Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by travelingwithsunscreen
Cafes in Jordan don’t always look or feel the same as cafes in other parts of the world. Part of the reason for this is that alcohol isn’t very prevalent in Jordanian society. As a result, cafes often play the same role that bars would in Europe or the US. Cafes in Amman can be a place to hang out with friends at night, listen to loud music, drink coffee or tea, and smoke shisha. The emphasis is more on a fun, lively, social environment, and less on specialty coffee drinks.
That said, daytime-focused and coffee-focused cafes DO exist in Amman, Jordan! After all, it’s a big, thriving city with residents and visitors from all over the world. While some visitors looking to experience Jordan skip over Amman to focus on tours of Petra, the Dead Sea, or Wadi Rum, we recommend taking some time to explore everything that this vibrant city has to offer. Read on to discover a few of our favorite cafes from our Amman trip!
Books@Cafe: Our Favorite Amman Cafe
If you’re looking for a coffee shop that’s similar to any that you’d find in New York or San Francisco, this is your spot. There are two locations, but most visitors to Amman will probably find themselves staying nearer to the location right off Rainbow Street, in the Jabal Amman neighborhood. Books@Cafe is a combination book store, art gallery, coffee shop, restaurant, and bar. It’s a favorite of international expats living in Jordan, and there’s a bulletin board full of English-language postings for activities and apartment rentals. Books@Cafe has strong wifi, and you’ll see some people posting up with their laptops and a cup of coffee during the day. In our opinion, it just may be the best cafe in Amman.
The menu at Books@Cafe features coffee, including espresso drinks, juices, beer and cocktails, and a variety of Jordanian and Western dishes. We particularly recommend the B@C breakfast platter and the fattoush, but everything is tasty! During the day, you can sit indoors in the non-smoking section or outdoors in the smoking section. At night, they open up a large terrace (in the front during the week and in back on weekends) with lovely city views. It’s the perfect place to sit, chat, read, work, or just enjoy the food and drink! As an added bonus, the selection of English-language books in the bookstore section is great!
12:12: For Coffee and Breakfast
Rainbow Street is really the place to go for coffee shops in Amman, and 12:12 is another nice option. This is a very small coffee shop with just a few tables inside and one outside on the sidewalk. Much of their business seems to be delivery to locals, as the staff are always leaving and returning with trays of coffees. We take this as a good sign!
The coffee here is good, but what really stands out to us is the manakish, a popular Jordanian breakfast food. We particularly love the “healthy manakish,” which is a flatbread with labneh yogurt, thyme, and fresh vegetables like tomatoes and arugula. Share one between two people for a light breakfast, or try two different flavors!
Kaffeine Cafe: A Coffee Shop in Downtown Amman
If you’re in downtown Amman looking for a coffee house, perhaps after visiting the Grand Husseini Mosque, Kaffeine is a good bet. It might be a bit tricky to find for the first time. From street level, look up and you’ll see it above, on the fourth floor of its building. Look for an unmarked door with stairs, and they’ll bring you right on up!
Kaffeine a big space with good coffee drinks and free wifi. There are couches and tables inside, as well as balconies overlooking downtown. We visited in early afternoon, and we were the only customers, but we appreciated the friendly staff and we felt comfortable sitting and enjoying the couches for a while. The comfortable seating at Kaffeine earns it high rankings on our list of cozy cafes in Amman! When we went back downtown in the evening, we noticed customers sitting on the balconies of Kaffeine, so it might be worth an evening trip!
The Coffee Room: Try a Different Neighborhood!
While our other recommendations are within a quick walk from Rainbow Street, The Coffee Room is a bit further afield, and up a different hill at Paris Square. As a result, you’ll find it chock full of locals, with nary a tourist in sight. It’s a very small and busy space, with limited seating, so be prepared to take your coffee to go in case it’s full. The Coffee Room serves only coffee and desserts, but it’s definitely worth a visit as you make your rounds of Amman cafes! As a bonus, it’s right across from a relatively large and well-stocked Stop N’ Shop supermarket, where we were able to buy some fruit, toiletries, and so on.
Wild Jordan Center: Bonus Mention!
We never made it to the Wild Jordan Center on our trip to Amman, but we’ve heard only great things about it. The center is owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and it supports rural communities who live within Jordan’s nature reserves. The Wild Jordan Center features a couple of different café and restaurant spaces, and is definitely worth a visit in your quest to discover the best cafes in Amman!