This sushi bar is the closest thing you'll get to an actual bar in Tehran. Ragbar's hardwood floors and Euro-retro interior houses some of the best sushi you'll find in the capitol, along with various pan-Asian dishes. By 9 p.m. it's full of young Tehranis, the girls looking stylish in their colorful headscarves. Dinner for two including appetizers: roughly $45.
Ragbar is at Valinejhad Street and Valiasr Ave,.next to Khashayar Park.
Telephone: +98 21 88885544
Delightfully on the far side of traditional, Spu is an outdoor restaurant at the foothills of the Alborz Mountains that overlook Tehran. Diners take of their shoes and sit on the floor in their own private tent, circled around a gas fire for heat. Each tent seats up to six people comfortably. Salads and chelo kebab (rice with meat, chicken, or fish skewers) are delicious. The whole cooked fish is a special treat, as is the young waiter in traditional dress wafting incense around your table for tips. Dinner for two including appetizers: $23.
SPU is at Darakeh Square in Northern Tehran.
Telephone: +98 21 2241 9494
Nayeb is a Tehran classic that's packed at lunch and dinnertime, welcoming visitors with a uniformed doorman who sits them down to some of the city's best Chelo Kebab (rice with meat, chicken, or fish skewers). The filet kebab is especially juicy and comes with an outstanding mango pomegranate gravy. There are a handful of Nayeb locations around Tehran, though our favorite is on Valiasr Avenue. Dinner for two including appetizers: roughly $25.
Nayeb is at 1030 Valiasr Ave, across from Saii Park,
Telephone: +98 21 88713474
Walk down stairs at the family-owned Ramtiin Hotel and you get to Bistengo.
The menu features traditional fare, along with pasta dishes and Iran's renown caviar served with blinis. The rack of lamb is a touch sweet and perfectly succulent. Bistengo is expensive by Tehran standards – dinner for two runs roughly $80.
Bistengo is at the Raamtin Hotel, 1081 Valiasr Avenut, just South of Saai Park.
Telephone: +98 21 88554409
Yalda Moiery contributed to this article.