Find out all you need to know about the best Jordanian food and drinks before your trip.
Jordanian food carries traces of each of the Middle East’s cultures, and at heart, it has the best of Levantine cuisine. Some of them you are familiar with, such as hummus and falafel at the forefront of the international scene. But Jordan has dozens of flavorsome dishes that you haven’t heard of yet. Prepare to widen your perspective of Jordanian food and check out our Jordanian food guide as you begin your trip to the Levantine favorite. Before you arrive, keep in mind these Jordan food tips:
Must-Try Jordanian Foods
Here are the top dishes of the Jordanian food scene that will help you eat like a local:
The star dish of Jordanian food, mansaf is as traditional and delicious as it gets in terms of main courses. It has Bedouin roots and consists of classical Middle Eastern ingredients. You may find it slightly fatty, but it is just as nutritious and delicious. The most distinctive quality of mansaf is lamb or goat meat cooked in a thick yogurt sauce. There are different varieties in different eateries, although locals usually tease chicken mansaf for not being Jordanian enough.
There is no need to introduce falafel, as it has been at the vanguard of international cuisine for years. But, before it made its legacy as a favorite vegetarian dish, it was Jordan’s most common street food eat. Falafel is a signature dish across the Levant, and you will see locals consuming it at every meal from breakfast to late-night snacks. Sit at a restaurant and try falafel plated alongside fresh mint, bread, and a tasteful mash-up of vegetables if you have time.
Another typical bowl dish of Jordan, mujadara is a protein-rich meal and a rewarding choice for vegetarians. Rice is cooked together with lentils so the flavors blend together perfectly. Cumin and a variety of other spices go well with it, and it is usually consumed with yogurt or salad. You can ask for caramelized onions at the top if you wish to color up things a little bit.
Meet the authentic and mouth-watering pizza of the Levant. Manakish is a favorite Jordanian food that will make you feel at home if you are coming from the west. Instead of mozzarella and the classical pizza toppings, manakish is dough topped with thyme sauce, olive oil, and sometimes eggs, halloumi, or ground meat. It is another Jordanian street food staple that you will find in most food stalls.
Kunafa is so common across the Levant and the Middle East that you may find yourself dipping into one after every meal. It is a tasty dessert soaked in syrup and made of crisp pastry threads with melted cheese in between. You will find the best kunafa in Amman’s sensuous backstreets. Combine it with some strong Turkish coffee or Bedouin tea, which complement the sweet taste of the dessert perfectly.
Must-Try Jordanian Drinks
You will be offered a strong tea brewed in traditional coal-black pots in shops, restaurants, and even across the walking routes in Petra and Wadi Rum. This is the iconic Bedouin tea of Jordan, a stretch of the authentic tea scene of the Middle East that you are familiar with. Locals like to sweeten it with sugar and fresh spices such as mint and sage. It goes perfectly with starry nights in the desert or in the bustling cafes of Jordan’s big cities.
Local Liqueurs and Beverages
Jordan is a Muslim country and alcohol does not receive a huge amount of attention. But, you will still find liquor stores, bars, and restaurants with a wide range of alcohol. We recommend trying the local beers Carakale and Petra. Jordan also has a local liquor called Arak, a Levantine spirit made of grapes and aniseed. It may be too aromatic for some travelers, but give it a try for a truly authentic experience.
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