The Best Persian Restaurants In London

11 excellent Persian spots in London for kebabs, zereshk polo morgh, and more.
The pistachio koobideh from Mahdi on a white stand on a white table. There is a booth with colorful pillows.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A good Persian restaurant should have you heading—no rolling—home with your jeans unzipped and the smell of freshly baked taftoon etched in your brain. And we’ve consumed an alarming amount of chelo kebab koobideh, and scooped more than enough smoky kashk e bademjan, to tell you what’s what. After careful deliberation and more pots of tea consumed than we care to disclose, these are the Persian restaurants that serve the best dips, grilled meats, and traditional stews. 


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



$$$$Perfect For:Catching Up With MatesLunchCoffee & A Light BiteTakeawayVegetarians
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Next door to sister spot Naroon, is Counter By Naroon. We prefer this daytime Persian cafe to its sibling restaurant because it’s perfect for a coffee catch-up or sit-down lunch in Fitzrovia, and you can construct your own wholesome lunch bowls. Our go-to order is the saffron rice with table tennis-sized meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. Add a couple of salads on the side, like the yoghurty mast o khair or citrussy shirazi chopped salad, and take a seat in the courtyard-like area at the back. If you’re in the mood for the evening-only mirza ghazemi, they might just get you a portion from Naroon next door if you ask nicely. 

With just a couple of tables out front and a dozen or so squeezed in inside, this stalwart Iranian cafe is an absolute spot for anyone looking for a long lunch or dinner alongside enormous flatbreads and juicy Persian kebabs. Their freshly made breads—an intrinsic part of any meal—are superb. Spoon a dollop of shallot yoghurt, wipe it up with bread. Eat a chunk of lamb, follow it with bread. It’s key, it’s essential, and Patogh’s big special Persian bread—roughly the size of a sombrero—is some of the best around.

Berenjak serves Iranian mazeh and kebabs in a corridor-like space on Romilly Street. The main room is made up of booths, but the counter is the heart of this restaurant. This 10-person bar—and the enchanting, rotating shawarma behind it—is what makes Berenjak so enjoyable on your lonesome. This is a friendly, sometimes interactive counter, and much more fun to sit at than a booth. Especially alone. Or, if you must, with a friend. But when you get to the baklava ice cream, you won’t want to share anything.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Contrary to what the name of this Kensington restaurant would have you believe, you’re not here for Sadaf’s garden. You’re here for huge portions, aromatic biryani, and the welcoming feel of the place. It’s our go-to spot when we’re in the mood for Persian, but whoever we’re with isn’t in the mood for a straightforward grilled meats situation. With a hefty biryani filled with tender vegetables and peppery chicken, plus rich stews on the menu, this is a spot where you’ll find something for everyone. And you should come here in a group so you can try a bit of everything.

This small but mighty Persian spot on Westbourne Grove has been serving glorious joojeh since 1995. A quarter of a century later, you’ll still find a queue for a table on a Saturday night. Expect warm, freshly clay-baked taftoon bread that you can smell wherever you’re sat, delicious dips, and grilled meats. Do as we do and hit this place up in a small group. Start with their kashke bademjan and more bread than necessary, and move onto a mixed kebab and boneless chicken skewer to share.

This neighbourhood spot in West Hampstead has a charming terrace, crispy taftoon bread, and the kind of dips that make you wish you ordered more bread. Hana is the perfect place to head after a walk around Hampstead Heath and when the weather’s nice, the half-in half-out layout makes for a nice experience even if you don’t manage to nab one of the terrace tables. Get the mixed starter dips, grilled prawns, and a stew to share.

Of all the times we’ve been to Narenj Persian Restaurant, not once have we seen the cave-like dining room empty. This Persian restaurant on Kingston High Street is a favourite with locals. We love it for the kashk-e-bademjan, the momtaz (one skewer of boneless chicken and a skewer of minced lamb with saffron rice), and zereshk polow ba morgh (steamed rice mixed with barberries served with braised chicken) which are all excellent. It’s truly hard to go wrong with anything here. And when the sun's out, getting a seat on their terrace that overlooks the Thames is a real achievement.

Located slap bang in the middle of New Malden High Street, this buzzy neighbourhood restaurant has been our favourite in the area since it opened. With the scent of freshly baked tanoor wafting throughout, plush green chairs, and excellent joojeh on the menu, come to Sofreh in a group of close friends. You’ll want to share the generous portion of mixed mezze and not be judged when you ask for three extra garlic tanoor bread baskets.

No matter if it’s your first or 27th visit to this little spot off Westbourne Grove, you’ll feel like you’ve been coming here forever. Cosy and inviting, Sinuhe has intimate third date as well as book-out-the-whole place, low-key celebration written all over it. However you choose to use it, there are a few things you should know. They’ve got the best mirza qasemi in London. Our go-to order consists of both aubergine dips, the mast-o-khair, and a mixed grill to share. The servers are friendly and useful, and when they gently nudge you to order two bread baskets instead of one, you should listen.

This family-run Persian restaurant has been open since 1983, and its spacious, quirky interior, with hanging cutlery and bookshelf benches, isn’t even the most interesting thing about this Notting Hill spot. Our favourite reason to visit is the starter section. We always eagerly and speedily scoop up refreshing mast o khair, salad-e olivieh that would make a great sandwich filling, and warm smoky kashk-e bademjan with freshly baked taftoon bread. Come here for the great Persian dips, everything else is secondary.

A stalwart spot in Hammersmith, Mahdi Restaurant has been serving top Persian classics to hungry locals since 1999. But these days it’s not just locals they’re serving. You’ll often find a queue for a table and once you have a bite of the pistachio koobideh, you’ll understand why. It’s nutty, buttery, and delicious. The grilled meats are all excellent too, and everything is served on an elevated stand for some extra pizzazz. Once you have a bite of the citrussy, charred boneless chicken, you’ll realise that that 15-minute wait was worth it.

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