A Modern Coffee Shop & a Traditional Tea House Joint | A Stroll in Tajrish Square & through the Tajrish Bazaar

The other day I met my friend Maryam at a cute cafe right around Tajrish Square (meidaneh Tajrish) which is a neighborhood in the far north of Tehran at the foothills of the Alborz mountains.

We had coffee and plotted our potential adventures …

,,, and Maryam charted our expedition options!

There were people hanging out outside the cafe, but inside, we had the place entirely to ourselves. Maryam told me this was only due to the Norooz (Persian New Year) holiday flux and that ordinarily there is a long line of thirsty Tehranis in a line spilling out into the street with no place to sit and hangout.

This lovely Iranian barista, whose name is Raha, confirmed that the cafe is ordinarily hopping and so busy that they have a 20 minute maximum hanging out/lingering policy.

As we took our leave, I snapped a few pix for your entertainment and amusement. Re the menu: I’m assuming the “cocktails” are virgin ones as alcohol is not permitted in Iran. People do imbibe. But not officially. Cough cough.

We then gingerly strolled to and through the old bazaar of Tajrish where you can find practically everything.

From fresh unripe dates called Kharak

… to Konar, the fruit of the ceder tree, new to me, but apparently quite popular to eat in the southern regions of Iran, that tastes something like a combination of apples and pears …

… to dried mint and dill and other herbs used in cooking …

… to counterfeit perfume (the second one from right reads: “coco chanel”)….

… to musical instruments ..

… to a caged bird whose chirping filled the passageway of the bazaar with her song …


After having lots of fun browsing and perusing the Tajrish bazaar, we finally ended up in a traditional tea house restaurant.

There was a baker right by the entrance rolling dough and baking fresh nooneh taftoon bread with a series of swift, expert moves that were hypnotic to behold (I took a video which I can post when I’m back in the U.S.) and there was an accordion player who was walking around playing a soulful tune. People were sitting on wooden beds covered with carpets – a traditional set up for this type of establishment — eating and drinking.

A waiter climbed the stairs carrying a huge tray laden with steaming saffron rice and plates of kabab and I pretty much drooled. Not the one pictured as I didn’t move fast enough to capture that particular scene. Speaking of tantalizing glimpses of yummy Persian food though: I know. I know. I know. It’s what most of you want and are waiting for and I am quite mean for not writing one yet. But if it’s any solace to you, I’ve been doing quite a lot of primary research and field practice by eating a lot of it. Isn’t that a solace?

So back to our story, Maryam and I went upstairs and sat on a carpeted wooden bed of our very own and drank tea. (I have nearly entirely given up coffee and turned into an avid tea drinker since arriving in Tehran.)

A nice waiter took our picture.

I kept looking around, trying to take it all in with my eyes and ears, and had a hard time wiping off my grin. It can safely be said that I was absolutely in hog heaven. Simply having a blast. I WISH I could share the feeling with you and as we say in Persian: jatoon khalli. “Your place was missing.”


Khoda hafez until soon!

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Comments (31)

  • simiskitchen 8 years ago Reply

    Reblogged this on Simi's Kitchen and commented:
    Bah bah, merci for this. Can’t wait to get there and for us to have chai together. x

  • apuginthekitchen 8 years ago Reply

    Drooling over that rice and Kabab, yum, wishing the best of luck to your friend and her US trip and pending visa. Can’t wait for more. So glad you are able to post snippets from your trip.

  • simplyvegetarian777 8 years ago Reply

    Thanks for such a wonderful tour! The traditional tea house is a place that I would want to visit. We have so much of Iranian influence in North Indian food and sometimes culture, it won’t be difficult to relate :).
    Have a good trip :).

  • yvonne rafi 8 years ago Reply

    This makes me SO happy! Thank you for sharing. ❤️

  • diary of a tomato 8 years ago Reply

    Your utter delight in being there comes shining through, enough so that a little rubs off just in the viewing!

  • Francesca 8 years ago Reply

    Those perfume bottles? So pretty! I’m obsessed with perfume bottles and I collect them. They have an old-day charm. A luxury gone forever.

  • tannazie 8 years ago Reply

    I’m so happy that I’ve found your blog! Such a great window into Iranian traditions, and even a trip to Iran itself! This post is a cool contrast of east and west in Tehran. I’ve linked to it on my food-based Facebook page: http://facebook.com/allkindsofyum

  • Banafsheh 8 years ago Reply

    OMG! You look sooo cut with that tiny scarf ! very “noghli”
    The Barista is such a beauty! No wonder the coffee shop is so popular!
    I can read this post a hundred times , Tjrish , and specially the Baghe Irani are my favorite parts of Tehran.

  • Again, salivating over the jujeh and kubideh!!! You are killing me here!!!!

  • Maria Dernikos 8 years ago Reply

    Love these posts. I am so enjoying being able to see life if only a glimpse in Iran.

  • Gelareh 8 years ago Reply

    I really enjoyed these posts, they gave me such a good feeling and got me back to old times. I loved the cafe menu and I absolutely will try those items whenever I go for a visit. wow, there are a lot of changes since I was there (6 years ago). Azita joon, I am glad you are having a good time. enjoy it

  • Aneela Mirchandani 8 years ago Reply

    Oh to be in Tehran!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    I KNOW! I want to be back again!

  • bonnieeng 8 years ago Reply

    Oh, I just love the photos. Am looking forward to that clip of the baker when you return! How I wish I could visit that tea house restaurant for lunch right now! =)

  • polianthus 8 years ago Reply

    wonderful photos, you have really found your photo stride, like looking through a magazine – congratulations – look forward to the video!

  • You look so happy to be there! 🙂 What a wonderful post – those shops in particular are so intriguing – I think you’d have lost me in the musical instrument shop for hours.. xx

  • Bizou 8 years ago Reply

    Azita jon, looks like you’re having a wonderful time which is so great, & wish the rest of your trip goes even better. Beautiful pictures & stories to complete it. Thank you for sharing all this with us. I absolutely love all this, it is like walking us through every where you go as if we are there too. Beautiful. Thank you & enjoy it all. Always looking forward for even more.
    Best wishes.

  • ladyredspecs 8 years ago Reply

    The market looks intriguing, I’d have lost myself going from stall to stall. So glad Iran has lived up to your hopes and dreams, you look so happy to be there. I look forward to your next installment

  • Amanda 8 years ago Reply

    Stunning photos and great stories. I feel like I”m there with you. Love the last photo the best 🙂

  • Manu 8 years ago Reply

    Beautiful post! You really make me feel like visiting Iran! 🙂

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Manu, there were lots of Europeans (Italians included) touring and traveling when I was there … so 😉

  • yvonne rafi 8 years ago Reply

    I have to keep coming back to look because you look so beautiful and happy. ❤️

  • Elli 8 years ago Reply

    Lovely photos… thanks for sharing! Makes me feel like I’m missing home :)!

  • Coco in the Kitchen 8 years ago Reply

    How fun! I love the bazaar. Thanks for sharing. It’s so nice to “see” what it’s like there now. Have you been to Cafe Naderi? My parents used to take me there for cafe glace’ and concerts in their outdoor patio when I was little. Is it still around?

  • Flora 8 years ago Reply

    Lovely! Loving your tour of Iran!

  • MyKabulKitchen 8 years ago Reply

    I recently read a book by Hooman Majd about his year living in Tehran, and since my heart is always yearning for “back home” and the middle-east it was perfect for my nostalgia…I am so excited to have come across your blog while your in Iran as I can see all the pictures and visualize his stories…I love how your capturing everyday life in Iran, though its completely ordinary to us it is fascinating, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    I have to look up that book – sounds very interesting! And belated reply to thank you for reading and I’m happy you enjoyed the “virtual” tour 🙂

  • Josiane 8 years ago Reply

    Oh, how I miss Tehran! I knew I had to go back to Iran as soon as possible, and your posts are making it even clearer. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures, and keep having fun!

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