What’s your favourite Jordanian food?

Jordan was my first real introduction to Middle Eastern food. St. John’s, although it is many beautiful things, is not what you’d call an overly multicultural city (at least compared to other Canadian cities). Fortunately now that Mohamed Ali’s has opened downtown, I can have my falafel fix anytime. (Like last night. I doubt the creators of falafel intended for it to be a hangover cure, but it is.)

Dinner with a Jordanian family

A typical Jordanian food spread.
So the variety offered in Jordan was wonderfully overwhelming. I LOVE being able to sit down at a meal to share small plates with everyone so that everything gets tasted. Granted, when my travel group and I ended up at an Italian place after a week of hummus, pizza was about the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Variety is the spice of life.

Dinner in Aljoun with a family

Sharing is caring. Dustin = not impressed.
Here is some of my favourite Jordanian food.

Small Dishes


Small starters are known as mezze, and make great sharing food. They’re also usually very vegetarian friendly. Many of these dishes were shared at a family dinner hosted by Eisa Dweekat and his family in Orjan, Aljoun. If you’d like to arrange a similar experience, feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll pass along his contact info.

Dinner in Aljoun

Our host, Eisa.
Moutabal – Potato or eggplant is roasted in the fire, the skin is removed, and then it gets mashed with garlic and salt, and olive oil.

Hummus – Something most of you are probably familiar with: pureed chickpea spread and sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic. Often accompanied by warm pita for dipping.

Falfael – Naturally! Fried balls of chickpea flour and spices.

Tabbouleh – A light and delicious parsley salad.

Fattoush – (The name makes me giggle, because I’m 10.) A salad topped with crunchy fried bread, like croutons.

Mujeddrah – Lentils with rice and onions.

Arbood – A bread baked in ash – a Bedouin tradition. Ours was served with a mixture of tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Probably my absolute favourite meal experience in Jordan, while hanging out with a Bedouin and his family.

Bread baked in ash

Foul – Although typically a breakfast dish, it’s often served at every meal and as a side dish as well. It’s made from fava beans and a ton of spices swimming in a sea of olive oil.

Main Courses


Mansaf – The national dish of Jordan, and is made from lamb cooked in a sauce made from fermented dried yogurt known as Jameed. It’s typically served with rice or bulgur. If there’s ONE dish that’s Jordanian, it’s mansaf. You’ll find most other dishes throughout the Middle East, but this one’s special.

Zarb – This cooking practice is exclusive to the Bedouins, and my experience took place in the Wadi Rum desert. It consists of lamb or chicken buried in an oven with hot coals in the desert sand, and sometimes including mixed herbs and veggies. It emerges from the ground with all drama: busy Bedouins pushing aside the ash as a steaming oven is pulled out of the ground with force.

Schwarma – A street food that many of you are likely familiar with! Schwarma is herb and spiced chicken or meat on a split, chopped into tiny pieces and wrapped in flat bread. It’s served with veggies, tahini, and other spices.

Sweet Things & Drink


Arabic Coffee – A blend of coffee with ground cardamom. Rich and thick.

Tea – (Very) sweetened mint tea, sometimes with sage leaves. Pretty much the greatest tea you’ll ever drink.

Jordan tea

Wines – Jordan does have a few wineries, believe it or not. We did a wine tasting at Zolot, including two whites and three reds. I won’t pretend to know ANYTHING about wine, but I thought it was tasty.

Knafeh – A delicious dessert from Habibeh. A cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugary syrup.

Jordan dessert

Dried dates – In Amman’s souk (the market), our guide Mohammad bought a bag of dried dates and we shared them around. We laughed as an older gent reached out to grab one, but Mohammad explains it’s natural; it’s an offering.

Amman souk

From inside the souk.

Where to Eat


Wild Jordan Café, Amman – Where all ingredients are organic and the funds support a wildlife reserve.

Hamesh, Amman – A simple diner with plastic chairs and tables, but where one of our most epic meals took place.

Zumot, Aman – More than just a winery: the food spread is ridonkulous.

Zumot wines

Petra Kitchen, Petra – Where you’ll get a cooking lesson AND a meal.

What’s your favourite Middle Eastern meal?


This trip was sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board. Opinions are also my own, unless I’m dangling over a balcony as someone holds my ankles and forces me to state otherwise.

If you like it–pin it!

Hamesh-Jordan pin

  • November 03 2014
    Katie Featherstone

    Wow, this post has made me so hungry! Bolivian food is not quite on the same level I don´t think :/ Great information thank-you!

    • November 05 2014

      Hahaha, I know NOTHING about Bolivian food, though. I’d love to try it.

  • November 03 2014

    Jordanian food looks delicious- I was drooling on my keyboard as I was reading this post! I would kill for some of that mint tea right now.

    • November 05 2014

      Seriously, I cannot find that tea ANYWHERE! Or at least I can’t replicate how it tasted there. I’ve tried. :(

  • November 03 2014

    All of this sounds delicious! I knew very little of Jordanian food before reading this, but now all I want is some Zarb… with tea and Knafeh to finish it off. Cheers!

    • November 05 2014

      UGHH I’d kill for some Knafeh. Nothing worse than not being able to find international foods in Newfoundland, as you know, haha. I’d cut off my arm for some halva.

  • November 04 2014

    I have only tried falafel from this list (which isn’t particularly impressive!) but Jordanian food looks delicious!

    • November 05 2014

      Hahaha, falafel is a great start!

  • November 04 2014

    I’ll take one of everything, please. LOOKS SO DELICIOUS!

  • November 06 2014

    Tempting photos! Middle Eastern food is delightful–thought my absolute favourite would have to be the grills–especially the fish.

    • November 06 2014

      UGHH I miss that about Greece too, actually. I don’t eat much meat in North America, I’m not sure why. It has a different quality. In the Balkans I was practically a carnivore.