These desi food places are a culinary experience into the heart of Karachi
Even though the suburbs of Clifton and Defence in Karachi are known for some of the best fast food franchises and modern restaurants, some would argue that the real Karachi food lies on the ‘other side of the Clifton Bridge’.
So dear fellows, here are some of the “authentic” Karachi hot spots to check out if you ever decide to venture to the heart of Karachi:
Zameer Ansari Kabab House
Zameer Ansari, located on Alamgir Road is known for its plentiful servings and quality food. For barbecue enthusiasts, everything from gola kababs, dhaaga kababs, Malai Boti, Tikkas and Reshmi Kabab are available.
Gola Gandas on Dhoraji
One of the most famous gola ganda places for years has been the Dhoraji suburb. The stalls are nicely decorated with the words ‘Saleem ka Uncle Gola’ and ‘Khalid Saleem Amla Gola’. Gola Gandas are basically shaved ice in a bowl or a stick topped with condensed milk and syrups like Rooh Hafza, raspberry, orange, banana and even ice cream soda all served fresh.
Noorani Kabab House
It is not just another local barbecue place. Please do not get confused by the name! It is very well-known across the city for its ‘katakats’. We’d rather not scare you by revealing what they’re made from, if you don’t know already. Other dishes we recommend devouring are Brain Masala and Mutton Champ Masala.
Kaybees Snacks (M.Ali. Society Branch)
For scrumptious ice cream on a budget, there is no better place than the original Kaybees Snacks in M.Ali.Society. The most popular ice cream options are Coffee and Vanilla mix soft serve in either cup or cone.
Shaikh Abdul Ghaffar Kabab House
Ghaffar is another gem of Karachi that has been around for as long as I can remember. It’s always been at Tariq Road since eons. It is also now at the famous Port Grand in Karachi but the original outlet for me will always be the best. It’s an absolute must for barbecue lovers!
Zahid Nihari Tariq Road
It’s arguably the best place for Nihari in Karachi. There’s also Sabri and Javed but Zahid’s a long-time favorite. You can get your ultimate Nihari fix here. The prices are reasonable and you can get refills of the gravy once you’ve enjoyed the delicious beef.
This is perhaps the most popular destination for desi sweets such as mithai, gulab jaman, and other such heavenly concoctions. Whether its a wedding or a birthday, Rehmat-e-Shireen will never disappoint.
Jehangir Merath Kabab house
In my opinion, Jehangir Merath Kabab house located on Tipu Sultan Road is the best Merath since there are countless others with the same name. Regardless, it’s one of the hottest spots for desi BBQ in town. From tikkas to seekhs, you’ll always find something you like. It may not be as famous as Ghaffar, but has enough on its menu to hold its own.
Al-Ahmed Chaat Stall
Ever since I was young, I’ve been visiting this chaat stall near Jheel Park on Tariq Road. This awesome food cart is one of the city’s hidden gems. You can get excellent Mixed Chaat, Meethi Puri, Paani Puri which are so awesome that they will keep you coming back for more.
Al-Haaj Bundoo Khan
Al-Haaj Bundoo Khan is one of the the oldest barbecue joints of the city. Located on Sindhi Muslim, the taste and quality has remained the same for years. My favorites are the seekh kababs, malai boti and chicken tikka.
You’ll need to venture far into the Lighthouse area to check out Kaiser. This is a place where my parents went to when they were kids. It’s a delight for barbecue fans and kabab lovers. It’s even worth checking out for its history as it’s located in one of Karachi’s oldest areas- Bunder Road.
Iceberg Ice Cream
If you ever venture towards the ever-busy Saddar and looking to eat ice-cream, then look no further than Iceberg Ice Cream. I’ve had this since I was a kid and it’s one of the best ice-creams I’ve enjoyed. All kinds of flavors from strawberry to chocolate are available. You can get traditional kulfi and falooda as well.
Rajjo Ice Cream
Bahadurabad has been home to one of Karachi’s oldest ice-cream parlors. Here, you can get faloodas, kulfis, and Peshawari ice-cream that just melt in your mouth. It’s continues to be a popular hangout for ice-cream lovers in the area.
Happy Ice Cream
Happy is gaining quite a popularity on both their outlets in Bahadurabad. This gives you traditional ice-cream as well as regular cones and cups with a variety of flavors. It’s worth checking out if you’re in this part of town.
The ‘Bun Kababs’ or burgers with either meat or potatoes are a major delicacy of Burns Road, better known as ‘Buns Road’. You can also get ‘Biryanis’, ‘Kababs’, ‘Karahis’, ‘Niharis’, ‘Haleem’ and even seafood. Sweet aficionados will really love ‘Kheer’, ‘Rabri’, ‘Ras Malai’, ‘Ras Gullay’, Sweet or salt-ish ‘Lassi’, and ‘Dahi Bharas’ from Fresco and Bhashanis.Make sure to check out Waheed Kabab House while you’re there. Because everything in our list is perfect so Burns Road as a whole is perfect.
We hope you get a chance to try out these places. The food is great and not too heavy on your wallet. In the end you go satisfied and we will not be surprising if you are aching to go the next day. Let us know in the comments if you agree with us and if we missed out any of your favorites.
Cover image via: ibexmag.com