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The traffic and commotion of downtown Amman shouldn’t put you off spending time in one of the most lively and authentic parts of the city. In addition to the fascinating historical sites of the Roman amphitheatre and citadel, downtown is home to a plethora of shops, markets, and traditional souqs. Here we review some of the best places to eat whilst in the area.
Cosy, if a little boisterous as the evening progresses, Jafra restaurant is tucked away in the backstreets of downtown Amman, so hidden that you might need a guide to locate it. As is so often the case, however, perseverance is duly rewarded here, with welcoming staff, excellent food, and an impressive range of shisha, coffees, and juices. A traditional menu of mezzes caters well to vegetarians. Their freshly cooked bread and labneh (strained yoghurt) are particularly mouth-watering. Popular with locals and tourists alike, Jafra appeals to every taste.
Address: al-Amir Mohammad Street, Downtown, Amman. +962 6 462 2551
A simple restaurant with a simple menu and excellent flavours, Al Quds is understandably popular with the downtown crowd. Offering generous portions and reasonable prices, the mansaf – a traditional Jordanian dish featuring lamb and rice, is especially popular. It’s slightly hectic and rough round the edges, but you can’t knock the food. The kebabs and sweet desserts are excellent too.
Address: 8 King Hussein Street, Downtown, Amman. +962 6 463 0168
The finest sweet shop in the downtown area, Habibah Sweets are a company of historic sweet-makers who clearly take a lot of pride in their sugary craft. Offering the full range of Middle Eastern sweet delicacies, this establishment is a must-visit for all sweet-toothed tourists in the city. Its baklava is exquisite; similarly, you won’t find better kanafa (a cheese pastry soaked in a sugary syrup) many places in the region. An imaginative selection of ice creams are also on offer.
Address: 2 Al Hazar Street, Amman. +962 6 552 0629