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Food & Dining in Iran

Standards of food hygiene are mostly satisfactory in all categories of eating-houses, except for Iranian sausages which can cause stomach problems. In general most Iranian cooking is healthy and nutritious, and you shouldn't have much problem in keeping to a balanced diet. At street stalls, it is advisable only to eat hot food that is being cooked.

Some of the best of Iran's ubiquitous felafels are to be found sizzling away in stalls on 15 Khordad Avenue, across the road from the bazaar. The cost greatly depends upon lots of aspects but there you should expect like 3,000-5,000 Rials (300-500 Tomans) for such a budget type meal.

The Iranian Traditional Restaurant (Agha Bozorg) on 28 Keshavarz Boulevard, offers great and cheap dizi (2,500 tomans). Dizi is a hot pot made from lamb, chickpeas and dried limes. Afterwards there is the option to sit back with a flavoured qalyan water pipe and people-watch the Iranians who gather in this place.

You can find several food courts around Tehran with a variety of cuisines from Thailand, India, Italy, China and Turkey. Boof is a fast food chain serving burgers etc, similar to McDonalds.

For a somewhat exhilarating experience, head to Armenian Club on 68 Khark Street, corner France Avenue. Almost like walking into another world (or country rather) you will be surprised to see women (non-muslim) not wearing their hejab, which they can choose not to as it is a Christian establishment. Do also try Khayam Restaurant, just a few metres from Khayam Metro Station. It is the one on the street right opposite to the Mosque. A no-limits evening of a kabab with rice and drink, and qalyan pipe, tea and sweets for dessert will set you back around 120,000 Rials in total.

For something different try Monsoon. A trendy asian restaurant serving good thai curries and decent sushi. Located in Gandhi Shopping Centre. Boulevard is a cool and modern place on a small street heading east of Vali Asr Avenue, between Vanaq Square and Park-e Mellat. It serves very good french and italian food.

Many locals regard the upper class Alborz Restaurant, Nikoo Ghadam Alley (North Sohrevardi Avenue), serves one of the best chelo kababi in Tehran. A new kabab restaurant called Naveed, has opened recently. It serves excellent food comparable to Alborz but at lower prices. The atmoshpere is very european looking and feeling, but not as high end as Alborz.

Maybe the only place to get local vegetarian food (as well as non-vegetarian) is the Firouzeh Hotel. There they offer you different kinds of very delicious, home-made meals with fresh vegetables and local spices for reasonable prices.

Coffee shops have become especially popular in the affluent North, so if need, a visit to the White Tower (Borj-e Sefid) along Pasdaran Avenue, or any other mall in the area should suffice. These coffee shops can also be very appealing to tourists interested in watching how young, affluent locals deviously bend the government regulations on contact between the sexes.





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