Jordan — Food and Restaurants
Jordan’s entertainment scene is not terribly raucous with most establishments closing around 2:00 p.m. and most locals preferring a relaxed night in to a wild party. Jordanian cuisine is typically Middle Eastern and many restaurants serve up delicious local fare. There are several international options for travelers who aren’t feeling too adventurous.
Jordan Bars and Pubbing
Jordan doesn’t have too lively a nightlife with many locals preferring to go out for a good meal or a quiet drink. Some of the luxury hotels in larger cities like Amman have nightclubs at which travelers can dance their cares away. Mainly, though, entertainment after dark consists of cultural pursuits including concerts and exhibitions. There are a few establishments in Amman which are worthy of mention.
A rustic bar in a trendy part of town, Grappa (Abdul Qader Koshak Street, Jebel, Amman) is popular with locals and tourists alike. Boasting wooden benches and conceptual wall photography, it’s a quirky Jordanian establishment and the perfect place to have relaxed evening. The Living Room (Mohammed Hussein Haikal Street, Jebel, Amman) is equally charming, but much more understated and one of the few places in town which has really good cocktails. With high-backed chairs and daily newspapers, this place could easily be mistaken for someone’s private residence.
For something a bit more refined, head to Nai (3 Arroub Street, Shmeisani AlQasr Plaza Hotel, Amman). Extremely popular, this Ottoman style bar is the place to be in the country’s capital. Many of the world’s top DJs have performed at this venue and the best Middle Eastern beats can be heard floating through its doors.
Anyone looking for a traditional bar should look no further than the Big Fellow Irish Pub (Abdoun Circle, Abdoun, Amman). Serving up the best pints and pub grub in the city, travelers would be forgiven if they thought they were in Ireland. Luckily the Arabic music playing over the speakers quickly reminds everyone exactly where they are. It’s all quite ironic since alcohol is mostly unavailable in Jordan.
Jordan Dining and Cuisine
Jordanian cuisine is similar to most other Middle Eastern foods, incorporating many fresh products like eggplant, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Flat breads are also quite popular and rice in particular is a staple. Most restaurants in the larger cities offer a variety of local and international cuisines and there are establishments to suit every price range. Even though the country is largely Islamic, alcohol can be found in most restaurants except during Ramadan, the holy month.
Very popular with both foreigners and tourists, Hashem Restaurant (Al-Amir Mohammed Street, Amman) serves up some of the best Jordanian dishes in the city. With a great atmosphere and extremely low prices, it’s the perfect place for a quick snack or light lunch. Another Jordanian favorite is Reem al-Bawadi (Tlaa al-Ali, Jubilee Gardens, Amman). Sometimes overrun with tour groups, this large restaurant complex has a wide range of local and Lebanese food. The best part of the evening is when diners are treated to a traditional live music show.
For something more international, Formosa Restaurant (Aqaba Gateway Complex, Aqaba) has a great seafood selection and Blue Bay (As-Sadah Street, Aqaba) is guaranteed fresh daily.