This might be an obvious post, given I live and work in Amman. BUT, with so many new places opening up in the Abdoun neighborhood it's hard to keep track! Here are some of my favorite go-tos:
1. Blue Fig. It's a little bit of everything, be it a coffee house, cafe, weekend brunch spot, live music venue, killer burger joint, and bar. Their menu has a lot of variety (you can always try something new), plus the service is decent for Jordan.
2. Naranj. The vibe is a bit old school (even though it's a new restaurant), but it's an authentic glimpse into the Damascene dining scene showcasing urban and rural Syrian specialities. Naranj is a Syrian restaurant and serves all of the main Syrian cuisine specialties-- including kebab karaz (sour cherry kebab) and batersh (eggplant with lamb sauce) Given the tragedy in Syria, it's kind of special to have the restaurant transplanted from Syria and still doing what Syrians love-- bringing people together for good food.
3. Little Italy. First I must qualify that yes Little Italy is located in Taj Mall, but its on the top floor with one of the best dining terraces in the whole city. Once you are inside of the restaurant you completely forget you are in a mall. Delicious thin-crust pizzas (they even have pork products), gnocchi and so much more. They just opened a second location, Little Italy Pizzeria. It has a more limited menu, but still serves the staples in a more casual environment. Love 'em both!
4. Karmah's Kitchen. I adore Karmah's Kitchen as much for the great food as the story behind the restaurant. Karmah Tabbaa is a clasically trained chef and started her own culinary venture a home-based chef cooking food out of her kitchen, which transforned into her first retail dining experience. Her fusion of global cuisines with Arabic staples create a truly one of a kind menu. I love her beef sliders-- they are served on char sui style buns. YUM! Plus you can't go wrong with their Sangria.
5. Kava Espresso & Brew Bar. Single cup brewing, pour-over style and cold press coffee made with single estate and origin beans-- need I say more to all the coffee lovers out there? Kava is such a treasure in the Abdoun area. For so much of Amman, the coffee scene seems to comprise of chain coffee serving stale brewed coffee, Nescafe, or Turkish coffee kiosks. Kava is a welcome member on the coffee scene in Amman.
6. Metro. You know your local bar and comfort food stop combo? That's Metro-- cold beer, decent wine list, and a menu full of the usual suspects burgers, pasta, wings, grilled salmon, and more. For everything Abdoun offers, there are very few true bar hangout spots. Metro like local cafes in Paris, village pubs in London and neighborhood bars in NYC is an extension of your living room. Friendly, comfy and always accommodating.
7. Majnoon Qahwa. Don't be fooled by the arabic word (majnoon means crazy), Majnoon Qahwa is calmand cool! When you need to get some work done and you are craving a locally made pastry with a specialty cup of morning joe, Majnoon is tops on the list. Majnoon has ample power outlets, uber fast internet, and lots of comfy chairs, making it the perfect post up spot for the student, grant-writer, or Saturday leisure reader. Plus the loose leaf jasmine green tea is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
8. Seed. A instant transport to your favorite LA juice spot. Looking for a date, almond butter, almond milk, and banana smoothie with chia seeds? Yep, they make it. Dying for some liver cleansing beet juice-- this where you can get it. As far as fresh fruit and veg smoothies go, the prices are not terrible. They also have lots of great locally-made treats and nut butters. Big thumbs up from this California native!