By Momina Aftab
Once the thriving capital of a glorious Mughal Empire; today a bustling, liberal metropolis, Lahore’s special relationship with food is centuries old and is the culmination of an authentic Lahori experience. And what better way to experience that than spending an evening in the new Lahore Food Street.
With mesmerising views of the Badshahi Mosque and Shahi Qila to take in while dining, Lahore Food Street is undisputedly the most popular food arena in the city and is thronged by the tourists all year. Situated inside the majestic Taxali gate of the Walled City, the street stretches over 1.5 kms and has 25 heritage buildings renovated to their former grandeur serving authentic desi cuisine round the clock.
It is safe to say to that all of Lahore’s cultural diversity can be experienced at the same time during a walk in the Lahore Food Street. With aromas of various foods wafting through the air to centuries old architecture and antiquities on display, the experience is one of its kind. Apart from taste and quality, the ambience is a very important part of a good dining experience and the new food street gets full marks for that.
The accompanying views of Badshahi Mosque, the adjacent gardens and Shahi Qila does wonders for the various businesses in the street. As soon as the sun starts to set, the vibe of the whole place is bound to send you in a trance like state and makes the long wait for the food worth it. The illuminated skyline with Badshahi’s minarets and domes serving as a backdrop makes the atmosphere too surreal and accounts for an unforgettable dining experience. There are buggi rides available as well to give you a feel of royalty and take you to your restaurant of choice.
The most popular restaurants of the street include Haveli, Cuckoo’s Den, Andaaz, Riwaj and Shahi Baithak. Each restaurant in the street is unique in its vibe and signature dishes with various modern twists to them.
From dimly-lit Haveli’s rooftop dining to Andaaz’s spiral staircase with display of old currencies and traditional artwork on the sides to Shahi Baithak’s royal extravaganza and the various refreshment stalls in front of the restaurants, the Lahore Food Street checks all the boxes to have the ultimate Lahori dining experience. The experience is further enhanced during nighttime as the lights are turned on and the folk music is played.