Rakwet Arab (ركوة عرب)
Cafe CultureCafe culture in Amman is an institution in everyday life in Amman. Everyone has there favorite haunt, and every neighborhood has a small place to have a coffee or arghila (hooka). They are not like Italian coffee bars where you get an expresso and then dash. Cafes in Amman are to be savored with friends and family. Evenings after work, or especially Friday afternoon following prayer, cafes across town fill up with friends who are chatting, smoking, playing card, backgammon, or just relaxing. Naturally, with so many options to choose from, cafes can range widely in cost and quality, and not all establishments serve food. The common denominators are always coffee, sweet tea, and arghila which no self respecting cafe owner would be caught without.
Although there is choices aplenty, the best in Amman is Rekwat al-Arab just off Paris Circle in the young and surprisingly artistic Weibda neighborhood. It's a short uphill walk from all the downtown attractions, and therefore makes a great afternoon pit stop after a day in the market. Although it doubles as one of the best traditional restaurants in town, and in one of the coolest neighborhoods, it is worth a trip all on its own. Go for any of the old school Kofta dishes. Vegetable and/or meat medleys baked and served in clay pots. Of course paired with a pot of tea, they make a tasty and filling dinner. You won't help but soak up the surroundings as the entire play is modeled after the 1920s Art Deco cafes of Damascus and Cairo.