Vegetarian Food in Iran: Breaking Stereotypes and Finding Flavor

ToIranTour - Vegetarian Food in Iran

For vegetarians planning a trip to Iran, finding suitable food might seem tricky at first. Many think all Iranian food is about meat and kebabs, and it’s true that locals love their meat. Most restaurants don’t focus on vegetarian dishes, but there’s good news. Despite the meat-heavy reputation, there are plenty of tasty vegetarian options to discover, especially if you venture beyond the usual dining spots.

While it’s common to believe that vegetarian choices are mainly found in Iranian homes, big cities like Tehran and Isfahan are now catching onto the vegetarian trend. More and more vegetarian-friendly restaurants are popping up, offering a variety of plant-based dishes. Even in traditional restaurants that typically serve meat-centric meals, you can still find some delicious vegetable-based options. Additionally, cafes scattered across all cities provide a haven for vegetarians, always ready with tempting veggie dishes to satisfy any taste buds.

Iran Vegetarian Food

ToIranTour - Iran Vegetarian Food
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If you’re a vegetarian in Iran, finding tasty food won’t be a problem. The country offers a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options. With more young people adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, many cafés and restaurants now include vegetarian dishes on their menus. So, you can relax and enjoy a variety of delicious choices during your visit to Iran.

Iran Travel Guide for Vegetarians

If you’re a vegetarian traveling in Iran, don’t worry – our guide has got you covered! At regular restaurants in Iran, you’ve got some tasty vegetarian options. These dishes won’t mess with your vegetarian diet, so do not worry at all and dig in!

Eggplant-Based Vegetarian Food in Iran

ToIranTour - Kashk-e-Bademjan
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Kashk-e-Bademjan is a yummy Iran vegetarian food. Making it is easy – just mix eggplant puree, walnuts, onion, garlic, and Kashk. Now, Kashk isn’t your regular yogurt – it’s a special Persian kind made through a long process. When you add Kashk to the mix, it gives the dip a tasty kick, kind of like sour cream or thick Greek yogurt. So, enjoy the simple and delicious flavors of this traditional Persian dish!


Mirza-Ghasemi is another vegetarian food in Iran from north made with smoked eggplant. To get that special smoky flavor, Iranians grill the eggplants over charcoal, peel off the skin, and mix the insides with eggs and fresh tomatoes. They add lots of garlic, cook the mix on the stove, and for an extra kick, crack some fresh eggs on top and lightly cook it all together. This tasty dish goes great with Persian flatbread like Lavash or plain rice. Enjoy the delicious flavors of this northern Iranian treat!


Borani is yogurt dip blended with different veggies or herbs. You can mix spinach, eggplants, zucchini, or cucumber with natural yogurt to make this vegetarian food in Iran. Spice it up by adding fresh or dried herbs and spices for some extra flavor. Borani dips are not just tasty but also super healthy vegetarian options. They work well as appetizers or side dishes, adding a delightful touch to your meals. Enjoy the goodness of these flavorful and nutritious Borani dips!


Yatimcheh is a yummy mix of eggplant and tomato sauce. It’s all about the earthy taste of eggplant mixing with the sweet and tangy goodness of tomatoes. Enjoy the delicious combo in Yatimcheh!

Naz Khatoon

Naz Khatoon – a special dish known for its slightly sour flavor. This unique dip combines eggplant with herbs, creating a dip that’s not only aromatic but also appetizing. Enjoy the distinctive taste of Naz Khatoon!

Egg-Based Vegetarian Food in Iran

Tomato Omelette

Tomato Omelette is a unique Iranian version of the classic omelette, with loads of tomatoes for an extra juicy and tasty treat. This special dish combines eggs and tomatoes in a way that’s fresh and delicious. Whether you have it for breakfast or a satisfying meal, the Iranian Tomato Omelette brings a tasty twist to your usual omelette experience.


Khagineh is a flexible yogurt dish that you can make sweet or savory, depending on what you like. This tasty treat shows how yogurt can be used in different ways. Whether you prefer it sweet with honey and fruits or savory with herbs and spices, Khagineh lets you get creative with your flavors.


Nargesi is a delightful dish that brings together eggs, spinach, and onions. This combination not only creates a nutritious meal but also offers a perfect harmony of textures and flavors. Enjoy the wholesome goodness and delicious blend in every bite!

Kookoo Sabzi

Kookoo Sabzi is a flavorful combination of eggs with a medley of herbs, walnuts, and barberries. This dish weaves together a rich tapestry of flavors, creating a delightful culinary experience. Enjoy the aromatic and diverse taste in every bite!

Kookoo Sibzamini

Kookoo Sibzamini is a tasty combo of eggs and potatoes that’s both comforting and satisfying. This simple yet hearty dish is perfect for those times when you crave something cozy and filling. With its easy blend of ingredients, it’s a go-to choice for a delicious and comforting meal that won’t disappoint. Enjoy the goodness of eggs and potatoes in every bite!

Rice-Based Vegetarian Food in Iran

Dampokhte Gojeh

Imagine your rice bowl having a tasty tomato party, and now and then, they throw in some potatoes for an extra yummy surprise. Enjoy the delicious mix!


Think of it as a close relative to Dampokhte Gojeh. In certain areas, they mix in green beans or potatoes to add a tasty twist. Enjoy the flavorful variation.

Please note that in some please make Estanboli with ground meat. You should make sure it is made of soya mince!

Adas Polo

Adas Polo is like a tasty mix of rice with lentils and raisins – a combo of sweet and savory that makes your meal extra delightful. Enjoy the delicious blend!

Havij Polo

Picture this – rice buddies up with carrots and walnuts, creating a dish that’s both crunchy and full of flavor. Each bite is like a tasty adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the delicious experience!

Loobia Polo

Depending on where you are, this dish might mean rice with pinto beans or green beans. It’s like a flavorful journey that changes its delicious character based on the region.

Vegetarian Side Dishes in Iran

ToIranTour - Sabzi-Khordan
Photo by Chaojoker on Wikimedia


Sabzi-Khordan is a fresh mix of bite-sized herbs like chives, parsley, Persian watercress, basil, spring onion, and red radish. Iranians love having Sabzi-Khordan with most of their meals.


Abdoogh-Khiar is a cold cucumber and yogurt soup, perfect for hot summer days. It’s light and refreshing and can be enjoyed as a side dish, appetizer, or even a satisfying main meal. Just mix diced cucumbers, yogurt, and fresh herbs in a bowl. Some people like to add raisins and walnuts for extra flavor. Then, add water, ice, and garnish with rose petals. For a heartier meal, some Persians throw in cracked pieces of flatbread. Enjoy the simplicity and freshness of this dish!

FAQs about Vegetarian Food in Iran

Q1: Is vegetarian food available in Iran?

A1: A lot of folks think Iranian food is only about meat and Kebabs. While it’s true that people there really enjoy meat, and most restaurants don’t offer vegetarian options, there are actually many vegetarian dishes in Iranian cuisine. Typically, these dishes are more commonly found in Iranian homes.

Q2: Is Iran vegan friendly?

A2: Persian cuisine offers a wide variety of vegan dishes. Interestingly, many dishes that now include meat were originally prepared as vegan about a century ago.

Q3: Are Persians vegetarians?

A3: Persian cuisine goes beyond just kebabs and lamb chops. There’s a common misconception that Iranian food is mostly meat-heavy. While many households in Iran do frequently cook with meat and poultry, there has always been a demand for vegetarian meals among Persians.

Q4: Why do Persians eat Sabzi?

A4: Sabzi is a key feature of Persian cuisine. It refers to the leafy part of herbs and is utilized in Khoreshts for both flavor and substance, as well as a side dish to accompany meals.

Q5: Is it illegal to eat pork in Iran?

A5: In Islam, alcoholic beverages and pork are considered forbidden (haraam). According to religious laws in Iran, serving or importing these items is prohibited and illegal.

Last Words: Experience the Best of Vegetarian Food in Iran with a Customized Tour

For vegetarians visiting Iran, it might seem a bit tough to find the right food because many believe all Iranian dishes are centered around meat. While it’s true that people there really like meat, here’s some good news. Despite the meat-heavy reputation, there are many yummy vegetarian options to try, especially if you explore beyond the usual places to eat.

If you’re a vegetarian food enthusiast with a desire to explore the rich culinary landscape of Iran, embarking on a customized tour is the key to unlocking a delightful and authentic experience. Enter To Iran Tour, a leading provider of Iran Tours, specializing in crafting personalized journeys that revolve around your interests and dietary requirements. Our mission is to design customized tours that immerse you in the vibrant world of Iranian vegetarian cuisine, providing you with an unforgettable journey filled with delectable moments.

Contact us today, and let’s design a customized tour that caters to your taste buds and ensures a great experience in Iran.

Iran’s Rich Cultural Heritage with an Emphasis on Health and Wellness

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