The 10 Best Breakfast and Brunch Spots in Tehran
Luna Lounge | © Pontia Fallahi
Tehran’s café scene has erupted in recent years, with brunch becoming very much a part of the culture. Whether you prefer Western breakfasts in trendy cafés or a more traditional flavor in a lovely Persian garden, there is something for everyone and not enough time to try them all.
Saboos Bakery Cafe
Cafe, Bakery, Bar, Irish, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pastries
A popular hangout in northern Tehran, Saboos gets crowded on weekends, so it’s best to book in advance or people-watch as you wait for a table. Decorated with their signature ceramic sheep and paintings from local artists, they serve up some of the best waffles and pancakes in town. Also on the menu are a variety of omelettes, croissants, and cinnamon French toast. Choose your coffee, which is served in mugs with famous Iranian faces, from wrestler Takhti to poet Shamloo.
Cafe, Irish, Pastries, Dessert, Fast Food
Named in honor of the Italian businessman who continued buying oil from Iran despite the Western sanctions, Roberto Cafe is a modern eatery with inspirational quotes in English and doodles on the wall-sized chalkboard. This café touts the more trendy breakfast options found in New York, such as chia seed pudding, as well as corn pancakes, Turkish eggs, spinach-and-egg croissants, and a variety of crêpes, among its other options. The baristas here mean serious business, and have chemistry lab-esque tools to brew you the perfect cup of coffee.
Cafe, Tea , Irish, Coffee, Fast Food, Pastries, Dessert, $$$
A great place not only to brunch but also to get in touch with your artistic side, Chum Cafe serves everything from crêpes that rival those in Paris to modern presentations of the traditional Iranian breakfast: feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, walnuts, and a basket of warm bread. You’ll enjoy your morning with the friendly staff, mismatched chairs, and open kitchen that looks like a hip grandmother’s house. If you’re feeling creative, grab some colored pencils and paper and do what comes naturally. The community table is also known for breaking out into spontaneous games of Scattergories between customers and staff.
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
The industrial look of Sam Cafe will have you momentarily forgetting that you’re in Tehran and feel more like you’re sitting in a hipster cafe in Brooklyn. From yogurt-granola parfaits to arguably the second best waffles in town to croissant sandwiches and muffins, Sam Cafe serves great-quality food with the best coffee and tea to go with it. Community tables are big here, which also makes it a great place to chat with friends or make some new ones.
Kubaba Cafe and Restaurant
Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Pastries, Dessert
Monsoon Group has delivered again with Kubaba, a Lebanese restaurant. Though the lunch and dinner menus may be more popular, this restaurant has a breakfast buffet every day with the staples: made-to-order omelettes, waffles, fruits, cheese, bread, freshly squeezed juices, and some Middle Eastern early-morning favorites in between. You’ll enjoy the ambiance in this open, airy space as much as the food. Try to book a table outside or in the Moroccan-themed room.
Luna Lounge Cafe
Cafe, Contemporary, Irish, Pastries, Fast Food, $$$
Located in Block A of the ASP Towers, Luna Lounge has some of the heartiest breakfasts in Tehran. The concrete-and-brick walls of this quiet café display paintings for sale from local artists, so they change quite frequently. There are many breakfast options to choose from, but try the Middle Eastern breakfast platter of fried eggs and halloumi cheese, sausage, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and walnuts or the Persian breakfast with heavy cream, butter, honey, and a basket of freshly baked bread. The fresh watermelon cooler in the summer is a must.
Parchak Cheese House
Bakery, Cafe, Cheesemonger, Irish, European, Pastries, Fast Food
Cheese lovers look no further. Just as the name suggests, Parchak’s dishes are based around cheese, and it is the best place to buy those hard-to-find European cheeses in Tehran. There’s an array of cold and hot breakfasts, but try the toasted egg sandwich with pesto and Parmesan cheese for an aesthetically pleasing and flavorful meal in a delightful cozy café. Nearby Saei Park is a good place to walk off the generous breakfast portions and start sightseeing afterwards.
Cafe, Irish, Pastries, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Dessert
This basement cafe has a very industrial minimalist style with its bare brick walls and iron columns. A great place to grab an afternoon coffee, V Cafe has some breakfast favorites as well. The Persian breakfast of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, and tomatoes are beautifully presented in traditional copper dishes and served with fresh baguette slices or Iranian sangak, whole wheat bread baked on rocks. Try the egg breakfast sandwich or croissants for lighter options, and don’t forget the tea served with nabat, rock candy, or coffee.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Tea , Irish, Coffee, Fast Food
Chai Bar’s location in one of the remaining royal gardens of northern Tehran makes it a treasure. The menu has more variety here with Persian pancakes topped with crushed pistachios and grape molasses or eggs fried with dates. Try a lighter breakfast of cheese, butter, walnuts, and jams served individually in beautiful ceramic bowls- with a glass of tea, of course. You’ll enjoy the perfect weekend breakfast on the porch of a Persian mansion under the towering trees all to the sound of cascading water and chirping birds.
Cafe, Middle Eastern, Irish, Fast Food, Pastries
The colorful and cozy Mahtab Cafe will have you wanting to stay for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu here is reflective of homemade Iranian cooking, and the eclectic decoration of built-in bookshelves, funky picture frames and floral tablecloths give this place a hippy-arty vibe. This atmosphere calls for ordering a traditional Persian breakfast with sangak bread and tea. A basket of yarn and needles is in the corner, should you wish to knit something or keep yourself busy until the next meal.
These recommendations were updated on February 1, 2017 to keep your travel plans fresh.