Hashem Restaurant in Amman is apparently legendary, though I had no idea until I showed up there. I was operating without any maps or guide in Jordan and couldn’t tell one falafel stall from another, but luckily about 10 different people in the capital tipped me off about this place, which definitely stands above the rest.
The restaurant is essentially just an alley filled with plastic chairs and tables. It’s open 24 hours and seems to be constantly packed, but they’ll generally find a seat for you somewhere. There’s no menu. As soon as you sit down, a brusque waiter will slap down some paper placemats and toss some pita in your general direction. Order drinks if you want them, and otherwise they will just bring your table a dish of everything on offer: hummus, fuul, baba ghanoush, salad, falafel balls, and french fries. They’ll gladly bring you a second helping of falafel or bread if you want it, though the bowls of dips are usually plenty.
It’s simple food, but good, filling, and best of all cheap. I’m not kidding: I went here several times with varying sized groups, and depending on how many we were we usually paid only 2-4 dinar per person. And we were stuffed.
If you’re in Amman, chances are you’ll wind up at Hashem at least once during your stay. The place is so well-known that it’s used as a landmark. I was looking for the post office once and the man at my hostel asked “Do you know where Hashem is? It’s just past there.” Some guys I met told me that their taxi driver didn’t know where their hotel was so he drove to Hashem and asked them to direct him from there, guessing (rightly) that they would have been to the restaurant and would know the way.
Obviously it’s a great place to eat for backpackers on a budget, but apparently the Royal Family has been known to eat there as well. Stars, they’re just like us!