Local Food in Jordan

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Food and Drink in Jordan

Jordanian cuisine is quite similar to fare served elsewhere in the region. The daily staple being khobez, a large, flat bread sold in bakeries across the country for a few hundred fils. Delicious when freshly baked.

For breakfast, the traditional breakfast is usually fried eggs, labaneh, cheese, zaatar and olive oil along with bread and a cup of tea. Falafel and hummus are also popular. There's no convention for when you should or should not eat any type of food.

Manousheh and pastries come in as the second most popular breakfast item. All of the hotels offer American breakfast.

The national dish of Jordan is the mansaf, prepared with jameed, a sun-dried yogurt. Grumpygourmet.com describes the mansaf as "an enormous platter layered with crêpe-like traditional "shraak" bread, mounds of glistening rice and chunks of lamb that have been cooked in a unique sauce made from reconstituted jameed and spices, sprinkled with golden pine nuts." In actuality more people use fried almonds instead of pine nuts because of the cheaper price tag. While mansaf is the national dish, most people in urban areas eat it on special occasions. Other popular dishes include Maklouba, stuffed vegetables, freekeh.

The most popular place to eat cheap Mansaf is the Jerusalem restaurant in downtown Amman.

Levantine-style mezza are served in "Lebanese-style" - which is typical to Jordanian style - restaurants around the country, and you can easily find international fast food chains including McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Burger King. In addition to chains well-known in Europe and North America, there are some local businesses such as:

  • Abu Jbarah: one of the famous falafel's restaurant in Jordan.
  • Al kalha: famous falafel and homous restaurant in Jordan.
  • Al-Daya'a and Reem: Famous places to get Shawerma sandwiches and dishes.

As for foreign-style restaurants, there's no shortage of them. The best ones are usually found in 5-star hotels, but the price tag is high. Italian restaurants and pizza places are somewhat abundant in Amman, Madaba, and Aqaba, but are very hard to find in other cities.

More and more cafes now serve food. There is an abundance of Middle Eastern-style cafes serving Argeelleh in addition to the full complement of Western and Middle Eastern coffee drinks. There is also a good number of Western-style cafes which usually serve Western-style desserts, salads and sandwiches.

National drinks include: wine; araq (a liquor similar to Ouzo); and strong Arabic coffee. The legal drinking age is 18.

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