Home to a large proportion of Lahore’s residents, it’s no surprise that the number of restaurants in Johar Town has grown significantly in the recent past. A common perception among many Lahoris is that localities like DHA or Gulberg are local hubs for eateries but you would be mistaken for thinking such. Just the past few years have seen over 50 restaurants and cafes opening up in Johar Town, which has only further aided in establishing Johar Town as one of the food hubs of Lahore.
One of the reasons behind this is that residential buildings are open to operate from. Businesses like private schools, salons, and restaurants are often run out of residential homes turned “office buildings”. This, in turn, has made it easier for restaurant entrepreneurs wanting to break into the food business. How? Lower rents.
The areas surrounding and in Johar Town have numerous eateries
After opening up in DHA and Gulberg, the next obvious option for restaurant owners looking to expand is Johar Town. Places like Howdy, Johnny and Jugnu, Ricebowl which are quite popular among college students and young professionals in Lahore under have opened up in the area as of late.
What places can we visit in Johar Town?
While the list is very long, we’ll try to do a breakdown for you based on some of our preferences. Most of these include a number of chai dhabas, Pakistani/desi, Chinese and burger joints. While many restaurants may be extensions, there are also other restaurants that have are only open in Johar Town. For instance, the only area Daily Deli chose to move to other than the-very-difficult-to-access Arfa Karim tower, was Johar Town. Burger enthusiasts from all over Lahore drive to Johar Town to get a bite out of those succulent and to-die-for burgers. Dozens and dozens of more burger joints are around, like Burger Avenue, Johnny and Jugnu, Timmy’s, GodFather, Howdy, Big Moes and Wings at Emporium Mall… so, the list isn’t short my friends.
Recently, X2 opened up a bakery and deli joining other bakeries such as Kitchen Cuisine and Jalal Sons that were already there. The addition of X2’s bakery and deli is due to the market being open enough to accommodate more such businesses along with economical bakeries.
The area is at least trying to grow in terms of what it offers. Which brings me to my next point…
Restaurants in Johar Town do lack variety in terms of cuisine
There is a dearth in the variety of restaurants found in Johar Town which is mostly constrained by the price point people demand. While there are a few budget eateries here and there, and one Ricebowl, there isn’t much to fall back on when it comes to Pan Asian cuisine. Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese food is pretty much missing from the scene.
While there is an abundance of casual restaurants, there is not much to offer in terms of fine dining. It’s a broad term but it usually means a restaurant should have more of a formal atmosphere and fancier menu and is often associated with a larger price tag. And while there are many casual dhabas and joints, there isn’t much to attract visitors and customers in terms of formal dining. At most, there are Bundu Khan and a couple more Pakistani restaurants, some Chinese that some could argue pass as fine dining (but we’re still not convinced). And that’s where the list ends.
While the lack of diversity is something that is missing from Johar Town, it’s pretty evident that the restaurants of Johar Town are fast becoming an important part of Lahore’s restaurant culture.