I’ll start with a confession. I’m a strange version of a foodie. Meaning I don’t eat that much but I crave strange things on a daily basis which my mums finds rather strange. I’m probably a horrible cook. I hate the waiting, specially with Iranian food that takes ages to prepare. But when it comes to restaurants and cafes, I’m all about decorations, presentations and good customer service and I order the strangest drink on the menu. To put it straight, I’m more about the atmosphere than the food and if I’m to pick the spot for a lunch date, I’ll make sure it’s the most exotic place I’ve read online. Which brings us to Gol Rezaeiye restaurant. This place is nothing new. It’s been there for ages. Seven decades to be exact. But somehow I had never found my way around and when I did, I realized I had lost big.
What has made Gol Rezaeiye rather famous amongst Tehraners is not so much about the food, even though it’s pretty amazing. But it’s the history that brings young groups of friends and couples all the way downtown for lunch or drinks. Gol Rezaeiye used to be a bar long before, but then it became the hub of intellectuals and prominent Iranian writers during the 20th century. Sadegh Hedayat would come here and jot down a few lines while chatting with Forough over coffee. Discussions would take place around these tables and weak flames of feminism would rise.
The place was bought by a man from it’s first Christian owner many years back and has been running by generations after him ever since. The window table is always reserved. Rumours say that the owner proposed to Forough on that exact table one day before she died in a car crash and so the table was left reserved for her ever since. The current owners totally reject that. Some say it’s reserved for their grandfather who owned the place before but whether that’s true or not, God knows.
Now what remains of those days are walls covered with pictures of writers, musicians, actors and politicians. Food is still served in chinese plates with rose patterns and drinks in green tinted glasses. My generation would be fed in these utensils back when we were kids and invited for lunch at grandma’s. So everything from top to bottom shout nostalgia here.
- The variety of the menu is not huge but most prominent Iranian dishes can be found. I’ve loved everything I have tried so far so feel free to choose whatever you like.
- Prices are mid-range for Tehran. You can probably count on 35,000 Tomans for the whole thing which is around 8-9 Euros.
- Reservations are totally required since the place is small and tables are always fully booked. You’d have to call the same morning and reserve your table. Here’s the number: 021 66 70 72 90
- The restaurant has strict timing so even if you’ve booked your table, you will have to wait outside until lunch time.
- The schedule goes like this: Breakfast: 7.30 – 10 | Lunch: 12.3 – 4 | Dinner: 18-21
- If you have forgotten to book, you will have to wait outside until there’s an empty table.
- This place is just across the Glassware Museum which is great to check out. Golestan Palace, St. Mary Church, Adrian Fire Temple and the National museum are also close-by.
The great location, decent price and good quality, bring this place among my favourite places in Tehran to have lunch. So if you ever find yourself in the capital and want to try some delicious Persian food, give this place a shot. 😉