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a VirtualTourist member


Cafes and coffee drinks in Iraq

Hi, I would like to find out about the 'coffee culture' in Iraq. Are there many cafes? Do people living in larger cities (eg Baghdad, Erbil, Barsa) tend to go out and have a cup of coffee, and usually what time of the day? (working days or weekends?). What kind of coffee types do Iraqis prefer (tranditional or latte, espresso, capuccino etc)? Any comments or insight would be highly appreciated!
Thank you!

5 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minsk

While there is some coffee, it is largely consumed by Westerners and Western-minded locals. Without question tea is the drink of choice through the country. In Erbil (where i used to live) there are countless tea houses full of men. Sometimes doing nothing, sometimes playing backgammon or dominoes.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

Fluffy, can you expand on this a bit as the poster only mentioned "I" but may be traveling with a partner, or there may be some couples reading this thread....

Are there any tea/coffee shops in Iran where females are also welcome?

(I'm curious too - thanks for your valuable insight here)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minsk

Erbil and Baghdad are 2 different worlds. In Erbil, there are modern, Starbucks like cafes where men, women, foreigners and locals mix without any thought at all. There are some cafes where local women wouldn't go, yet foreign women seem welcomed. There may be a few stares, but no problems overall.

Since the fall of Saddam, Baghdad has become exponentially more difficult for women. Pre-invasion, women would certainly go to cafes. Usually with their families, but they would still go. These days, there is no way in heck a woman would be seen in a cafe.

Iran is much the same. Tehran and Esfahan (maybe Shiraz) are different than the rest of the country. In the modern cities, women go out together and there are outdoor cafes, or "family" cafes they congregate. But in the villages or more conservative parts of the country, they would certainly be harassed by the religion police.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Minneapolis

Thanks for that, and for covering Iraq and Iran in your reply as I forgot to mention that I was curious about both.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Hi Fluffy, thank you very much for your insight and very useful information!

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