Lahore Food Streets


Lahore is city of live hearted people, always finding an occasion for enjoyment, entertainment and good feast. While parks and other recreational facilities are filled with holiday makers, specially on weekends, the eateries are seldom found vacant throughout the weekdays. The traditional food of Lahore is found in the Walled City of Lahore, while the western and Chinese cuisines are generally found in the posh localities of Lahore Cantonment, Gulberg, Shadman and Shahjamal.

However, recently, a novel idea of establishing Food Streets outside the Walled City for the easy access to locals and tourists has gained much popularity. The first food street was opened in an alley of Gawalmandi, near the famous Mayo Hospital on Nisbat Road. The idea was to bring out the old and traditional foods for all and sundry at one place. Now the famous "Phajjay kay Paye" (joints of goat) originated from old Lahore, are available here, besides the Doctor Nihari, Sardar's fried fish, pathooray, katlamma and much more. Besides for the sweet tooth, a variety of sweet dishes are available like jalaibees, firni, kheer and others.

But that is not all. The old houses overlooking the streets have been renovated and their old balconies redone with wood carving and lights installed to provide more hues to the street down below. These look more enchanting and mystic through the sizzling smoke of BBQ food being prepared in abundance round the clock.


Lahorites bring their outstation guests to these streets to show their typical hospitality. And order kilos of various varieties of cooked meat, chicken, fish and other food items. After the food, a glass of iced Lassi, made of yogurt, water, sugar and "pairay" - a sweet made of thickened milk and sugar, served in large aluminum glasses adds to the everlasting taste (below right). Those who are good at it, prefer to drink it in one breath, called "deek" in local Punjabi language. Try it next time.

By the way, do not forget to eat "paan" - many substances wrapped in the beetle leaf, before leaving the Food Streets. These "Paan" sellers have deliberately established their shops on the entrance of the streets to provide the last taste of a wonderful evening spent in the food streets. The Food Streets close in morning around 8 am after serving the traditional breakfast of "Hawla and Poori" served with Lassi, Nihari and Hareesa. These dishes are difficult to describe and digest too since these are very rich in oil and peppers. so be careful, just in case.

"Paan" seller at the entrance of Gawalmandi Food Street

Other two Food Streets are located in Old Anarkali (off the Mall Road) and in the Walled City of Lahore. These remain open throughout the night and are seldom found empty. Now Lahorites treat their guests, specially from outside Lahore in the Food Streets rather than anywhere else.


This page was created on 14 July  2006

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