You go downstairs, below the street and enter a warm and inviting space and you know you are in for a treat. There are western style tables and chairs but the place to sit is in one of the traditional booths, with cushions and carpets to sit on and a cloth in the middle for the food to come. And what delicious food it is. Make sure you bring your appetite.
Favorite Dish: Kufteh Tabrizi - delicious meatballs made from rice and lamb with a filling of prunes and almonds, cooked in and served with a fragrant broth
Fesenjan - an aromatic stew of chicken and walnuts flavoured with pomegranate and cardomom
Great salads and as always in Iran, perfect rice, yummy (torshi) pickles and the best bread.
This is a quiet, elegant restaurant, a favourite with Tehranis (who call it the "Swiss" restaurant) when they want to splash out. The menu of classic European dishes, good steaks and seafood makes a change from kebabs and rice. Service is efficient and discreet.
If you are looking for somewhere to take your Iranian friends, this is an option worth considering
Favorite Dish: Whilst there are some expensive dishes on the menu -mostly seafood, a good steak and salad here will cost about $4-5.
Very good fruit juices and desserts are a feature.
If your taste for Iranian food is beginning to pall and you're looking for something spicy, the Tandoor Restaurant at the Hotel Safir could be just what you are looking for. Good Indian cooking, fresh and full of wonderful flavours, is the order of the day here. There's a nice little patio for summer evenings.
Favorite Dish: Four delicious courses of meat and vegetable curries (the chicken jalfrezi is excellent), rice, dahl, chutnies and a big jug of freshly-squeezed lemon juice for 3 cost just $27.
When I was there in March, 2001, this was the happening place to eat in Tehran: the only restaurant with live bands playing every night.
Performances by tradtional folk musicians from various regions of the country.
Crowded with couples, families and tourists, this place rocks at night.
Favorite Dish: Good chelo and fesenjan.
Just a simple place, no menu, shashlik is all they serve at this restaurant - lamb, beef or chicken. You'll be served a salad, rice, lots of wonderful, freshly made bread, yoghurt and a drink along with your meal. Bring you appetite - the shashlik is huge.
Favorite Dish: Five lamb chops on a sword - now that's what I call a shashlik!
When we came out of Golestan Palace, we were looking for something to eat, but there was nowhere obvious. I was so sure that somewhere as tourist-orientated as Golestan Palace is, that it would be surrounded by souvenir shops and eateries. But, no.
The problem of course, is that most restaurants and shops have signs only in Farsi script, so you really need to check each store close up to see what they sell.
We bought a couple of freshly squeezed fruit juices from a street vendor, and as we were drinking those, I looked down a side street, and noticed a doorway with a plant outside. Putting two and two together, I assumed this to be a restaurant and sent David to investigate. It was indeed a small eatery and we went inside.
The menus were all in Farsi script and no-one spoke any English. With the help of my phrase book, sign language and a lot of laughter, including the waitress bringing out plates of various ingredients to show us what she meant, we finally placed an order. I hoped I’d ordered one chicken and one lamb, and was very pleased when that was exactly what arrived!
Favorite Dish: The chicken came served with a sour sauce and a side dish of rice with barberries and the crispy crust I like so much. David’s lamb shank was delicious too and we had a yogurt each, the obligatory bread plus two local colas. The whole bill came to 70,000 IRR (just over $7). The food was tasty, the meat was lean, the portions were large, the place was clean, the waitress was friendly and we had a lot of fun trying to communicate. What more could you want from a meal, especially at those prices!
Before we’d managed to find our bearings on the first day, we were looking for something to eat at lunchtime, when we came across this chelo kebab place. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the name of the place, as it was only written in Farsi script (which I don’t understand), and the young chap who ran it did not speak a single word of English.
Favorite Dish: We pointed to the food we wanted (a chicken kebab and a chelo (minced lamb) kebab. They were cooked in front of us and served on bread with chillies (very hot!), onion and lemon. We enjoyed them very much. The establishment also offered a take-away service. It cost us IR 30,000 (approx $3) for two kebabs and two soft drinks. I was amused to watch the young chap threading some unidentifiable meat on to skewers in-between serving customers – I don’t think I have ever seen anyone wash their hands as much as he did! Before and after every customer as well as sometimes in-between too just for good measure.
I. Agh Banu, Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Mellat Park
2. Ajdaha-e Tala'ei (Chinese), Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Esteghlal Hotel
3. Ali Qapu, Gandhi Street
4. Ardalan, Vali Asr Ave, Ma ah Alley 64
5. Arvand Kenar, Vali-Asr Ave, Opposite Sa'ei Park
6. Arvand Rud, South Sohravardi Street
7. Ashpaz Bashi, Mir Damad Ave, Naft Street
8 Ashyaneh, Passdaran Ave, Zarrabkhaneh
9. Bita, Vali Asr Ave, Pessian Crossroads
10 Borj, Vali Asr Av
11. Chinese, Abdoh Alley, Vali Asr Ave
12. Ehsan, Mir Damad Ave
13 Fanus (kababi), No 85, Mulla Sadra Ave, South Shiraz Street
14. Felfel-e Sabz, Vanak Square, Vanak Shopping Center
15 Ferdows, Vali Asr Residential Complex, Bagh-e Ferdows
16.Gol Shahr, Africa Highway, Nahid Blvd
17. Golshan, Passdaran Ave
18 Hani,Vali Asr Ave, corner of Motahari Street
19 Hatef, Motahari Ave, Amir Atabak Street
20. Kandu, Vali Asr- TaleghIntersection
21. Kasra (chelo kabab and chicken kabab), Niavaran Street, Kashanak
22 KhDadash, Fatemi Ave, Kaj Street
23 Khaneh Kabab, Passdaran Ave, Now BonyadSquare
24. Khansalar, Argentine Square
25. Khoshnud, No 1420, Vali Asr Ave-Shahid Chamran Highway Intersection,
Opposite Qodss Department Store
26. Kolbeh, lafar Street, comer of N aft Street
27. Kuchini, Keshavarz Blvd, South Felestin Street
28. Kuhsar-c Darband, Darband, Sar-e Band Squarc
29. Lak Lak, No 1739, Dr Shari'ati Ave, north of Pol-e Rumi
30. Lotus (pizza and hamburger), Shahrak-c Qodss, Golestan Shopping Center
Favorite Dish: 31. Lux-e Irani, Tajrish Squarc
32 Lux-e Tala'ei, Vali Asr Ave, Homayun Station
33. Mellat, Vali Asr Ave, Opposite Mellat Park
34. Mikhak-e Tala'ei, Vali Asr Ave, Rahban Alley
35. Mir Damad, Mir Damad Ave, Opposite Asia Supcrmarket
36. Morvarid, Vali Asr- Taleghani Intersection
37. Nakhl, No 128, North Felestin Street
38. Nayeb (the first and oldest chelo kababi in Iran), with the following
three branches: Aban Branch, No 9, Karim Khan-e land Ave, South
Aban Strcet 8899143,894643 2. Sa'adat Abad Branch, Sa'dat Abad Ave, Kaj
Square, Abrisham Shopping Center 2078463, 2063652. 3. Vali Asr Branch,
Vali Asr Ave, south ofSa'ei Park 8715029, 8713474.
39. Negah, No 95, Mir Damad Ave
40 Niavaran, No 180, Shahid Dr Bahunar Street (Niavaran)
. Papa, Darband Street
42. Papa, Vali Asr Ave, Fereshteh Street
43. Part, Tajrish Square, Eram Street
44. Pizza Chubiz (pizza), Dr
Pol-e Rumi, Rezaeih Station
45. Qassr-e , Mir Damad Ave
46. Raftari, No 826, Vahdat-eEslami Squarc
47. Ray hun, Africa Highway
48.Royal Vanak, Van!lk Street, end of Shiraz Strect
49. Sa'ei, Vali-Asr Ave, Oppositc Sa'ci Park
50. Shabha-ye Shiraz, Dr Shari'ati Avc, Elahieh Alley
51. Shab Sara, North Sohravardi Street, Palizi Square
52. Shater Abbas, Vali Asr-Shahid Chamran Intersection
53. Surena, Vali Asr Ave, Tajrish
54. Tapu, North Felcstin Street
55. Ti$ara, No 26, Motahari Ave
56. Yass, Niavaran, Aqdassieh
57. Za'faranieh, Vali Asr Ave, Za'faranieh
This place is located about a few hundred metres south of the Khayyam metro station and this incredibly decorated restaurant is an oasis surrounded by the chaos of Tehran. This is a 300 yr old mosque and it was restored within the past few years. The food is not cheap but worth every rial and you can try any Persian dish ranging from dizi to eggplant. It was my favorite restaurant in Iran.
The Atlas Hotel Restaurant was quite pleasant, although nothing more than that. The first night we were there, they’d run out of rice – unheard of in Iran! The menu was quite extensive, but many of the items were ‘finished’. We ate here a few times, and had Barley soup (picture 1) for starter the first night. The soup was thick, but a little bland and tasted faintly of lemon. For main course I had the Bakhtiari Kebab (picture 2) which was a mixed lamb and chicken kebab, and David had the Kareshi kebab (picture 3) which was lamb fillet. Both dishes were IR 60,000 each and the meat was very, very tender and tasty. They were both served with thick wedges of potato, pickles, chutneys, carrots and lemon.
Favorite Dish: On our second visit, we both had the Soltani kebab (picture 4) which came with one skewer with lamb fillets and one skewer with minced lamb. Again it was very enjoyable. This time it was served with rice which is cooked in such a way that it gets a crusty bottom (picture 5). Yummy!
The Armenian Club has to be one of the best restaurants in Iran and in the Middle East. After backpacking Tehran in the summer (40 deg) I decided that I wanted to treat myself so I tried out this restaurant near the embassies. It is a Christian establishment so women can eat without a hijab. The restaurant doesnt advertise its existence but look for the yellow light and tiny buzzer. Muslims cant enter making this a paradise for travellers. There were no backpackers there when I was there but the local Armenian staff (in particular the manager that looks like Albert Einstein) are the sweetest people in the world. They even invited me downstairs into the basement for a traditional Armenian wedding!! My favorite restaurant in the Middle East. Fantastic.
Favorite Dish: BBq sturgeon or anything chicken!
The Shabestan-e-No Restaurant was a nice enough place, but we found the staff very rude and arrogant. One particular chappie was dressed in a traditional outfit (picture 4), and would make a big show of serving the tea, ‘throwing’ it down on the table. There was a cover charge for the music, which we refused to pay, and that bothered the staff. We arrived well before the singer and when we left he had only just started, hence our reluctance to pay the extra. We were told not to take photos of the performers, but by that time it was too late! Many of the guests threw money at the singer too.
Favorite Dish: There was a very nice salad buffet which you paid extra for, but it was well worth it (see picture 3). For main course we had Saffron Loghmen Chelokebab after our first two choices were ‘finished’. It was very nice. One of the highlights of the evening, however, was the dessert – something called zoolbie (not sure of the spelling), a very sweet and sticky thing made from flour, rosewater and honey. Yummy! It was served with some delicious dates (picture 5).
The meal came to IRR 70,000 each, including the starter buffet, water, doogh (the Iranian yogurt drink), main course, dessert and chai (tea).
Nasim means ‘wind’ and Shomal means ‘North’ and the place means good food. This is a family run restaurant and I was treated with the utmost hospitality. My food was cooked from fresh ingredients and they kept coming back to my table to see if I needed anything. The food was fantastic. Then I got the bill and could not believe how little they had charged me. You can also smoke Sheesha here. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone on a budget who still wants to enjoy good food.
You can smoke sheesha here if you want. It is on the far side of the restaurant and will not bother non-smokers (like me).
Just a few doors along from the Atlas hotel on Taleqani Street, this place served – you guessed it – pizza and sandwiches. We both had hot dogs, which were massive (see picture 2) and very tasty. They were full of relish and a year’s supply of mayonnaise. They even delivered our hot dogs to the hotel.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Tehran, few of which are actually
bad, and at weekends it's often a good idea to make reservation. There are
many very good, even luxurious restaurants in the far north of Tehran,
right up to the foothills of the Alborz, but they are very expensive and
very difficult to get to from the center without private transport.
Tehran also has some excellent cake shops and confectioneries. Mally of
the best are owned by Armenians, and the greatest concentration is in
Ostad Nejatollahi Street This is also the place to buy pistachios or
luxury foods. Almost any food not forbidden by Islam can be found in
Tehran and other major provincial capitals. Many foreign food restaurants
or restaurants catering to foreigners advertise in Tehran Times. look out
for any new ones. Before going to any restaurant, have a look at the
following list of some famous Iranian foods:
Chela Kabab-e Kubidel,
Stakes of minced meat and onions broiled on coal fire, assorted with
broiled tomatoes, served with rice. sumac, onion, and bread.
Chela Kabab-e Barg
Stakes of tenderized fillet meat broiled on coal fire, served together
with rice, sumac, pickles, onions. and bread.
A chicken cooked with ground nuts
in sour pomegranate juice, eaten with rice.
A delicious meal of broiled chicken assorted with various pickles.
A tasty meal of rice, beans and dill leaves cooked with lamb.
A tasty dish of rice and lamb cooked with yogurt and flavored with