When you hear “omelette”, the first image that pops in your head is probably one of a French omelette, all puffy and masterfully folded on itself, filled with cheese and sprinkled with a variety of herbs and spices for good measure.
Well, you’d better get that image out of your head in Iran because that’s not the omelette you’ll be having — but I guarantee it’ll be one of the best omelettes you’ll ever taste.
Iranian omelette is not particularly special—it’s basically scrambled eggs made with fresh tomatoes or tomato paste with diced bell pepper occasionally thrown in for those (like me) who are fond of spicy foods—it’s the atmosphere of the diner that makes the eating experience one to try.
The rule of thumb is that old teahouses all serve fried eggs and omelettes, and Tehran is chock-full of them. What this article aims to do is to list five of the best known omelette places in the sprawling capital.
The diners named below were handpicked from a variety of online lists and review websites and also my own personal experience.
Azarbaijan Coffee House
Called “Qahveh Khaneh Azarbijan” in Farsi, Azarbaijan Coffee House is a popular place in Tehran’s Enqelab neighborhood downtown.
Those who frequent the coffee house swear by its omelette and proudly claim it is the best in the city of 9 million people!
Due to its location, most of its clientele are young university students looking to charge their batteries for the tough day ahead in the morning or meeting up with friends after classes to unwind in the evening. In either case, the diner is packed throughout the day. Aside from its omelettes, the coffee house serves dizi (a very filling traditional Persian lamb stew).
Make sure to order a hot cup of freshly brewed tea before you leave.
Easily identifiable by the columns of empty bottle crates outside, the diner is located on Enqelab Avenue, on the corner of Vesal and Bozorgmehr.
Imagine having hot omelette with freshly-baked bread on a cold winter morning; that’s what Hossein, the owner of a small yet lively diner in Dezashib neighborhood, offers his customers.
Taking full advantage of the diner’s location next to a bakery that makes Sangak (traditional Iranian leavened flatbread made in a gravel stone-filled furnace), Hossein serves his meals with fresh breads that take the whole Iranian omelette experience to a new level.
The omelettes are made with Kermanshahi cooking oil, giving the food a rural tang.
Drinking Hossein’s tea is a must; that’s what his regulars say anyway. In fact, many go there just to drink the tea, as if Hossein’s tea is just different.
Look for Boo Ali Street in Dezashib. When you spot a long line of people, that’s the bakery we talked about. The diner is right next door.
An old diner with a youthful vibe, Amoo Houshang’s is a popular joint in the upscale Niavaran neighborhood in northern Tehran.
Amoo is Persian for (paternal) uncle and is also used as a term of endearment to refer to an older man, similar to “Pops” in the US.
Amoo Houshang’s friendly attitude combined with his striking long, white hair and clean shaven face (barring the standard mustache) has made the diner very popular with the younger generation, who travel from all parts of Tehran just to see the man as well as enjoy a plate full of hot, freshly-made omelette.
Aside from omelettes and fried eggs, Amoo Houshang serves homemade Dizi and Khoresh Gheymeh (traditional Iranian beef and split pea stew with lots of French fries) for lunch. Tea and hookah are also on the menu.
Amoo Houshang’s diner is located on Niavaran Avenue, on the corner of Abdollahi Alley.
Valiasr Dizi House
Located on just inside Delaviz Alley on Valiasr Street, Dizi Sarayeh Valiasr (Valiasr Dizi House) is a small diner with a massive clientele, most of whom are motorcyclists, if the line of bikes outside the joint is any indication.
There is very little room inside and most people eat their food outside on stands set up for that very purpose. Hot Barbari (another type of Iranian flatbread with a crisp crust), onions and fresh green pepper are served alongside the omelette.
If you’re looking to be served in ceramic plates and have your drink brought to you in fancy glasses, Golha isn’t the place for you. However, if you appreciate authenticity and good food, then look no further!
A small, two-floor establishment, Golha (Persian for flowers) in downtown Tehran doesn’t have much in the way of decoration, but a large container of tomato paste and crates of eggs do steal attention.
To get there, go to Ferdosi Street and look for Sakhaei Street.
So, that’s it: Our short list of diners in Tehran serving tasty Iranian omelettes. There are plenty more places in the city that offer omelettes, so if you have a favorite, give a shout out in the comments below.