The Best Restaurants to Eat at in Iran

Clay pots of dizi stew
Clay pots of dizi stew | © شاملو / Wikimedia Commons

One of the greatest pleasures of traveling is trying the local cuisine. Aside from the national dishes of Iran, each city has a unique specialty that you won’t want to miss. We’ve identified the best restaurants throughout Iran that you should add to your itinerary.

1. Reyhoon

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Reyhoons kubideh kabab is the best
© Blondinrikard Fröberg / Flickr
If you’re looking for some of the most delicious chelow kabab in Tehran, look no further than Reyhoon. This restaurant, which means ‘basil’ in Persian, grills some of the best kubideh kabab and serves it alongside a plate of saffron rice and fresh, baked-in-house bread and heaps of (what else) basil. Get an unforgettable taste of this national dish in a traditional setting.

Dizi Sara Restaurant

When a restaurant has only one item on the menu and people line up around the block to eat it, you know they make that one item to absolute perfection. Dizi Sara starts you off with a variety of pickled vegetables, yogurt, salad, fresh bread, and a pitcher of doogh (a yogurt drink) before delivering one dizi per person. This stew of lamb, potatoes, and legumes is cooked in a clay pot, with the liquid eaten separately. To finish, sweet, sticky bamieh and hot tea are served, to throw you right into a food coma. While enjoying this divine meal, take time to enjoy the mosaics and paintings in this traditional restaurant.
Dizi Sara Restaurant, North Iranshahr, Mousa Kalantari St. No. 52, Tehran +98 21 8881 0008

2. Gilaneh

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Gilaneh serves up authentic dishes from the northern part of Iran. The decoration, wooden benches and ceramic plates and bowls make for a cozy, rustic and authentic setting. Don’t miss the signature item of the north, kabab torsh—beef marinated in a pomegranate-walnut sauce, as well as special olives and mirza ghasemi, a smoked eggplant dish. With friendly staff and delicious food, this places fills up fast, so book a table in advance.

3. Brentin Restaurant and Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian

Brentin is a lovely, light and airy cafe. The menu offers a mix of traditional Persian cuisine and not-so-traditional steak and pasta dishes, with a few vegetarian-friendly options. A local southern favorite includes fish or shrimp ghelyeh, a tangy stew with fried vegetables. While canned drinks aren’t available here, there’s a wide range of wonderfully imaginative beverages, like rosewater-saffron and cucumber-mint. Best visited at lunch, Brentin is quite popular with the local Shirazi crowd.

4. Berkeh Traditional Restaurant

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

This restaurant greets diners with a lovely garden and pool full of Koi fish. Berkeh, ‘pool’ in Persian, delivers friendly service, delicious food and a fantastic atmosphere. Particularly known for its fish kababs and dizi stew, served over a flame, this locale is a bit outside the city of Tabriz and may just be the perfect stop to treat yourself on the way back from a visit to the troglodytic village of Kandovan.

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