In Persian cooking, Persian street food is very popular either in-home, as a fast meal or in the streets.
Food is an inseparable part of Persian culture. You can easily taste Persian cuisine in the streets instead of restaurants and have many more options to try. Street food is even more exciting as it’s usually quick, delicious and reachable almost everywhere. Persian street food has a big diversity of food and snacks. Each of them comes from a specific part of Iran. I believe to find the best food in a new country, you should probably look for it in the streets.
Persian street food is the same, although it is street food, you have many healthy and delicious choices. While it’s an inexpensive way to fill, but it also shows you a whole package of new food experiences that you can never find in a restaurant!
There are various kinds of Persian street food. Some of them are fresh fruits depending on each season like Greengages, Green Almonds, Red Mulberries, Cornelian cherries and some are just snacks like Lavashak(dried fruit), Saffron ice cream with Faloodeh, Steamed beets, and cooked fava beans (This one is my favorite in winter, it has the most amazing smell which you can’t give it up easily!).
Here are 10 Persian Street Food You Need to Try in Iran
1- Ash Reshteh (Persian vegetable and noodle soup)
This soup absolutely deserves to be No.1 on my list! It is thick and an amazing combination of vegetable, beans, noodles topped with yogurt whey(Kashk), mint, and caramelized onion.
There are many varieties of Ash, but in my opinion, Ash Reshteh is the most delicious of them all! It’s also the most popular which is why it’s seen on many traditional occasions like “Sizdeh Be Dar”.
You can mostly find Ash in Autumn and winter. There are also certain shops in Iran that only sell different kinds of Persian Ash. You can be sure that all of them have Ash Reshteh!
This is a healthy street food that you can find in Iran, and enjoy it as a meal or even a snack. In cold winter nights, one hot bowl of Ash Reshteh will a life changer!
2- Jigar (Grilled liver kebab)
Kebab liver is another popular Persian street foods, and it could also be in the Persian weird foods category!
In general, kebabs can be considered as street food in Iran, especially in the North, in cities like Rasht where you’ll find many kiosks with a barbeque full of charcoal in front of them serving hot kabab as street food.
In other cities, it is almost the same. There are many local joints named “Jigaraki” (literally meaning Liver places) where you can order as many liver skewers as you want and it will be ready in a few minutes. They are usually served with fresh bread, lemon, and onion. “Jigarakis” also serve kidney and heart kabab as well!
Jigar skewers are very small, and each skewer has about 50g meat, so don’t be surprised if someone orders 10 skewers for a meal!
All of them are delicious and the predominant meat eaten is lamb.
3- Balal (Roasted Corn)
For me, roasted corn is a smell that reminds me of my childhood. Usually, next to every playgrounds and park someone was selling Balal, and Balal was a desirable snack for us as kids!
Roasted corn is a street food which is found commonly in Autumn and Winter. You can have it as a beach snack, roadside snack, or as I mentioned near parks and playgrounds, and of course in the streets!
It’s healthy and you can indulge eating it without feeling guilty.
This yummy snack originally worked its way from the south of Iran to the capital and other cities. However, Samosa from south of Iran is always spicier. You can easily find it in Bazaar and downtown. Iranian samosas are big and filling.
Samosas have different kinds of fillings. One of the most common fillings is ground beef and onion, another one is sausages and some others are totally vegan and have fillings like mashed spicy potato and parsley. Iranian Samosa is wrapped like triangles with Lavash bread and deep-fried.
Falafel is a deep-fried ball which is famous in the Middle-East. Here in Iran, it is the same!
Like Samosa, Falafel is originally from the south of Iran, and the best place for tasting Falafel in Iran is Ahvaz. There’s even a street full of Falafel shops called Lashkar Abad. So if you were passing Ahvaz, make sure you don’t miss it!
Falafel is served in sandwiches with mango sauce, pepper sauce, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce. It’s a complete vegetarian meal that would fully fill you.
In other cities, you can mostly find Falafel everywhere, in parks, street sandwich shops, and downtown.
Falafel shops in Iran usually have a whole variety of vegetable and pickle toppings and you’re free to feel in your Falafel with as many topping as you like.
6- Persian Saffron Ice cream and Faloodeh
Persian Saffron ice cream is thick and full of pistachios and dried cream. It’s a desirable mixture of Persian flavors such as saffron, pistachio, and rosewater.
Faloodeh is a Persian dessert made from thin frozen noodles. These noodles are made of cornstarch mixed in a syrup of sugar and rosewater. You also get to choose whether you’d like to top it off with lemon juice and cherry syrup.
As a Persian street food, you can mainly find Faloodeh shops in Shiraz mostly served with saffron ice cream. Along with shops, Faloodeh is also found on the street sold in carriages.
7- Laboo (Steamed beets)
Laboo is a popular Persian street food, especially in winter. You can find small vendors in the city that are selling cooked Fava beans and Steamed beets in winter. Beets are peeled and steamed in water. You can choose the size of bowl you want, and diced Laboo will be ready in a minute!
8-Baghali (Cooked Fava beans)
Fava beans are sold in wintertime. They are marinated with salt, angelica, red pepper, and vinegar.
Laboo and Baghali are good choices of Persian street food if you are vegan and looking for healthy street food on the go.
9-Yeralma Yumurta (Potatoes and eggs)
This street food is actually for the Turkish part of Iran and you can find it in Tabriz, Ardabil, and nowadays even in Tehran!
It is cooked mashed potato and diced boiled egg, with salt, pepper, and butter in Lavash bread! Kind of like a sandwich that is very delicious, healthy, and inexpensive!
10- Bamieh (Persian donuts)
And last but not least is Bamieh, which is like little donuts, deep-fried and then soaked in a syrup that is made of sugar, saffron, and rosewater! Fresh Bamieh is the best with the outside being crispy and dry, but soft on the inside.
Bamieh may remind you of churros but without any sugar topping.
You can find Bamieh in bakeries in town and enjoy eating it with Persian tea!