Help Reopen Taste of Persia NYC

After 8 years of serving New York City’s Iranian community and beyond, Taste of Persia, a takeout counter inside of Flatiron’s Pizza Paradise located at 12 W 18th St, is forced to close its doors on January 31. Known best for its ash-e-reshteh and home cooked stews, Taste of Persia owner Saeed Pourkay has cultivated what feels like a home away from home for many members of the Iranian diaspora and a window into Persian home cooking for all others. Saeed is hoping to resume business in a restaurant space all his own in the coming months, but will need to raise $95,000 to get there. 


For two decades, Saeed ran a print shop with his three brothers across the street from Pizza Paradise in the Flatiron District. In 2012, he cashed out his share in the business to “search for his happiness”—for Saeed, happiness meant pursuing his love for cooking. He started selling his now iconic ash-e-reshteh at the Union Square Holiday Market. In March 2013, he set up Taste of Persia in one of Paradise’s small windows. Taste of Persia’s traditional home cooked fare has received praise in publications like The New York Times, Insider, and Gothamist as one of New York City’s few Persian eateries.

Keeping the restaurant open over the past few years has been a challenge, but Saeed has prevailed: He has managed to afford the space’s $4,000 monthly rent, and despite being the sole cook and being beholden to the pizzeria’s kitchen schedule (which means sometimes clocking in as early as 1:30 a.m to prepare food for the day), he has consistently served some of the best Persian food in the city. On December 12, Pizza Paradise informed him with less than two months notice that the restaurant would like to move in a different direction, and no longer would like to share the space with Saeed starting February 1. 

How You Can Help:

Saeed does not have the funds saved to rent and build out a restaurant space in the expensive Flatiron District, especially with the short notice he was given as a father supporting his two boys. When Taste of Persia closes on January 31, Saeed will have to pause business and resort to freelance catering, until he raises enough to open his own restaurant—that’s where you come in. 

Saeed’s goal is to raise enough in order to open a small counter service restaurant in Manhattan—the goal is to continue serving his existing clientele within reasonable proximity to his 18th street location/Flatiron, have enough space to seat 10-15 people and for a small kitchen. In order to open back up as soon as possible, cover three months worth of rent and a deposit, and have funds for renovations, furnishings, kitchen equipment, and insurance lined up, we have collectively set his fundraising goal to $95,000. 

We hope to get Saeed’s business back up and running, so that he can pursue his love for Persian cooking and continue to feed New York City!

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Fundraising team (3)

Avid Khorramian
New York, NY
Saeed Pourkay
Atoosa Moinzadeh
Team member

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