A spacious café that blends modern and rustic elements of interior design, Books@Café is known around Jordan as a hub for the young and the trendy, and is a hit with international visitors too. The two-storey café has a curious aesthetic mixture, featuring some homely brick walls as well as flaunting some eccentric floral patterns. Just a few minutes away from Rainbow Street , the atmosphere is often rambunctious, the menu is diverse and international, and the healthy juices come particularly recommended. The terrace has great views of the city, and there a plenty of books inside. Books@Café is also one of Amman’s best known LGBTQ centres, enjoying an excellent reputation amongst Jordan’s gay community.
Address: ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab Street, Amman, Jordan, +962 6 465 0457
Shams al Balad Café
Shams al Balad Café offers customers the very best of local produce, delivered straight from nearby farms. An excellent range of Middle Eastern teas and coffees, Shams’ menu also features a range of Jordanian delicacies including olives, breads, and sweet jams. Tastefully decorated, this organic deli is also home to a delightfully shaded courtyard area, which often plays host to talks and meetings on topics ranging from the arts to politics.
Address: 69 Mu’Ath Bin Jabal Street, Amman, Jordan. +962 6 465 1150
Just 100 metres away from Rainbow Street, Caffè Strada is a professional, thoughtfully run establishment, and is understandably popular with young Jordanians and tourists. According to its website, the café is smoke-free (not a given in Jordan), and labels itself as a “paninoteca and dessert parlour of Italian and European traditions”. A fantastic place to work and sample a wide variety of teas and coffees, Strada is comfortable, welcoming, and has a strong Wi-Fi connection.
Address: 15 Muhammad Rashid Ridha, Amman, Jordan. +962 6 461 0017
Turtle Green Tea Bar
In the heart of Rainbow Street is the light, airy, and simply furnished Turtle Green Tea Bar. Clearly marketed to an international crowd (the menu is in English), the café makes no false promises, with live turtles in an aquarium and more importantly, a fine selection of teas. Turtle Green has a strong claim for the best iced tea in Jordan, which makes the perfect antidote to Amman’s summer heat. It also has a cosy feel in the winter months, with its wooden furnishings and fireplace. It is very popular with students.
Address: 46 Rainbow Street, Amman, Jordan. +962 7 9554 0601
With live music, shisha pipes, and some flattering mood lighting, Jafra Café-Restaurant caters well to serious discussion as it does to first dates. Simple wooden furnishings make a pleasant change from some of the more image-conscious cafes on Rainbow Street. This downtown establishment strikes the perfect balance between the traditional and the modern. The menu features the best of local and Levantine cuisine, as well as the usual range of coffees, teas, and smoothies. Reasonably priced, Jafra is busy every evening.
Address: Complex No 15, Prince Mohammad St 15, Amman, Jordan. +962 6462 2551
It’s hard to resist being charmed by the rustic simplicity of the Jadal Café. The café is situated in a small, private courtyard in downtown Amman, and attracts a varied demographic of clientele. They serve a decent cup of tea (among other things), but the main draw is its serene ambiance and the cultural events that occur regularly. The courtyard takes on a different, livelier vibe at night, when live music is often played.
Address: King Hussein’s Street, Downtown Amman, Jordan. +962 7 9919 5993