Foodie Travel Jordan

Food in Jordan – What to expect to eat in Jordan from Amman to Petra

Food in Jordan - what to expect to eat and budget

Jordan is a country filled with delicious Middle Eastern food. Any trip to Jordan is bound to include delicious culinary experiences, from the best falafel you can imagine, to fresh ingredients bursting with flavour and delicious sweet treats.

If you’re wondering what kind of food is there to eat in Jordan – here’s a quick guide to give you an idea of what you can expect to eat in Jordan during your travels, along with the dishes you can’t afford to miss out on!

Food in Jordan

Full disclosure, I am a bit of a falafel fanatic. There’s something about those little balls of chickpea goodness that I just can’t get enough of! My love for falafel meant I knew I was going to love the food in Jordan, but I’m happy to report that there’s so much delicious food on offer, and I’m sure I only scratched the gastronomical surface of Jordan’s culinary culture.

Here are a a few of my favourite things that I ate in Jordan, to give you an idea of what you can expect when travelling in Jordan, and how much you need to budget.

How much does food cost in Jordan?

The food in Jordan is reasonably priced, but it’s not as cheap as parts of South-East Asia. In touristy areas like Petra, expect to pay a higher price for food. And whatever you do, don’t eat lunch inside the gates of Petra! You will be paying extremely expensive prices, when just outside the gates are plenty of restaurants selling the exact same food for a faction of the cost.

We were in Jordan on a week-long holiday, rather than as part of a long backpacking trip, so we weren’t on a strict backpacking budget. We were also in Jordan during Ramadan, which meant we often had to choose our restaurants based on availability and so we knew we weren’t always getting the best cheapest prices. We stayed in places with breakfast included and found the portion sizes to be really satisfying, so it is definitely doable to enjoy eating in Jordan on a budget.

Orange Juice

food in jordan - what to expect to eat from amman to petra

The baking heat of the Middle East makes sipping a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice all the more satisfying. You can order a fresh orange juice in most restaurants and it’s a great way to stay hydrated and get a dose of vitamins.

.50 – 3 Jordanian Dinar (€.60-3.65 / $.70-4.25)

 

Breakfast food in Jordan

 

Breakfast in Jordan - what to expect to eat from amman to petra

 

Breakfast in Jordan consists of a buffet style mix of stuff like, boiled eggs, Labneh (strained yoghurt), flatbread, hummus, sweet cakes and falafel, of course! The above photo is my half eaten breakfast in Amman.

We stayed in cheap hotels on our trip and were sure to check if breakfast was included. If you stay in a more expensive hotel, you can expect a bigger variety for breakfast, with some western breakfast food too. If you are eating out for breakfast, you can pick up an egg roll or mezze style food for cheap.

 

Falafel in Jordan!

falafel- food in jordan - what kind of food do you eat in jordan

My love for falafel runs deep, and so I was extremely excited to sample Jordan’s falafel offerings. Falafel are fried balls of ground chickpeas and spices and they are delicious! They say the world’s best falafel can be found in Jordan, and Amman is home to a number of highly rated falafel joints.

Try Hashem on King Faisal St (a favourite of the royal family and really reasonable, but very busy) and al Quds on Rainbow St in Amman and see for yourself.

food in jordan - best falafel - what kind of food do you eat in jordan

 

It isn’t just the falafel itself that I love, its that perfect combination of flatbread, salad, hummus that falafel is eaten with that makes me drool. You can get a serving of falafel with salad and bread for as little as 1 JD, but expect to pay more in more touristy areas. For example, a falafel sandwich in Red Cave restaurant in Wadi Musa, outside Petra cost 3 JD

Tabbouleh

Light, fragrant and refreshing – tabbouleh is delicious. Made with chopped tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion and bulgur, seasoned with olive oil and salt. The perfect food to eat in the baking heat. Tabbouleh often comes with flatbread, and cost me 3JD in Wadi Musa, but it can be found for cheaper in less touristy restaurants.  In al Quds in downtown Amman, a serving is 1.25 JD.

food in jordan - what kind of food expect do you eat in jordan

Fattoush

Another popular light salad is fattoush. It’s chopped vegetables, including cucumber, radish, green onions, pepper, lettuce, parsley seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. It’s served with torn up toasted flatbread.

Hummus

food in jordan - what kind of food expect do you eat in jordan

My love for hummus almost matches my falafel devotion. And hummus in Jordan is absolutely amazing. It comes in generous portions, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of spice.

Hummus in Jordan comes in a big bowl and costs between 1-2 JD in most restaurants.

Shawerma

Shawerma is a tasty dish of meat wrapped in flatbread. Marinated chicken or other meat is cooked on a vertical spit and served in a warm flatbread with salad and sauce inside.

chicken shawerma food in jordan - what kind of food to expect to eat in jordan

Sometimes it’s served in shrak bread (really thin bread) which is so tasty. Pictured below is the chicken shawerma from Books @ Cafe which was pretty expensive, costing 7.5o Jordanian Dinar ($10.50 / €9.10) You can find a delicious shawerma from  as little as 1 dinar in Jordan.   

Pizza cone?!

Our first night in Amman, Sean was feeling sick so I went in search of something easy to grab to ease my hunger. Clearly, I was hunting for falafel! But unfortunately, nowhere seemed to be selling them, I went to a burger place, a fries place and a sandwich place, walking up and down the dark streets in search of my fix. Eventually, I had to admit defeat and found myself inside a pizza place. I ordered the vegetarian pizza cone out of curiosity, and, after a longish wait, my cone of pizza was ready. And it was good.

The cone was a thick kind of crust and inside was packed with vegetables, I’m talking big chunks of broccoli, carrot and onion surrounded in melted cheese. It was really good, and perfect as an emergency dinner. Not what I expected to be eating in Jordan, but there you go!

It cost 1.95 JD ($2.75 / €2.37)

Manakeesh

Manakeesh - Jordan food in Middle East - what kind of food to expect to eat in jordan

If you’re after a more authentic Jordanian pizza, try Manakeesh, a large flatbread seasoned with olive oil and za’atar, a mix of thyme and sesame seeds. It can also come with egg and halloumi toppings.

Halloumi

Halloumi is what I like to call a meaty cheese! It makes for a salty and filling addition to a meal. I’ve often had it in a vegetarian breakfast in London. In Jordan, I enjoyed haloumi in colourful salads.

Halloumi salad - food in jordan budget

Halloumi salad with vegetables 5 JD

 

Makluba

Makluba - food in jordan what to expect to eat in jordan travel

Makluba via Wikipedia

Makluba means upside-down in Arabic.  It consists of rice, chicken, vegetables and spice cooked in a pot. When it’s done, the pot is turned upside down onto a plate.

Cost around 7-12 JD and often to share

 

 

Sweet Treats in Jordan

haressa sweet treat- food in jordan what to expect to eat in jordan travel

Jordan has some amazing cakes and sweet treats. My favourite is harissa, or basbousa, a sticky sweet cake made with semolina and drizzled in rosewater syrup. It’s divine. The above was from Ratib al Mardini in downtown Amman.

Another cake not to be missed is the more coconuty version of basbousa. We were served this as a complimentary surprise after our lunch in Petra.

sweet treats - Food in Jordan what to expect to eat - the traveloguer travel blog

Baklava is another tasty sweet in Jordan. It’s made with layers of filo pastry and nuts with honey or syrup.

If you have a sweet tooth and find yourself on King Faisal Street in downtown Amman, look out for a snaking queue of people and you will find Habibah, a very popular spot to get some kanefeh.

via Sarah Canbel CC

Kanefeh is made with pastry, cheese and drizzled in sticky syrup. Habibah has been around since 1951, when two Palestinian brothers from Nabulus moved to Amman. We were in Amman during Ramadan and so we didn’t even get to sample the infamous Habibah Kanafeh because the queue was too long with hungry Ammanians waiting to treat themselves after the break of fast.

 

 

Have you tried Jordanian food before? What’s your favourite Middle Eastern dish? 

 

 

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What to eat in Jordan - what food to expect from Amman to Petra - thetraveloguer travel blog

Jordan food and drink guide - what to eat on your Middle Eastern travels

 

Jordan food and drink guide - what to eat on your Middle Eastern travels

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Rob Stiles
    November 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Not only am I know hungry…I’m looking for airfare to Jordan! YUM!!!

  • Reply
    Dominic
    November 12, 2017 at 7:15 am

    We went on a 2.5 week road trip through Jordan and had a fantastic time. One of the things we loved so much about the trip was the food. I too am a falafel fanatic – wish I had seen this post before I went lol. We stayed out in the desert one night and had a Zarb – did you get a chance to have one of those when you were there?

  • Reply
    Bernadette Jackson
    November 12, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I’m with you on the hummus and falafels. And they look absolutely wonderful here. A friend of mine has family in Jordan, so I’m used to seeing so many of her fabulous foodie pictures and being more than a little hungry. I’ve never had makluba, and that would definitely be on my list to try; I’m a bit fan of all sorts of pilaf (and being coeliac, it’s often my goto when traveling).

  • Reply
    Julien Mordret
    November 12, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Well, all these dishes look really delicious! And pretty exotic, that’s what make them even more interesting. I am not sure of what to think about the pizza cones though, but if you say it was good, I believe you! My personal favorite is the Shawerma, this marinated meat is just fabulous.
    Julien Mordret recently posted…My 16 Favorite Pictures From A Plane’s WindowMy Profile

  • Reply
    Coralie Grassin
    November 13, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Mouth watering… Oh my, that looks fantastic, the sweets look amazing too!

  • Reply
    Janine Thomas
    November 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I love Middle Eastern food. My favourite is Shawerma and hummus and ,,,,,,, well all of it really! I am dying to go to Jordan so I have bookmarked this. YUM!

  • Reply
    Corinne
    November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I loved the food in Jordan, and my two favorites were the falafel and the hummus. Like you, I just couldn’t get enough. It was the first time I’d ever had falafel and it was love at first bite.

  • Reply
    Renata
    November 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve been to Muslim countries during Ramadan, too, and yes, it is difficult. I always felt bad eating or drinking in the company of other people… Besides Manakeesh – which sounds very yummy! – I know all these foods and funny enough, I’m going to an Arabic restaurant tonight, so your post is a great inspiration to water my mouth 😉

  • Reply
    Jing
    November 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I’m only familiar with falafel and shawerma, and would love to try everything you’ve posted here, especially the Tabbouleh and Manakeesh. I would like to do visit Israel and Jordan for a pilgrimage, and now, I will add food tasting as another mission. 🙂

  • Reply
    Meagan
    November 17, 2017 at 12:11 am

    So, what you’re telling me is you can’t go wrong when eating in Jordan 🙂 The food alone is enough to get me to want to go there – so many of the spices used in Middle Eastern cooking are just so special and delicious. Also, happy I have a better visual on authentic shawarma than the one I got from the Avengers hahahahah thank you for this delicious writeup!
    Meagan recently posted…Big Beehive: A big little hike near Lake LouiseMy Profile

  • Reply
    melody pittman
    November 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Yum! My first time seeing what food looks like in Jordan! What is the purple stuff on the hummus? A spice, chopped veggie? Looks so pretty!! Breakfast looks a bit scarce to me (I’m an American. LOL) but that cake with the pistachios looks heavenly!!

  • Reply
    Lorelle
    November 22, 2017 at 12:27 am

    OMG Yum…. you have made me sooo hungry. I’ve never been to Jordan but we have a lot of Middle Eastern food here in Melbourne. I was actually going to make Falafels tomorrow!! Great post, really enjoyed it. Lorelle 🙂

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