Cheap Eats 2016: Shamshiry


Cornish hen kabob at Shamshiry. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Shamshiry


8607 Westwood Center Dr
Vienna, VA 22182
Good for Groups No Alcohol

At this brightly lit dining room crammed with expat Persian families, decisions are minimal. Maybe a Shirazi salad—a simple lemon-and-olive-oil-dressed dice of cucumber, onions, and tomato—and a starter of torshi bademjan, a dish of garlicky eggplant. Then it’s on to beautifully charred kebabs of seasoned lamb, marinated bone-in Cornish hen, and kubideh, traditionally eaten with raw egg mixed into the rice. The meats come with grilled tomatoes and white rice, but the flavored basmatis, such as shirin polo, studded with orange rind, pistachio, and almond, pair well with the savory meats and are worth the upcharge. Pale-yellow saffron ice cream makes for a light, fragrant dessert. Take a cue from the regulars and share—each bowl has three generous scoops.

Also good: Chelo beef kebab; mast o musir yogurt with shallots; basmati rice with sour cherries.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.