fattoush Jordan

Let's Drool Over Some Jordanian Food

Experiencing the food in Jordan was a highlight of our trip. While similar to the typical Middle Eastern cuisine found in neighbouring Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, this was our first time trying most of the foods on offer. The sheer range and variety of dishes available is staggering, each one as good as the last. Every foodie should head to Jordan for a culinary adventure.

Salads and Appetizers

One aspect of a Jordanian meal that we weren't prepared for is the sheer quantity of food. They have something like 13 different salads they can serve, including tasty dips like hummus, baba ghanoush and foul maddamis. Fried pastry bites, labaneh (a yoghurt cheese) and khubz (pita bread) often complete the first course.

fattoush Jordan

Fattoush quickly became our favourite salad.

kibbeh jordan

Kibbeh are fried minced meat croquettes.

jordan salads

Tabbouleh Jordan

Tabbouleh with Fattoush along with bread and other starters

jordan mezze

Pita bread slices with sesame paste and a warm creamy topping.

Main dishes

As our guide explained it, the stocking of a typical Jordanian kitchen is a serious affair. It would contain stockpiles of different kinds of wheat, a year's worth of two kinds of oils (olive oil and another for frying), a spice closet, dry yoghurt for marinating, three kinds of rice, a fryer and both a regular and electric grinder, among many other foods and equipment. Each dish has its own different spice set. No wonder they are all so tasty and unique!

jordan meat dishes

Meat is a staple of Jordanian cuisine.

seafood Jordan

Fresh seafood is also commonly found, especially in the coastal areas.

Mansaf, which is Jordan's national dish is made up of lamb in a yoghurt sauce, served with rice or grains. Maglouba, a type of chicken casserole is also very popular. We tried many different dishes at a few buffets and all were delicious, though I didn't get photos of them all.

lime-mint drink Jordan

I drank heaps of these refreshing lime-mint beverages.


It was always difficult to find room for dessert, but when we did even these were special and amazing. It's common to be brought a basket of fresh fruit with the dessert.

dessert jordan

This was a delicious orange gelatin-style dessert with rose essence.

jordan sweets

Typical sweets, including chocolate-covered dates and pistachio nests

kunefeh Jordan

We thought kunefeh was only found in Turkey but were delighted to find two different kinds in Jordan, one softer and one crunchier.

What's your favourite Middle Eastern dish?

Our visit to Jordan was sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board. Many thanks for all the wonderful meals we experienced.


  1. Smelly Ishant 22 December, 2011 at 00:45 Reply

    mmm mmm mmm that’s good labaneh.

    You guys should start up a food website, I just had lunch and now I’m hungry again.

  2. Erin 13 December, 2011 at 08:50 Reply

    Mmm, that looks so good. The starters look very vegetarian friendly and as you get loads I’m sure we’d be fine without the meaty main course. Can’t wait to visit.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 13 December, 2011 at 16:25

      They definitely are – just be sure to ask what’s inside any fried items before biting in. The finger pastries shown had cheese in them, for example, but kibbeh have meat. I could live off the dips, bread and salads alone and be completely satisfied (and I’m not even a vegetarian!)

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 11 December, 2011 at 16:03

      If you struggle to find a Jordanian restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant will offer similar selections – I’ve never seen any Jordanian restaurants in the US or Australia but have seen Lebanese ones. Of course you may add our link to your Travel Bloggers Guide – would love to see the list of posts so feel free to share it here when it’s finished! =)

  3. Andrew 11 December, 2011 at 10:07 Reply

    What is kunefeh? Is it like pizza? Or sweet? Speaking of sweet, that plate of deserts looks fantastic.

    At the top you mention “foul maddamis”, are those both Arabic terms or is foul English? If English, meaning with poultry or truly awful.

    • Geert @ Inspiring Travellers 11 December, 2011 at 16:08

      I probably should have explained that a bit better, huh? =) Kunefeh is a dessert with a melted cheese base and noodles, either soft or crispy, baked in a pan, with a sweet, syrup. So it tastes all warm, sweet and buttery when you eat it. I’m a cheese fanatic so this is the perfect dessert for me, haha.

      Foul maddamis is a mashed fava bean dish with seasoning. Not foul at all in the English sense =)

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