In Lahore: A food lover’s guide

Published: April 22, 2012
Discovering the best foods, restaurants and dhabas in Lahore.

Discovering the best foods, restaurants and dhabas in Lahore.

Discovering the best foods, restaurants and dhabas in Lahore. Discovering the best foods, restaurants and dhabas in Lahore. Discovering the best foods, restaurants and dhabas in Lahore.

Food to Lahoris is what a pen is to writer or a credit card to a shopaholic. Nationwide, Lahoris are known to devour their food and most of them could kill for a lot less than a good chop masala.

Here is a tribute to the food lovers of Lahore and for those who want to fall in love with food.

Desi food

If anyone ever tries to tell you that BBQ Tonight or Tabaq or Bundu Khan has real Pakistani Food, please do not believe him or her. As a true Lahori you have to understand that real Pakistani food is still located in the old city, Lakshmi Chowk, Mazung and Abbott Road. Starting from Bhatti Gate, you cannot miss out on nihari from Haji’s. Mohammadi Nihari may have taken over the local cosmopolitan but you haven’t had nihari if you haven’t had it from Haji.

As winter creeps up, fish comes back to the market and the best fried fish in town is found at this small shop in Mazung called Bashir Darul Mahi. You can’t go wrong with crispy, crunchy and succulent fish with a hint of spice along with the radish and tamarind sauce and some hot naan.

Taka Tak chops, gizzard and liver are a delicacy and are now readily available everywhere but when one has the time and wants to make the effort to really satisfy those taste buds, a trip to Kaka Gurda Kapoora in Lakshmi Chowk is a must. Kaka is one of the oldest taka tak joints in the city, even though the owner has now passed away his legacy still continues. “Every time I come to Lahore from Baltimore, I make a trip down to Lakshmi Chowk to have Kaka’s Taka Tak because not only is it delicious, it also reminds me of my childhood,” says a customer Asfa Butt.

When in the mood to add a little seafood to the mix of desi style of cooking, be sure to check out the Jhinga Karhai at Aandaz behind the Badshahi Mosque. “It is very hard to find good seafood in Lahore but Andaaz has made it easier with its delicious Jhinga Karhai,” says a Raza Ellahi.

Traditional snacks

Even though Lahoris love proper food, they cannot live without traditional snacks like chaat and gol gappay. For this purpose, it is worth making a trip out to Regal on Mall Road for some Dahi Bhallay. There is a small stand outside Lawrence Gardens that serves Novelty Gol Gappas with the tangiest and spiciest tamarind sauce available in Lahore.

The other side of the town

No matter how much we love Pakistani cuisine, everyone needs a break from the heavy, extra oily food and that’s where MM Alam road comes in to mix up the flavour and add some diversity to the food.

Cosa Nostra is famously known for its burgers, pizza and ice cream but did you know that they have killer mozzarella sticks? Breadcrumb covered fat slices of mozzarella cheese deep fried to perfection later dipped into marinara sauce is the perfect snack. “They remind me of the nights I spent munching away on cheese sticks from the local diner in Toronto,” adds a regular customer Meher Saleem, “I am so happy I found them at Cosa Nostra.” For those of you who have never been introduced to the heavenly world of Mozz-sticks, Cosa Nostra is the place to go.

Espresso, a local coffee shop known for its coffee and desserts, has some of the best Beef Fajitas in town. “It’s my favourite thing here; they are delicious every time and I try to come and have them at least once a week,” says a fan, who chooses to remain anonymous.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Knotty
    Apr 22, 2012 - 9:51PM

    Best city on the planet!


  • Omar
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:05AM

    Goshhh….. Momina, you should be penalised for making the Lahoris abroad starving for all these savouries…. Miss all the original lahori food, as in London we dont get the real taste- no matter how good the restaurant is…. as they say you can take a lahori out of lahore but you cant take lahore out of a lahori :D
    very good piece !


  • MAK
    Apr 23, 2012 - 2:48AM

    Lahore Lahore hai ji! Miss my LHR <3


  • khan of quetta
    Apr 23, 2012 - 1:48PM

    i hate lahore people when ever i ask for directions they said nal e ay and i was going in circles for hours but i love lahori chargha from popi chargha house


  • Knotty
    Apr 23, 2012 - 6:01PM

    @ khan of quetta

    I think its a misconception spread. Every person I’ve met from Karachi says this happened to him, even though later they admitted that they’ve never been to Lahore!!!!
    Apart from juniors day in colleges, Lahoris don’t misguide. I lived there for 15 years (80s/90s). In fact, I never remember anyone misguiding me or anyone else… though some people are more helpful while others quickly tell u direction without much detail!!!


  • ahmad
    Apr 26, 2012 - 1:43PM

    man missing lahoreeeeee


  • Parvez
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:01AM

    I am a Karachi wala through and through but when I get a chance to visit Lahore, I realise its not just the food but the laid-back style of the people that makes Lahore what it is – a brilliant city.


  • May 9, 2012 - 4:20PM

    Food in Lahore is awsome no doubt about it

    Laxmi Chow kay Murgh Cholay
    Basheer Daral Mahi Fried Fish
    Not big on Chat and Gol Gappay
    but u get excellent Chargha at Tabaq in Laxmi Chowk, best ive ever had
    if your looking for something slightly more refined in Desi dinning

    Shezan Regale in DHA H Block
    Andaaz in the Old City
    Tabaq has an up market resturant in Gulberg also are some of the choices.

    Anarkali ka Falooda is to die for, and yes ofcourse Khalifa ki naan khatai from the Old City near Akbar’s Gate


  • Sanjeev kumar
    Jun 12, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Really i want to visit lahore because of good people and nice food


  • Sanjeev kumar
    Jun 12, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Lahore has a rich culture.Recommend

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