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The Iconic Cafe Nadery: From Tehran To New York

Source: Cafe Nadery

Cafe Nadery is a community-driven Cafe in historical Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan. The vision of the Cafe is to create a contemporary Iranian-culture inspired cosmopolitan social space for both Iranians and non-Iranians in the New York City area. Functioning as a Cafe offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and light healthy food, the space will strengthen a sense of community among its patrons. Our menu includes a Iranian culinary highlights and our coffee, wine, and beer selections reflects our fiercely independent spirit.

At Cafe Nadery, there is room to stretch and plenty of outlets for your computer. Our minimalist design and white interior welcomes creativity. In that spirit, we feature bi-monthly events that includes readings, film screenings, and music. Our namesake is borrowed from a legendary cafe in Tehran that was the intellectual hotbed from the 1940s to 1970s.

Events at the Cafe, including art exhibits, music performances, lectures, independent film screenings, performance arts and fora will be organized by a Community Board consisting of a diverse group of dynamic and active community members. Individuals with an interest in serving in the community board can contact the Cafe using the General Feedback form in the Contact Us page.


The Cafe was conceived by a group of Iranian-American artists, academics, professionals and food enthusiasts with the goal of creating a welcoming social space that fosters intellectual and artistic creativity and exchanges between Iranians and non-Iranians in the NY metropolitan area. The Cafe is managed by a Board of Directors that is elected by Cafe Nadery shareholders on an annual basis.

Backgammon Tournament at Cafe Nadery

History of the Name

Tehran, Iran (1928) - Founded by an Iranian-Armenian, Khachik Madikiyans, Naderi Cafe in Tehran was one of the first western Cafes in the country. By the 1940s it had become the hangout place for Iran's secular intellectuals and artists, serving as a community space for many of Iran's best known authors. More than a coffeeshop, the cafe served as a space for discussions, for sharing and for gathering of creative spirits. As such it has come to symbolize the space in which the Iranian intellectual tradition took root.

An old photo showing Cafe Naderi in Tehran
Related Article: From Naderi Cafe to Kafka's Soup

Manhattan, NY (2013) - 85 years hence, we are establishing Cafe Nadery in Manhattan in tribute to that tradition. While no organic relationship or similarity in look and feel exists between the two cafes, Cafe Nadery in Manhattan is an effort to create a community space that can harness the intellectual richness of Greenwich Village, Manhattan with a contemporary progressive Iranian-inspried flair.

Cafe Nadery's Cheese plate (photo by Joachim Brennsteiner)


Cafe Nadery
16 West 8th Street, New York, NY (map)

Upcoming Events

“Beauty In The Eyes of Qajar”

Drawings by Khandan Bigdeli
Exhibit February 9- March 8 2014, Exhibit Opening February 13, 2014

Khandan Bigdeli was born in Iran, in 1985. She completed a BA with distinction at Azad Art University of Graphic Design in Tehran, Iran in 2007. She then moved to New York City in 2008 to continue her education, majoring in Digital Art at Pratt University. Her works revolve predominantly around combination of both modern and traditional arts. While art can be aesthetically pleasing or used as a symbol or icon, for Khandan, art goes beyond an “exquisite picture” or something to match the sofa to. In her opinion the sublime purpose of art is to convey a message, to express an ideology or to react to social dynamics. Considering her rich cultural heritage, Khandan cherishes and values the traditional arts; however what she finds more challenging and intriguing is achieving a meaningful transition and juxtaposition of the two. “Beauty in the eyes of Qajar” is an attempt to capture the contrast between the true meanings of Beauty in Qajar dynasty and what we consider as beauty in the world today. Currently Khandan is working as a freelance artist and designer in New York City.


Related Article by Shauna Lyon, New Yorker:
Tables For Two: Cafe Nadery

What ever happened to the intellectual cafes of Greenwich Village, where struggling artists could order a cup of coffee (not a Venti), read a newspaper (not an iPad), and talk to someone sitting across from them (not via text message)? Most of those tiny cafes have been priced out of the neighborhood, replaced by the Think Coffees, the La Colombes, the Stumptowns (don't even mention that other place). Cafe Nadery is a descendant of those bohemian coffeehouses, with a twist-it's owned by a collective of some twenty Iranian-Americans, and pays homage to an Iranian landmark. The renowned Naderi Cafe, built in 1928 in Tehran, was the place where writers and philosophers went to hobnob in its mid-twentieth-century heyday. (read more)

Photograph by Malu Alvarez



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