Pakistan has a rich culinary culture, where all celebrations start and end with food.
With the rise of social media, food blogging, sharing recipes, Instagram videos, and putting up video reviews across various platforms, all of these things have contributed to our love for food.
Speaking of food, Lahore is undoubtedly the food capital of Pakistan. Some people even consider Lahore synonymous with food. You can start your day with a scrumptious breakfast, as early as 4 am and you can find Lahoris satisfying their hunger late at night. We Lahoris take our food cravings very seriously.
It is almost impossible to cover Lahore’s food empire in one article. However, we would like to take you on a journey to the best food spots in the city, to share some hidden/ lesser-known gems of Lahore’s culinary art, especially for an outsider.
Shall we begin?
Sadiq Halwa Puri
Halwa puri is the weekend breakfast for most Lahoris. If you would like to relish one of the best halwa puri in town, here’s your go-to place.
Sadiq Halwa Puri started its business in 1880 and it’s their 4th generation in the business.
They have four branches across Lahore including in Gawalmandi, Ferozepur Road, Iqbal Town, and PECO Road.
Nasir Bong Paye
If you can wake up early and your stomach can digest a heavy-duty deal, then head straight to Anarkali to try Nasir’s Bong Paye. He serves the most mouth-watering bong paye in the city.
To have the best chance of not missing this one, weekdays are the best time. The rush is too much on the weekend if you want to try your luck.
Baboo’s Karachi Kabab Paratha
With so many options at hand, choosing a B.B.Q restaurant in Lahore gets very confusing at times. Our pick would be this small set-up in Gulshan-e-Ravi that serves arguably the best B.B.Q with puri style parathas.
Like most of the smaller eateries, their cleanliness raises questions at times but the food is to die for.
Bhaiyya Kabab Shop
This used to be a household name for foodies born in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000’s – a very well-known eatery in D-Block, Model Town. They were known for their famed bite-size beef kababs.
Just like Multani Sohan Halwa and Butt Karahi, several shops claim to be the ‘Real Bhaiyya Kabab’ after the demise of the original owner.
However, Siddique Kabab Shop has kept the legacy of the original recipe going forward by somehow maintaining a similar taste and improving the ambiance of the place.
Malwari Paratha Kabab
This is by far the best place in town to treat your taste buds – with an economical yet delicious meal. A modest roadside, Dhaba-style setup, with both outdoor and indoor sitting options. They have a comprehensive menu but Chicken Makhni gravy and flame-grilled Charcoal Chicken always seal the deal for us.
Planning to visit Lahore during dry winters? Great! Then you should not miss out on this Kashmiri delicacy that helps to keep you warm. Hareesa looks very much similar to Haleem, and it is also made with lentils, porridge, meat and, a whole lot of spices. It is served with pure desi ghee and bite-sized beef or chicken kababs.
The shop is located on Nisbat Road, the road that leads to Gawalmandi from Lakshmi c4howk. You’ll see several shops operating with the same name, all claiming to be the original. Well, more or less, all of them taste similar.
Blow Fish Restaurant
Got enough of chicken and beef? Well not to worry – there’s fish too!
Imagine, you are in Lahore and you’ve asked anyone to recommend the best place to go for fish. We can bet that 8 out of 10 times, you’ll hear about Bashir Dar-ul-Mahi, Siddique Fish Corner, or Sardar Fish Corner.
Don’t listen to them and head straight to Walton, to try this amazing restaurant that offers oil-free, grilled fish that is delicious to the last bite.
The Food Architects
We have been talking just desi food and, this entry may seem a little strange, but it ought to be on this list. How many of us have actually tried Korean food in Pakistan? I guess not many.
The Food Architects restaurant is run by two very talented architects and, it truly reflects their love for food.
Make sure to try their Korean Fried Chicken with their specialty sauces and Fried Ice Cream for a dessert. It is the perfect combination that works rather well.
Bhatti K Totkay
Deer Karahi, Ostrich Karahi, Kabootar Koila Karahi, Rabbit Karahi, Tandoori Niblets, Chocolate Tikka? Oh yes, you heard it right!
This place has the most insane menu. And we recommend that you try the above dishes at least once.
They have branches in Township and Raiwind.
Looking for mutton? Here we go.
Start your car, turn on the navigation, and head straight to McLeod road. Sheefa Karahi is the place to be.
You can choose the meat as per your choice, get it chopped up in front of your eyes and, you can request the Chef to add some extra butter in it.
Sit & relax – in about an hour, your taste buds will get to know how an authentic Mutton Karahi is made – simply delightful.
How many of these street restaurants in Lahore have you tried so far? Let us know in the comments below.
Original post by Ahmad Bilal Manzoor