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Vegetarians usually face a bit of a challenge when dining out in Iran, as Persian cuisine is heavily based around meat. But healthy eating and the benefits of a veggie diet have reached the boundaries of Iran, with a number of such restaurants in the capital city. Here are eight of the best vegetarian eateries in Tehran, where you can try traditional dishes without having to sacrifice your diet.
Situated on the bustling Shariati Street, what Banyan Tree lacks in peaceful ambiance, it more than makes up for in its dishes. The kitchen prides itself on never using frozen or canned ingredients, and choosing only wholegrain pastas and bread and brown rice. Be sure to try its vegan-friendly version of the sinfully delicious Persian comfort food, fesenjoon, a sweet-and-sour stew made with pomegranate molasses, crushed walnuts, and – in this case – tofu.
Tehran Province, Tehran, District 3. T: +98 21 2263 1017
Don’t head to Khoshbin (aka Hassan Rashti) if you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely meal. With a quick table turnover, this understated restaurant is an institution among Iranians, who come for the authentic Gilaki cuisine (from the northern Gilan region). Alongside the kabobs marinated in pomegranate molasses are typical northern dishes such as smoked white fish, mirzâ ghâsemi (smoked eggplant with egg), and bâghlâ ghâtogh (lima beans with egg), making it ideal for pescetarians and ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Charmy’s is a cozy vegetarian joint, serving up an array of creamy pasta dishes in a snug setting with an open kitchen, making it feel like you’re eating in a friend’s home. Using only fresh ingredients, Charmy’s has mastered the various sauces of its simple yet tasty pasta dishes. The grilled eggplant is a favorite here, as is the virgin grape juice mojito.
2/1 Alborz 1 Alley Hafez St, District 6, Tehran. T: +98 21 66 49 85 10