve it to guests as a symbol of respect and hospitality.
Tea is a popular drink for a lot of events. It might also contain fresh mint leaves and sugar without being requested. Many places in Amman will provide Chai Bil Na’ana, or tea with mint. It is delicious and pleasant to have alone or after a meal.
Jordan may get hot even when it is not summer. Limonana, a Middle Eastern take on lemonade, is a popular refreshment in Amman. It combines fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, and possibly sugar by blending. In this instance, you can also call it nenae ma’a lemon or lemon with mint. This refreshing mixture often served cold, is a welcome relief on Jordan’s hot days.
This ancient drink, made from grapes or dates, has a high alcohol concentration, usually between 40 and 63 percent, and is flavored with aniseed. It is most common at barbeques and celebrations after being blended with water and ice to give it a milky appearance.
Food is such an essential part of Jordanian society. Once you start eating, you are guaranteed to meet and interact with some of the most hospitable and friendly individuals you have ever met. In Amman, you can eat platters of fresh bread, spiced rice, and hunks of delicate lamb. But you can also eat beautifully refreshing foods like tabbouleh and go to eateries that serve all-you-can-eat raw vegetables and creamy plates of hummus.