For the bigger adventures in Jordan and the region, travel guides do a pretty good job of giving you the low-down, but I thought I'd throw out some of the best aspects of my travels that you probably won't find in a travel guide.
Honorable mention: Sweet Chili Pepper Doritos
These actually might be available in the US but this is the first place I’ve seen them, and they’re really delicious. Especially with hummus. And I don’t even like Doritos usually.
Really great ice cream. ‘Nuff said.
9. Java U
In a town where fast internet is almost as scarce as the water, Java U’s got your back. It’s a little pricey but if you need to download a lot of stuff it’s worth grabbing some argileh and spending the afternoon in this café in Abdoun.
8. The Dagger Store
That’s not actually what it’s called but it doesn’t really matter what it’s actually called because addresses aren’t really a thing here. Google Translate the phrase for “dagger store” and head downtown. If you head up a small metal staircase to the left of the amphitheater you should find a shop with traditional-looking daggers filling the walls and showcases. If you don’t, just ask around and I’m sure someone will point you in the right direction. The man who owns this store is as friendly as he his skilled, which is very. He can inscribe a message or word on a dagger blade for you and can carve a customized wooden hilt. They make for great souvenirs/gifts.
I enjoyed going to this laid-back bar/restaurant off of first circle because of: a decent happy hour, a billiards table, good music at a volume conducive to conversation, and it never really gets crowded before 10 PM or so.
6. مطعم زهور (Meta’am Zuhoor)
Literally, "Restaurant of Flowers." If you enroll in CIEE and are placed in their Jabal Amman residences, this restaurant is located really close--right behind Le Royal. you can get a plate of falafel, cucumber tomato salad, two scrambled eggs, a bowl of hummus with pita, and tea for only 2.5 JD (about $3.50). The owner is super nice, and either doesn't know much English or doesn't use it, so it's a good place to practice your Arabic as well. Good times.
.50JD for unanimously the best falafel sandwich in town. Located on Rainbow Street.
My go-to shawerma shack. Probably will be the best shawerma sandwich you’ve had. Located on 2nd circle.
3. Bassam the Taxi Driver
When you go to see the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Petra, Ma’in Hot Springs, Desert Castles, Jerash, Baptism Site, or any other domestic tourist attraction, call this cabbie. His friendly personality and eccentric CD collection turned our 1-hour cab ride into a 1-hour karaoke dance-in-your-seat-to-terrible-music-that-everyone-knows party. Needless to say, he won’t try to rip you off as some cab drivers are known to do. And don’t get your expectations up, but we were treated to juice and snacks on our return trip.
Cell: 00962 79 693 1381 OR 00962 78 640 5015
2. Moodi Abdalla
If you're going to the Bethlehem/West Bank area, you'll want to meet this man. Some friends and I ended up running into him while looking at some of the art of the separation wall. He's a very talented street artist and super nice tour guide who will show you around some of the famous Banksy paintings in the West Bank for a reasonable price. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Facebook: "moodi abdalla".
1. Café du Paris
Located on Paris circle, this café-by-day-bar-by-night fills up with ajnabiein, “foreigners” every Tuesday for an absurd special on shots of a certain alliterating spirit. It’s nice because, like Amigos, it doesn’t charge for entry, has a very laid back atmosphere, and the music is usually on point. The real value of this place, though, is in the people you’ll meet. It’s a great chance to make friends from all over the world. Oh, and if you’re into hip-hop, the Jordanians that frequent Paris can show you around the Amman scene. If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet a man known as the Beatbox Elephant (go on a do a Google search)—a very talented artist and genuinely fun guy to be around.
Top ten things your travel guide won't tell you about Jordan. #GWAbroad #GWU #Jordan #countdowns #food #tourism