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The Rich Culture and Cuisine of Iranian Businesses Thriving in Texas
Danabak | October 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

The Rich Culture and Cuisine of Iranian Businesses Thriving in Texas

Texas is home to one of the largest Iranian-American populations in the U.S. This vibrant community has contributed to Texas’s economic and cultural fabric through entrepreneurship and tenacious business acumen. Get to know some of the most beloved and successful Iranian-owned establishments across the Lone Star State.

A Taste of Persian Hospitality in Dallas

Yaser Khalili brought Persian flavors to Dallas by founding Yolk in 2009. This cozy breakfast and brunch spot has become a local favorite. Yaser wakes at 4 a.m. each morning to blend the cafe’s signature saffron, cardamom, and rose extracts. He sells them wholesale to share touches of Persian essence with other businesses.

Yolk’s menu features American classics with a Persian twist, like the beloved Shirazi Omelette made with feta, dill, and other Mediterranean herbs and spices. Yaser embraces his role in connecting the community through food. During the pandemic, this iranian business in texas provided over 7,000 free meals to first responders and families in need. “We are here to serve,” he says.

A Taste of Persian Hospitality in Dallas

Authentic Persian Cuisine in Houston

At Cafe Pita+, the Izadi family shares their Iranian culture and heritage through flavorful dishes. This persian store Houston opened in 1998 by husband and wife Ali and Nahid Izadi, this eatery has become Houstonians’ go-to for kebabs, stews, kabobs, and other Persian favorites.

Ali and Nahid wake at 3 a.m. daily to prepare the freshly baked lavash bread diners have raved about for over 20 years. Cafe Pita+ sources premium ingredients like saffron straight from Iran. Their Kabob Barg is a sought-after favorite, marinated for 48 hours before grilling. Cafe Pita+ has become a Houston staple through attention to detail and authenticity.

The Aryan Collection: Iranian Artisan Jewelry in Austin

Negin Aryan brought her family’s generations-old jewelry craft to Austin by founding the luxury jewelry brand Aryan Collection in 2018. Each handcrafted piece spotlights colorful Persian stones and intricate metalwork, made in partnership with artisans in Iran, Turkey, Italy, and India.

Negin has built a community with other female entrepreneurs by founding Women of Persia, a collective supporting and empowering Iranian business owners. She also hosts jewelry workshops, sharing this ancient Persian art form with Texans. The Aryan Collection seamlessly blends tradition with a modern, fashion-forward aesthetic.

The Aryan Collection: Iranian Artisan Jewelry in Austin

Delicious Persian Pastries in San Antonio

At Le Persian Sweets, Samira Shirafkan shares her family’s treasured Iranian recipes using ingredients sourced from local Texas farmers. Opened in 2018, this pastry shop and cafe has become beloved for its steaming cups of Persian tea, flaky baklava, and buttery loaves of naan.

Samira starts mornings at 2 a.m., baking fresh bread in the tandoor oven and roasting nuts for pastries. Her saffron pistachio macarons and rosewater cake have quickly become customer favorites. Le Persian Sweets has expanded to multiple locations as Samira shares authentic Persian flavors with her San Antonio community.

Bridging Cultures Through Food in Houston

At Isabella Persian Cuisine, owner Saeed Salekhandan aims to build cultural understanding through food. After moving from Iran to Houston in 1983, Saeed began selling his native dishes at the farmers’ market before opening a restaurant in 1993.

Almost 30 years later, Isabella Persian Cuisine has stayed true to Saeed’s mission. Their menu highlights northern Persian specialties that are difficult to find outside Iran. Saeed takes pride in educating guests about the cultural traditions behind each dish. Diners savor the flaky Tadig rice, slow-cooked stews, and decadent desserts while learning about Persian hospitality from Saeed himself.

Bridging Cultures Through Food in Houston

From Texas to Tehran: The Impact of Iranian Businesses in the Lone Star State

Here are a few more honorary mentions of impactful Iranian-owned businesses in Texas:

  • Avesta Persian Grill (Houston) – Opened in 2015 by couple Behrad and Manouchehr Movahed, Avesta Grill has become a go-to spot for Houstonians craving kebabs, tahdig rice dishes, and other Iranian specialties. The restaurant sources premium ingredients from family farms in Iran.
  • Persepolis Market (Austin) – Since 1984, Persepolis Market has been Austin’s source of authentic Persian goods. Bijan and Faezeh Yazdi carry over 800 imported products from Iran, including spices, sweets, cookware, and more, allowing Austinites to experience Iranian culture through food and crafts.
  • The Sofreh Restaurant (Plano) – Bringing Persian cuisine to Plano was founded by Ali Dadjo in 2005. Sofreh is beloved for menu items like Fesenjan stew, Sabzi Polo herbed rice, and Mast-o Khiar yogurt dip. Their versatility was evident when COVID-19 hit – the restaurant quickly pivoted to donate over 1,000 meals to healthcare workers.
  • King Tut Mediterranean (San Antonio) – Since 1987, a Persian family has operated this Mediterranean restaurant featuring Egyptian and Iranian favorites like koshary, shawarma, and babaganoush made from family recipes. King Tut contributes to San Antonio culture through catering events and donating food to those in need.
  • Shahi Imports (Dallas) – Shahla Berti founded this importer and retailer of Persian rugs in 1981. Bearing selections of handmade wool and silk carpets in traditional Iranian designs, this popular persian store in texas has outfitted homes and businesses across Dallas for over 40 years.
  • Rose’s Cafe (Houston) – Opened in 2020 by Sanaz Sabeti, Rose’s Cafe brings Iranian flavors to Houston’s brunch scene. Their unique dishes, like saffron waffle chicken and barberry pancakes, merge American and Persian cuisines.
  • The Naan Stop (Austin) – Founded by Nima and Mamak Shams in 2014, this fast-casual eatery spotlights freshly baked naan topped with authentic Persian stews and kabobs. Their chai and traditional sweets transport customers to Iran through flavor.
  • Byte Cafe (San Antonio) – Run by husband-wife duo Ashkan and Zenova Rahimi, Byte Cafe builds community in San Antonio over authentic Iranian coffee and pastries. Popular menu items include chickpea cookies, rosewater macarons, and creamy saffron rice pudding.
  • Parnian Rug Gallery (Plano) – Since 1992, this family-owned gallery has provided Dallas luxury homes and businesses with intricate hand-woven Persian rugs. They also repair and restore cherished antique carpets.
  • The Chocolate Bar (Houston) – Co-owned by pastry chef Ghazal Golshani, this dessert shop features French patisserie with Iranian influences. Their unique creations include saffron-infused chocolates, pistachio macarons, and rosewater creme brulee.
From Texas to Tehran: The Impact of Iranian Businesses in the Lone Star State

The Lone Star State is Rich in Iranian Culture

Across Texas, Iranian Americans continue sharing their heritage’s treasured flavors, artforms, and traditions. By combining their distinct cultural perspective with the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas, these business owners have created beloved community staples. Beyond the economic contributions, these businesses have become bridges, inviting Texans to appreciate and celebrate Persian culture through authentic food, crafts, and connections.

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