What more could one want on a Saturday or Sunday than to spend it with loved ones, surrounded by good food and lovely weather? We bring you the ten best places to brunch in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad.
CafÃ© 76 -Â Karachi
“CafÃ© 76 has been aptly described as a modish cafÃ©, set against the backdrop of bustling Karachi. The sunlit, indoor atrium rooms are a great place for a romantic brunch. The cafÃ© serves all the brunch essentials, a particular treat being the Sunday roast: “a traditional British item consisting of roast beef gravy, assorted vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.” Coffee snobs can also be at ease as Cafe 76 serves some of the best coffee, and has on staff some seriously talented baristas.
76 Old Clifton, Karachi.
(0092 21) 35833163 35833164
Burnâ€™s Road -Â Karachi
Head over to Burns Road for some good ol’ nihari. Nihari comes from the word nihar, meaning early morning, and there is no question that it makes for a great brunch option. Get it plain, with maghaz (brain), or with paya. Not a very extensive menu you might think, but then again, nihari is in a class of its own. Of course, every nihari eater needs the usual condiments: coriander, ginger and dribbles of lemon juice. As with every good nihari joint, fresh and hot khameeri roti comes one after the other until it’s hard to keep track. The tables are outfitted with their own stoves upon which the steel plates of nihari can be heatedâ€”when it comes to management, these guys know what they’re doing. Lightening-speed service and a desi atmosphere one can’t miss, nihari at Burn’s Road will brighten up your brunch day. Javed Nihari and Waheed are particularly good.
Block 9 Dastageer, Karachi 75950.
(0092 21) 34545637
CafÃ© Flo -Â Karachi
An oldie on the social scene, CafÃ© Flo was chic long before “chic” was trending. Florence made it all the way from France to Pakistan and showed us what it really means to have a love for food. The folks at Flo serve up a spectrum of French cuisineâ€”from goose livers to Lox bagels served with capers and salmon to eggs Benedict. The potato gratin accompanying the salmon is the best you’ll eat in Pakistan. Definitely a solid brunch favourite.
26th St., Karachi-75500.
(0092 21) 35830018
Xanderâ€™s -Â Karachi
Xander’s covers it all, including an all-day breakfast. The lime-green dÃ©cor and no-reservation policy exude the height of cool. From masterfully-cooked dishes like the chicken with cranberry sauce to the grubby old-fashioned burger that is arguably one of Karachi’s best, the menu is diverse, and includes a number of Jamie Oliver re-creations. Combining cool with great quality food, Xander’s serves up brunch fare loaded with gourmet omelets, superb eggs Benedict, and blueberry pancakes. There’s awesome coffee to boot.
E-Street Block 4, Clifton, Karachi-75600.
(0092 21) 35293653 03229037777
Cosa Nostra -Â Lahore
With Italy running through its veins, Cosa Nostra takes its job of creating authentic Italian cuisine seriously. The result of a family’s love for food, the crew at Cosa is now feeding thousands of Lahoris. Cosa provides a whole panorama of dining experiences, from the basement to the top floor; it gets more intimate and classy as you ascend. The oven-baked pizzas are a treatâ€”the only genuinely light and crunchy pizzas in town. So are the eggs Benedict and the croissants. Make sure to cap off your brunch with their gorgeous gelatos. We’re banking on spending many sun-filled brunches at Cosa this season, set against equally fun weekends.
23-A, H Block, Gulberg II, Lahore.
(0092 42) 35792161
Butt Halwa Poori -Â Lahore
Halwa Poori has becomeÂ so synonymous with brunch that a Lahori might take offence if we failed to include it in this list. Butt Sweets and Dairy come from a long tradition of dairy shops and dairy concoctions. The best kulfi falooda, lassi and karaahi are also found under the Butt banner. Having started around 1955, the shops of the Butt empire have lived up to their motto, “We Sell Nothing Butt The Taste!” The shop in Royal Park near the intersection of Montgomery Road and McLeod Road in Lahore is one of the best. The channas are hot and can be enjoyed with pooras, pooris, meetha pooras or even mixed in with halwa and eaten with any of the breads. And the achaar is indispensable. Though the atmosphere may prove a bit rustic, the hot food and the gumption and energy with which the whole operation is run will definitely make it worth your while.
Cooper Road, Royal Park, Lahore.
(0092 300) 9413256
Tabaq -Â Lahore
Far from the sanitized dullness of Lahore’s upscale restaurants lies your ultimate go-to destination for desi khaana, Tabaq. Located on McLeod road, Tabaq is a clean, spacious establishment that caters to the mercantile classâ€”Lahoris who take their food very seriously. The mutton chaamp arrived hot and juicy on a sizzling bed of caramelized onions and lemon; with a small bite, the meal fell off the bone. The chicken karaahi has a signature lemony masala garnished with fresh green-chillies. Divine. Even more delicious were the broasted batairsâ€”delicate and subtle. The best thing about Tabaq is that the food is neither over-spiced nor swimming in oil. Tabaq has GT’s vote for the best desi brunch in Lahore.
McLeod Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Lahore.
(0092 42) 36312482
Polo Lounge -Â Lahore
Polo lounge is a reliable place for a good old-fashioned brunch. Whether you sit inside or out, you are surrounded by lush green on all sides. The chef preparing brunch, Shahnawaz Khan, knows a thing or two about food, having spent years training in Paris and then working in New York City. The eggs Benedict are great, but the best thing on the menu is the French toastâ€”as succulent as it is sweet. Sensitivity to seasonal ingredients gives Polo Lounge’s dishes a twist, from mangoes in the summer salad to oranges in the winter salad. Hit up this brunch spot for a fun, outdoorsy day with friends or just let your kids frolic in the grass while you sunbathe in the charming outdoor seating area.
Race Course Park, GOR, Lahore.
(0092 42) 36305268
Table Talk -Â Isloo
The ambience at Table Talk is reminiscent of eating in a quaint town with cobbled streets. It has become a ritualistic spot for Islooitesâ€”from socialities to diplomats. The folks at Table Talk don’t skimp on desi masala, and their thaalis are famously authentic. From chaats to tikkas and chai to delicately seasoned fish and salads, Table Talk is a crowd pleaser. With big mist fans and outdoor heaters that keep you toasty in the winter, the brunch experience never fails.
Kohsar Market, Islamabad 44000.
(0092 51) 2271927
Tuscany Courtyard -Â Isloo
One cannot ignore being so far removed from the busy streets of F-7, but that is what the mile-high walls can do for you at Tuscany Courtyard. Outfitted with more than just one fountain, this place exudes a rural sense of calm and relaxation. In other words, a perfect place for brunch. Some say their wood-fire oven pizzas are the best, some say their bread and butter pudding was made to soothe the soul. If you think these are exaggerations, check it out for yourself and brunch at this little slice of heaven!
H. No. 15, St. 18, F-7/2 Islamabad 44000.
(0092 51) 8445544