Reportedly “the oldest living city on Earth”, Yazd is a must-visit on any Iran trip. Located at the center of the Iranian plateau between two deserts, Yazd captivates those who pass through with its mudbrick old town, badgirs (wind catchers), and courtyards. We list 10 great restaurants to try here.
The Malek-o Tojjar Hotel is Yazd’s premier example of a traditional Qajar-era home, and provides a memorable setting in which to dine. Converted to the highest of standards, the 19th century residence boasts an impressive central courtyard restaurant. You can soak up your surroundings lounging on carpeted and cushioned platforms, often shaded by a canopy during the scorching summer months. The food is hearty and the service top-notch. Located just off the main bazaar, the Malek-o Tojjar is as convenient as it is pleasant.
Located right in the old town, the underground restaurant-teahouse of Hammam-e Khan, a converted traditional bathhouse, rewards those who manage to locate it within the warren-like streets (watch out for signs). Offering an excellent range of classic Iranian fare (the dizi, a lamb, chickpea, and potato soup,is especially good), the restaurant is cosy, cool, and relaxing. Whilst the echoing chambers and turquoise and white tile work exude a slight swimming pool vibe, the arched and vaulted ceilings are delightful. Prices can be a little steep, but are worth it.
Panjeh-ali Bazaar, Yazd, Iran, +98 627 0366
Gol-e Sorkh Pizza
Restaurant, Australian, Italian
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Gol-e Sorkh Pizza offers its customers an authentically Italian rendition, and consequently enjoys a reputation as one of the finest pizzerias in the country. Situated in the northwest of the city on Jomhuri Eslami Street, the restaurant’s founder is said to have worked as a pizza chef in Australia for decades and brought his recipes home to his native Yazd. Ideal for travelers who can’t face another plate of rice.
The Silk Road Hotel is a favorite among backpackers in Yazd for its laidback atmosphere, charming central courtyard, and very reasonable rates. The traditional courtyard doubles up as an excellent restaurant with an unusually diverse selection of food. Given the Iranian diet’s strong aversion to hot spices, the curries are a rare treat. A great place to meet fellow travelers and young Iranians.
This rooftop restaurant belonging to the Orient Hotel has views like no other in Yazd. Visitors can admire the city’s romantic skyline of minarets and domes while dining on a fine selection of stews, kebabs, and freshly cooked bread. The Yazdi lentil soup is excellent, though not available every day.
The Mozaffar Traditional Restaurant is housed in a hotel of the same name in central Yazd, just a 10-minute walk away from the Amir Chakhmaq complex. The restaurant is a renovated Qajar era residency, featuring an inviting courtyard in which to eat.
About 30-minutes drive from Yazd city centre is the small town of Taft. One of its highlights is the 12,000 square meters of the Sadri Garden (bagh-e sadr), which is home to a wonderful 19th century Qajar residency turned restaurant. Standard Iranian fare is on offer and is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Taft.
Dragon Restaurant is a popular venue for Italian food, and you can’t fault its quality. Dragon is popular with students and tourists, although it is a little cramped. They offer a good range of pizzas, pasta, garlic bread, and steak. Well worth a visit for a change from traditional Iranian cuisine.
The Moshir ol-Mamalek Hotel restaurant can be found on Moshir Boulevard, off Enqelab Street. The grandeur of the Qajar-era architecture is matched by the restaurant’s lavish furnishings, with an option to dine on tables inside or out in the courtyard. Staff wear Qajar-era dress and a pair of resident parrots add an unforgettable quirkiness to the Moshir ol-Mamalek experience.
Yazd produces some exquisite shirini (Persian sweets), including local ghotab (an almond-filled, deep-fried pastry), baklava, pashmak (Persian candy floss), and gaz (pistachio-filled nougat). Shirini shops are located around Amir Chakhmaq Square and the bazaar.