Iran is a country with some serious shirini etiquette. With creme (tar) or without (khoshk), each pastry has its proper serving occasion. It’s a country where patisserie boxes are filled by the kilo, and customers are often seen with several boxes in hand. Those with a sweet tooth will feel right at home in Tehran, especially in one of these bakeries—the best around town.
Cookie Box is a favorite among locals, but if you’re an expat or visitor to Tehran missing those American-style cookies, no place can deliver a slice of home better. Cheesecakes, brownies, and croissants are also on the menu, but nothing fills the trademark red-and-white dotted box better than a mix of chewy chocolate-chip and gooey Mars bar cookies, plus a smattering of other flavors in between. Kill two birds with one stone at Saboos Bakery-Café, where you can try a Cookie Box ice-cream sandwich.
With humble beginnings in a home kitchen, Sweet Bliss was the first to introduce American-style carrot cake, cheesecake, and double-chocolate cake – to the standing ovation of Tehranis. It has since blossomed into four branches, which also cater and customize cakes for special events. In addition to heavenly pies, tarts, cakes, cupcakes, and buns, the café now serves gourmet sandwiches, wraps, and other savory baked goods, plus artisanal breads are on the way. Prime locations in the north of the city make it a superb locale to grab a salty or sweet bite, while checking out the posh Tehran crowd.
192 Niavaran St, District 1, Tehran province. T: +98 21 2282 5016
Lord Café and Pastry Shop
One mention of the Lord Café, and Iranians are instantly flooded with memories of the past. Located just across from Saint Sarkis Cathedral in a once predominantly Armenian neighborhood, this much-loved haunt is one of the most well-known Armenian bakeries with classics like apricot tart and gata (a buttery, flaky bread). Though some argue the quality isn’t up to previous standards since a change in management, it hasn’t stopped locals from pouring into the upstairs space for coffee and the sweet taste of nostalgia.
246 Nejatollahi St, District 6, Tehran Province. T: +98 21 8890 0833
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