Food, Restaurants & Recipes Pakistan Travel

The Best Cheap & Authentic Eats in Lahore

Lahore is like a great mix of Amritsar and Delhi. It’s very easy to love. Besides being a fashion hub, it’s also a foodie hub where you’ll find the best of Punjabi & Pakistani food.

My favourite places to eat in Lahore

First, here’s my review of the oldest food street in Lahore – Gawalmandi. You should visit this street at night.

Asad Meher Restaurant & BBQ (Mini Market)

Asad Meher Restaurant & BBQ
Asad Meher Restaurant comes alive at lunchtime! It’s jam-packed with locals, which is a great sign!

I spotted Asad Meher Restaurant from the street near my hotel. Smoke from the barbeque was pouring out, and it was packed with locals eating. I scanned the offerings and decided this looked like a great place to eat.

Next, I sat down next to a young man. It was his first day on the job at the nearby OLX office. He spoke English, and we had a great meal of Saag Chicken (spinach & chicken) and Daal Channa (lentils & chickpeas).

At the end of the meal, he wouldn’t let me pay! I wish he would because I’d have loved to treat him.

Asad Meher Restaurant Menu
The menu at Asad Meher, sorry, it’s in Urdu!

Visit for a traditional Punjabi Dhaba (roadside restaurant) experience!

Quetta Millat Cafe (Liberty)

I was going to go to Capri Restaurant but they weren’t serving what I wanted at the time as the menu changes throughout breakfast/lunch/dinner. So I went next door to Quetta Millat Cafe and was pleasantly surprised.

Quetta Millat Cafe is your standard dhaba. Chai. Paratha. Eggs. And most of the time that’s all I want! I also met Arshad from Hunza Valley there who paid for my entire meal. Thanks, Arshad!

Karl Rock & Arshad from Hunza Valley
I sat down next to Arshad at Quetta Millat Cafe and it turned out he was in the travel industry so he knew me.

Rina’s Kitchenette (Gulberg)

Rina’s Kitchenette is the best cafe I ate at in Pakistan. They serve large portions of delicious western comfort foods. Their setting is upmarket and great for outdoor dining with a group of friends. This is a western restaurant done right.

Do try their club sandwich, super thick chocolate shake, and Rina’s buttermilk fried chicken sandwich Rs. 990. You can’t go wrong with whatever you order at Rina’s!

Capri Restaurant (Liberty)

I was looking for a COVID-19 test early one morning, but I found Capri Restaurant instead.

What I liked was watching the chefs frying up fresh Halwa Puri and seeing the chaiwala boiling the tea. It was very authentic. So I decided to stop for breakfast.

Try the famous Halwa and Meetha Pura here. Hawla is a sweet semolina dish served with fried puri (bread) Rs. 150. Then have a Meetha Pura Rs. 80, like a fried pancake. Wash it down with Chai Rs. 60. Unhealthy, but absolutely delicious.

Ghulam Rasool Chanay Wala (Anarkali)

Ghulam Rasool Chanay Wala
Locals say Ghulam Rasool Chanay Wala is the best in Lahore.

Ghulam Rasool Chanay Wala is one of Lahore’s oldest chickpeas stores – it’s been running since 1948! They serve chickpeas with either mutton Rs. 530, egg Rs. 20, or mutton meatballs (called koftas) Rs. 50. A plane plate of chickpeas costs Rs. 80. And naan Rs. 15.

As an entree you’re served a glass of Yakni Rs. 40 which is a meat soup broth. For dessert, Gulab Jamun is available, as well as chai.

Gulam Rasool Chane Wala menu translation
Here’s a translation of Ghulam Rasool Chanay Wale’s menu that I did for my Instagram followers.

Haaji Dera Restaurant (Gulberg 2)

Haaji Pakora & Samosa Store
This man has a small restaurant serving samosas and pakoras.

I was walking around hungry when I found Haaji Dera. It’s a small street stall where the owner is busy frying samosa, pakora, and jalebi all day long.

Chef frying food at Haaji Dera Restaurant
Chef frying food at Haaji Dera Restaurant.

For Rs. 80 you’ll get a large samosa, pakore, salad, sweet chutney, and chickpeas! It’s enough for lunch.

Karak Khel (Bankers Town)

Karak Khel is by far the prettiest restaurant with the best outdoor dining experience on this list. I’m not much into that scene, because the food is usually underwhelming. And the food at Karak Khel isn’t amazing, but I’m sure tourists would enjoy this place regardless.

Contra (Mini Market)

Contra Cafe Lahore

If you want to sit, drink some good coffee and eat some good cake, then Contra is a great place. You can go during the day with your laptop and get some work done too.

Fort View Hotel & Restaurant (Fort)

If you want the best view in Lahore, Fort View Hotel & Restaurant has it! You can see 3 massive attractions from their roof-top dining: Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, and Minar-e-Pakistan. The food was fantastic too!

Here’s the view from the rooftop; it’s spectacular.

There are two things you need to order here: Balochi Sajji which is lightly spiced and slow-cooked barbeque chicken with rice, and also Chicken Karahi which is served in the dish that it’s cooked in.

Waffles by Alamgir Ali (Gulberg Main Market)

Waffles Ice Cream Lahore

Waffles by Alamgir Ali started off as a street cart and now he has his own shop! They serve waffle cone ice creams and milkshakes at very reasonable prices.

Ice Land Juice & Dry Fruits (MM Alam Road)

If you’re craving a fresh shake or juice, Ice Land delivers. There you’ll find all sorts of unique flavours popular in Pakistan, but also traditional favourites too.

If this post helped you, please leave a comment.

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock, is a Hindi speaking Kiwi ex-pat who take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India and its neighbours. He has visited every state and union territory in India, and its culturally similar neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh, and aims to make others fall in love with India and the subcontinent.

4 replies on “The Best Cheap & Authentic Eats in Lahore”

My family is from Lahore but I was born in Sweden and living in UK.

I’m going back to lahore in few weeks time and will deffo visit them all 🙂 😀

If you ever plan a trip to London, I’m taking you out to afghan Palace ( Peshawri food ) to enjoy Chapli kebab, afghani pilao and charsi chicken.

Can’t turn me down mate 🙂

Karl, I always enjoyed your vlogs but sometimes it seems that you edit your vlog too much and the content detail is missing, it may not be the case in all the vlogs. I am continuing to see……………….. Moreover, I am happy that you are back in India.

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