As one Iran’s oldest cities, Shiraz’s dining scene is dominated by traditional Persian cuisine and a bohemian café culture; harking back to the days when the city was a magnet for poets, artists, and writers. We list the 10 best restaurants and coffee spots to try here.
Baghe Raaz is a restaurant complex situated in a stunning modern building at the heart of a large garden. The restaurant has earnt itself a strong and loyal customer base, all of whom come for the unique architecture, location and beautifully presented food. The restaurant has a reputation for being one of the city’s most chic and upmarket establishments, offering high-quality produce prepared to exacting standards. Split into three individual dining areas, Baghe Raaz features a contemporary interior space. International cuisine is served against the backdrop of huge windows; a rooftop terrace with stunning panoramas tenders fast food; and traditional Persian cuisine is offered in the restaurant’s garden.
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Shiraz, Café Ferdowsi is a cozy establishment named after the Persian poet Hakim Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi. The café offers free WiFi alongside traditional teas and coffees, classic Persian dishes and excellent vegetarian fare. Popular among local artisans and cultural aficionados, the café features a beautiful interior which combines contemporary design with distinct Persian influences such as ornate wall tiles. Enjoy a cup of Persian tea or try the café’s ab-doogh-khiar, a refreshing yogurt and cucumber-based soup, which comes recommended by guests, and is a delicate, cooling option after a day of sightseeing under the hot Shiraz sun.
Café Forough, in the cultural district of Shiraz, enjoys a fantastic location between the city’s most beautiful attractions; the Jahan Nama Garden, an elegant, walled, green space dating back to the 13th century, and the Tomb of Hafez, a celebrated 14th century Persian poet. The café has a reputation for attracting the city’s intellectuals, artists and activists, as well as being a meeting ground for arts and culture lovers, both young and old alike. The intimate, welcoming café offers a small menu of coffee, teas, sandwiches, snacks and cakes, plus a host of local specialties including the staple, Persian herbal tea.
Café Hedayat is a small café and restaurant with a fun-loving, relaxed ambience. It serves a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes made with fresh and organic local ingredients, and is particularly strong on salads and pasta. The establishment offers free WiFi, and drinks such as coffee, tea, herbal teas and fresh fruit cocktails. Inside Café Hedayat the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with earthy tiled floors, stylish wooden tables and pared back lighting.
Haft Khan gains its title from Persian poet Ferdowsi’s epic poem Shahnameh, referring to the seven quests undertaken by Rostam in order to save his Shah. The restaurant complex has seven dining options, consisting of five restaurants and two coffee shops, all named after segments of Ferdowsi’s poem. Haft Khan’s architecture is a stunning mix of modern design and traditional features with beautiful views over the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Guests can choose from options including Foroud, which serves local traditional dishes such as Bakhtiari kebab; Nofel, which features international cuisine including chateaubriand; or the Gissia Coffee Shop, which offers a range of hot drinks and smoothies alongside delicious desserts.
Located within the labyrinthine alleyways and corners of Bazar-e-vakil, Seray-e Mehr is a split-level tea house and restaurant boasting a classic menu and authentic atmosphere. The establishment is welcoming and relaxing, with an elegant interior filled with charming local touches and decorations including beautiful wooden beams, traditional paintings, and carpets, or kilims. A contrast to the hustle and bustle of the surrounding bazaar, Seray-e Mehr offers a peaceful respite after some traditional Iranian shopping. Guests can enjoy a range of traditional teas alongside dishes that include jujeh kebab,chicken marinated in minced onion, lemon juice and saffron before being skewered and grilled, and the much talked about dizi, a traditional stew of lamb and chickpeas.
The Shapouri Garden Traditional Restaurant is the place to go in Shiraz if you want to sample authentic Iranian cuisine in historic surroundings. The restaurant is located in Shapouri House, affording a wonderful glimpse into the city’s recent history. Surrounded by a rose-filled, walled garden, the house was designed by the architect Abolghasem Mohandesi and constructed between 1930 and 1935. The style of the building, which was registered as an Iranian national monument in 2000, blends art nouveau influences with traditional Qajar aesthetics. The restaurant features a beautiful balcony from which guests can overlook the gardens while dining. Its menu features traditional Persian fare such as kalam polow, succulent mutton meatballs, and tah-chin, a layered dish of chicken and saffron rice flavored with turmeric.
A well-known and popular group of restaurants in Shiraz, Soufi offers a range of Persian and Middle Eastern dishes cooked to perfection. The Alif Abad Street branch is often extremely busy, testament to its popularity, and attracts a local crowd with its friendly, vibrant atmosphere and delicious, good-value cuisine. Often featuring live, traditional Persian music, the restaurant interior is clean, classy and thoroughly modern. The restaurant offers a wide range of kebab dishes, with chicken, lamb, fish and many other varieties to choose from, and its kalam polow,pilaf rice with cabbage and ground beef flavored with cinnamon, is an ever-popular choice.
Sharzeh is one of the most popular restaurants in Shiraz, located close to the entrance of the city’s main bazaar market, Bazar-e-vakil, packed full of charming courtyards and shops. The restaurant itself is split across two floors and is considered to be the best kebab restaurant in Shiraz. For any visitor looking to sample traditional Persian cuisine in a warm and welcoming space, often accompanied by traditional Persian music, Sharzeh is the place to dine. Slightly off the beaten track, Sharzeh offers a classic Iranian dining experience with a delicious and varied menu that includes kebab barg,lamb marinated in lime juice, saffron, onions and garlic, and kalam polowShirazi, an aromatic, herb-filled rice dish with cabbage and meatballs.
A firm favorite with locals, Shater Abbas is one of Shiraz’s most frequented restaurants. It serves delicious Persian cuisine prepared and cooked in an open kitchen, directly in front of the dining area. Shater Abbas is a bustling basement-level restaurant featuring a cozy and traditional interior defined by tiled walls, subdued lighting and ornately decorated tablecloths. Dishes that come with a particularly high local recommendation include the halim bademjan,an appetizer made from eggplant, ground meat, lentils and yogurt; the kebab koobideh, a kebab of ground meat with parsley and onions; and the sabzi polow,a rice-based dish with dill, parsley, chives and coriander. Another particular specialty includes the taftun, delicious fresh bread baked in a clay oven.