Amman is a large city, Jordan’s capital, and largely filled with picturesque white square buildings. It’s quite beautiful. But again, its large and it takes time to get from here to there, so I went back and forth on where to dine when we were in town! After much research, I found the BEST restaurant just a 10 minute walk from our hotel – Fakhreldine Restaurant & Cafe. In fact, it was so good we went back twice (rare for us)!! Please don’t miss this gem in Amman.
Fakhreldine is actually a Lebanese restaurant in the upscale Jabal Amman area of Amman. While Lebanese, Amman is not far from Lebanon and Jordanian and Lebanese is similar (in my opinion, both delicious!). Plus, this is one of the most popular restaurants amongst the locals in Amman. In fact, both nights were almost booked with very well dressed locals. The area surrounding Fakhreldine is filled with upscale restaurants and bars set in a somewhat residential area; it’s also close to down town and the famous Rainbow Street. That means, it’s walkable and safe, although most diners use the valet parking fancy cars. The restaurant itself is also upscale, set in an old mansion complete with waiters wearing tuxedos. Despite its fancy appearance, Dan and I had no problem getting in in our not-so-fancy attire and without a reservation, which was a big mistake. We simply got lucky. Be sure to make a reservation at Fakhreldine by calling a few days in advance.
Once inside, Fakhreldine has a number of dining rooms spread out inside and the most gorgeous outdoor courtyard. Unfortunately, due to our lack of reservation, we had to sit inside, although the side of the restaurant facing the courtyard is fully open so we could see it while we ate.
First things first, Fakhreldine has a fantastic cocktail and wine list, and it serves good vintages from wines from Jordan’s only two wineries: Jordan River and St. George. Actually, this was the sole place that I found St. George wine in Jordan, and I was hunting for it! On our first visit, we drank a beautiful St. George Merlot from 2017. On our second visit we went with another excellent 2017 St. George Shiraz-Grenache. If you are between the two Jordanian wines, I found St. George to be better and more difficult to find, so definitely try it if you can.
And before I get started on the food, I must note that on each table was a plate of sliced tomatoes as an amuse bouche. But, there was more to come! Shortly after we sat down, a waiter came by and topped our tomatoes with Toum, a local Lebanese white garlic sauce, and some delicious spice (I wish I remember what it was – anyone??). These tomatoes were incredible. INCREDIBLE. I sent a picture to my parents.
Complimentary bread is also passed around upon seating, and its that pillowly, warm Middle Eastern bread that is just sooo tasty! Waiters continuously topped off tables with warm bread. A blessing and a cruse, LOL.
Since we ate at Fakhreldin twice, I’m going to go through our meals together, but please know that we did NOT order this much food for one meal. That being said, we did order wayyy too much. This restaurant is honestly a good place to come with a big group so that you can share a bit of everything. We saw many large tables that seemed to be either families or colleagues.
For first courses over our two meals we ordered a variety: friend haloumi cheese (pro tip, go grilled), fattoush salad, spinach and cheese fatayer, and Kibbeh Nayeh. Our favorites, by far, were the fattoush salad and the Kibbeh Nayeh, which is raw lamb topped with garlic, that white garlic sauce, olive oil, and in our case, cooked lamb! It was delicious. For those unfamiliar with fattoush salad, it’s a popular green salad with tomatoes, hard bread crumbs, and olive oil, among other things. It’s popular all over the region and extremely tasty.
For mains, we mis-ordered the first day, at least for me. We opted for a mince meat dish (super popular in Jordan), which was basically beef patties (similar to US hamburgers) smothered in a heavy sauce with peppers. While good, it was just not my style (I don’t like beef patties). Luckily, I was totally full from all our starters. Our second dinner was much, much better: a mixed grill served with a bread that I can only describe as “pizza bread.” The mixed grill was 100%, especially when paired with the so delicious bread and Toum (the white garlic sauce from earlier!).
While stuffed, we ordered dessert for one of our meals: a trio of dried apricots, peach, and figs in a sweet sauce. The restaurant also brought around a complimentary fruit plate to finish the meal. Not surprising, watermelon was the featured fruit!
As you can probably tell, I really loved this restaurant! I would not visit Amman again without eating here! If you are planning a visit, know that the staff was so friendly and really helped us out in ordering and explaining how to eat our dishes like a real local! Don’t be afraid to ask. Also, be careful how much you order. Most of the plates are set up for sharing, especially the main courses, which is a bit of a departure from what Dan and I are used to in the US. Ask the waiters if in doubt.
STEAL OUR TRIP
Fakhreldine Restaurant & Cafe: Taha Hussein St., Amman, Jordan. Open daily 13:00 – 00:00. Reservations highly recommended. Dress nicer than usual to avoid being embarrassed.
ON A BUDGET
No worries, Amman is full of cheap eats. One of our favorites also near our hotel is Reem Shawarma (no website), which is literally a hole-in-the-wall stand a 10 minute walk from Fakhreldine. Each meat shawarma is $1.40 USD and comes with onion, tomato, and delicious sauce! If you need an address, it’s just down the road from the Amman Intercontinental at the traffic circle heading toward Rainbow Street. Reem is usually open 24 hours and they really pump out. You just need to get in there and order. Staff speaks a bit of English and were patient with us haha. Jordanian dinar only.