Karachi is one of the fastest growing metropolitan in the world. The booming economy, international ventures like CPEC and high rate of development have made Karachi a hot market for food chains from all over the globe. You will find McDonalds, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Burger King, Pizza Hut and so many more global food chains here. But the best part about Karachi’s food landscape, are the local shops. From sophisticated high end eateries to food vendors on the street, Karachi is a foodie’s paradise. We have handpicked restaurants that embody the best of national and international culture and cookery so here is guide to taste the best food in Karachi.
This had to be at the top of the list. Flo serves exquisite French cuisine. Located in the bustling and busy streets of Karachi, Flo was first opened by a French countess’s daughter. Café Flo is known for its Gallic sophistication, delicious food and amazing service. For all of Pakistan’s Francophiles, this is the place to satiate your hunger for anything Gallic. Their smoked salmon, Jarret D’ Agneau ( a generous portion of slow roasted lamb shank served with risotto) and Gambas Grillee (a serving of perfectly grilled jumbo prawns with chili garlic or butter lemon sauce) are my personal favorites.
Located on a prime locations, with the stunning view of the city’s skyline or sitting on the banks of Arabian Ocean, Kolachi is one of Karachi’s most prized possessions. Staying true to its name, Kolachi- Spirit of Karachi, this restaurant embodies every aspect of Karachi. From typical desi barbeque and karahi, to continental and fast food; Kolachi has everything for everyone. If any restaurant has impeccable service, it is Kolachi and it serves the best food in Karachi. The order and service time is minimum, food is served piping hot and the staff is waiting on you at all times. I have tried almost everything on their finger lickin’ menu, but my all time favorite Kolachi dishes are: Paneer Reshmi Handi, Hunzai Handi, Namkeen Mutton Chops and their special sea food platter.
Lal Qila Restaurant
This place is the perfect combination of culinary and culture. It brings to life the Mughal era by offering the customers a pseudo Mughal experience. From the interiors, to the furniture, the guards and servers costumes, to a sword held procession to wish people on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, Lal Qila displays the legendary splendor of the Nobel era in every possible way. The food is fresh and delicious. They have an extensive buffet service, which is light on the pocket (dining there is a steal to be honest). Their menu is extensive, from salad bars, to fast food and delicious barbeque items.
OMG- Oh My Grill
Imagine a soft bun, topped with caramelized onions, crisp lettuce, a heavenly patty, oozing out cheese, topped with another tender bun; the best burgers ever!! No matter how much you have traveled, how many burger joints you have ransacked, you will not be able to find better burgers than OMG and this is the reason OMG is considered to serve best food in Karachi or best burgers in Karachi. They have a huge variety of chicken and beef burgers, the description of each will guide to pick what you feel like eating. My all time favorites are their Gouda and Swiss Mushroom Melt burgers. The only word to describe them is DIVINE!
Located at various places all over Karachi, Hot and Spicy offer a diverse menu, from barbeque, to fast food and from handi and karahi, to desi-chinese and desi-continental. But their most selling items are their paratha rolls. You can get the rolls customized by choosing your protein, then whether you want it with cheese or mayo garlic or with regular chatni a yogurt based dip, it is totally up to you. Light on the pocket and very filling, try hot and spicy for casual outings, or order at home or work to satiate those hunger pangs.
When talking about the best food in Karachi, how can we forget to mention Zahid Nihari! Located in a crowded area of Karachi, Zahid has the best nihari in town. You can get it customized like get more tarka, more maghaz or more nalli, or just have it plain. The place has a family hall too, but is more suitable for takeaways. You can also get it packed in a tin, this is really popular with overseas Pakistani’s, as the tin packing makes it durable. The setting is very basic, we’re talking plastic chairs, bare Formica/wooden tables, maybe a few flies and atypical school cafeteria vibe but the nihari compensate for the ambiance!
Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House
The original Ghaffar Kebab House is in Tariq Road, but they also have a fancier branch in Port Grand. Since we are trying to capture the true essence of Karachi, we’ll discuss the original one. A small dingy place, with basic furniture, a combination of wooden and plastic tables and chairs, Ghaffar Kabab House is well known for its barbeque and top in the list of best food in Karachi. The multi story building has a family area too. The food is out of this world. Their behari chicken, dhagaa kebab and gola kebabs are absolute must haves. They also serve quick street food fixes like paratha rolls and bun kebabs. You can finish off diner with a sweet treat you will remember for years to come, their sujji ka halwa.
These are just a few restaurants, if I name all the restaurants and the amazing food they serve, I’ll have to write a book titled as “Best Food in Karachi”. A quick summary for those travelling to Karachi, they should visit four famous food streets in Karachi; Boat Basin, Port Grand, Do Darya and Burns Road. Boat Basin and Burns Road are filled with street-side vendors, small shops but mouthwatering delicacies. Port Grand is a more sophisticated, high end place that will give you a variety of tasty food and beautiful ambiance. Do Darya has terraced sea-front restaurants, that serve a variety of food and is a great backdrop for memorable pictures.