Food can represent the rich customs and traditions of a nation, and eating a delicious local meal can create a sweet memory for the tourist. Thus, most of the people are interested in trying traditional dishes when they travel to a new destination. Among the cities in Iran, since Mashhad houses Imam Reza Holy Shrine, this city is the most important sacred destination to the Muslims. As a result, every year millions of Iranian pilgrims and about one million pilgrims from other countries travel to Mashhad. So, the most important questions for this amount of tourists are “what to eat in Mashhad?” and “what is the most popular Mashhad food?”.
Along with the diverse kinds of Persian food that are prepared in Mashhad restaurants, there are many local foods, that you should try when you are in Mashhad. Thus, here we, as locals, introduce you to the different kinds of traditional Mashhad food, their ingredients, and approximate prices.
Also, you can get more information about the most popular Iranian dishes and their approximate prices on the Persian Food and Drink page.
Mashhad Food & Drinks Menu
* The prices are rough and based on a qualified dish served in a popular traditional restaurant in major cities. Usually, the prices are a little lower in casual dining restaurants and in small towns.
- Shole $3
Beef or Lamb Meat, Red Beans, White Beans, Mung Bean, Lentils, Wheat Bulgur, Rice, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Cinnamon, Indian Nutmeg
- Shishlik (Shashlik) $11
Lamb Ribs, Onion, Yogurt, Saffron, Lemon Juice, Oil, Pepper, Tomato
- Khoresht-e Rivas (Rhubarb Stew) $4
Beef or Lamb Meat, Rhubarb, Parsley, Mint, Onion, Black Pepper
- Polo Makhloot $4
Ground Beef or Lamb Meat, Carrot, Green Beans, Onions, Tomato Paste, Black Pepper, Other Spices
- Digche $2
Milk, Rice, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom, Butter, Rosewater
- Ash-e Lakhshak $2
Lakhshak, Lentil, Spinach, Fresh Garlic, Onions, Dried Mint
- Mashhadi Yatimcheh $2
Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Onion, Eggplant, Tomato, dried Mint, Kashk(Curd), Spices
- Nabat $2
Sugar, Optional Ingredients (Saffron, Cumin, Lemon, Cinnamon, Thyme, Mint, Ginger and More)
- Reshteh Polo $3
Rice, Noodle for Rice, Chicken or Meatball, Raisins, Butter, Onion, Saffron, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Spices
- Noghl $3
Sugar, Rose Water, Fragrant Ingredients (Saffron, Cardamom, Cumin, Lemon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coconut, Ginger, Nuts, ...)
Shole is a kind of Aash (soup) and the most famous Mashhad food that probably dates back to the Qajar period. This traditional food is usually cooked for donations in mourning ceremonies, especially in Muharram. Preparing shole needs skill and takes a long time. Firstly, they cook meat, onions, and beans for at least three hours. After cooking the meat, they take it out of the pot and squish it and mix it again with other ingredients. Finally, they serve it with Sangak bread and greens. Also, they use Khoresht-e Gheymeh for garnishing. It is interesting to know that Shole has been registered as the first local Iranian food in national heritages.
Ingredients: Beef or Lamb Meat, Red Beans, White Beans, Mung Bean, Lentils, Wheat Bulgur, Rice, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Cinnamon, Indian Nutmeg
Shishlik is a type of kebab that is cooked not only in Iran but also in other countries such as Russia and Poland. Among them, since Mashhad has the high-qualified lamb meat, Mashhad Shishlik has a unique taste. Insofar as some travelers do not return to their home without eating this traditional Mashahd food. However, due to the use of qualified lamb meat, this food is expensive. To cook this dish, they marinate the lamb ribs in a mixture of chopped onion, yogurt, saffron, lemon juice, oil and pepper for at least 12 hours. Then they barbecue the ribs on fire. Finally, they serve it with rice, barbecued tomatoes, fresh lemon, and greens.
Ingredients: Lamb Ribs, Onion, Yogurt, Saffron, Lemon Juice, Oil, Pepper, Tomato
Among Iranian dishes, sour foods have a lot of fans. Accordingly, Rivas stew is one of the best meals in Mashhad, which is cooked in other parts of Iran, including Kurdistan. “Rives” means rhubarb, and due to the use of this vegetable, Khoresht-e Rivas is sour. This traditional Mashhad food contains lamb or beef, rhubarb, and some herbs and, like the other Persian stews, is served with rice.
Ingredients: Beef or Lamb Meat, Rhubarb, Parsley, Mint, Onion, Black Pepper
This traditional Mashhad food is a kind of “Red Rice” or Spanish Rice. To prepare this delicious dish, firstly, they make and fry the small meatballs. Then, they mix the meatballs with the green beans, carrots, onions, tomato paste and rice and brew the mixture.
Ingredients: Ground Beef or Lamb Meat, Carrot, Green Beans, Onions, Tomato Paste, Black Pepper, Other Spices
Digche, is a famous Mashhad dessert that is cooked in religious ceremonies such as Iftar in Ramadan. Also, the locals are used to serving Digche for breakfast. This traditional Mashhad food contains milk, rice, sugar, saffron, cardamom, butter, and rosewater. To prepare Digche, the locals first boil the rice and then they add the milk and let in cook. Afterward, they add the rest of the ingredients and let it brewed for half an hour.
Ingredients: Milk, Rice, Sugar, Saffron, Cardamom, Butter, Rosewater
Ash-e Lakhshak is a kind Ash-e Reshteh that is the famous Persian curd and noodle soup. Accordingly, the wide noodles, called Lakhshak, are the main ingredients of this local Mashhad food. To prepare this delicious dish, the locals first cook the lentil. Next, they add the chopped greens to the pot and let it cook thoroughly. Finally, they add Lakhshaks, and after some minutes, they pour the curd into the pot. They usually use fried onions and dried mint to garnish this traditional Mashhad dish.
Ingredients: Lakhshak, Lentil, Spinach, Fresh Garlic, Onions, Dried Mint
Yatimcheh is a famous Mashhad food which you can find it in other cities of Iran with different ingredients. First of all, let us explain about the strange name of this popular Persian food. Accordingly, “Yatimcheh” means “the little orphan” and because most of the Persian dishes contain meat, and Yatimcheh does not have meat, it is assumed as poor food. However, it is a delicious and economical vegetarian food. To prepare Yatimcheh, the locals first cook beans, chickpeas and lentils. In the meantime, they fry the onions, eggplant and tomatoes. Then, they mix the vegetables and legumes and let them cook for a while. Finally, they decorate the dish with Kashk (curd), fried mint and fried garlic. Usually, they serve this Mashhad traditional dish with Sangak bread.
Ingredients: Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Onion, Eggplant, Tomato, dried Mint, Kashk(Curd), Spices
Nabat, is the popular Iranian sweet, origins from the city of Mashhad. This Persian sweet is a rock candy that is used to sweeten the Persian tea. Accordingly, the combination of Nabat and tea called Chai Nabat is a famous Persian drink. Nabat is a crystal combination of sugar and water with different fragrant ingredients such as saffron, cumin, lemon, cinnamon, thyme, mint or other herbs. Furthermore, Nabat is a popular Mashhad souvenir.
Ingredients: Sugar, Optional Ingredients (Saffron, Cumin, Lemon, Cinnamon, Thyme, Mint, Ginger and More)
Reshteh Polo, a kind of mixed noodle & rice dish, is a traditional Mashhad food. However, this Iranian dish is common between different cities of Iran including Mashhad, Ardebil and Kermanshah, with a slightly different cooking style. Accordingly, its Mashhadi version contains chicken pieces or small meatballs. To prepare Reshteh polo, the locals first cook the chicken or the small meatballs. Meanwhile, they boil the rice and a special noodle. Next, they put the chicken pieces or meatballs in the layers of rice and brew them all. Finally, they decorate the dish with saffron, fried onions and sometimes fried raisins. Usually, the inhabitants of Mashhad cook this delicious food in Nowruz celebration.
Ingredients: Rice, Noodle for Rice, Chicken or Meatball, Raisins, Butter, Onion, Saffron, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Spices
The other Mashhad traditional sweet is Noghl that is a kind of hard candy (softer than Nabat), made of sugar, rose water and fragrant ingredients such as coconut, saffron, cardamom, cocoa, ginger, walnut or almond. Traditionally, the Iranians serve Noghl with Persian tea. Also, they use Noghl as a traditional sweet in the wedding ceremonies. Finally, Noghl is popular Mashhad souvenir.
Ingredients: Sugar, Rose Water, Fragrant Ingredients (Saffron, Cardamom, Cumin, Lemon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coconut, Ginger, Nuts, …)