Vegetarian Food in Jordan - the Comprehensive Guide!

Jordan is a country known for its non-vegeterian food, but what about the vegetarians? Are there food options for vegetarians as well in Jordan? This question is especially important for Indians who are often prefer vegetarian food and hence worry about food when they travel outside India. This is an article to allay their food fears when they travel to Jordan.

food vegetarian jordan indians mezze
Food for vegetarians in Jordan

I generally don't prefer traveling with a group, but traveling with a bunch of other traveler writers and photographers is always welcome. And when some of these awesome people are actually vegetarians, the journey becomes even more fun and there is always someone to share food and food tips with!

So what are the options of Food for vegetarians in Jordan?

A Jordanian meal is a multi course meal and each course is a meal in itself. Let us look through in detail about the food options for vegetarians in each of these courses.

Starters - Mezze

A meal in Jordan begins with starters called as 'Mezze'. A mezze is an assortment of delicacies, including breads, dips, salads and sold fried snacks. The part of the meal is usually the most elaborate dona largely vegetable based, which makes it ideal for vegetarians.

food vegetarian jordan indians mezze
Ready to be served :)
Spread of Mezze
Here are some of essential elements of Mezze.

Even though Jordan has limited land under cultivation, fresh salads are an integral part of any Jordanian meal. The salads are usually the starting point of the meal and work more as an appetiser. For a vegetarian these are delightful as there is tremendous variety and each salad is potentially a meal in itself. If you are eating a full Jordanian meal, you are likely to be offered many of these and its a good idea to eat lots of it. Some of the most common types of salads are: Fattoush, Tabbloueh and Arabic Salad.

No food in middle east is complete without the Dips. I actually feel that ‘dips’ is not a great way to describe these as you almost eat them like Indian ‘subzi’ with lovely hot breads. The most popular amongst these is Hummus, which is basically chickpea paste, with olives. I can declare it to be my most favourite part of the meal (apart from the desserts). The next most popular food is Baba Ghanoush which is sort of like ‘Baigan bharta’, but without the spices and Indian flavors. I know many love it, but I found it a little bland for my taste palate. The other popular dips are Mutabbal and Bagdonsyyeh.

food vegetarian jordan indians mezze
Bread with Mezze dips and veggies

More in Mezze
The list of food items in Mezze is fairly long and can be difficult to remember. It sometimes comes in many mini-courses so keep some space for the next round as well. The most curious food item here was Labneh, which is basically a ball of curd, and it’s extremely sour and takes a while to get used to the taste. Warak Enab are rolls made with grape leaves and again are quite sour. And then there are Pickles which are different from the ones you get in India.

The Mezze is never complete without breads. Often multiple type of breads are offered as the first course goes on. My favourite is Khubz, also known as Pita bread. Then there is Shrak, which is close to Indian rotis, and Taboon.

food vegetarian jordan indians mezze rotis
Rotis getting ready - fresh from the over

Main course

Though main course is the most important course of any meal, in Middle East most of it is usually non-vegeterian food. However, there are still some interesting preparations that a chef can make for you.

food vegetarian jordan indians main course
Relishing a meal at Dead Sea
food vegetarian jordan indians mezze main course
Some of us in the gang cooked this food :)
food vegetarian jordan indians mezze main course
An almost subs for us veggie people :)

Since it was a few of us who ate only veggies, there was often something for us. It’s another matter though that by the time we came to the main course, most of us were absolutely stuffed. At Petra, the chef made something which almost tasted like Indian curry :)

Middle Eastern desserts

This is my favourite part of food and Jordan didn't disappoint me at all in this section. Right from the time we had our first meal, the desserts were almost always yum! What's even better is that they also eat sweets during breakfast - its called Helvah and eaten with walnuts.

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Jumping on the desserts!

Chickpeas are a very important part of food here and is used for starters, main course as well as desserts. Since I am so used to it's taste, it made me feel quite at home :)

food vegetarian jordan indians desserts halwa
Arabiab Helava
food vegetarian jordan indians desserts helva
My favourite breakfast helava with walnuts
food vegetarian jordan indians desserts
Can someone help me with the name of this?

Here are some of my favorite sweet little things to eat after a meal :)

Warbat - it is sort of a pastry which is made in very thin layers and almost melts in your mouth. Its also mildl sweet so you can eat it easily. However, be prepared to feel really full at the end of it!
Helava - it sounds like it’s Indian brethren, but its actually quite different. With walnuts, it’s heavenly!
Knafeh - it is a Levantine Cheese pastry sparked in sweet sugar based syrup. It’s nice to eat but you feel full after only two bites!
Ice-cream - it's a little like the Indian kulfi is totally paisa vasool!
Fruits - I was a little surprised the first time we had fruits for desserts, but it seemed to be a common practice to offer fruits, especially grapes, after a heavy meal.

food vegetarian jordan indians desserts ice cream
Kulfi like Ice Cream 

Beverages - Tea, Coffee, Lemonade and Wine 

Neither tea or coffee is produced in the Arabian Peninsula, yet both are extremely popular here. Coffee came to Arabia from Ethiopia across the sea, and has been an absolute favorite drink of the region ever since.

The tea you get here is always Black Tea with Sugar and Mint. The mint used is fresh and adds quite a dash of flavor to it. I tried it once and became a fan almost immediately.

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Jordanian tea with mint

However, coffee was another matter altogether. The Arabian coffee is usually a shot of black coffee with cardamom. It's served in beautiful ceramic glasses and is quite strong. I was apprehensive about it because of the use of cardamom and even after two attempts, didn't develop the taste for it. Having said that, you must not listen to me and make your opinion on this hot beverage.

The one beverage which actually helps you cool down in the desert heat of Jordan is Lime juice with mint. I found it a little too strong (too tangy and too sweet) in the beginning, but it still became my favorite drink with most meals.

And finally it's time to discuss some Wine. Since Jordan has a large Muslim population, I always assumed that there won't be any alcohol served in the country. I was completely wrong - not only is liquor served here, Jordan also makes some exquisite wines, especially red wine. The temperature and terrain of the country allows little vegetation, and grapes is one of the things that survives here. The two popular wine brands here are Mount Nebo and St Thomas.

Food from rest of middle east 
Apart from Jordanian food, you can also find food from other parts of middle east, especially Lebanese and Turkish food. Most big cities have joints for food from these countries and even though most of it is non-vegeterian, you will always get something vegetarian also.

My favorite was Falafel. I had somehow assumed it to be a part of all Middle Eastern cuisines, but it's actually not a part of Jordan food. So it you want it, ask for it :)

Word of caution

Though I quite enjoyed the vegetarian fare in Jordan, it took me a while to come to terms with the amount of sourness in the food. Compared to our taste palate, Jordanians love tangy food a lot more and the use to lime is very prevalent.

food vegetarian jordan indians mezze starters
The Mezze can get a little sour for us Indians

The one thing that remained consistently salty with no sourness was Hummus and so it also became my favorite food. Eat it with the different types of breads and that in itself could be a very satisfying meal.

If you like spices, carry some pickles from India. I feel that they will go very well with the local vegetarian (or even non-vegeterian) food there.


Disclaimer: I was in Jordan on invitation of Jordan Tourism BoardAll views and stories shared on the blog are unbiased and based purely on my experiences. 


  1. Looking back - the non-fried, greens based vegetarian food would send you back healthier.

    The Mithais were awesome, I wish we could carry some back home.

  2. Gosh not a good time to read this post! Making me all hungry! :) Very nice account of Jordanian food, especially for vegetarians like me… now if only somebody would take me to Jordan!

    1. Yes, the food is great but can be a little sour for us. My favorite part of the meals was also desserts :)

  3. Super post! We struggled so much trying to find hot veg food when we were at Wadi Rum. ..hummus was always the rescue dish!

    1. Yes! Hummus came to our rescue also on so many occasions :)

  4. Yummy :) :) Thanks for you awesome post and photos.

  5. Mezze was the best part of the meal.... probably because we were hungry! :)

    Desserts, especially Halwa was my best pick.

    This is quite a detailed post on food, Sid.

  6. This is GOLD. Vegetarian food in the land of true blue Non-vegetarians... :) Good discovery that :)

    I have been following your blog from quite a while now and I have to tell you that your work is commendable and inspiring...



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