Reader Report: Gluten-Free Amman, Jordan

Just after I returned from Turkey, I received an e-mail from a reader, Nadine Hassouneh, who was about to travel to Istanbul. As we corresponded, I mentioned that I’d love to hear about the gluten-free dining situation in her hometown. Having no idea where she was based, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she lives in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, a country I have long wanted to visit. Nadine was diagnosed with celiac disease earlier this year, and she has already assembled a list of where to find gluten-free food in the city. She was kind enough to write this up for all of us. Thanks so much for your help, Nadine! (For readers who are thinking of visiting Jordan, check out Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and the official Jordan Tourism Board site.)


Visiting Jordan? Worried about finding gluten-free products and places to dine? Well… here is what you need to know!

There are several stores in Jordan’s capital city, Amman, where people can find gluten-free products. There is a superstore called Cozmo located in the area of the 7th Circle in Amman. This store is the best regarding GF products. Schar pastas, biscuits, bread and cake mixes and other products are always available there. You can sometimes find Schar’s Pizza Base and White Bread there too, as well as some De Boles pastas.

Another shop that is well-stocked with GF products is Eman’s Diet Shop. This small store is packed with products for different dietary needs (including gluten free, lactose free, fat free, sugar free and others). It is located in Sweifiyyeh, a hectic shopping area in Amman, near the Nike Store. Al Sufara is a bakery that is located in Sweifiyyeh, too. This bakery is really aware of what celiac disease is and how dangerous it would be if cross contamination occurs in the baking process — they are trustworthy. Al Sufara offers gluten-free rice bread, corn bread, biscuits (we call them Kaaek), and confections. In addition, there are some GF traditional sweets.

Regarding dining, below is a list of restaurants where you can eat safely.

  • Casper & Gambini’s
    A restaurant serving healthy food. Employees there are helpful and are ready to help even if they have to create a dish for you. Located in Abdoun, in the area of Abdoun Mall [address] Mazen Sido Al-Kurdi Street, Abdoun, Amman 11183 [tel] +962 6 5922600 [web] [e-mail]
  • Milano Restaurant
    A restaurant located in Shmesani, they serve delicious Italian food. While a celiac cannot enjoy all that they serve, they can have one of the grilled chicken or steak dishes. It is important to give the staff clear explanation regarding the “no sauce, no wheat” issue. [tel] +962 6 5680670
  • Whispers
    Located opposite to HSBC in the 5th Circle, Whispers serves international dishes. I had Hamour Fillet with sautéed vegetables and it was really good! [tel]
    +962 6 5921850. (Click here for the Lonely Planet review.)
  • Houston’s
    International cuisine you might say, but mainly Mexican and American. The chef is very helpful and willing to cook dishes that are not on the menu to serve your needs. He even created two sauces to serve my needs! Located in Abdoun – Abdoun Circle (this is the one I tried). There is also a location in Shmesani (behind the Power Hut Gym) and in the Food Hall of the Mecca Mall. (Click here for the Lonely Planet review.)
  • Seattle’s Best Coffee & Carna Restaurant
    The employees are helpful, but you have to explain every single detail (such as no sauces, no wheat, no cross contamination). However the result will please you at the end. Located in Abdoun opposite to Fitness First gym previously known as Vy.
  • Centro
    This restaurant is located near the Prime Ministry. Choices such as grilled fish, grilled chicken and grilled steak (all without the sauces) are good options for celiacs.

Some general dining tips: Grilled chicken — with no sauce — is a safe option along with sautéed vegetables Stay away from French fries because most restaurants use frozen ones that are wheat-coated. Salads are a safe bet most of the time, but be sure to ask what the dressing is made of. To be on the safe side, you can ask the waiter to add a dressing of olive oil and lemon only. Some salads here contain “Burghol,” which is an ingredient derived from wheat — an example is Tabbouleh. Unfortunately you must stay away from traditional sweets because most Arabic sweets are made from wheat.

The easiest way to describe gluten intolerance when you are in Jordan is by relating it (although scientifically incorrect) to an allergy to wheat and its derivatives.

*     *     *

Editor’s note: I’d love to hear about the gluten-free finds you’ve made in your hometown and in your travels. You can contact me directly at glutenfreeguidebook [at] gmail [dot] com, or leave a comment on the site. I’m also creating a Facebook page to make it easier for readers of the Gluten-Free Guidebook to share information. My heartfelt thanks to all of the thoughtful readers who have already contacted me. I wish everyone all the best — and happy travels — in the new year!

18 thoughts on “Reader Report: Gluten-Free Amman, Jordan

  1. An addition to the above:
    The below stores also stock a wide range of Gluten Free Products

    -Miles @ Mecca Mall (Ground Floor – Extension)
    -Kilograms (Between Mecca Street & Abdullah Ghoasheh Street, same building as Fitness One Gym)

    Best Regards,

  2. Dear Nadine,

    My 9 year old son’s test came back positive for celiac a few days ago. Thank you so much for your report on gluten free products. I have been living in Amman for 4 years now and I am familiar with miles, cosmo, and carrefour. I have found a few products to get him started. However, I didn’t know there are other places or restaurants. My family buys from sufara alot, but we weren’t sure if it was safe from gluten free. Again thank you so much for this helpful information and I look forward to seeing more from you. and if I find anything new I will let you know. I hope you stay in good health.

  3. Thank you! I’m a newly diagnosed Celiac (4 weeks) and travel to Amman several times a year for business. I admit I’ve been a bit nervous about venturing out. I got a Greek salad at Books @ Cafe in Jabal Amman last night with olive oil and lemon and it was fine. Other than that, I’ve been sticking to food I brought…but I’m starting to crave a hot meal. I’ll definitely check out Whispers to start.

    If I come across anything else during my visits, I’ll pass it along. Thanks again. I’m glad I found this…I needed a reminder that it’s not impossible.

  4. .
    Also thank you for these great gluten free report, it is really useful for me, as a person with multiple food intolerances. At the moment I am staying in Amman. Yesterday I visited Enam’s diet shop. Well you can skip that shop of your gluten free shopping list. There is almost nothing gluten free in that shop

    Cosmo on the other site, I visited Cosmo already last fall during my stay here and than it was okay. Today I went there again and COSMO ROCKS!!! Really I was impressed by the range of gluten free products they sell there. Bread mix, cake mix, chocolate cake mix, muffin mix, from several brands. Scharr, but also Orgran and an American brand I forgot the name of, something with Mills.

    But also from different brands, different type of cookies (love the chocolate cookies of Orgran) Other things as egg replacer, gravy mix and stuff to improve your homemade bread as Xanthan (or something like that) and guar gom. Flax seed.

    It’s not only a great shop when you are gluten free, it’s also perfect if you have other intolerances like soy, lactose or milk. Different brands of soy milk and rice milk. Especially the Australian brand Organ is great since it is gluten, soy, egg, yeast, dairy and many other things “free”.

    And don’t let me forget to mention the cereals for breakfast. I counted at least 5.

    Also gluten free pasta’s and stuff is plenty available

    Most of the diet product you find a special diet section. But the gluten free cereals you also find in between the normal breakfast cereals.

    The producst are not cheap, to be honest it’s expensive. But I am already happy so much is available here, that I really don’t mind paying for it.

    I also have heard that Miles supermarket in the Mecca Mall has quite a view gluten free products, but haven’t checked it out yet.

    Another Supermarket, Carrefour, has some gluten free products, but that’s really nothing compared to Cosmo (what is not surprizing since Carrefour is a French supermarket).

    I guess Safeway also will give some gluten free products, but also a little.

    I haven’t found the bakery Al Sufara yet, but I hope to visit it soon.

  5. Al Sufara is really amazing what they sell, the best I have ever seen. Several types of gluten free bread with a choice between corn flower and rice flower bread. What is really exceptional, especially the 100% rice flower bread. Different types of cookies (again choice between rice and corn flower), biscuits, muffins, cake, sweets and other pastries. Prices are astonishing low (compared to Europe prices and the Cosmo prices here).

    Another good thing of the gluten free items is, that most of them are dairy free too. In cases milk is used in products, often rice milk added (really when I heard this I couldn’t believe my ears, a bakery that thinks for people with multiple intolerances).

    You’ll find Al Sufara in swefieye (how on earth do I write this corrects) along one of the main roads in between Baraka Mall and Walkalot (pedestrian shopping area). Inside the shop you’ll find the gluten free products in front corner of the shop left (left when entering the shop). If you can’t find it, just ask. Although once you have found them, you still have a problem if you can’t read (and understand) Arabic. All the explanation is only written in Arabic and for me there also could be written “contains an extra lot of gluten”. But again just ask and the owner/manager will be more than happy to explain everything to you.
    Besides gluten free bakery products the shops also has a small collection of other gluten free items (breakfast cereals, taco chips and some stuff from the brand Scharr) and other diet products as rice milk.

    Finding Al Sufara near the Nike Store doesn’t work any more, since this one seems to be closed

  6. thak’s for your cooperation , it is helpfull for any person who should goes on a gluten free diet, i’ ve got most of what i need from Sofara bakery.

  7. Thank you so much for this helpful information. I live in Sweifiya, but was totally unaware of gluten free stores around here. Thanks so much!

  8. recently I also found out that Amman@cafe has (yes really I am not joking) gluten free pasta on the menu. This is the first place in Amman (restaurant) where I have been to, where they know what gluten are!!!! Also staff is very friendly and helpful there.

    Also in Rainbowstreet is a bakery shop now that sells gluten free bread and sweets. The sweets I haven’t seen there yet, but they have the gluten free bread. Next time I will put the name of the shop here, but it almost opposite of the Brittish Council, a little further than the Turtle Green.

    So yes gluten free in Amman is really making progress!!

  9. there is a company called al-juthuor ?( the roots) in swaifieh , its the companay that import things for Cozmo and miles , you can visit them and then order by phone , they do have home delivery service weekly on Saturdays , her is the details

    Healthy, Natural & Organic Food Products L.L.C – Juthour
    Company address
    Abdul Raheem Al-Haj Mohammad, Sweifieh, Amman
    Mobile phone

  10. My wife has cron diseases and we will be moving to Jordan. Does anyone knows of Grocery stores that sell organic food (meat, fruits, vegetables, etc.). I realized that most of the places mentioned above are gluteen-free. Do they also have any organic products.

    If anyone knows of any such stores I would appreciate it if you let us know.

    Thank you.

  11. yes you can purchase from the organic market at both :

    – wild jordan – jabal amman 1st circule
    – JARA market – jabal amman 1st circule

    both open once a week on fridays 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

    good luck
    have a nice day

  12. At Boutique Bakery they offer now gluten-free too. They are Austrians and know how to handle gluten-free. They have a separate bakery only for this and they do delivery too.

  13. Hi, thank you for these helpful information.
    could anyone please recommend a good doctor in amman that i can follow up with for the Celiac??

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