If you’re traveling though Jordan as a tourist, chances are you will be spending a lot of time on the road. Thankfully, Jordan has a network of excellent roadside restaurants that can break up a long highway journey and offer a satisfying dining experience.
Recommended: Roadside Dining In Jordan
After leaving the Dead Sea, we headed down to Petra, a journey of about three hours. We left in the late afternoon and our driver got hungry before we reached Petra, so he pulled into a gas station and ordered us out of the car. There was a large and bustling restaurant inside.
I’m not sure who was working for who at that point, but I was glad to try some roadside mansaf (if you missed my previous posts, mansaf is a traditional Jordanian dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and typically served with rice).
This masaf was wrapped in a warm lavash to keep the lamb and saffron rice warm. On the side, I enjoyed some picked cucumbers and a shirazai salad.
It was such a delicious meal – one of my best of this trip – and all at a gas station.
On our way back to Amman we stopped at another place and that had a buffet as well as an a la carte menu. This was more of a stretch break, as I had eaten a large breakfast earlier, though I enjoyed some fresh mint tea.
Smoking is permitted or at least not actively prohibited in these places. Expect to find most men smoking cigarettes.
While both places seemed to be well-trafficked by locals, both had souvenir areas with aggressive salesman hawking items ranging from artwork to clothing to jewelry. I asked our driver what kind of kickback he received if we bought something and he only smiled.
Meanwhile, we had the share the road with sheep outside the station.
Roadside dining is recommended in Jordan. It’s reasonable and surprisingly delicious.
I’m not listing addresses or names because there are places like this are all over. If you’re tired, don’t hesitate to stop. And enjoy a meal or coffee while you do. It’s a nice way to break a long drive.