We talk a lot about restaurants in Lahore and Karachi, thanks to Hungerist. However, Islamabad is finally catching up with other big cities like Lahore and Karachi. Though we admit we might not be as ‘lively’ and among the cities that never sleep, we do have our humble options of restaurants, eateries, and cafes… And the list is only growing. However, everyone knows about the popular restaurants in Islamabad, but this article highlights the underdogs. The underrated restaurants. The ones who serve quality food, with the right quantity and an affordable price. Basically, the complete package.
Here are our best picks:
If you’re craving the best and organic desi nashta, look no further than Tariq Market in F-10! Chatthas’ will take good care of you. They offer platters, BBQ, nihari and their ever so tempting lassi! What better way to start your Sunday with a full belly and take a quick, much-needed nap when home!
2. Jade Cafe
Do you always get into arguments because your taste isn’t according to somebody else’s palate? This place gives anyone enough options to choose from desi to Canadian. Their Fajita omelet is to die for but the Dum Qeema is sure to tantalize your taste buds too!
Moving towards one of the Continental-themed restaurants in Islamabad, this has the best loaves of bread in town. I mean, the name has ‘loaf’ in it! Despite their bistro style, the food is of good quality and you really enjoy the rustic ambiance. This place will make you feel like you’re brunching in a very chic and upbeat environment. Do give their quiches a try!
Lunch or Dinner
4. The Chinese Cafe
Located in the heart of F-7, this place served the best Iftaar buffet this past Ramadan. Its hi-tea is authentic and scrumptious and the individual platters are fit for anybody who loves a good Chinese dinner without going completely bankrupt!
5. Suki Sushi
We all know if you want a good sushi you have to sell your liver for it. Well, Islamabad, you can now have good quality and fresh sushi delivered straight to your home. Or even better, you could visit the place! Trust me, you’ve got to try this one! It’s usually the place for foreigners as not many of us like sushi but all you sushi lovers can thank us later!
In the mood for a juicy, creamy, lean meat burger? Oozing with delicious sauces? Look no further than Cannoli. If the description has you drooling, it’s the Shroom and Swiss burger you should be hunting and munching!
As the most recent entry in the list of underrated restaurants in Islamabad, Ginyaki brings us the one bowl experience. It’s even better as the bowl is filling enough for Po from Kung Fu Panda and costs around Rs. 700-800 per head. Their dumplings are rather small as a portion size but they don’t disappoint you with the main course.
8. Pizza Originale
For those who want party food, or if it’s game night, a crispy crust with cheese melting in your mouth and the best marinara sauce is what you NEED! Of course, the toppings are of your choice. From meaty pepperoni to a healthy dose of spinach, it’s got it all!
9. Tiger Temple
If you haven’t been to Thailand, Thai food has come to you. Authentic lemongrass and galangal gingery goodness, you’ve got to try the Pad Thai and green and red curries!
Chai or Dessert
10. Burning Brownie
Our perfect version of Costa or Starbucks! This place serves you with items of a higher quality than you use at home (surprising much?) With imported chocolate syrups to their matcha powder for their lychee cardamom pistachio pastry, you will feel like you’re in food heaven.
Would you rather have a karak chai and something namkeen? Hit Chikachino for the best upbeat chai, culinary samosas and the best roll parathas in town. The crowd is young and the place buzzing!
Okay, so a disclaimer before you start targeting me for missing out restaurants. I asked the best food critics of Islamabad, collected data from several food-related groups on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and dined at over 20 restaurants to shortlist these specific 11.
If I’ve left anything out, or if you have any suggestions and think you’ve found more underrated restaurants in Islamabad, let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via @quarterpastlife/Instagram