Arabic or Levantine Cuisine
The local cuisine in Jordan has a lot to offer and I will probably wirte a more detailed article on different Arabic/Levantine dishes soon. But first, I wanted to update my guide about my favorite Arabic restaurants as they do not only feature great, typical Arabic food but have a great location and/or nice atmosphere. Some of them are in Amman, some of them a bit outside, but when you live here, you will be happy to see something different for a change, once in a while. Also when you are traveling or have visitors coming, these are worth dining at. The listing is in alphabetical order and you will find a map at the bottom of this page. Please keep in mind that this is my personal list and I am aware of some other restaurants but only want to highlight them, if I tried them AND also liked them. Sahteen!
Burj Al-Hamam Restaurant – Amman Intercontinental Hotel
Located at the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman, this is one of four restaurants. While others cater for Indian, Mexican and Japanese Food, Burj Al-Hamam covers the local, Levantine cuisine. As you would expect in a five star hotel, food, seating and service are excellent. They have all the range from cold and hot Mezze over grilled foods, and typical Jordanian dishes such as Mansaf.
Haret Jdudna – Madaba
Haret Jdudna (Our ancestor’s Neighbourhood) is a very nice restaurant located in the heart of Madaba. It is located in an old castle-like traditional house including a big dining hall, a courtyard and a terrace (open in summer). They have a small souvenir shop, a huge variety of mezze and the other typical Arabic BBQ meat such as kebab and so on. Also, since Madaba is mainly inhabited by Christian people, Haret Jdudna is one of the few places that serves traditional Arabic food and alcohol at the same time. You can smoke Shisha there, too. Sometimes they have music events, we were lucky to experience the great Iraqi singer Ilham Al-Madfai there once.
Jordan Heritage Restaurant – Amman Webdeh
If you want to embark on a culinary Journey through Jordan, then head over to Jordan Heritage Restaurant in Webdeh. It is housed in an old building and they have a huge terrace to enjoy in Summer. The great thing about JHR is, that you cannot only enjoy Mansaf or Maqlooba but will actually find dishes from all over Jordan, be it Aqaba, Amman or Ajloun. If you go, you have to try their Makmoora, see left in the picture.
Levant – Amman 3rd Circle
Levant close to 3rd Circle, just behind the Hotel Royal serve typical Arabic/Lebanse cuisine. They have some dishes that originate from Armenia and specialties such as certain type of Kubba, Kofte or a single Shawerma served per person. The interior is nice and modern and the restaurant is not too big, which is nice. In summer you can enjoy the terrace as well. They used to have another location at Taj Mall, but I think not anymore.
Kan Zaman – Al Yadudah
The restaurant is placed a bit outside of Amman, towards the airport, a bit North East of IKEA. They have excellent Mezze and Mashawi (grilled meat) and they also serve beer. The location is very exceptional as it features a huge hall in nice old horse stables with a huge grill inside. They also have a massive terrace outside open in summer, also for certain occasions. Prices are at the upper end but they serve great food and in an awesome atmosphere.
Shahrazad Restaurant – Amman Downtown
If you are on a budget, but still want to enjoy some good Mashawi or oven baked clay pot dishes that taste great, then you should give Shahrazad Restaurant a try. Their kebab is yummy and also the kofta in tahine sauce is nice. Make sure to try the arayes, the minced meat between baked bread. The location is is not fancy but rather local but that makes it an authentic downtown experience and is a bit more interesting than the usual falafel.
Sufra Restaurant – Amman Rainbow Street
Sufra Restaurant is located just off Rainbow street in an old house. They have traditional tiles on the floor, bake their own bread (khubz) and have a balcony as well as a terrace open in Summer. The size is not too big, which is good. You can order some of their pan-baked dishes, which are very tasteful. Also, they special dishes on each day of the week, sometimes that might be Mansaf, other times Mussaka, as in the picture. It is a cozy, quiet place that caters for bath family dinners or occasions for bigger groups.
Tal Alrumman is a special place in many aspects. It has awesome furniture, it is super huge, they offer an amazing view, you can take your kids swimming there in Summer, they have small souvenir shop onsite AND they have incredible food. The sheer range of dishes is already impressive but the taste and how they present it, is even better. Be it Pomegranate flavored Hummus, clay pot dishes as in the picture, their grilled meat or Babaghanoush served in a pineapple boat. Must Try!
Watar Ziryab – Fuheis
Watar Ziryab located on the outskirts of Fuheis is another hidden Gem. Again, situated in a lovely old building, they offer quality mezze and all kinds of Levantine dishes in their own style. The seasoning and presentation is awesome and you will also find some not so common items on the menu. The beautiful location and the fact that they serve alcohol makes it interesting if you are looking to have Arabic food combined with a drink.
Zajal – Amman Downtown
Zajal is a very nice spot downtown. You will find the restaurant next to the stairs with the flower pots. They have several levels, inside and outside and nice decorations, which makes it a great spot to hang out. Like most of the larger restaurants, it is well suited for bigger groups. It is recommended to reserve a seat before. The terrace outside is very green. The selection of food is similar as in most Arabic restaurant and they offer some international dishes such as Pasta or steak as well. For dessert, you might just go a few meters to the original Habiba sweets downtown to grab some Kunafeh. On weekends they also serve a large breakfast buffet including Arabic and international cuisine.
Zuwwadeh – Dabouq/Fuheis
Zuwwadeh offers Lebanese food and is a great spot, just 10-15 minutes outside of Amman, on the edge to Fuheis. The new location features a huge hall with nice interior and lots of space. The walls, ceiling, and floors have a nice Arabic design and are lit by huge chandeliers. They have a great range of Mezze and grilled main dishes. It is pretty much like in all other Arabic restaurants. However, the food is of great taste, fresh but also pricey. In summer you can sit outside on the big terrace next to palm trees, enjoy a nice view while listening to the water fountain.
On Fridays or Saturdays, it is a good idea to reserve a table up front. Depending on the time you go, you can enjoy listening to some traditional Arabic music.
They also offer delivery through Talabat.
Finally, see the map with the location of all the restaurants listed above