11.05.2020
5 min.

Jordan, due to its geographical location in the Levant, has culinary influences from North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, and the Mediterranean.

Street food and home-cooked meals are the heart of Jordan’s Levantine cuisine. Jordanians proudly serve their rich, robust food with warm hospitality. Local cuisine has been influenced by neighboring countries like Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Thousands of years of history and culture blend together flawlessly to create the modern dining experience you will find in Jordan today.

Roast lamb with tart yogurt sauce called mansaf, syrupy pastries like knafeh and balava and endless sweet tea with mint and strong cardamom and arabic coffee: a trip to Jordan is a culinary experience that will leave you wanting more. The flavorful Jordanian cuisine is handcrafted with the freshest herbs, spices, and olive oil (Jordan is one of the largest producers of olives in the region), which are procured from these very markets.

Mezze is an experience in itself. It’s usually an appetizer, consisting of small shared tasting plates of dips, salads, roasted vegetables, falafel, hummus and olives with bread (pita) used for dipping and scooping. It’s a community style of eating and there is plenty to go around, so much so that it’s difficult to face the main course when it appears.

It’s all about food sharing and brotherhood.

List of the best jordanian drinks & food you should try in Jordan.

1. Drinks

  • Tea – is the Jordanian drink of choice and has a very social aspect. Instead of asking “how are you” Jordanians ask “would you like some tea?” The teas vary from black to herbal served with combinations of herbs (sage, thyme, mint rosemary or verbena), mint tea seems to be the favorite.
  • Arabic coffee – is made with ground fire-roasted beans and cardamom – not just a drink – in Jordan it’s a traditional sign of respect, a way to bring people together.
  • Turkish-style coffee – is stronger than Arabic, actually ‘high octane’. The coffee grounds, cardamom and sugar are added to a tiny pot of boiling water as it continues to boil – It’s served thick and sweet and available at street vendors all over Jordan.
  • Lemon – mint juice – is a common drink in Jordan, made from lime juice and ground mint. A sugar syrup is served on the side so you can control the sweetness.

2. Snacks

  • Manakish – is a flatbread topped with thyme, olive oil and za’atar, cheese or ground meat (like a pizza) and can be sliced or folded. It’s usually served at breakfast or lunch.
  • Arayes – are grilled or baked pita bread sandwiches, stuffed with minced meat. They’re crispy and really deliciously popular.
  • Chicken Shawarma (sometimes made with lamb or beef) Shawarma is also popular in Europe and now North America; its thin layers of meat stacked on a sword like spit that revolves over a heat source. When cooked it’s shaved off and wrapped in bread with a garlic sauce or tahini and pickled vegetables.
  • Falafel (Sandwich) – is a combination of ground chickpeas, mixed with a variety of spices, then deep fried into mini patty like shapes, is one of the most common street food snacks or light meals in Jordan. They can be eaten on their own like veggie nuggets, eaten with bread, or stuffed into sandwiches.

3. Dips

  • Hummus – hummus is possibly the most well known Levantine and Middle Eastern food around the world. The hummus in Jordan is fantastic and it’s amazing how each restaurant version tasted just slightly different – the amount of lemon juice, and ratio of garbanzo beans to tahini, the texture, and also, very importantly, the olive oil. You need to try Fattet hummus!
  • Foul – while ful medames might be originally from Egypt, this dish of mashed fava beans and olive oil, is also widely available and commonly eaten throughout Jordan. You’ll find ful at most restaurants that serve hummus and falafel.
  • Mutabal – roasted eggplant dip with yoghurt, tahini, garlic and lemon juice.It is similar to baba ganoush, but quite different. One of the main ingredient differences is that moutabel uses yoghurt in its recipe. When it’s roasted over fire, to give it a wonderfully smoky taste and a smooth and creamy consistency.

4. Dishes

  • Dolma – is a stuffed vegetable (tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant) or leaf. The most common dolma is made from grape leaf stuffed with meat. Meat dolmas are usually served warm or hot, often with sauce; vegetarian dolmas are typically served cold.
  • Makdous – usually made in the fall and stored for use over the winter. Baby eggplants get Stuffed with walnut and sun-dried red pepper, garlic, oil and salt, then preserved in olive oil.
  • Mansaf – Jordan’s “national dish”, this magnificent Bedouin dish is served on big occasions like festivals or family reunions. It consists of simmered lamb (or beef) and onions mixed with yoghurt served on top of rice piled on top of buttered flatbread. The whole dish is topped with butter, almonds and pine nuts. It comes to the communal table on a large tray.
  • Makloubeh – Maqluba means ‘upside-down’ which is how this dish is served. It’s a chicken dish (sometimes called upside-down chicken) cooked with rice and fried vegetables; when it’s ready to serve it’s flipped upside-down.
  • Zarb – is a Bedouin barbecue consisting of lamb and vegetables; a traditional Bedouin way of cooking. A 3-tiered container (meat on the bottom shelf, veg on the others) is topped with a lid, placed in a pit, covered with hot coals then buried in the sand. After many hours the 3-tiered racks are dug up and the meal is served at sunset.
  • Lamb – Jordanian food contains lots of meat, especially lamb. Popular across the Middle East and the Levantine, shish kebabs in Jordan are typically made from minced lamb, which is mixed with parsley and lots of salt, then molded onto big sword like skewers, and grilled over hot charcoal.

5. Salads

  • Tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. It’s traditionally made of tomatoes, lots of fresh finely chopped herbs (parsley & mint) bulgur, onion and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt; sometimes garlic or lettuce and couscous instead of bulgur.
  • Fattoush – is a wonderful Arabic salad made of chopped vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, radish) and crisply toasted pita chips dressed with olive oil, lemon and sumac

6. Bread

  • Kubz (pita) – is referred to as “ordinary” bread. This pocket bread is served an almost every meal
  • Shrak – is a Bedouin flatbread, baked on a large domed metal griddle (like an inverted wok).It can be tossed until very thin then thrown on the griddle.

7. Desserts

  • Knafeh – is a rich, creamy dessert made with a cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup.
  • Halava – often served as a side at breakfast this sweet treat is made of honey or sugar-sweetened tahini sesame paste; sometimes flavored with pistachios, almonds or chocolate.
  • Baklava – a baklava is made of filo pastry with layers filled with nuts, such as pistachios, and sugar or honey syrup.

8. Cheeses

  • Halloumi – is similar to feta but not quite as dry and salty – a semi-soft white cheese often served in salads
  • Nablusi – one of a number of Palestinian white brined cheeses made in the Middle East. Its name refers to its place of origin, Nablus and it is well known throughout the West Bank and surrounding regions. Nabulsi, along with Akkawi cheese are the principal cheeses consumed in Jordan. Produced primarily from sheep milk, goat’s milk is also used.
  • Akkawi cheese – made with cow’s milk, but can also be made with goat or sheep milk. This cheese is largely produced in the Middle East but also in Cyprus. In these regions, people usually eat it with a soft flatbread during lunch and dinner. Akkawi is hand-packed into square draining hoops and then cured in a salted whey brine for two days.
  • Labneh – is a strained yogurt cheese shaped in small balls and preserved in oil. It’s often eaten for breakfast; served with *za’atar and olive oil and spread on warm flatbread. This is a serious addiction.

9. Olives and olive oil.

AbdulAM
AbdulAM
April 11, 2021.
Verified
The Best Tour of My Life!!!!! I did a private tour with Zaman for all the highlights of Jordan, and I don't have enough words to thank them for such an amazing and memorable trip. The tour was so well organized and they made me feel I was traveling with a friend. The driver was so professional and friendly and during the entire trip I felt so safe. I feel so fortunate to experience Jordan with Zaman Tours, and If I am visiting Jordan again, I would definitely reach out to them again :-)
JP Vann
JP Vann
March 31, 2021.
Verified
The Best of Jordan with Zaman Tours We had little time to plan for our February 2020 Jordan trip, 2 weeks to be exact. We contacted Zaman Tours as they are accredited by the Jordan Tourism Board. Ms Eman quickly responded to my email and offered an 8-day private package that suited our budget. Ms Eman was patient in answering my queries and requests. She arranged our itinerary and our package included airport transfers, a good choice of 3 and 4-star accommodations, sightseeing and admission tickets, a modern Hyundai Sonata for our transportation, bottled water & wifi onboard and half board meals i the hotels. Local guide services in Jerash and Petra as well as Petra by Night tour were optional and can be bought either in advance or on-site. Airport pick up was a breeze. Zaman Tours representative, Mr Freddy, welcome and helped us through immigration and baggage claim. Our English speaking driver for our entire stay was Mr Shareef, an excellent and courteous driver. He was on time all the time. He did all the check-ins for us. During drives, he gave short insights about the place we would be visiting. He also gave recommendations on other activities you could do for extra cost like Turkish bath after a tiring walk in Petra, an additional jeep tour in Wadi Rum and a private cruise in Aqaba. Along the way, he would stop where we could eat lunch, drink coffee, use toilet or buy souvenirs. We appreciated his flexibility with time. We were able to adjust pick up times enabling us to stay a bit longer at our selected sites. We traveled to almost all the significant and picturesque places in the whole of Jordan. We went to Ajloun, Jerash, Amman Citadel, Mount Nebo, Madaba, Petra, Little Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Bethany and Dead Sea. We stayed 2 nights in Amman, 2 nights in Petra and a night each in Wadi Rum, Aqaba and Dead Sea. I had to say all the accommodations booked by Zaman Tours were centrally located and clean. We were also happy that we never had to worry where to have dinner every night as all dinners were included in the price that we paid. My recommendation to those who would like to see both the Treasury and the Monastery is to book 2 nights in Petra. My suggestion when buying souvenir items and Dead Sea products is to purchase them in Aqaba where the prices are a lot cheaper. And for the other activities, hotels offer more choices at friendly prices. Thank you to Zaman Tours... Ms Eman, Mr Freddy and Mr Shareef for a wonderful first trip to Jordan. Hope to be back someday... Shokran! See the best of Jordan with Zaman Tours!
german.z
german.z
March 21, 2020.
Verified
mar muerto mucho más que flotar llegas a un resort 5 estrellas con todas las comodidades y luego te sumergis en el agua flotando con el barro de las orillas. el cutis y la piel te quedan increíbles. luego disfruté completo en los hoteles....
arianna_gianola
arianna_gianola
March 10, 2020.
Verified
Zaman Tour agenzia super affidabile Siamo appena tornati da una settimana in Giordania. Ci siamo affidati a Zaman Tour per il servizio driver. Itinerario e hotel deciso e prenotati da noi. Non abbiamo avuto nessuna difficoltà nella comunicazione e nell'organizzazione. Sempre velocissimi nelle risposte prima della partenza. Il driver che ci ha seguito in tutto il viaggio è stato davvero molto preciso, professionale, parlava un ottimo inglese, bravissimo e cordiale con i bambini. Sembrava una persona di famiglia. Sempre disponibile per ogni esigenza o consiglio. La Giordania è un paese fantastico. Si visita tranquillamente, gente ospitale e cordiale. Davvero ha superato le nostre aspettative. Consiglio a tutti di andare in Giordania con Zaman Tours!
52Elli
52Elli
December 7, 2019.
Verified
windy/cold our driver was great. He helped us to get the tickets, was at the meeting place on time at the ship and return. Would recommend him again and again.
GunhildAA
GunhildAA
October 17, 2019.
Verified
magical horse riding with superb service Vi hade en veckas ridning med start i Petra och sedan i Wadi Rum. Hela resan var fantastisk!! aldrig upplevt något liknande. Hashem och hans team tog hand om oss på förträffligt sätt och allt var välordnat och bra, fina hästar, god mat, gott om vatten och en upplevelse som man bär med sig hela livet!!
MissM
MissM
September 29, 2019.
Verified
Esperienza indimenticabile Abbiamo fatto il tour di 5 giorni da Amman - Petra- Wadi Rum-Mar Morto. È stata un esperienza indimenticabile, la guida locale parlava benissimo italiano e ci ha fornito argomenti interessanti, molto gentile e disponibile. Essendo il nostro gruppo composto da 5 persone , la guida ha potuto organizzare le escursioni in maniera più pratica gestendo meglio il tempo che avevamo a disposizione, grazie a questo abbiamo potuto assistere al tramonto nel deserto e all’escursione in cammello all’alba ( non compresa nel tour). Sono felice di aver fatto questo viaggio, la Giordania è meravigliosa!
Vittoria C
Vittoria C
September 2, 2019.
Verified
Bravissimi Ho trovato Zaman Tours guardando sul sito della Bit di Milano le Agenzie che avrebbero partecipato per la Giordania. andando sul loro sito, mi è piaciuto molto l'impostazione iniziale per l'organizzazione personale del viaggio, dunque li ho contattati e ho organizzato con loro il nostro viaggio, io e mio marito. La disponibilità, la pazienza, e la competenza di Maiss mi hanno aiutato nell'impostazione del tour, tutto tramite mail, visto che il mio inglese non è al top. ho richiesto torur con driver e guida parlante italiano. Questo è in breve il resoconto: assistenza completa all'arrivo in aereoporto, macchina super confortevole con il driver parlante arabo/ingliese e la guida parlante italiano. La macchina dotata di wifi, aria condizionata, e acqua fresca continua. Gli hotel che ci hanno proposto erano tutti ottimi, con tutti i confort. Nei ristoranti dove siamo stati durante il tour abbiamo mangiato bene, con ottimo rapporto qualità/prezzo. Spendo due parole meritate sulla guida: Nabil, un signore giordano, laureatosi anni fa in Italia, con una passione per il lavoro tale, da farti vivere i luoghi, anche se antichi. Ci ha continuamente assistito, anche durante i giorni liberi. E alla fine è diventato un amico. Ho fatto questo tour: Amman - Jerash- Amman city tour- Desert Castle - Mar Morto con giorno libero - Bethany, Monte Nebo , Madaba - Petra - Petra by night - Wadi Rum, con notte al campo - Aqaba 6 giorni - riassumendo ho trovato Zaman tours, un'agenzia seria e professionale, che dunque consiglio per qualsiasi tipo di tour o visita.
Dianadub
Dianadub
June 6, 2019.
Verified
Visit a fantastic country with fabulous Zaman tours Highly recommend booking your trip with Zamen tours. We booked a 7 day trip and from the moment we touch down in Jordan our expectations were exceeded. Customer service is really important to them. Jordan is a fabulous safe country that has something for ever one. From Its historic sites, adventure and leisure. Will most definitely be back to Jordan and booking Zaman tours again. This was our itinerary - Jerash Amman city tour - Madaba - Mt. Nebo - Shobak - Petra - Little Petra - Wadi Rum Camp, Wadi Rum Jeep Ride, Dead Sea.