Lahore’s 1st Gift to the World: Lahori Khabay

“In the spirit of all the holiday gift giving that will be taking place over the next couple of months, all the Metroblogging cities are giving 7 gifts to the world throughout the week of NOV 26th – DEC 2. Lahore comes up with its 1st Gift to the World.”

The word ‘Lahore’ is almost synonymous with food. Lahori Khabay or Lahori Food is something that has become a culture blended in delights from Desi cuisine to Western culinary.

For Lahoris, eating out is the favourite past time and food in itself is considered a celebration. You can experience this when you venture out on the city streets in the evening. There’s not a single locality without its own specialities. Road sides are lined up with small desi cafés; Khokay or Dhabas serve local delicacies from Chicken Tikka to Mutton Nihari and all of them never are devoid of hungry customers You can have a seat on those wooden benches or char-pais while enjoying fresh from the kitchen with hot n’ crispy bread; Tandoori-Roti. Add to it a chilled drink of Sprite or Desi Soda and you won’t have to worry about any digestion problems.

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Gowalmandi Food Street, Lahore

In addition to these small scale outlets, Lahore boasts of specialities that are nowhere to be found except in this city of delights. Some of the most popular food points are named after their owners and founders. These include Ustad Phajjay kay Payay; Asif’s Nihari; fried fish at Sardar Machhli and Bashir Dar-ul-Mahi; Bhayay-kay-Kebab at Model Town; Butt kay Chanay; Yousuf Falooda; Benzair Kulfa and the list goes on and on.

The latest trend in Lahore has resulted in mushroom growth of European style Coffee Shops and Delis. Some of the most popular ones include Masoom’s Café, Coffee Tea & Company, Café HideOut and Moods Café. Another very popular place is the Cuckoo’s Den. Housed in centuries old haveli in Lahore’s old red light district, Cuckoo’s offers an experience from its views of the grand Badshahi Mosque, all lit up in lights and glory at night.

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Cukoo’s Den

Although, these local cafés and eateries are not to be missed out, the best part of Lahori Khabay are its Food Streets. Lahore’s two main attractions are its two food streets; the one at M.M.Alam Road and the original desi Gowalmandi Food Street in Old Lahore.

M.M.Alam Road has evolved from just a small commercial street in a posh district to an avenue lined up with designer restaurants, trendy boutiques and chic Coffee shops. Here, you can have the best of Desi food at Salt n’ Pepper Village; Continental and Afghani food at Freddy’s Café; Portuguese at Nando’s; Mexican at Gun Smoke and exclusive Italian cuisine at Café Aylanto. Chinese is now considered the second most favorite cuisine of Lahorites. Many Chinese restaurants serve exclusive food in all price ranges. These include Taipan, Pearl Continental Hotel; Dynasty, Avari Hotel; Hsuin Kuang; Thai food is a relative new comer served best at Lemon Grass and Pearl Continental Hotel’s Royal Elephant. Avari Hotel’s Fujiyama still is the one Japanese reataurant serving everything Japanese from Sushi to Chicken Terriyaki prepared on your own table counter!

One of our authors, Shirazi tells about Gowalmandi Food Street;

“The best place to stat is at the Food Street in Gowalmandi, a good mixture of past architectural glories and present culinary delights. I could not recognize the old Gowalmandi I was familiar with during my stay in 1970s. It has changed so much after commissioning in 2000. Gowalmandi Food Street gained popularity as a food centre after independence when Kashmiri immigrants settled here. With them came a new types and traditions of food. A trader of the street says, “apart from variety of cuisine, Gowalmandi Food and Heritage Street has come up as a singularity in Lahore.”

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Source: The Hindu

“We want to show real Lahore in Food and Heritage Street,” says a shopkeeper in the Food Street. It is a wonder what collective efforts on renovation of built heritage with balconies and angular projections lining the street have resulted in. Lahorites already (and justifiably) compare the ambiance in the Food Street with lanes in Rome, Paris and Athens.”

As other Metroblogging make eforts in gift giving, David Markland from Los Angeles has been maintaining a regularly updated, day-to-day Guide to Metroblogging Cities’ Gifts to the World

2 Comments so far

  1. mansoor (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 11:39 am

    well well well! glad to see lahore jumping on the bandwagon as well!

    good post hasan! looking forward to the other gifts you guys have to offer :D


  2. A for apple (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

    Great start Lahore … these khabaas rock … and I luvd cucoo’s den and the stiars too:>

    –islamabad MB



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