Iran’s underground restaurants serve up pork, wine and a pinch of freedom

In the Islamic State of Iran, restaurants are not allowed to serve items forbidden by sharia law, like alcohol and pork. And yet, it is possible to find underground establishments that serve them.

According to several of our Observers in Iran, several such hidden restaurants have cropped up in the past few years, in the capital Tehran as well as in other big cities, mainly in the country’s north. These places are unlicensed, and therefore can only be found through word of mouth. The attraction isn’t only the forbidden foods: women there can dress in a relaxed manner and take off their head scarves, which are mandatory in public. Furthermore, in these establishments, young unmarried couples don’t have to worry about the prying eyes of the morality police.