The world’s first Islamic settlement, situated at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea, the coastal city of Aqaba, Jordan, is a fascinating and beautiful historical center. Offering celebrated attractions such as the Aqaba Archeological Museum, as well as idyllic ancient ruins to explore, it’s no wonder the place has become a popular holiday destination in the Middle East. Sizzling sun combines with sparkling blue sea to create a sought after spot lined with a number of delicious cafes and restaurants. Read our guide to discover the top 10 restaurants in Aqaba, Jordan.
With a menu combining both Middle Eastern and Western food, Syrian Palace caters to all tastes, and is a friendly, laid-back venue to enjoy local flavors and traditional dishes. The staff are attentive and welcoming, and will happily guide guests through the menu dispensing advice on the best choices. The kunafa, a cheese pastry drizzled in syrup, is a renowned dish in the Arab world and a must try for dessert.
Royal Yacht Club Restaurant, Aqaba | Photo Courtesy of the Royal Yacht Club of Jordan Restaurant
The Royal Yacht Club of Jordan Restaurant
Situated within The Royal Yacht Club of Jordan, this upmarket establishment serves a mixture of Oriental, Italian and Asian dishes, all within a beautiful setting overlooking the Red Sea. The luxurious terrace faces the port and provides an excellent view of an Aqaba sunset. Guests also have the option to dine in the indoor restaurant, with its stylish décor and lively atmosphere. The seafood is widely praised here, so be sure to try some renowned mussels or octopus, fried in garlic and spices and served with chargrilled vegetables.
Upon arrival in Aqaba, it is almost a certainty that tourists will be told of the greatness of Ali Baba. Situated in the heart of the historic old city, the restaurant has been an Aqaba institution for decades, and is one of the few venues in the region which serves alcohol with its delicious Mediterranean food. Sit outdoors on the spacious terrace to enjoy the balmy evenings, and be sure to order seafood here. Everything is caught daily from the port, meaning an unbeatable freshness of taste.
Ali Baba Restaurant, Al-Raghadan Street, Aqaba,`Ammān, Jordan. +96232013901
As one of Aqaba’s only boutique hotels, Captain’s is a popular, modern place to stay, as well as a great place to eat and drink. A well known local landmark in the heart of the city center, the venue is worth a visit if only for the exquisite food presentation and nautical-themed staff uniforms. This is a smart yet informal place to eat out, offering an extensive menu of authentic Oriental dishes made from freshly sourced ingredients.
Specialising in seafood and traditional cuisine, and praised as one of the best seafood restaurants in Aqaba, Floka serve arguably the best catch of the day in the area. The restaurant changes recipes regularly ensuring cuisine is constantly interesting and original. The venue is decorated in an elegant yet unpretentious style, the service is friendly and quick, and the food authentic and creative. There are plenty of options for non-seafood eaters and vegetarians, and be sure to ask the host of local regulars advice on the best dishes to try.
Burj al Hamam
A brand first established in 1958, which rose to fame as the best restaurant in Lebanon, the Burj al Hamam name soon began to spread throughout the Arab world and now has a branch at the 5 star Aqaba Intercontinental Resort. Nestled by the hotel poolside, the restaurant is an excellent place to enjoy a touch of elegance with the freshest Lebanese cuisine, with local ingredients sourced daily and seafood brought in from the port. A popular destination, many people come here to sample the extensive selection of shish flavours on offer.
Situated in the center of the market area in Aqaba old town, just behind the Al-Sharif Al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque, restaurant Al-Shami buzzes with the sound of the street. This spot is a hub for locals who enjoy home cooking and traditional Arabic fare. Laid back, casual and good value for money, the restaurant offers an inviting mezze platter including Jordanian specialities made from lamb, rice and vegetables. Al Shami is a great place to get an authentic taste of daily Aqaba life.
Al Shami Restaurant, Al-Raghadan Street, Aqaba, Jordan. +96232016107
Suzana Restaurant is a popular eating establishment whose consistently outstanding food has attracted both local and international praise. With its romantic atmosphere, soft lighting and beautiful Tala Bay location, diners can unwind here whilst eating Italian inspired food with a Middle Eastern twist. Be sure to try one of the diverse selection of wines and beers, and to sample the rich and delicious Arabic coffee.
The Darna Village Hotel and Diving Centre is a paradise for any diver or sea-lover, lying right on the Aqaba beachfront and boasting a stunning view of the mountains of Sinai. The restaurant here offers some of the freshest seafood in the city, expertly selected every morning by skillful chefs. Try some authentic Arabic cuisine here and sample the traditional food of Aqaba’s desert ancestors, including koftah, mansaf, and the Palestinian inspired maklouba.
Al Tarboosh is a pastry shop and restaurant, a convenient spot for a quick bite after a day at the beach or an afternoon of sightseeing. Rustic and homely, Al Tarboosh serves arguably the city’s best Shawarma, as well as home-baked Jordanian cakes and pastries. Another restaurant favored by the locals, to try their famous white cheese pastries visitors must call in early, due to popular demand there are never any left by the end of the day.
Al Tarboosh Restaurant, Al-Raghadan Street, Aqaba, Jordan. +962 32018518