Tehran Grand Bazaar is one of the most popular tourist spots of the city, as well as one of the major business hub in Iran.
You could easily lose track of time while window shopping and sooner than you think it is time to eat! But where is the best place to eat, between the various options? Since the delicious smell of different foods comes from every corner, it’s a tough choice, but don’t worry, we are here to help!
Tehran Grand Bazaar is a large area in downtown Tehran. This area includes Molavi St., 15th Khordad St., Mustafa Khomeini St. and Khayyam St. This beautiful Bazaar is an attractive place for visitors and customers in every way! Many Iranians and tourists come to the Tehran Grand Bazaar to shop and also visit old houses, buildings, and nostalgic shops. Walking through the alleys of the bazaar gives you a taste of old Tehran as if you were walking through a living museum.
Since the Bazaar is huge, you might need half a day to visit. We suggest you spare some time to eat a delicious lunch or at least a quick meal at the bazaar. There are many restaurants in the Tehran Grand Bazaar area to meet the needs of those who work or visit this place. Some of them are very old and have been around for many generations. The stories behind them are probably one of their attractions. In this article, we have brought you a foodie guide to the bazaar. So you can choose more easily by getting familiar with top places to eat in Tehran Grand Bazaar Bazaar.
#1 Sharaf-al-Eslami Restaurant
Sharaf al-Islami restaurant is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Tehran Grand Bazaar which dates back to 1936. The delectable Iranian food served at this restaurant draws many people and tourists to the Bazaar only to eat a tasty meal. The interior of Sharaf-al-Eslami preserved its old style. Enameled blue tiles and steel water pitchers are good reminders of old Tehran restaurants.
When you go to this restaurant for lunch, you probably face a long queue of people that might even make you regret your choice. But don’t worry, the fast professional service of this restaurant doesn’t keep you waiting for too long.
Since Sharaf-al-Eslami is always crowded, be aware that you can’t spend too much time there. The portions are also bigger than usual so you can share one order with others. Don’t worry if you are alone though, you can always take away your extras.
The most popular dishes at the restaurant are Tahchin(Persian saffron rice cake), Baghali polo ba Mahicheh(rice with broad beans and lamb shanks) and Kebabs. In my opinion, serving them all with a little slice of Tah-chin is the best part!
Address: Tehran Grand Bazaar, towards Imam Mosque
#2 Khayyam Restaurant
Khayyam Restaurant is another famous restaurant in Tehran Grand Bazaar which is very popular among tourists.
For over 200 years old, this place has been one of the most unique spots in Tehran. The building of this restaurant was founded by Lady Munir al-Saltaneh, Nasser al-Din Shah’s wife. Khayyam restaurant is on Iran’s national heritage list due to its historical and cultural value.
This relaxing and beautiful place is adorned with an attractive decoration where you can relax in the bustle of the market.
The interior of Khayyam restaurant is designed in a very traditional Persian way. The domed ceilings and blue tile work make you feel like you are invited to a Qajar house. Also, instead of sitting at the dining tables, you enjoy your meal on beautiful traditional Iranian carpeted eating platforms. You can also order shisha and tea, which is offered in a traditional way.
This restaurant is located on Khayyam Street and south of Khayyam Metro Station. To reach this touristic restaurant, head to Imamzadeh Nasr al-Din and head to a historic striking area of Khayyam restaurant.
Address: Khayyam Street, Tehran Grand Bazaar, Tehran.
#3 Ghadah Restaurant
If you want to taste an excellent Kebab in the Tehran Grand Bazaar, Ghadah is one of the best choices.
This popular place is in the heart of the Bazaar, and its special style, along with the excellent quality of Kebabs, has made Ghadah restaurant a star on the Anthony Bourdain food show.
One of the attractions of the Ghadah is its different kind of menu which the restaurant calls “live menu”; You can choose your meal from raw Kebabs arranged in a tray. If you go there in the summer, you will be welcomed by a cold delicious fruit, like melons.
You will not regret choosing any of the Kebabs at the Ghadah restaurant. With butter and a piece of Tah-chin, the combination delivers a pure and real Iranian Kebab flavour.
To reach there, it’s enough to get to Khayyam Metro Station and walk for two minutes.
Address: No. 2, Karbala’i alley, Khayyam Street, Tehran Grand Bazaar
#4 Gol Rezaieh Café and Restaurant
Gol Rezaieh Restaurant Cafe is one of the oldest cafes in Tehran that started in 1931 as a bar. But over time it became a hangout place for writers and intellectuals of that era.
The restaurant menu has limited items of home-made dishes and the food is served on Chinese plates with nostalgic patterns.
The popular table next to the window has many stories behind it. Some say that this table is kept in the same style as it once was the seating spot of Sadegh Hedayat and Forough Farrokhzad. (Both famous Iranian writer and poet during 1940)
Gol Rezaieh Restaurant has food service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For each meal, this restaurant has specific serving hours. Even though this cafe and restaurant is about 20 minutes’ walking distance from Bazaar, it is still worth mentioning as one of the top restaurants of Tehran Grand Bazaar.
Since Cafe Gol Rezaieh is located on 30th-Tir Street, right across the Glass and Ceramics Museum, it’s a good place to relax after a long day of visiting museums. Also, keep in mind that the restaurant requires pre-booking most of the time due to its popularity.
Address: Tehran Province, Tehran, District 12, Across from Glass and Ceramics Museum، 30th Tir St
#5 Alibaba Vitamin (juice shop)
Alibaba’s vitamin or juice shop is one of the oldest and most unique juice shops in the city. It was established on Vahdat-e-Islami St near Tehran Grand Bazaar in 1984.
In Iran, vitamin shops are usually small shops serving a variety of fresh smoothies, juices and a special drink called “Majoun”. But Alibaba Vitamin is well-known not only for the very special and tasty Majoun but also for the exciting display while serving it. This shop only serves pistachio milk, coconut milk, and Majoun.
You might be curious to know what this popular Majoun is made of; Palm sap, milk, ice cream, pistachio, cinnamon, cream, and egg yolk are just some of the ingredients of this drink. So don’t be surprised if you do not feel hungry for a full day!
Address: Tehran, Vahdat-e-Islami St, Alibaba juice shop
Cost: Cheap eats
#6 Haj Ali Darvish Tea House
This nostalgic tea house is one of the oldest and smallest tea houses in Tehran! The Haj Ali Darvish tea house, now ran by Haj Kazem(Haj Ali Darvish’s son), was founded in 1917 and is located next to Abdollah Khan School. In the bustle of the Grand Bazaar, this tea house is the best place to drink a cup of well-brewed Persian tea. Haj Kazem’s fantastic tea along with his kind and lovely character is the reason he has so many loyal customers. His most special tea is called “Kindness Tea” which is a combination of mint, lemon, and saffron.
Haj Kazem has custom made souvenirs that you can buy from this lovely tea house. He also gives his new customers a souvenir coin. It might take you a while to find this small tea house, as it’s hardly two meters wide and is a tiny stall instead of a sit-down tea house.
#7 Tehran Grand Bazaar Street Foods
The final part of the Tehran Grand Bazaar foodie guide is the fascinating street foods. You can find almost all kinds of Persian street foods, in this Bazaar. Kiosks, small shops and even colourful carriages are selling street food there.
In summer and spring, you can enjoy seasonal fruits like greengages, green almonds, cornelian cherries, red mulberries. fresh Juices, saffron ice-cream, smoothies, and slush are some other snacks that are available and will freshen you up.
In autumn and winter, you can have amazing choices among street foods and delicious snacks such as cooked fava beans, laboo (cooked beetroots), fresh pomegranate juice, orange juice, grilled corn, and various kinds of Ash .
Falafels in Marvi alley, Persian Pirashkis, Samosas, Doner kebabs, and Lavashaks (Persian fruit leather) are other street foods you can find in Tehran Grand Bazaar.
Photos by Matin Lashkari and Reyhaneh Jafari