The Best Cafes in Mashhad, Iran

Photo of Shaahin Pishbin
9 February 2017

A center of pilgrimage and religious learning, Iran’s second most populous city isn’t renowned for a thriving cafe culture. Nevertheless, Mashhad is a metropolis of many faces, and its visitors from far-flung fields and broad demographics combine to create a lively if idiosyncratic sense of cosmopolitanism. Here we feature some of the finest cafes and tea-houses which exemplify Mashhad’s diverse urbanity.

Mashhad | © Arvid Qasemy/Wikicommons

Café Nabat

With soft lighting, a red brick interior, and wooden furnishings, Café Nabat is thoughtfully designed and exudes professionalism. Seemingly more European than Iranian, Nabat is a hit with young locals and students, and a great place to strike up a conversation about anything from the arts to politics to Mashhad’s underground rap scene. The menu features a good range of teas, coffees, and cakes, and rather exceptionally, a full continental breakfast (no ham).

Persian tea | © NZereshk/Wikicommons

Café Shekar

Café Shekar (or “Sugar” Café) is a slick, well-lit, laid back coffee shop that’s popular with local Mashhadis. Friendly staff, a spacious interior, and a no smoking policy set this cafe apart from many others in the area. As for the coffee itself, the quality is top-notch and its enticing aroma fills the air and wafts out onto the nearby street. Shekar also serves a number of light, Western-style meals – the salads are a crowd favorite.
Address: Sajjad Boulevard,Mashhad, Iran

Retro Café

Retro Café has the cozy, après-ski vibe of a mountain chalet, with wooden beams, rustic furniture, and red brick walls. This dimly lit establishment draws in an artsy and international crowd, and is perhaps the closest thing to a bar you’ll find in Mashhad. An excellent range of coffees and fruity milkshakes, as well as late opening times (usually until midnight), make Retro Café a fine spot to spend an evening with friends or working from your laptop.

Address: 79-81 Piroozi Boulevard,Mashhad, Iran, +98 513 509 8085

Cafe Latte | © Alayna the Extravagant/Wikicommons

Hezardastan Traditional Teahouse

With its carpeted platforms on which to recline, traditional instruments and live music, and calligraphy-laden walls, Hezardastan will tastefully cater to the Oriental fantasies of many a tourist. Doubling up as a restaurant, the underground tea-house offers a pleasant ambiance and standard Iranian fare, as well as copious cups of piping hot Persian chai.

Address: Jannat Street, Mashhad, Iran, +98 511 222 2943

Café Kook

Café Kook is another characterful, modern-style coffee shop, replete with trendy furnishings and atmospheric lighting. They boast a fine range of coffees, often decorated with intricate latte art, but the food menu is where Kook comes into its own. You can sample some of the most delicious cakes in the city (the Nutella and biscuit cake is a particular treat for those with a sweet tooth), or indulge in a chicken pasta dish.
Address: Zanbagh Street, just off Khayam 10 Street, Mashhad

Fenjon Café

Cafe, Coffee
Fenjon Café, located on Sajjad Boulevard, is a quaint but pleasant venue to secure your caffeine fix. It has a more that satisfactory range of coffees, teas, cakes, and the like, as well as some tasty pasta. It’s biggest draw, however, is the spacious courtyard seating area – unusual for Iranian cafes. A perfect spot to relax and hang out on a warm afternoon.

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