The streets of Amman and Jordan in general do have street food, but there is also a restaurant culture. This is great for eaters as you do not end up having to stand up and eat at a food cart for example. Almost everywhere you go there will be at least a table and chair to sit in.
Street Food in Jordan
A must for any trip to just about anywhere in the Middle East is these deep fried bits of deliciousness. Falafel is a combination of chick peas, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings like salt and pepper and coriander.
Whether you have it at Hashem Restaurant with a spread of mezze (appetizers) or in a falafel sandwich, it is a popular snack food in Jordan that you should try at least once!
Fuul (Fava Beans)
Fuul is another staple and a popular breakfast meal. Fuul is fava beans mixed with lemon, chillis and garlic. Every restaurant makes theirs a little different. Often breakfast buffets in hotels will have fixings on the side to add to your fava beans. They are often served in a tall ceramic tear drop shaped container with a long spoon.
Fatteh or Fattet typically consists of pieces of pita bread and chickpeas that have been layered in a serving dish and soaked, making a soupy type hummous that is eaten with a spoon. It is topped with a tahina sauce. This specialty is usually garnished with toasted pine nuts or almonds, fresh parsley or paprika and olive oil.
Hummus is like its own food group. This chickpea and tahini (sesame paste) dish can be made with all kinds of flavors, from lemon and garlic to pine nuts or cumin. Nothing like what you will find in the store, freshly made hummus is a must when you are visiting Jordan. You can get it all over Jordan, with hotel breakfasts and with mezze-style dining.
If you love breads, get yourself a falafel sandwich. Falafel balls are flattened and then put into a pita making the perfect size meal. The pita is stuffed with varied accompaniments, either made to order or in a self serve topping bar. You can expect hummus, eggplant, salads, sauces and even french fries in a falafel sandwich. It is all up to the cook, or the customer!
Locals will argue where to fine the best falafel in Jordan, but to be safe, just try them all!
The easiest way to describe Arias is like spaghetti sauce inside a pita. It is then toasted on the BBQ and served like a sandwich.
Another ubiquitous Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dish is a Shawarma. You will find plenty of Shawarma stands in Jordan. Shawarma is a slow cooked meat (usually beef, chicken or lamb) that is then shaved into thin slices and served in thin bread. Each Shawarma has its own array of spices and everyone will have an opinion on who makes the most delicious flavoured meat. It is served with chopped salad, tahini, pickled vegetables
Knafeh / Kunafa
Knafeh is a popular Arabic dessert that can be found in Jordan. It consists of melted cheese topped with a pastry or shredded wheat topping, then soaked in sweet syrup. It is usually sold by weight and is heavily addictive.
There are two types of knafeh, most easily explained in English as “soft” or “rough.” One is topped with shredded wheat (kheshna) and the other is topped with semolina… (na’ma). Try both and see which one you like better. If you like sweets, you will want to make sure you try this iconic Jordanian dessert.
The most popular knefeh in Amman will be found on our evening Amman food tour.