Desi food in Lahore is the best
We hear a lot about the growing trend of “fine dining” restaurants or the exquisite cuisine from all over the world being offered in Lahore. Maybe the transformation of yet another rooftop into an overly priced establishment with shining chinaware has caught your fancy?
What we seem to forget in all this is the true essence of Lahore which lies in the masalas and skills of true “Lahori” chefs. Before I go any further though I caution you that none of these places have been Ayesha certified, and in all likelihood it may give you a tiny stomach ache or a gaseous outburst but sometimes life is more than a runny tummy. Sometimes it’s just about enjoying a cold glass of peray wali lassi!
So here’s what desi food Lahore has to offer for the foodie in you:
1. Fiqay Ki Lassi
Fiqay ki lassi is claimed to be the best lassi there is to be offered in Lahore. Their classic peray wali lassi is so popular, that regardless of whatever time you go there you’d have to take a token and wait in a significantly long queue. Rest assured, it’s totally worth the wait.
2. Nasir kai Paaye
Who doesn’t love some paaye (trotters for the angraiz qoum)? Nasir bhai makes the finest paaye you will find in Lahore. Though, they’re in a close competition with Phajay kai paaye but we recommend you try Nasir. Phaja is too mainstream.
3. Bhaiya kai Kebab
If you crave for some spicy and tasty Lahori kebab, chances are you wouldn’t have to travel much further. Bhaiya is located in Model Town. Beware, like with everything else that gets famous, due to the success of the kebab place, you’ll find many doppelgangers with the exact same name nearby. #SomePakistaniThings
4. Bashir Darul Mahi
It’s winters, and what better than to kick it off with some freshly fried fish! Bashir Darul Mahi (literally, Bashir’s House of Fish) has been around for ages, it’s probably been there before you were even born and the business is still booming like anything. Go, give it a try.
5. Taj Puri Wala
If you aren’t into halwa puri ka nashta for Sundays you don’t have the right to call yourself a Lahori. So give Taj a try to fall in love with what amazingness Lahore has to offer. Located right opposite Badshai masjid, you get to have a true Lahori breakfast and gaze out into the mesmerizing historic site that is older than most of Lahore itself!
6. Amritsari Hareesa
For all the modern Lahoris, you might call it the stepsister of Haleem, but it’s also drastically different in a great way! Located at Nisbat Road near Lakshmi Chowk, a two-floor building with probably not the fanciest or hygienic of environments but boy do they serve some good Hareesa.
7. Riaz Falooda
If you’ve had enough of waffles, hot chocolate and crêpes and you’re looking to try something different, possibly more entertaining and delicious, then Riaz Falooda is your place. Located in Anarkali, the falooda bowl by Riaz contains kulfa, ice, and those slimy yet oh-so-refreshing noodles. It will truly be a taste of heaven itself.
8. Nisbat Road Kai Gol Gappay
Those crunchy vessels of fried goodness that hold chanay and yogurt and all sorts of other chatpatti delicacies. You pick one, you dip them in the refreshingly cold khatta, maybe another dip in the meetha and pop them in your mouth before they explode all over yourself. Mouthwatering, just talking about them. This particular vendor is located right next to Lakhsmi Chowk opposite Amritsari Hareesa.
9. Butt ki karhai
Located at Lakshmi Chowk, the place offers you the finest chicken, halalofied (Sacrificed) right in front of you, which is a comforting news considering you’re not really sure about other “chicken” karahis anymore. A word of caution, just like Bhaiya kai Kebab this too has many doppelgangers; you literally rely on old folk tales to spot the right one!
10. Nishat Takatak
Situated right next to Gulistan Cinema, the clanking of the chopping of mutton brain into a gooda that looks rather strange but surprisingly delicious! You can enjoy the brain masala with their famous mint chutney, yes the perfect foodie evening awaits you! Another plus: everything’s so minced that it doesn’t really matter what you’re served as long as it tastes good ;P
11. Nafees Dahi Bhalay
Situated in Model Town, Nafees Dahi Bhalay has made quite a name for itself with one of its most loyal customers being the Prime Minister himself. And we all that Mr. Sharif know his food, so better get in line for some tangy dahi bhalay by Nafees.
12. Waris Nihari
There is meat and then there is Nihari meat. This slow cooked beef curry is truly a delicacy which can be tried any time of the day with some freshly made Naans! Waris Nihari is drenched in oil, but this doesn’t stop people lining up to have a taste of it. And you would be surprised by the various varieties of Nihari – ranging from simple Nihari to Tawa fried.
13. Benazir Kulfa
Who doesn’t like ice cream? And kulfa is the Pakistani version of ice cream. With those crunchy nuts giving it an edgy texture to compliment the sheer sweetness of the kulfa itself. And to get the best kulfa Lahore has to offer, head on down to main market and order some at Benazir Kulfa. While you’re at it, you might want to give their equally decadent kheer a try too.
This is some of the most delicious desi food in Lahore, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section.
Cover image via: epicuresabroad.com