Must-see restaurants in Iran

  • Seray-e Mehr Teahouse

    Shiraz

    This serendipitous little jewel in the middle of the Bazar-e Vakil is hidden behind a small door next to the Seray-e Moshir caravanserai. Decorated with…

  • Haft Khan

    Shiraz

    Wildly popular with fashionable Shirazis, this enormous restaurant complex near Quran Gateway offers four types of dining experience: there’s a generous…

  • Dizi

    Tehran

    The name gives a clue to the menu: that's right, it's Iran's favourite lamb, potato and chickpea stew. Here they do it damn well, served with all the…

  • Divan

    Tehran

    Plush Divan is the pick of several restaurants operated by the Monsoon Group on the 8th floor of the swanky Sam Center. Chic furnishings, including…

  • Azari Traditional Teahouse

    Tehran

    Just north of the train station, this large and wonderfully atmospheric chaykhaneh (teahouse) is justly popular with locals. The dizi (lamb, potato and…

  • Abbasi Teahouse & Traditional Restaurant

    Esfahan

    Set into a flank of the Abbasi Hotel's elegant main courtyard, this delightful little restaurant (not to be confused with the hotel's main restaurant)…

  • Shabhaye Talai

    Qeshm Island

    Conveniently located at the edge of Zeytoun Park and benefitting from top-notch views of the beach, Shabhaye Talai is easily the most atmospheric…

  • Bastani Traditional Restaurant

    Esfahan

    Esfahan’s most atmospheric restaurant is located in the shadow of the Masjed-e Shah and features an internal courtyard with fountain, tiled walls and…

  • Shahrzad

    Esfahan

    Opulent Qajar-style wall paintings, stained-glass windows and battalions of black-suited waiters contribute to the Shahrzad’s reputation as the best…

  • Malek Soltan Jarchi Bashi

    Esfahan

    This sumptuous renovation of a 400-year-old bathhouse is a highly romantic venue for dinner, especially on Wednesday and Saturday nights (or on Thursday…

  • Talar Yazd

    Yazd

    Elegant but uncomplicated, the Talar, with its prim white tablecloths and waiters wheeling trolleys, has a 1950s appeal. Its short menu of classic Iranian…

  • Koohpayeh

    Tehran

    There's fierce competition for diners at the many restaurants and teahouses that line the babbling river that flows through Darband, but most in-the-know…

  • Paradisa Ahura Daniel

    Iran

    Delicious traditional food served on carpeted platforms makes this relaxed, modern caravanserai the best eating option in town. There's also a limited…

  • Haj Mahmood Beryani

    Esfahan

    Famous for its beryani (which is served with a glass of dugh; churned sour milk or yoghurt mixed with water), Azam has several branches. This one inside…

  • Gilaneh

    Tehran

    Rustic wooden beams, glazed tiles and a lively, friendly atmosphere all set the scene for the delicious Gilan-region food served at one of Tehran's most…

  • Ghavam

    Shiraz

    This tiny restaurant, more shop than diner, is an absolute favourite with locals, foreign expats and the odd tour group whose guide is in the know. Would…

  • Mir Mohanna

    Kish Island

    This perennial fave, with large windows overlooking the beach, serves exciting fish dishes and shrimp as well as excellent salads. The food is super fresh…

  • Restaurant Doorchin

    Iran

    Nice and airy, the Doorchin has a delicious modern take on Iranian favourites. The soup is elegantly spiced, the yogurt fresh and piquant, and the service…

  • Fish Restaurant

    Iran

    Fresh whole fish are chargrilled over a small footpath brazier outside a tiny, no-name restaurant. The smell of succulent roasting fish will lead you…

  • Cafe Sonati Tadaion

    Iran

    This charming family restaurant makes delightful use of a domed cellar room off the rear courtyard of the historic Tadayon House (in which you'll also…

  • Hamam-e Vakil Chaykhaneh

    Southeastern Iran

    Architecturally magnificent, this elegantly arched subterranean teahouse was built as a bathhouse in 1820. Live music – typically a singer accompanied by…

  • Mostofi Restaurant & Museum

    Iran

    Take your shoes off and relax under the palms as you soak up the view of Shadorvan Bridge from the airy courtyard dining platforms of this restored Qajar…

  • Zendegi

    Iran

    This upmarket restaurant occupies several small rooms and two open terraces in the fountain-centred Zendegi House, a 180-year-old miller/trader's mansion…

  • Koohestan

    Iran

    Run by clued-up, English-speaking mountaineer Amir, this cosy log-cabin-style restaurant serves up excellent kababs, braised lamb shanks and vegetable…

  • Shamsol Emare

    Southeastern Iran

    A series of private dining spaces with carpeted floor-seating, elbow cushions and fireplaces for winter evenings are ranged around a pretty fountain yard,…

  • Khoone

    Tehran

    The next best thing to getting invited to a Tehrani's home for a meal is sampling the lovingly made dishes at this cute, cosy cafe. Khoone means 'home' in…

  • Kolbeh Darvish

    Kish Island

    This much-lauded eatery specialising in traditional Iranian food is the perfect place to try out kubide kabab (minced mutton, breadcrumbs and onion,…

  • Kourosh

    Iran

    The easiest place to sample the delights of Gilani cuisine is the centrally located Kourosh. Start with the murky-looking but very tasty zeitun parvardeh …

  • Shater Abbas

    Shiraz

    This restaurant is housed in a vast dining hall with giant murals on the wall and canteen-style salad bars. Hot bread is made near the entrance, luring…

  • S.P.U Restaurant

    Tehran

    One of the pleasures of a visit to leafy Darakeh, high in northern Tehran, is to enjoy a meal at its riverside restaurants. This is the best one, with…

  • Kaleng

    Qeshm Island

    Feel the sand between your toes at this casual family-run shack soothingly positioned right on the beach on Hengam Island. It serves only fresh fish and…

  • Sofrakhane Sonati Qaleh

    Southeastern Iran

    Although the menu is somewhat standard Iranian fare, dining in small alcove rooms within Birjand's restored castle makes for a memorable experience –…

  • Dehnamak Caravanserai

    Iran

    An historic yet fair-value place to break the Tehran–Semnam journey, this sizeable Safavid-era caravanserai was built in 1570 but has been thoroughly…

  • Arc A

    Esfahan

    This elegant establishment in the heart of the Armenian Quarter is arranged around a spacious courtyard, with modern decking and furnishings bringing a…

  • Silk Road Hotel Restaurant

    Yazd

    While the Iranian food here is very good, the delicious subcontinental curries are the most popular dishes among travellers, particularly those who've run…

  • Chehel Sotun Restaurant

    Esfahan

    It's probably fair to say that the food in this beautiful restaurant is not the best, but if this isn't the prime concern, then it's worth a night out…

  • Kooch Traditional Restaurant

    Iran

    A fun mural of travelling nomads and their sheep on the outside wall beckons visitors to explore the gorgeous old house within. Arranged around a pretty…

  • Malek-o Tojjar

    Yazd

    The highly decorated main hall of this classic Iranian restaurant makes for a romantic setting for a special evening. The menu is complemented with…

  • Mahdi Faludeh

    Shiraz

    Opposite the Arg-e Karim Khan, Mahdi is the most famous faludeh shop in Shiraz. It also sells delicious bastani (Persian ice cream).

  • Sofrakhane Kohamdezh

    Iran

    Fronted by a badgir (windtower), this late-Safavid house opened as an upmarket restaurant-teahouse in early 2017. Specialities include fish fillets, and…

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