The ultimate guide to: The best desi food in Karachi

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  1. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    http://www.dawn.com/news/1140694/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-best-desi-food-in-karachi

    The ultimate guide to: The best desi food in Karachi

    By Salima Feerasta
    Published about 5 hours ago


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    The best desi food in Karachi? The choice is endless.
    We have some of the best barbecue in the world – sizzling, spicy and tender. Your taste buds are in for a treat whether you choose seekh kebabs, malai boti, bihari kebab, kheeri or chicken tikka. Perfect with fresh parathas or piping hot naan straight from the tandoor.
    Moving away from BBQ, is there anything like a perfectly balanced karahi or biryani? Or you can go for fiery, glutinous nihari generously sprinkled with ginger, coriander and chillies.
    Finish up with halwa puri, shahi tukra or kulfi falooda and you have a meal fit for a raja.
    So where can you find the most authentic Pakistani cuisine?
    Be prepared to venture away from the rarefied atmosphere of five-star places for the best desi food in town. Although posher versions of Karachi’s favourite eateries are popping up at Port Grand and in Clifton, there are those that swear that too much hygiene kills the flavour.
    The majority of the most renowned Pakistani food restaurants are quite basic. We’re talking plastic chairs, bare formica tables, maybe a few flies and a school cafeteria vibe – and that’s in the ones that have a family hall. Elsewhere you may end up dining in your car.

    The school cafeteria style seating at Zahid Nihari. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    For a classier atmosphere without compromising on taste you can head to BBQ Tonight, Kolachi, Abdul Ghaffar in Port Grand or Zameer Ansari in Ocean Mall. But once in a while, it’s good to leave your nakhray at home – great food is worth a little discomfort.
    Despite being basic, the best desi restaurants serve great, flavoursome, tasty food and they have such a high turnover that freshness is guaranteed. You can go for takeout, but the taste is not the same – there’s nothing like eating food fresh from the fire.
    Waheed Kebab House


    Waheed Kebab House off Burns Road.– Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Situated off Burns Road (otherwise known as Karachi’s food street), Waheed Kebab House is famous for its ‘Fry Kebab’. These are sautéed in butter not ghee, look like a plate of runny mince and have a mind-blowing taste.

    Waheed Kebab House serves an array of BBQ items.– Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Their dhaga kebab is another firm favourite and their nihari is rated by many. They also serve a wide range of BBQ items including kheeri, beef boti and chicken tikka as well as korma and daal.

    Zameer Ansari

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    Ocean Grill by Zameer Ansari at Ocean Mall. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Zameer Ansari now has a posh branch at Ocean Mall but the original is located in the Delhi Mercantile Society, Bahadurabad near Alamgir Masjid.
    Their BBQ is some of the best in town. Must-try items include their dhaga kebab, reshmi kebab and chicken malai boti. Add a little chutney and a freshly fried puri paratha for a memorable meal – even if you do end up eating in the car because seating can be an issue.

    Kulfi at Zameer Ansari. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti

    Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House

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    The original Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House off Tariq Road. – Photo by author
    Although they have an upmarket branch at Port Grand, the original Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House is located in a side lane off Tariq Road not too far from Naheed Supermarket. It’s a multi-story restaurant right next to Riyaz Masjid and has a family hall as well as a rather nice rooftop for family groups.
    Their behari chicken and gola kebabs are stupendous and their dhaga kebab and malai boti rival those at Zameer Ansari. They also serve bun kebabs and paratha rolls for those wanting a street food fix.
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    Chicken tikka being grilled at Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Their desi sweets are also pretty awesome and their sujji ka halwa is divine.

    Zahid Nihari

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    Fiery nihari available at Zahid Nihari. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Nihari is something that Karachites are passionate about. That fiery, sticky sauce, the melt-in-your-mouth meat and the fresh garnish of ginger and coriander give a spicy hit like no other.
    [​IMG]
    Zahid Nihari on Tariq Road. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    While Javed Nihari in the Federal B Area and Sabri Nihari on MA Jinnah Road have many fans, Zahid Nihari on Tariq Road serves possibly the best nihari in Karachi.
    Succulent and more-ish, the nihari is the star of the menu, although they also offer biryani and qeema. You can choose nihari with added bone marrow or brain and they even sell tin-packed nihari, which is popular with overseas Pakistanis.

    Meerut

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    BBQ at Meerut. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti.
    The original Meerut Kebab house is at Gurumandir though there are several locations now ranging from North Nazimabad to DHA Phase IV.
    The seating at the original is basic but plentiful.
    Their kheer is amazing, but tends to run out so go early if you want to sample it. They also serve great behari kebab, seekh kebabs, malai boti and kebab paratha. Well worth a trip.
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    Puri being made at Meerut. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti.

    BBQ Tonight

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    Located at Bilawal Chowrangi, BBQ Tonight is a Karachi institution. With four floors of seating plus rooftop seating, it’s absolutely massive but retains the same quality of food and speedy service that made it famous.

    It's very clean, with waiters in white cotton gloves, and is one of the few places where you can trust the chutneys if you have a sensitive stomach.
    Their mutton chops, seekh kebab, behari kebab and beef ribs are excellent. They also serve delicious prawn masala and Afghani boti.

    Kolachi


    Kolachi rivals any of Karachi’s top restaurants, both in terms of atmosphere and quality of food.
    Located at Do Darya, Kolachi’s terraced seafront setting is simply beautiful. The menu includes a wide range of barbeque and other Pakistani dishes. Their fried fish, Sajji, Handi chicken, Hunza Kebab and Peshawari karahi are all particularly delicious.


    The infamous gola ganda available at Dhorajee. – Photo credits: Iman Mufti
    Most of these restaurants serve traditional desserts, including halwa, kheer and kulfi. However, if you are looking for an iced treat to end your meal you may want to venture farther afield.
    Try gola ganda from one of the many vendors at Dhorajee, or a crunch kulfi from Iceberg in Saddar. Alternatively, head to the original Peshawari ice cream in Saddar – their Anwar Rattol, Shareefa and Pistachio ice creams are unrivalled.
    If you live in Defence or Clifton and don’t want to venture too far afield, you can head to Boat Basin. They have very good bethak-style tandoori places and restaurants selling all kinds of authentic, delicious Pakistani food.
    Try Roll Inn for paratha rolls, Flamingo for chaat and Tandoori for karahi.
    Nihari Inn’s nihari and kunna are very good and there are several places that sell great bun kebabs and halwa puri.
    There’s even a branch of Hanifia, with its famous hunter beef buns.
    These are some of Karachi’s most famous desi restaurants, but there are many little restaurants all over town serving amazing local food.
    Everyone has their own favourites – from Anwar Baloch’s karahi to the kali mirch karahi at Afridi Inn to the epic malai boti at Delhi Kebabish.
    Which are your go-to restaurants for the best Pakistani food in Karachi?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I had to delete some pictures to get this posted. Link to article is added

    So what you resident karachities think of these choices and recommdendations.
     
  2. KingOfDoosra
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    KingOfDoosra Sultan of Swing

    Jun 8, 2012
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  3. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    SAG, BBQ Tonite & Kolachi are indeed top-notch. As is Khan-Ji.
    Heard good things about Zahid Nihari; but haven't had it.
     
  4. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    SAG is the best. There's even a mutka kulfi stand outside; their malai and seasonal falsa kulfis are amazing.
     
  5. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    Karachi is a great place to dine out!
     
  6. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    I had Zahid Nihari at Tariq road on my last trip. It was indeed good. But Javed Nihari is not bad either. Surprise that you have not tried them. Its local favorite.
     
  7. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    I tried their port grand location. Should go at thier original location on my next trip.
     
  8. Passionate Pakistani
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    Passionate Pakistani The Don

    Jun 10, 2011
    68,367
    I have tried both and I think Lahori food > Karachi Food > Pindi food.

    Above all is Peshawari Food.
     
  9. Wistful Reminisces
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    Wistful Reminisces Banned

    Sep 21, 2012
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    How can you not have Zahid's? Life is incomplete for you
     
  10. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Their Port grand location is nothing infront of their original one bro. No comparison.




    Hmm, I should try them soon I guess.
     
  11. Wistful Reminisces
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    Wistful Reminisces Banned

    Sep 21, 2012
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    Eaten at all except BBQ Tonight and Kolachi

    Lived next door to Zameer Ansari for years,, SAG is near Tariq road the same way this is near Bahadurabad :fp

    DMS, used to be so good, crap now......
     
  12. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Should give it a go I guess.
    Btw, SAG's BBQ is good but their Nihari is pretty good too.
     
  13. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    Nice try - But this thread is not comparing food of other cities.

    Lol tried both and have listed lahore, karachi and pindi. #can't even troll:lol
     
  14. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    talking of nihari, Mumtaz nihari in nazimabad is also great along with dehli sohail
     
  15. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    Mumtaz nihari used to be good back in 90s. Heard it gone down. Delhi Sohail is on par with Javed Nihari if not better.
     
  16. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    How is KayBees doing recently? Used to be a big fan of their bihari chicken and cone.
     
  17. Passionate Pakistani
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    Passionate Pakistani The Don

    Jun 10, 2011
    68,367

    wth you on about man.. obviously not many people talk about pindi foods thats why i said i tried both.. and whats trolling in it, i have said it before

    dont be so sensitive
     
  18. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    OK - :whiteflag
     
  19. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    kaybees coffee cone is still the best coffee cone ever. its doing well as they have opened up at 5 star nazimabad aswell.
     
  20. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    kaybees jalapeno burgers are doing quite well these days..
     
  21. iAd
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    iAd Sultan of Swing

    Nov 9, 2012
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    Had bbq tonight the other day. Oh la la
     
  22. SwingNSeam
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    SwingNSeam Boom Boom

    Sep 12, 2010
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  23. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    noorani kebab is one of my favorites too. kolachi is by far the best atm moment, ambiance, service and food wise.
     
  24. Shahzebayub
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    Shahzebayub Smooth Operator

    Feb 3, 2012
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    Karachi ki famous biryani Kashmir may b [​IMG]
     
  25. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    Student biryani quality has gone down after it was franchised. It used to great when its was sold at its original location at Impress market. We used to hijack NED university point to get a bus full of student biryani shookeens after class. Driver and conductor gets a free meal so they didn't complained. After Biryani we used to hang out in Impress market. Impress market is a weired place with ppl selling wiered stuff. Picking on them was great fun. Oooh good old days.....
     
  26. Wistful Reminisces
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    Wistful Reminisces Banned

    Sep 21, 2012
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    Yeah, student Biryani is generic Biryani now.
     
  27. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    You mean North Nazimabad.
     
  28. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
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    'tonight' 'the other day'

    Make up your mind :shrug
     
  29. iAd
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    iAd Sultan of Swing

    Nov 9, 2012
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    lol. i meant i had food at "bbq tonight" the other day. ab main kya karoon agar jaga ki naam hi yeh hai
     
  30. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    yes north nazimabad.

    For biryani, there is Darbar biryani near gulshan chowrangi.
     
  31. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    I loved seekh kebabs of Bundoo khan @ Sindhi muslim, dont know why they closed down over there. spent alot of weekends over there with friends and family.
     
  32. Saein
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    Saein Smooth Operator

    Sep 4, 2010
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    For Biryani, I recall I suggested to Wistful Reminisces to check out local pakwan houses who make sample deghs of 5-7 kilos every day for ppl looking for food items in their weddings/receptions. There are quite a few in Block N - North Nazimabad - Chd. Mateen etc... They sell plates to public as well. Their biryani is quite good.
     
  33. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

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    i would completely agree, there is no comparison of newly made degh ki biryani, especially beef biryani, that is heaven.

    chowdary mateen has gone down, probably because the original owner flew from the country to canada because of a very heavy amount of non negotiable 'parchi' he received a year back.
     
  34. SwingNSeam
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    SwingNSeam Boom Boom

    Sep 12, 2010
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    aunty apne figure ka bhi khayal rakhain....
     
  35. karachigirl
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    karachigirl Tracer Bullet

    Sep 6, 2011
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    Anyone been to Lal Qila?
     
  36. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Yeah it used to be good in the past but standards have fallen recently.
    Also, I heard some ppl who ate at Lal Qula got food poisoning.
     
  37. iAd
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    iAd Sultan of Swing

    Nov 9, 2012
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    ^ heard the same.
     
  38. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

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    i was at lal qila recently and its live food (bbq and such) and fish is still great, much much better then bbq tonight.
     
  39. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    I thought BBQ Tonite's buffet this Ramadan wasn't as good as last Ramadan, didn't try Lal Qila this time, but last Ramadan it was just okay.

    Personally I feel when it comes to BBQ in Karachi, nothing can better SAG.
     
  40. Disco Lemonade
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    Disco Lemonade Design Artist

    Dec 17, 2009
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    absolutely true, iftar menu wasnt great at all!
     

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