Vegetarian Food Guide to Jordan
Estimated reading time: 18 minutes
Are you a vegetarian or vegan and planning a trip to Jordan? Jordanian cuisine has got you covered, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect place to satisfy your taste buds! With a rich blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours, Jordanian cuisine is a food lover’s paradise. From mezze plates to falafel and hummus, there are so many vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes to choose from. And the best part? You won’t have to compromise on flavour or variety with my vegetarian food guide to Jordan.
This vegetarian food guide to Jordan will take you on a culinary journey to the best vegetarian food and vegan food spots in Jordan. I’ll show you where to find the most mouth-watering traditional vegetarian Jordanian dishes. I’ll also share some tips for being a vegetarian traveller in Jordan.
With so much to explore, let’s dig in and discover the best Jordanian cuisine has to offer!
Is it easy to find vegetarian food in Jordan?
Short answer: Yes, it is very easy to find vegetarian food in Jordan.
My fellow herbivores get ready to feast your eyes (and taste buds) on the splendour that is Jordanian cuisine! This country is a vegetarian and vegan food paradise, with a culinary scene that will have you salivating at every turn. From street food to fine dining, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the variety of flavours and textures that Jordanian cuisine offers.
But wait, there’s more! With the rise of veganism in Jordan, there has been an influx of restaurants and cafes offering plant-based options, even for traditional Jordanian dishes. So whether you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you’ll never go hungry in Jordan.
And if you’re looking for the best vegetarian and vegan food spots in Jordan, you’ve come to the right place. My vegetarian food guide to Jordan will spill all the beans (chickpeas?) on where to find the most delicious meat-free meals in the country.
So, what are you waiting for? Come and experience the vegetarian and vegan food scene in Jordan for yourself. Your taste buds will thank you for it!
How do I order vegetarian food in Jordanian restaurants?
Ordering vegetarian food in Jordanian restaurants is easier than you might think! First off, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic Arabic phrases to communicate your dietary requirements. “Ana nabati” means “I am vegetarian” and “Ana nabatiya” means “I am vegan”. You can also ask for “Ala al-ta’am al-nabati” which means “vegetarian food”. Most servers and restaurant staff are accommodating and will be happy to assist you.
It’s also important to note that Jordanian cuisine heavily relies on vegetables and legumes, so finding vegetarian options won’t be a problem. Common vegetarian dishes include falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh. Just make sure to ask if they contain any meat or dairy products.
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, try out the national dish, Mansaf. As mentioned earlier, many restaurants offer a vegetarian version of this dish. Don’t be afraid to ask the server for recommendations or modifications to suit your dietary needs.
Read on to find what are the popular vegetarian snacks in Jordan!
What are some traditional vegetarian Jordanian dishes?
Mezze – the king of Jordanian vegetarian cuisine! It’s a beloved dish that’s served at nearly every restaurant and home. This traditional Jordanian food is a sharing platter of small, flavorful dishes that are perfect for a light lunch or as a starter for a big meal. Mezze can be vegan or vegetarian, with a variety of dishes to choose from, such as hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and more.
The average cost for a mezze platter in Jordan can vary from 3 to 10 JD. So, be sure to add mezze to your list of must-try Jordanian traditional food and Jordanian street food when you visit this culinary wonderland!
Jordanian main course:
Get ready for a taste explosion, my herbivorous comrades! Jordanian main courses are packed with flavour and hearty goodness, perfect for any vegetarian or vegan foodie. One dish you must try is the Maqluba, which literally translates to “upside down.” This traditional Jordanian dish consists of layers of rice, vegetables, and sometimes meat or chicken, all cooked together in a pot and then flipped over when served. You can expect to pay around 8-15 JD for a Maqluba.
Another tasty option is the Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. Typically made with lamb, but many Jordanian restaurants serve vegetarian versions too. It consists of rice, cooked in a rich broth of fermented yoghurt, and topped with veggies or tofu, pine nuts, and herbs. It’s usually served with flatbread and eaten with your hands. You can expect to pay around 15-20 JD for a vegetarian Mansaf.
For those seeking something spicy and full of flavour, try the Mujadara. This dish is a mix of lentils and rice, topped with caramelized onions and served with a side of yoghurt. It’s cheap, nutritious, and oh-so-tasty, with an average cost of just 5-7 JD.
Next on my vegetarian food guide to Jordan, let’s talk about Jordanian breakfast!
When in Jordan, make sure you wake up early and head out for a traditional breakfast. You won’t be disappointed with the variety of flavours and textures. Jordanian breakfast is not just a meal, it’s an experience!
Jordanian breakfast dish is a feast for the senses! It’s a mix of traditional dishes and Middle Eastern staples that will leave you satisfied and ready to take on the day. A typical Jordanian breakfast includes hummus, labneh, falafel, pita bread, olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers. You can also expect to find some regional specialities like mana’eesh (flatbread topped with za’atar), foul (mashed fava beans), and shakshuka (eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce). Jordanians also love their tea – you can find it everywhere and it’s usually served with fresh mint or sage. You can find a delicious and filling breakfast for around 5-10 JD at a local restaurant or market.
Salad is a popular vegetarian dish in Jordanian cuisine. Vegetarians and vegans will be pleased to know that it’s readily available. The most common salad in Jordan is called Tabbouleh. A refreshing mix of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It’s light, healthy, and bursting with flavour. Expect a zesty and slightly tangy taste with a crispy texture.
Other salads you can find in Jordanian cuisine include; Fattoush, a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and crispy bread tossed in a sumac and olive oil dressing. Roasted Eggplant Salad, is a smoky and savoury dish made with roasted eggplant, garlic, and tahini sauce.
You can find salad dishes in almost every restaurant in Jordan, from high-end restaurants to street food vendors. The average cost for a plate of Tabbouleh or Fattoush is around 3-5 JD, while Roasted Eggplant Salad is slightly pricier at 5-7 JD. But trust me, it’s worth it. When in Jordan, do as the Jordanians do and indulge in the fresh and delicious salad options available.
Vegetarian/vegan snacks in Jordan
Jordanian snacks are perfect for satisfying those mid-day hunger pangs! As a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of plant-based snack options available in the country. One of the most popular vegetarian snacks is Sambousek, a savoury pastry filled with spinach, onions, and sumac, and often served with a side of hummus. Another vegetarian favourite is Manakish, a doughy flatbread topped with za’atar (a blend of herbs and spices) and olive oil. For something a little bit more filling try the falafel or halloumi cheese sandwiches. Vegans can enjoy this dish by simply omitting the cheese that is sometimes added.
If you’re looking for something sweet, try Kunafa, a pastry made with shredded phyllo dough, sweet cheese, and syrup. Although traditionally made with cheese, many bakeries now offer vegan versions that replace the cheese with a mixture of nuts or coconut.
You’ll find these snacks readily available in most bakeries and cafes throughout Jordan. The average cost for a Sambousek or Manakish is around 1-2 JD, while a slice of Kunafa will set you back around 2-3 JD. So, go ahead and indulge in some delicious vegetarian and vegan Jordanian snacks – your taste buds will thank you!
Jordan has a rich variety of beverages to offer, both hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. One of the most popular hot beverages in Jordan is tea, which is usually served with fresh mint and sugar. You can find tea at almost every street corner and it is a staple in Jordanian households. Another popular hot beverage is Arabic coffee, which is a strong and rich coffee with cardamom, served in small cups.
If you’re looking for something cold and refreshing, try Jallab, a popular drink made from dates, grape molasses, and rose water, or Tamar Hindi, a sweet and sour drink made from tamarind. Both of these drinks can be found at most street vendors and cafes throughout Jordan.
For those who want an alcoholic beverage, Arak is a popular choice. It is a clear, anise-flavoured spirit that is typically mixed with water and ice. You can find Arak at most restaurants and bars throughout Jordan.
In terms of cost, tea and Arabic coffee are usually very affordable, ranging from 0.25 JD to 1 JD. Jallab and Tamar Hindi are also reasonably priced at around 1 to 2 JD. Arak, on the other hand, can be a bit more expensive, with prices ranging from 5 to 10 JD depending on the quality and location.
What are the best vegetarian restaurants in Jordan?
1. Hashem Restaurant, Amman
If you’re looking for a taste of authentic Jordanian vegetarian cuisine, this is the place to be! You can find it in the bustling city of Amman, and believe me, it’s worth fighting through the crowds to get there. This was my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Jordan and had to be on top of my vegetarian food guide to Jordan!
The first thing you’ll notice when you step inside is the bustling atmosphere – locals and tourists alike flock here for the delicious food. The menu is simple, but that’s part of the charm. You can expect to find classic vegetarian dishes like hummus, falafel, and ful medames, all served up with fresh bread and a side of Jordanian hospitality.
But what sets Hashem Restaurant apart is the quality of the food. Everything is made fresh to order, with a focus on using locally sourced, organic ingredients. And the best part? It won’t break the bank! You can expect to pay around 3 JD for a meal, making it one of the most affordable places to eat in the city.
2. Tawaheen-al-Hawa, Amman
This charming little spot in Amman offers a delightful mix of traditional and modern Middle Eastern dishes, all completely meat-free. The atmosphere is Inviting, perfect for a casual lunch or dinner with friends.
The menu features a variety of mezze, salads, and mains that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss out on the falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh – all staples of Jordanian cuisine. For something heartier, try the mujadara or the stuffed grape leaves.
And the best part? Prices are very reasonable, with most dishes costing around 5 JD. Plus, the friendly staff will make you feel right at home. So, if you’re in Amman and craving some delicious vegetarian or vegan food, Tawaheen-al-Hawa is the perfect spot for you!
3. OJ’s, Amman
OJ’s is a fantastic vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant located in Amman, Jordan. This eatery is perfect for those looking for a healthy and delicious meal. OJ’s serves a wide variety of dishes, from Middle Eastern favourites like falafel and hummus to international dishes like burgers and wraps.
What sets OJ’s apart is its commitment to using fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients, making it an ideal spot for health-conscious eaters. The restaurant has a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for a quick lunch or a relaxing dinner with friends.
One of the must-try dishes at OJ’s is their signature OJ’s Salad, which is a delightful blend of fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits. They also have an impressive selection of freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, and healthy shots to give you that extra boost of energy.
The average cost for a meal at OJ’s is around 10-15 JD per person, making it an affordable option for a delicious and healthy meal. If you’re in Amman, OJ’s is a must-visit spot for any vegetarian, vegan, or health-conscious foodie out there!
4. Hashemite Plaza Restaurant, Madaba
This family-owned restaurant is the perfect spot to sample some authentic Jordanian cuisine.
The menu here is chock-full of delicious vegetarian and vegan options. Everything is made fresh daily using locally sourced ingredients. And the best part? The prices won’t break the bank! You can enjoy a hearty meal for around 5 JD per person.
But it’s not just the food that’s great at Hashemite Plaza Restaurant – the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming too. The staff are always happy to recommend their favourite dishes and make you feel right at home.
5. Abu Jbara, Madaba
Is a traditional Jordanian restaurant that is known for its delicious vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. The restaurant has a cosy atmosphere and is decorated with beautiful local art. Their menu features a range of mezze, salads, and main courses, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes at Abu Jbara include their delicious spinach pie, lentil soup, and their famous eggplant kebab. The average cost of a meal for two people at Abu Jbara is around 25 JD.
6. Green Valley, Jerash
Tucked away in a picturesque location overlooking the mountains, this restaurant serves up delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu features a variety of Middle Eastern and international options, including mezze, salads, sandwiches, and more.
One standout dish at Green Valley is the stuffed falafel, which is crispy on the outside and filled with a mouth-watering blend of herbs and spices on the inside. Another must-try dish is the lentil soup, which is hearty and flavorful, and perfect for a cool evening. They also have a variety of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies to choose from, which are the perfect refreshing accompaniment to any meal. The average cost of a meal for two here is 10-20 JD.
7. Abu Elias Restaurant, Wadi Musa
Are you ready for a food adventure in Wadi Musa? Look no further than Abu Elias Restaurant! This charming eatery is a must-visit for any vegetarian or vegan traveller exploring the Petra region.
Abu Elias Restaurant offers a range of delectable traditional Jordanian dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Their mezze platter is a favourite among visitors and locals alike, featuring hummus, baba ghanoush, and other flavorful dips served with freshly baked bread. Don’t miss their falafel, which is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, or their signature dish, Mansaf, a traditional Jordanian dish of lamb or chicken served with rice and a tangy yoghurt sauce. The average cost for a meal here is 10-15 JD for two people.
8. Carob Restaurant, Aqaba
Carob Restaurant, situated in Aqaba, is a gem for vegetarian and vegan travellers. The menu is a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours. Some of the must-try dishes include their lentil soup, stuffed eggplant, and their signature vegan pizza. The average cost of a meal for two people at Carob Restaurant is around 35 JD.
9. Syrian Palace, Aqaba
A charming restaurant serving up authentic Syrian cuisine that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy!
The menu offers a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, making it suitable for everyone. From delicious hummus to stuffed grape leaves and hearty falafel sandwiches, every dish bursts with flavour and uses only fresh, high-quality ingredients.
The baklava is an absolute must-try. And the rice pudding is so creamy and delicious that you’ll want to lick the bowl clean. You might expect a restaurant with such delicious food to come with a high price tag! But that’s not the case at the Syrian Palace. In fact, the prices are quite reasonable, and you can enjoy a full meal for around 10-15 JD per person.
What are some tips for being a vegetarian traveller in Jordan?
Next up in my vegetarian food guide to Jordan are some simple tips, that can help you through your travels in Jordan.
- Embrace the mezze: This colourful array of small dishes is a vegetarian’s dream come true. From hummus and baba ghanoush to stuffed grape leaves and crispy falafel, there are endless vegetarian options to enjoy.
- Learn the lingo: Make sure you know how to say “I am a vegetarian” in Arabic (Ana nabati). This will help you communicate your dietary needs to servers and chefs.
- Seek out local specialities: Jordan has a rich culinary tradition. Many traditional dishes are naturally vegetarian or can be easily adapted.
- Visit local markets: Jordan’s bustling souks and markets are filled with fresh produce, nuts, and spices. Stock up on fruits and veggies for healthy on-the-go snacks.
- Be prepared: Pack some protein bars, nuts, or other portable snacks in case you find yourself in a food desert.
- Ask for recommendations: Don’t be afraid to ask locals or other travellers for their favourite vegetarian-friendly spots. You never know what delicious surprises you might discover!
- Keep an open mind: Don’t let the fact that Jordan isn’t known for its vegetarian cuisine deter you from trying new flavours. You might just find your new favourite dish!
Cost of eating out in Jordan
This section of my vegetarian food guide to Jordan will help you budget your travels. From falafel and hummus to stuffed grape leaves and spicy shakshuka, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. But what about the cost of eating out in Jordan?
The good news is that Jordan is generally an affordable destination for foodies. Street food and local eateries are often the most budget-friendly options. With prices ranging from around JOD 1-3 for a falafel sandwich or a plate of hummus and bread. To around JOD 5-10 for a more substantial meal.
At mid-range restaurants, you can expect to pay around JOD 10-20 for a main course. While high-end dining establishments may charge upwards of JOD 30-40 per person. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the location and type of restaurant.
FAQs about vegetarian food in Jordan
Yes, there are vegan-friendly restaurants in Jordan. Some restaurants specialize in vegan cuisine, while others offer vegan options on their menu.
One of the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Jordan is the famous ‘Beit Sitti’ in Amman. They offer a vegan cooking class that teaches participants how to prepare authentic Jordanian dishes using only plant-based ingredients. ‘My Mom’s Recipe’ in Wadi Musa is another great option for vegan food, as they offer a wide variety of dishes made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. ‘Majnoon Qahwa’ in Aqaba is also worth mentioning, as they serve vegan snacks, sandwiches, and desserts, all with stunning sea views.
If you’re a vegan traveller visiting Jordan, don’t worry about finding something to eat. With a little research and planning, you’ll find plenty of vegan-friendly options throughout the country.
Yes, you can often find vegetarian options at non-vegetarian restaurants in Jordan. Many traditional Jordanian dishes, such as hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh, are vegetarian or vegan by default. It’s a good idea to ask the server if there are any vegetarian options available. Or if they can modify a dish to make it vegetarian. Many restaurants are accommodating to dietary restrictions and are willing to make substitutions or alterations to their dishes.
Some popular non-vegetarian restaurants in Jordan that offer vegetarian options include Fakhr El-Din in Amman, Burj Al Hamam in Abdoun, and Cantaloupe Gastro Pub in Rainbow Street. Be sure to check out the restaurant’s menu online or call ahead to inquire about their vegetarian options.
Yes, there are several cooking classes in Jordan that offer vegetarian options. You can learn to cook traditional Jordanian dishes like falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, and stuffed grape leaves, which are all vegetarian. Some popular cooking classes that offer vegetarian options include; Beit Sitti, Petra Kitchen, Mosaic City Hotel, and Dana Guesthouse.