Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

60 years since, Jerash’s oldest hummus restaurant still serves the ancient city

26 Nov 2018

Founder shared recipe with all apprentices over decades, but many customers still loyal to the ‘patron of the trade’

JERASH — Having zero additives is the secret behind the “unbeatable” taste of hummus and broad bean dishes, or foul, served at the Smadi Restaurant in the northern Jordanian city of Jerash, the owner said, and customers seconded that.

It is the oldest operating hummus restaurant in the city, 48 kilometres north of Amman, said Ahmad Smadi, the founder's son.

"My father, Abdul Qader Smadi, was taught by an Armenian chef in Nablus, before opening his own place in Jerash, serving his first dish back in 1949,” Ahmad told The Jordan Times.

The building, as old as the restaurant itself, was based on a vaulting system, designed after the architectural style of the era, matching the history of the family’s journey with hummus, foul and falafel. For more than 60 years, the Smadi family have served the people of Jerash and other cities, particularly the north, as Jordanians who frequent the highway connecting Amman to Irbid, used to pass through Jerash every day.

Read the full Jordan Times article here.