The famous traditional foods of Jordan

Jordan stretches from the Syrian border to the edge of the Red Sea, and has always been a very important cultural and historical travel destinations. Ancient sites in Jordan tell the stories of the Roman emperors, the Nabatean kings, and Crusader castles still exist on its strategic hills.

In the crowded streets of the capital Amman, one can hear different dialects: Syrian, Egyptian or Iraqi, while the Bedouin tribes in the country are still adhering to their traditions and desert heritage.

Jordanian cuisine is known to be diverse and unique, a vibrant blend of Bedouin flavors and local dishes. Whether you want to drink sweet tea in the ancient city of Petra or look for the finest falafel in Amman, the cuisine is an essential part of exploring Jordan.


Undoubtedly the most popular food in Jordan, and also considered to be the country’s national dish. It is a platter of meat with thin bread, large piles of rice and roasted nuts, served with yogurt sauce. Mansaf has its roots in the Bedouin cuisine, a tradition that stretches over international borders, from Palestine all the way to Iraq. The traditional recipe contains lamb — or even camel, in some restaurants.

Bedouin tea and coffee

The ancient city of Petra, carved in the rocky mountains, was unknown to the Europeans from the Crusades until the early nineteenth century. Nowadays, thousands of visitors visit the city every year to see the tombs and caves which lie very close to the main road. Here you’ll find many Bedouin tents which invite tourists to have some sweet tea and traditional coffee. Tea sharing is an important part of Bedouin culture, as well as their wonderful hospitality.


A nice layer of pastry decorated with tangy cheese or cream, a popular dessert that is said to have spread throughout centuries, served with thick Turkish coffee. Kunafa is the favorite dessert of locals for special occasions, and it’s simply delicious when served on hot days.


A dish of rice, chicken, potatoes and vegetables, — “maqluba” means “upside down”. A centuries-old recipe that even appeared in a copy of a 13th-century cookbook from Baghdad, featuring a collection of medieval cooking recipes.

Roasted nuts

If you take a walk in the market behind the Al Husseini Grand Mosque in Amman, you’ll immediately smell the scent of roasted nuts from all the shops, which spreads throughout the market. The dish is seasoned with delicious spices, sugar and salt, then filled with everything  you can imagine — from almonds to chickpeas. Most walnut sellers also have sweet fruit from the Jordan Valley, where farmers grow about three quarters of the world’s medjool dates.

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