A Taste of Tehran in the Big Apple: Exploring Iranian Businesses in NYC
New York City is renowned as a global melting pot of cuisines and cultures. Step into any neighborhood, and you’ll find an array of ethnic shops and eateries. For those seeking a taste of Persian flair, the city offers a delightful mix of Iranian businesses bringing Iran’s flavors, crafts, and culture to the Big Apple.
In Brooklyn, Queens, and midtown Manhattan, Iranian expat entrepreneurs share their passion for their homeland through authentic restaurants, markets, and services catered to fellow Persians and anyone seeking a new cultural experience. From kebab joints to carpet shops, these Iranian-owned establishments provide a warm taste of Iranian hospitality.
Come on a tour of some of the top Iranian businesses blossoming in New York City. It’s the perfect chance to support immigrant-owned companies while getting a mouthwatering sample of Persian culture.
Satisfying Persian Cravings at Rafraf Foods
For homesick Iranians, Rafraf Foods is a little piece of Tehran right in Brooklyn. At this persian store nyc in South Slope, authentic imported ingredients line the shelves. At the same time, succulent kebabs sizzle behind the counter.
Founded by brother-sister duo Siavash and Sarah Karampour in 2016, Rafraf Foods started as a modest 400-square-foot market supplying Iranian expats with familiar fare from saffron to barberries. Over the years, it has expanded into a bustling authentic restaurant and grocery serving piping hot rice dishes, kebabs, stews, and decadent desserts.
“We wanted to bring the flavors of home to the people we know,” Sarah told the New York Times in an interview. That community feel is evident in their cozy dining space, friendly service, and focus on made-from-scratch classics. Stop by for their famous Gormeh Sabzi herb stew or a dizzying array of kebab varieties. Then, stock up on feta cheese and tahini from the market shelves. With such welcoming hospitality, you’ll leave feeling like family.
Browsing Persian Treasures at Shiraz Rug Gallery
In the heart of Manhattan, Shiraz Rug Gallery on 29th Street offers a walk through centuries of Persian heritage. This persian store new york showcases hand-woven rugs, tapestries, and decorative items crafted by artisans across Iran; this boutique provides a vibrant glimpse into one of the country’s most esteemed art forms. The showroom brims with brilliantly-hued wool and silk carpets in traditional and modern designs to suit every taste.
Persian immigrant Houman Bakhtiyari opened Shiraz Rug Gallery in 1993 to share his passion for the craft and deep knowledge of rug-making techniques. He works closely with weavers across Iran to offer one-of-a-kind vintage and contemporary pieces and custom-designed rugs. His warm hospitality and dedication to showcasing this “portable art” shines through.
For Persian rug lovers or anyone seeking a fine tapestry, visiting Shiraz Rug Gallery is a weaving wonderland. Ask Houman for the backstory behind the intricate designs and prepare to be transported.
An Epicenter of Persian Culture at Pars Iranian Cuisine
Tucked away on a quiet Brooklyn side street, Pars Iranian Cuisine has been a go-to gathering place for Iranian Americans since 1981. With Persian art lining the walls and the smell of saffron in the air, this beloved eatery transports diners to the lively restaurants of Tehran.
Their menu brims with Iranian favorites like gormeh sabzi herb stew, stuffed grape leaves, kabob barg, and featherlight rice dishes, with delicious daily specials always worth trying. Options cater to every preference, including vegetarian and gluten-free diners.
But the welcoming community vibes make Pars a true Persian cultural epicenter in NYC. Birthday dinners, family gatherings, and even wedding receptions regularly occur among the green vinyl booths. And owner Samira Tehrani warmly mingles with patrons as if hosting guests in her home.
After a delicious meal, swing by the adjoining market to pick up pomegranate molasses, Persian spices, and snacks before you go. Though meals at Pars satisfy your stomach, the taste of Iranian culture and hospitality will linger long after.
The Soothing World of Persian Tea at Chaikhaneh
For a uniquely Persian ritual, visit Chaikhaneh in the East Village, Manhattan’s first Iranian tea house. Meaning “tea house,” Chaikhaneh brings the Iranian tradition of ghalamchi (tea drinking) to NYC in a cozy café style.
Tea takes center stage with premium loose-leaf Verdaneh blends and velvety Persian chai. Sip from delicate ghalamdan glasses while sampling light bites like dates, pistachios, and nut brittle. Try their signature dessert drink, saffron pudding, for a decadent treat.
Beyond sipping tea, Chaikhaneh offers a soothing Persian sanctuary from the bustling city. Decorated with vintage rugs and antique furnishings, it feels worlds away. Owner Nooshin Parsi curated the space to mimic a tea house experience in her home city of Kerman, Iran, yet with some modern twists. The result is a hip yet homey Iranian oasis in the middle of Manhattan. Stop by to sip, savor, and soak in the chilled-out Persian tea house vibes.
How can I support Iranian entrepreneurs in New York besides visiting their businesses?
Here are some additional ways you can support an iranian business in new york:
Write reviews – Leave positive and descriptive reviews of your experiences at Iranian-owned businesses on platforms like Yelp, Google, and Facebook. This helps boost their visibility.
Spread the word – Tell your friends and family about the delicious restaurants, captivating shops, and talented services. Word of mouth is powerful for small businesses.
Engage on social media – Follow their accounts and engage with their posts through likes, shares, and comments. This helps grow their community.
Purchase gift cards – Many offer gift cards that make great gifts while providing upfront revenue for the business.
Hire their services – Iranian professionals, from photographers to caterers, would appreciate your patronage.
Attend events – Some businesses host book signings, music nights, or classes. Show your support by attending.
Volunteer expertise – If you have marketing, accounting, graphic design skills, etc., offer your expertise.
Contribute ideas – Business owners might appreciate customers’ perspectives on menu suggestions.
Shop small on holidays – On occasions like Persian New Year, do gift shopping at Iranian-owned boutiques.
Donate to business groups – Contribute to organizations like the Persian Cultural Center that support Iranian entrepreneurs.
The most meaningful thing is to keep engaging with these businesses year-round. Your ongoing patronage and encouragement make a lasting impact!
From authentic home cooking to artisanal carpets, New York’s Iranian businesses provide a rich taste of Persian culture and warm Iranian hospitality. Supporting these immigrant-owned establishments allows you to sample incredible cuisine and products. It boosts Persian entrepreneurs economically and helps continue the beautiful Iranian traditions they bring to NYC.
So next time you’re craving a new cultural experience, explore Iranian Business to find Tehran-esque delights in your city. A whole new side of New York awaits.