Hip Haunts of Tehran: Top Nine Eateries and Cafes

The white-hot scene in the Iranian capital -- where strict laws dominate.

TEHRAN, Iran, Feb. 28, 2008 -- Even without bars and clubs in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the capital city of Tehran still has its hip haunts – mostly restaurants and cafes, which stand in for other nightlife hangouts.

At a time when Iran is the focus of potential new sanctions and attention over its nuclear program, Tehran's social life doesn't seem to be suffering a slowdown. While Iranians are known for their all-out house parties, some with contraband cocktails, Iranians are increasingly drawn out to Tehran's budding eateries and hot spots.

Some are traditional while others look like they could be in Paris, New York or Tokyo – fitting for Iran's youth bulge (by one estimate the country has 20 million people under the age of 20).

In part because no alcohol is served, eating out is an affordable affair for most out-of-town visitors. Below is an introduction to some of Tehran's classic and contemporary locales.

Dizi Restaurant

Dizi Restaurant is at #16 Mousa Kalantari St, at Iranshahre Shomali-Karimkhan St. Telephone: +98 21 88810008

Shouka Café

Shouka Café is at Gandi Shopping Center, 1st Floor. Telephone: +98 21 88792036

El Café

El Café is at Gandi Shopping Center, 1st Floor Telephone: +98 21 88792926.

Boulevard

Boulevard is at 3 Nahid Blvd, off Valiasr St. Telephone: +98 21 22051947

Armenian Club Restaurant

The Armenian Club is at 100 Nofel Loshato St, at Khark St. Telephone: +98 21 66700521

Ragbar

Ragbar is at Valinejhad Street and Valiasr Ave,.next to Khashayar Park. Telephone: +98 21 88885544

SPU

SPU is at Darakeh Square in Northern Tehran. Telephone: +98 21 2241 9494 http://www.spu-restaurant.com

Nayeb Restaurant

Nayeb is at 1030 Valiasr Ave, across from Saii Park, Telephone: +98 21 88713474 http://www.nayeb.com

Bistengo Restaurant

Bistengo is at the Raamtin Hotel, 1081 Valiasr Avenut, just South of Saai Park. Telephone: +98 21 88554409

Yalda Moiery contributed to this article.