Tehran in pictures, a temptation of local markets and sweets shops

My passion for open markets is definitely not a secret, so could I miss such a temptation in Tehran? Of course not.

Wandering the streets of the Iranian capital I stumbled on many mouthwatering sweets shops, countless nuts stands and one of those local markets that give the idea of fresh produce just arrived from the countryside.

I adore dawdling about such places, it feels like soaking up in the country’s social norms and daily routine, it feels like integrating in the hosting society and identifying with the locals, and this is precisely why I try to never miss visiting such markets anywhere I go.

Here is my photo-journey through old Tehran‘s life.

Nuts on display in a sweets shop in Tehran

More nuts, I just couldn’t stop staring at them!

Still nuts, but at a different shop, and in case you were wondering, yes, I did fork out some good cash here and there

Nuts are largely present in Iranian sweets, so yes, I bought tons of sweets to bring home

A glimpse of Tehran’s local market

Grocery stands at the food market near the mosque

Fresh pistachio anyone? It’s delicious.

Fresh cranberries,very good and super-sour, to be consumed with discretion!

Mouthwatering shawarma in the making..

Finally, our lunch, chicken kebab with saffron rice, delicious!

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78 Comments
  1. Great photos! I had no idea that nuts were so popular in Tehran.

  2. Fab photos, right there with you. Love Iranian food. Even the sweets are healthy… or at least, healthier.

  3. Well, the market would be the first place we headed for, too. What a lovely set of photos – they’ve certainly tempted me! :)
    Julia

  4. Yummmmm I love market photos! How cool. I wish we had more of a market culture in the US.

  5. wow ! Excellent… :)

  6. हार्दिक शुभकामनाएँ।

  7. Well you just made me hungry. The pistachios and shawarma particularly take my fancy.

  8. Quelles photos appétissantes!Vraiment un pays à voir, et heureusement tu l’as vu de tes yeux, parce-que à en croire la mauvaise propagande en Iran il n’y a rien de beau!

  9. Sono in piena confusione! Dunque l’Iran è un paese come tanti altri, cioè bello, interessante, da vedere e da gustare!

  10. I am a huge fan of anything that’s colorful and I appreciate that there is a feast of colors for the eyes in these photos. I too love going to markets. I am a fan of the variety, but also because markets usually have a lot more healthier alternatives. Glad to see this is also the case in Tehran.

    • In every local market you discover some new fruit and product you didn’t know, that’s why they are so fun. And they reveal so much of a society that they are a proper must-see, just like historical monuments ;)

  11. Mouthwatering! I love exploring markets, it’s probably the first place you find me upon arrival.

  12. So … if you go to Yazd with its tasty traditional sweets and to Isfahan … what would you say???

  13. Fantastic, but this post should have a warning–do not gaze while hungry.

  14. Very vivid pix! I love street markets, I think they reflect so much about a place’s culture. I will be posting pix of North America’s largest outdoor market, Montreal ‘s Jean Talon, soon.

  15. You missed “kalleh pazi”!
    it’s a type of restaurant in Iran with a popular special food which is boiled head and hands of sheep. :) most of iranians love it but you may find it so weird.
    I’m wonder how did you miss it, you can find one of them in every part of the city with that strange smell coming from them.

    • Actually we didn’t stay too long in restaurants in Tehran, we were often at conferences, but I had sheep twice in Abyaneh. I might have missed boiled sheep in Tehran, but there is plenty in Sardinia, my hometown! :)

  16. Nice pictures Angela! Reminds me very much of street markets in India. Must’ve been a lovely experience walking through the streets of Tehran!

  17. Mouth-watering stuff! I love the street markets (you already know that!) :)

  18. salam ( in farsi it mean`s Hi)
    well come to my country.
    thank you beacause of your beautiful picture.
    iranian peopel are friend and kind with tourists .
    have nice time

  19. u r welcome to ir iran.

  20. U must take some advises be4 buying in tehran, for know how to buy and where to buy. here r stores near together, one is good one is bad.

  21. oh. u have missed the Bazaar? i mean Great bazaar (behind of these stroes)

  22. wow such interesting market. Love the colors too, they’re so vibrant

  23. These look delicious and lend a human side of normal life in Iran-not what we are accustomed to seeing on the nightly news. Thanks for sharing. I must have missed this part-what were you doing in Iran?

    • True, this trip to Iran has been a real epiphany to me, I was so worried when I arrived and I found a very chilled out society. I was invited by a local NGO for a digital media fair, that’s why I didn’t visit much, but that definitely made me want to go back :)

  24. check this out :)

  25. check this out :)

    • This looks delicious! I visited a Persian restaurant in Shanghai, and although I found it good, I was with an Iranian friend who said it was not proper Iranian food. Although, I have noticed a big similarity in tastes between Iranian food and the one in my hometown, Sardinia.

  26. Great insight into Tehran’s market. Love the photos and those pistachios! I’m always amazed by the kebabs in the middle east. They’re absolutely delicious and incomparable with the ones we have in London. Kebab has always been associated as a dodgy hangover food in the UK, but truth is they’re amazing in that part of the world

    • salam(persian greeting)
      as an iranian, i admit that “Kebab has always been associated as a dodgy hangover food”. it tastes more dodgy if u drink “doogh”(an iranian drink which is made of “milk” or “yogurt+water”)with it!
      Anyhow, i do recommend it!
      My special offer is shishlik kebab that its original taste is served at Shandiz (suburb town near Mashhad).

    • True, they’re delicious, I’ve had kebab many times in Iran and also in Abu Dhabi, love it :)

  27. welcom to iran but once again com to qom :d

    • Thanks Mohsen, I did go to Qom, but very very quickly just to see the shrine, where I couldn’t take any picture. Next time I’ll make sure to stop longer in Qom and in the whole region :)

  28. Hi
    thanks
    very nice !!!

  29. Hi
    Did you visit Isfehan and Shiraz?if you didnt you should back and see…and also north of Iran.
    :D

    • Unfortunately I didn’t visit Esfahan nor Shiraz. I came to Iran for a conference, so I was lucky at least I visit Qom, Kashan and Abyaneh apart from Tehran. Of course I will come back, in the hope I’ll be able to stay longer and see more places. Since everybody is suggesting north of Iran, that will be included to my travel list for sure! :)

  30. I’m so happy you visited Tehran! I LOVE Iranian food, it’s one of the things I deeply miss since moving to Egypt, there aren’t any here that I know of. But in the UK there were so many to choose from. How is Shahrazad? Please tell her I said a big hello.

    • Aww I’m not in China anymore unfortunately, I miss it so badly! Iranian food, people and places were great, I would love to go back for longer. Would love to go to Egypt too, for next year I’m planning some trips around Middle East, would be great to meet in Cairo ;)

  31. Hi
    thanks

  32. salam
    very thanks

  33. i love markets – great food and photo opportunities. Would love to try Iranian food – have never had.

  34. Thanks angela

  35. These market pictures are great! I think they really capture an essence of Iran!

  36. oh i do rememebr, the tour of that day… nouthwatering sweets.. your favorite “chicken kebab”.. the nuts.. the pistachio.. the cherries and on! next time devoute more time visiting iran and u are already invited to my home for some great home made persian food dearest ^_^
    hope to meet u again, take care friend!

  37. Great post, Angela. That chicken kebab at the end looks fantastic! Also, fully loving the Iranian love affair with nuts – if I could, I’d make it mandatory for them to be in every kind of sweet, chocolate or biscuit. The cranberries sound amazing, too – I love super sour fruit (I went nuts over the cherries in Turkey) so something tells me I’d thoroughly enjoy them.

  38. Re-posting this piece, you are making me to go to fork my bank account out for those tempting nuts!

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