The Quaid-i-Azam University vice chancellor was shot at on August 14
was not a food lover until I moved to Lahore. I had lived in a small town where street food meant falooda and fish. It never caught my attention and I never quite developed an affinity for street food. Moving to Lahore and living with a big-time foodie roommate changed my life and for the better. In my opinion, when people say Lahore Lahore aye, they are talking about the unmatchable street food unique to the city. Lahoris turn this food into a trend and a lifestyle. For me, the only thing that made a new, big busy city more tolerable was the street food and some good friends who were in love with it. Living in Anarkali proved to be the starter pack to developing a passion for parathy, naan chanay and laasi. As a newcomer, I enjoyed Old Anarkali’s food because it was affordable and reminded me of home. As a student, it is impossible to have a Howdy burger or a KFC meal twice a day. So you shift to the local street food, no matter what.
Anarkali is one of the oldest markets in Lahore. It existed even before the Partition. Surrounded by historical places like the Lahore Museum, the Heritage Museum, the Punjab University (Old Campus), and the Government College University, it is a busy place, full of food lovers. Yasir Broast, Hafiz Food Corner and Butt Karahi have been around for decades now, serving the finest street food of Lahore. Siri paye and naan channay as breakfast, Sindhi pilaf, Bombay biryani, and daal chawal for lunch are the best kind of meals for university students. Mutton, chicken karahi, qeema walay naan and barbeque are the perfect dinner to end your day. The old buildings, the warm street lights and the festive vibe, Anarkali has it all. Trying all the iconic places with the best recipes in town has been a very exciting task for me. I would be sitting in my classroom thinking about the next dish I’d be trying later on. This helped me fall in love with my new home and adjust to what had looked like an intimidating city.
Once I discovered the foodie in me, I was unstoppable. I started visiting places known for various dishes.
Once I discovered the foodie in me, I was unstoppable. I started visiting places known for various dishes. Lakshmi Chowk is known for the best chargha in town; I agree. The Food Street is one of the most iconic places in Lahore. Since its revival in 2012, the place is a trademark place for street food in Lahore. Restaurants like Haveli, Cuckoo’s Den and Andaaz provide the best food in Lahore along with a beautiful view of the Badshahi Masjid. Nights here are magical and you feel lost in the dipping golden lights on the street. For me, the actual charm of Lahore exists in the Walled City, rich with good food, old buildings and people whose hearts are alive with passion.
Lahore is getting modernised and fast. Places like the MM Alam Road and Liberty Market are now catching more attention. New food chains, international brands, cosy coffee shops, chai hubs and extravagant buffet restaurants are all making the city more luxurious and fashionable. In my opinion, however, nothing can take away the charm of old Lahore – the desi vibe, the chatkhary daar food and the true Lahori energy.
The writer has a background in English literature. She can be reached at