Amman features many different styles of restaurants, from traditional Middle Eastern fare to more familiar Western fast food and franchises. Prices range from ultra-cheap to moderate, depending on one's taste buds. For those on a budget, Arabic food is very affordable and can be obtained everywhere.
Arabic food generally consists of several general basic groups. Meat dishes will generally consist of lamb or chicken; beef is more rare and pork is never offered. Shwarma, which is cooked lamb meat with a special sauce rolled in piece of flat bread, is a local favorite. Rice and flat bread are typical sides to any meal. Jordan's speciality, mansaf, is a delicious lamb and rice meal, typically eaten with one's hands. Arabs serve plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes, many times accompanied by a plain white yoghurt condiment. Another favorite is chick pea-based foods such as falafel, hummus, and fuul. One of Amman's most famous local foods restaurant is Hashem, located in down-town Amman and you can have a lunch or dinner there for no more than 1.500 JD which is very low compared to other restaurants in Amman. This restaurant is one of the favourites of the Royal family and you will see a lot of photographs of the Royal family of Jordan dining at this restaurant. Nearby, there is Habeebah, which serves traditional east Mediterranean sweets such as baklava, but is most famous for serving a traditional dessert known as knafeh nabelseyyeh in reference to its origin from the Palestinian city of Nables.
The allegedly best shawerma in Amman is found in the street-side kiosk called Shawermat Reem, at the 2nd Circle. It is very famous and there are even lines at 2 a.m. It is a must to eat from this place and is very cheap.
Lebnani snack is a great place to eat Middle Eastern sandwiches, delicious ice cream and cocktails.
La Maison Verte - impressive French restaurant, with excellent food and excellent ambience. A must go to place. Moderate to pricey, but it's worth it; the atmosphere alone is worth it, it's quite fancy yet very cozy. Their house specialities include "Entrecote", various steaks and a variety of sea food.
Levant is a very comfortable restaurant with excellent service, excellent English and excellent food. They serve "gourmet" Arabic food, which means fresh local ingredients in surprising and delicious combinations. For more information you can view their website(http://www.levantjo.com/). They are located in Jabal Amman, 3rd Circle Behind Le Royal Hotel, Tel : 46 28 948
Cantaloupe - is a fairly trendy restaurant and cocktail bar with terrace impressively overlooking the city. Salads and fish are good, steaks are excellent. Regional and local wines are remarkably good. Service is excellent and unobtrusive. A little loud as the evening progresses.
10 Rainbow Street, 1 Juqa Street
Mobile: +962 7777 333 33 Telefax: +962 6 46 56 561
Fakhr al DinPhone: 962 6 465239940 Taha Hussein, st Jabal. - when going from 1st to 2nd circle, turn right after the Iraqi embassy. Following that, turn right at the end of this street, go past the lot on your left and then turn left again. "Fakhr al Din" is written in Arabic on the wall of last building on the block . A real classical of Amman's Lebanese-oriented restaurant. Quite pricey but worth it, especially if you're in the terrace on a warm evening. For local wine, try their "Gerasa" red wine. Reservation highly advised. Cost is around 15 to 30jd for a complete meal. Great place, but beware of waiters who deliver unordered food to your table. Don't accept anything you don't order.
Kan Zaman - impressive medieval castle on a hilltop turned into a beautiful restaurant. The place is worth the visit. The food is pretty basic but ok. Ask for their local "Kan Zaman" red wine. Hopefully, the prices are not proportional to the size of the hall. It's a bit difficult to get there as it is around 10 km south of amman. On the highway to the airport, you'll see a sign. Leave the highway, go under the bridge and follow the small road.
Noodasia - my treat. Nothing to do with Arabic food though, as the menu handles the whole map of Asia, from Thailand to China, through Japan (good sushis) and Indonesia. Nice place, excellent service and good food for the money, but no alcohol served. It's located on Abdoun Circle, in front of the Big Fellow pub.
Books@Cafe - a beautiful old house turned into the then-first bookstore/internet/cafe. Opened in the year 2000 and a hot spot ever since. This cafe is on Rainbow street overlooking all of the old city (Balad) and has two wonderful terraces with the best views in Amman. Boasting a very funky interior in contrast with the classical exterior, this cafe offers lite fare, water pipes (argheeleh), wine, beer and the best pizza in Amman. Free wireless network and three internet terminals. A must see.
Popeyes - the best fast food restaurant in Amman. It serves the best fried chicken "cajun our way". But what makes it different than other fried chicken restaurants is its lovely mashed potatoes served with hot gravy sauce, makes you want to swim in it. Also they serve a creamy cushiony baked biscuits. A must go place.
Hashem - Near the post office at King Faisal Street, where most of the budget hotels are located, you can ask most of the locals for directions to this cheap and famous local eatery. During meal times, the place is swarming with locals, who are there to eat a cheap and good meal of felafel, houmous and bread. Cost is only about 1.500 JD per person (for felafel, hommous, bread and tea).
And even if you can afford the above-mentioned, do not forget the good surprises coming from the countless shawarma outlets and other very cheap places.
AmeerLocated right across from the Hussien Mosque in the old city (Balad). Best place in Amman for falafel sandwiches. The sandwiches are cheap and delicious, 30 piasters. Ask for "shuta" (pronounced, shut-a, with the "a" as in "about", shuta means hot sauce) if you like it spicy. The falafel sandwiches come with french fries in them, tomatoes, parsley, onion, and some hummus. You can also ask for a "batata" sandwich (french fry sandwich), it is AMAZING! I always get one falafel sandwich and one bataba sandwich. It's the best!
Note: If you are a vegetarian, probably you will have to live on bread, felafel, fries, pita bread with hummus moutabal and salads. The salads are really tasty well marinated.