The Charcoal + Gravel EAT Awards: Lahore 2018
The restaurants mentioned in The Charcoal + Gravel EAT Awards: Lahore have been chosen by our editorial staff and are not influenced in any way, shape or form by external pressure.
Hello and welcome to the first edition of The Charcoal + Gravel EAT Awards. As 2018 draws to a close, we’re proud to bring you our picks for the best restaurants in Lahore.
2018 has been an eventful year for restaurants in Lahore. New entrants, expansions, and a whole lot of competition have made the restaurant industry work for its bread. Difficult as it may be, we owe it to you to give you our curation of food we’re digging.
1. Home Based
2. Artisan Retail
3. Best New
4. Desi Life
5. Fast Food
6. Fast Casual
7. Fine Dining
Now we know we may be missing out on some hyper-niche categories here, but that’s by design, not an oversight. The aim here is to showcase restaurants that have fierce competition within their category rather than to make an exhaustive list of all the cool spots we know of.
Our number one pick for this category is the Amavi Patisserie. They’ve got their ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE chocolate croissants to thank for that. Coming in at number two is Lily’s Khow Suey. We’re head over heels for a hearty serving of Lily’s on a cold winters night. And on number three we have Sarah’s Pantry, specifically, their prawn dumplings. Nowhere in Lahore can you find dumplings as good as theirs, you need to try them to believe it.
We recently came across Tayyib Store through Instagram and were blown away by the fine curation of quality ingredients available there. For those on a Keto diet, which is everyone nowadays, they offer a full range of keto friendly goodies. Naturals Organics is a lot more accessible for DHA residents, which is great for us as we are huge fans of Amna’s Peanutella, which is exclusively stocked here. At number three we have the Haryali Store– which is a name every Lahori is rather familiar with by now. It offers an unmatched range of whole & natural products.
New restaurants pop up in Lahore faster than you can say “quality control”. Very few manage to stick around and even less truly deserve to. That being said, we’ve come across three recent ventures that have managed to impress us. Number one on our list is Hoagies, a Karachi chain that is now operational here. We’ve been jonesing for their beef tacos a hot minute now. Next on our lust list is Pasta la Vista, specifically their pesto linguini. The joint offers cozy conversation corners and handmade pasta galore. Lastly, Jessie’s from Islamabad has opened shop here. The rooftop view is amazing, they do a mean steak, and their oreo shake will make you weep tears of joy.
Coming in at number one, Noshakh is a bit of a new discovery for us. Their chapli kebab is now a Saturday tradition. At number two we have the legendary Hajji ki Nihari, which every Lahori worth their mettle is familiar with. Beef Nihari, mind you. At number three we have the Chaamp Masala at Pataka Boti, which is honestly a revelation. Hands down the best in the city.
There’s no point messing with a classic and the Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s is the ultimate meal. No questions asked. A close second for us is the Quadra from Burger Lab. If you haven’t read our full review you’re missing out. Lastly, we discovered that OPTP has arguably, the best wings in the city. Try them out, you’ll thank us.
On most days we’re looking for a quick meal with a little finesse, that’s where these guys step in. The Smash Burger at Rina’s Kitchenette is a crowd favorite, and we love it too. On number two we have Cosa Nostra, Phase 5. They serve up a killer Aglio e Olio and the black currant and sour cream topped wings are to die for. At number three we have an oldie but a goodie: Gunsmoke. We recently revisited it and the combination of nostalgia and steak had us buzzing.
Order a medium rare steak at Cosa Nostra, don’t forge the millions of sides. That’s a meal worth the number one spot for our fine dining category. Number two on our list is Aylanto, it’s hard to miss the mark with anything on the meu. However, their Bresaola pizza is highly recommended. If sushi is your game, Sakura is the place to be, chalking in at number three.
Pink Pistachio opened up an outlet on the floor above the Lulusar Concept Store earlier this year and we couldn’t be happier about it. The Nemesis is what dreams are made of and the also serve a killer cup of cappuccino. Placing number two we have the Malt Cake at Nandos. Even if you’re over and done with their peri chicken, there’s no resisting that cake. And lastly, if you’re into desi mithai and specifically gulab jamuns, you need to head on over to Spice Bazaar. We’ve been told theirs are the best in the city.