Shahrzad Persian Restaurant

Shahrzad is a Persian restaurant buried deep within District 8, near Corvin-negyed where many Iranian students live in Budapest. Shahrzad‘s menu is shorter than that of Darband, Budapest’s most well-known Iranian restaurant, but its gleaming interior with comfortable chairs feels more welcoming than the dimly-lit premises and wooden booths of Darband.

The menu comprises traditional Iranian stew dishes (khoresh) and the usual kebab variations. Shahrzad’s chef, originally from Isfahan, isn’t satisfied with the quality of beef in Budapest - he doesn’t think it’s tender enough - so instead he uses lamb in most meat dishes. Of the stews, I enjoyed most the classic ghormeh sabzi herb stew and the split pea-based gheymeh. But the kebabs shine brightest here, and you can’t go wrong with either of them; the standard koobideh (€7) and the mixed chicken and mutton (negini; €7) are the highlights.

It’s worth perusing Shahrzad’s daily menu if you’re feeling adventurous - it includes some exotic items like beef tongue stew (khorak zaban; €8), sheep’s head stew (kalepache; €23), and fish kebab (mahi; €10). Shahrzad doesn't serve alcohol but there’s a hookah lounge in the basement if you’re in the mood for smoking flavored tobacco.