Indulge your taste buds at these 20 exceptional restaurants in Pakistan that are truly worth your time and culinary exploration.
The culinary landscape in Pakistan offers a unique dining experience unlike any other around the world.
While there are renowned fine dining establishments that boast exquisite ambiance and exceptional cuisine, the true essence of Pakistani gastronomy resides in the age-old small Dhaba-style restaurants.
These humble establishments hold the key to authentic Pakistani flavors, attracting a constant stream of patrons who relish the delectable offerings.
In this article, we explore the top-notch restaurants in Pakistan that deserve a place on your culinary journey.
List Of 20 Top Restaurants in Pakistan
1. Andaaz Restaurant
Embark on a culinary adventure starting with Lahore’s renowned food street, a vibrant hub hosting a multitude of traditional restaurants.
Among these, a must-visit is Andaaz Restaurant, which seamlessly combines fine dining with breathtaking views of the iconic Badshahi Masjid, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Lahore.
From the rooftop, you can witness the captivating history and tales that echo through the historic buildings.
Meanwhile, in Islamabad, another Andaaz Restaurant awaits in the charming Saidpur Village.
Here, amidst a festive ambiance, you can savor delectable cuisine while soaking in the picturesque vista of the Margalla Hills. It’s a captivating experience that harmonizes gastronomic delights with the beauty of nature.
2. Butt Karahi
Butt Karahi, a legendary culinary establishment in Lahore, needs no introduction as its reputation precedes it. For years, this renowned restaurant has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike.
At Butt Karahi, their specialty lies in their mouthwatering organic chicken karahi, prepared with utmost care in traditional Desi ghee, ensuring a rich and flavorful experience. Each serving is served fresh, guaranteeing an unforgettable dining experience.
Conveniently located in the bustling Lakshmi Chowk, Lahore, Butt Karahi finds itself amidst a vibrant culinary scene, surrounded by other iconic eateries that have become synonymous with the city’s gastronomic heritage.
3. Amratsari Harisa
Indulge in the traditional delicacy of Amritsari Harisa, a delectable blend of ground wheat and exquisitely seasoned meat.
For the finest rendition of this mouthwatering dish, head to Amratsari Harisa, a renowned restaurant located on Nisbat Road in Lahore. This culinary gem attracts food enthusiasts from all corners of the city, serving up an authentic and unforgettable dining experience.
One of the captivating aspects of restaurants in Pakistan is their cozy and intimate nature.
While you have the option of takeout or enjoying your meal in the comfort of your car, it is the remarkable flavors that truly make the experience unique.
Explore the culinary treasures of Pakistan, where even small and compact eateries offer an unparalleled gastronomic journey.
4. Phajja Siri Paye
Experience the quintessential Pakistani delight of Paye, a traditional dish in a soul-warming soup-like form, crafted from the hooves of cow or goat, served alongside freshly baked naan.
In the heart of Lahore, amidst the historic Shahi Mohallah Walled City, lies Fazal e Haq Restaurant, fondly known as Phajja Siri Paye.
Here, you can indulge in the most delectable and savory rendition of Paye, prepared with expertise and served to perfection. This culinary gem is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of Pakistani cuisine.
5. Waris Nihari
The culinary adventure doesn’t stop with karahi, harissa, and paye. Nihari, a beloved dish in Pakistan, has always held a special place among the country’s favorite foods.
To truly savor the authentic flavors of Nihari, a visit to the renowned Waris Nihari in Lahore is a must. Many of these culinary gems can be found in or near Gawalmandi, the historic food street of Lahore.
Mahreen Ghafoor, an esteemed food expert, captures the essence of these restaurants in Pakistan by stating, “Visitors from all corners of the world flock here to experience the exquisite flavors and aromatic spices that have been passed down through generations of timeless, traditional recipes.”
Embrace the opportunity to indulge in the rich heritage of Pakistani cuisine, where these iconic restaurants carry the legacy of flavors from the past, inviting food enthusiasts from far and wide to experience the authentic tastes of the region.
6. Capri Restaurant
Sunday mornings are incomplete without the delectable combination of halwa puri, and when it comes to this iconic breakfast, Capri in Liberty Market, Gulberg III, Lahore, takes the crown.
For years, Capri has reigned as a top breakfast destination, attracting crowds seeking a flavorsome start to their day.
Their signature nashta platter features a delightful assortment of chana masala, halwa, and two puris accompanied by achaar (pickle) – a satisfying feast for a single person. Remarkably, all this comes at an incredibly affordable price of just $1!
While Capri offers a decent seating area, many patrons prefer the tranquility of their own cars, relishing their breakfast in peaceful solitude.
Aqsa Tahir, sharing her experience at Capri, expresses her astonishment at the continuous stream of customers flocking to this small eatery, highlighting the allure of Pakistani restaurants that capture the hearts and appetites of food enthusiasts.
Capri remains a testament to the magic of Pakistani cuisine, where even humble eateries like this create culinary experiences that leave an indelible mark on those who visit.
7. Salt’n Pepper Village
Salt’n Pepper Village holds a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis, evoking childhood memories with its delightful array of Desi food and mouthwatering desserts.
With its unique bazaar-like ambiance, the restaurant takes you on a culinary journey where food is expertly prepared right before your eyes.
Dedicated to reviving traditional cuisine and treasured recipes, Salt’n Pepper Village has become synonymous with preserving the rich culinary heritage of Pakistan. Indulge in a diverse range of dishes that celebrate the flavors and authenticity of Desi cuisine.
Whether you visit their Lahore or Karachi location, prepare to be transported to a world where traditional recipes come alive, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience.
8. Bundu Khan
Bundu Khan, a widespread chain of restaurants in Pakistan, offers a diverse range of cuisines, spanning from Chinese delicacies to traditional Desi fare.
Among their extensive menu, the BBQ, handi, and karahi dishes, accompanied by delectable parathas, have garnered immense popularity and become beloved favorites among patrons.
In Lahore, Bundu Khan presents a special halwa puri nashta experience, complemented by a charming outdoor seating area.
This delightful setting makes it an ideal spot for a memorable outing with friends and family, where you can relish a scrumptious breakfast while enjoying the pleasant ambiance.
Discover the culinary treasures of Bundu Khan as they cater to a variety of palates and offer an inviting atmosphere to create lasting memories.
Indulge your cravings for burgers and steaks at Howdy, located in Johar Town, Lahore. This restaurant presents a tempting array of flavorful burgers and succulent steaks, ensuring a satisfying dining experience.
Step into Howdy and immerse yourself in its casual ambiance, where a wide selection of delectable burgers and steaks awaits.
Adding to the unique atmosphere, the restaurant boasts a western-themed setting, complete with waiters dressed as cowboys, sporting giant hats and boots.
Embrace the lively atmosphere and savor the delicious offerings at Howdy as you enjoy a meal with a touch of cowboy flair.
10. Rice bowl
While Pakistani restaurants are renowned for their Desi cuisine, if you find yourself craving Chinese food, a visit to Rice Bowl Lahore is an absolute must.
At Rice Bowl, they specialize in food bowls that offer a variety of combinations tailored to suit your preferences. Delighting customers with their delectable offerings, the kung pao chicken and cashew nut chicken stand out as top favorites from their menu.
Embark on a culinary adventure and satisfy your Chinese food cravings at Rice Bowl Lahore, where their expertly crafted dishes are sure to leave you craving more.
Nestled amidst the breathtaking Margalla Hills, Monal has established itself as one of Islamabad’s premier destinations.
With its picturesque setting, this establishment has become synonymous with indulgent Sunday brunches and elegant dinners, captivating the hearts of locals and visitors alike.
The allure of Monal extends beyond its culinary delights. The restaurant boasts a stunning outlook, offering panoramic vistas that leave guests in awe of the natural beauty surrounding them.
Additionally, Monal provides an exclusive shopping experience, allowing visitors to browse and acquire unique souvenirs, further adding to the charm of their visit.
Experience the epitome of refinement and immerse yourself in the captivating ambiance of Monal. Whether it’s a leisurely Sunday brunch or an upscale dinner affair, this iconic establishment promises an unforgettable dining experience amidst the mesmerizing landscape of the Margalla Hills.
12. Savour Foods
Situated in the bustling Blue Area of Islamabad, Savour Foods has garnered immense fame for its delectable offerings. With additional branches in Lahore and Rawalpindi, this renowned establishment has become a go-to destination for food enthusiasts.
When it comes to pulao, Pakistanis are well aware that Savour Foods is the ultimate destination to satisfy their taste buds. The aromatic pulao, accompanied by flavorful Shami kebabs, has gained a devoted following among the locals, who simply can’t resist its allure.
If you find yourself in Islamabad, craving a traditional and pocket-friendly meal, make sure to pay a visit to Savour Foods. Indulge in their delightful offerings and experience the culinary magic that has made them a beloved name in the region.
13. Tuscany Courtyard
Amidst the abundant choices of traditional Desi cuisine in Pakistan, Tuscany Courtyard stands out as a gem for those seeking the flavors of Italy. Situated in Islamabad, and with a recent opening in Lahore, this restaurant offers an exquisite experience of Italian cuisine.
At Tuscany Courtyard, the fusion of authentic Italian flavors and a fancy ambiance creates an enchanting dining atmosphere.
The restaurant boasts a stunning open courtyard setting, providing the perfect backdrop for a memorable night out. Immerse yourself in the charming ambiance as you embark on a culinary journey inspired by the vibrant and diverse cuisine of Italy.
Whether you are craving classic pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, or delectable seafood specialties, Tuscany Courtyard aims to delight your palate with an array of Italian culinary delights.
Discover the magic of Italian cuisine in the heart of Pakistan at Tuscany Courtyard, where impeccable flavors and a captivating ambiance converge for an unforgettable dining experience.
14. Khoka Khola
In Islamabad, Khoka Khola stands out as a contemporary Dhaba-style eatery, boasting a limited yet tantalizing menu that never fails to impress.
The talk of the town at Khoka Khola is their delectable butter chicken, served alongside fragrant rice and freshly baked tandoori roti.
Complementing your meal, you have the option to indulge in a chilled lassi or a creamy doodh patti, both considered delightful treasures in Pakistan’s culinary culture.
Syeda Maryam Fatima, from The Blush Works, shared her delightful experience, stating, “Khoka Khola is the epitome of blending fusion-Desi Street food, exceptional service, and an ambiance reminiscent of vintage khokas.”
Immerse yourself in the unique charm of Khoka Khola, where fusion flavors meet the essence of Desi Street food, all while enjoying impeccable service and an ambiance that transports you to the nostalgia of classic khokas.
15. Jalil Kabab House
Peshawar, renowned for its Pashtun-style cuisine featuring a wide array of meat dishes, holds a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts.
When it comes to the iconic chapli kebab, one name stands out: Jalil Kabab House, unmatched in its mastery of this delectable dish. Their mouthwatering chapli kebabs are expertly prepared, adorned with a medley of chopped onions, tomatoes, and an assortment of spices and green chillies, adding an extra kick of flavor.
Jalil Kabab House has earned its reputation as one of the most celebrated restaurants in Peshawar. In fact, The Localist attests to its popularity, stating, “Every day, approximately 1,000 individuals, including tourists, politicians, students, and celebrities, flock to Jalil Kabab House to savor their chapli kebabs.”
Join the legions of satisfied diners and experience the culinary delight that Jalil Kabab House offers. Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Peshawari cuisine as you revel in the ambiance of this iconic eatery.
16. Charsi Tikka
Located among a myriad of restaurants in Lahore, Charsi Tikka has risen to prominence as a top culinary destination, celebrated for its tantalizing namkeen gosht, tikka, and a variety of other meat dishes.
As an Afghan restaurant, Charsi Tikka offers an authentic and unmatched tikka experience for those seeking genuine flavors. The simplicity of its atmosphere adds a touch of tradition, creating an inviting space that is perfect for a family outing or a gathering of friends.
Immerse yourself in the delightful ambiance and indulge in the succulent offerings of Charsi Tikka. Delight in the rich flavors and aromatic spices that define Afghan cuisine, leaving your taste buds craving for more. Charsi Tikka is a haven for meat lovers, a place where authenticity meets culinary excellence in a setting that exudes warmth and charm.
17. Madni Biryani
No matter where you travel within the nation, one dish stands as the unanimous favorite: Biryani.
In Karachi, renowned for its biryani, a visit to Madni Biryani is an absolute must for an authentic and delightful experience of this beloved rice dish.
Madni Biryani has mastered the art of creating the perfect blend of spices, tailored precisely to cater to the discerning taste buds of Pakistanis. With every mouthful, you can savor the harmonious symphony of flavors that makes biryani an irresistible indulgence.
Famed throughout the city, Madni Biryani has gained its reputation through its commitment to delivering authentic biryani at remarkably affordable prices. This combination of authenticity and affordability has captured the hearts of Karachi’s food enthusiasts.
Embark on a culinary journey and treat yourself to the exquisite taste of Madni Biryani. Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors and the aroma of spices that have made this establishment a beloved name among biryani aficionados in the city.
18. Kolachi Restaurant
Situated by the seaside in Karachi, Kolachi is a renowned restaurant celebrated for its exceptional blend of classic Pakistani and continental cuisine.
One of the highlights of dining at Kolachi is the opportunity to relish excellent seafood platters, featuring fish that is freshly caught from the nearby sea.
The freshness and quality of the seafood add an extra dimension to the dining experience, satisfying even the most discerning palates.
As night falls, Kolachi transforms into a magical setting, with the shimmering lights along the shore creating an enchanting ambiance. The picturesque view adds to the overall charm, making the experience truly wholesome and unforgettable.
Beyond its delectable menu, Kolachi recognizes the significance of its environment in providing visitors with a respite from their busy lives. The restaurant offers a serene and inviting atmosphere where guests can unwind, relax, and enjoy a memorable dining experience.
Embrace the opportunity to savor the delightful flavors, immerse yourself in the breathtaking views, and allow Kolachi to transport you to a world of culinary delights and tranquility by the seaside.
Karachi sets a remarkable standard for fine dining, offering a vast array of cuisines to cater to every taste.
In the realm of Mediterranean cuisine, Okra stands out as the ultimate destination for a memorable fine dining experience. Through years of experimentation with ingredients and recipes, the restaurant has honed the art of cooking, delivering exceptional flavors and culinary mastery.
With an aesthetically pleasing outlook, Okra provides a visually stunning backdrop to complement its exquisite cuisine. The attention to detail and dedication to culinary excellence make it a deserving recipient of five stars.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance and savor the delectable offerings of Okra. Let the flavors transport you to the Mediterranean, where passion, creativity, and the pursuit of culinary perfection come together to create a truly extraordinary dining experience.
20. Lal Qila Restaurant
Transport yourself to the enchanting Mughal era at Lal Qila, where the stunning red brick building evokes the rich culture of that time. Adorned with graceful decorations and items reminiscent of the 17th century, Lal Qila offers a truly immersive experience.
Indulge in fine dining with a diverse menu encompassing Mughlai, Tandoori, BBQ, and authentic Pakistani cuisine. With outlets in Karachi, Hyderabad, and Lahore, Lal Qila extends its allure to multiple cities across the country.
What sets the restaurants in Pakistan apart is their unique stories, often surprising to discover that the smallest and oldest establishments hold a special place in the hearts of locals.
Visiting these restaurants is more than just a meal—it’s a wholesome experience that embodies the love and dedication Pakistanis pour into their food, reflecting the sentimental value it holds for them.
These restaurants serve as symbols of heritage and history in Pakistan, a testament to the passion for food that has been passed down through generations.
The culinary treasures found within their walls showcase the rich cultural tapestry of the nation, connecting people to their roots and creating lasting memories for all who visit.