Lahore on a Budget: 7 Restaurants for less than Rs. 500 | Part 1
Eating out in Lahore can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. But when you’re really trying to save up some dough and eat like a king simultaneously. You gotta take to the streets (literally). Here’s our first edition of Lahore on a Budget.
It’s not rocket science.
Lahore on a budget can be fun, fulfilling, and as adventurous as you want it to be. Some of my best memories of binging till my stomach nearly exploded have been while eating cheap. So when you can’t afford a fancy-shmancy meal at Aylanto, here’s your go-to list:
Lahore Chatkhara was Lahore’s first take on Karachi-style street food (as far as I know). It has since expanded, disappeared off the map, then reappeared over the years. It now comes complete with a revamped social media presence and increased attention to customer service.
While the chaats are famous, I would always go there for the pocket sized bihari rolls. It’s safe to say that these bihari rolls are still an anomaly (in the best way) in Lahore. Just writing this article has made me crave these rolls, so guess what I’m having for dinner? Good guess.
Lahore Chatkhara’s menu is not simply restricted to the rolls I keep talking about. Other items on offer include fantastic thaalis, chaats, and about a million vegetarian options .
Recommended: Bihari Roll and Samosa Chaat
Capri is more Lahori than I am. It’s also one of the first places I thought of when I thought about eating in Lahore on a budget.
This famous eatery, named after the once acclaimed Capri Cinema (the Lahore variant, not the Karachi sensation), has been around for a hot minute. I still remember skipping school and pooling our lunch money together to get ourselves a nashta [breakfast]. It’s safe to say that the lunch money went far. And though I’m not as adventurous as I was in my teens, I still can’t resist a nostalgic feast every couple of weeks.
Capri offers almost everything you can ask for: Channay, Aaloo Channay, Nihari, Sujji Ka Halwa, Puri, Khamiri Roti, Samosas in the evening; basically a proper breakfast fix for early risers and night owls.
Recommended: Nashta plate (aaloo channay, puri, halwa, achaar)
Johnny and Jugnu
Johnny and Jugnu was all about Lahore on a budget when they came up with their crazy menu. They had an insane marketing campaign from day one, and that’s how they got me. The actual product was just the icing on the cake.
Johnny and Jugnu initially went viral. Their social media game is legit, and their burgers and wraps live up to the hype. It’s takeaway or delivery only, so don’t expect white tablecloths, but it does what it does in the most fun way possible. I’ve been hooked to their fried chicken offerings forever, and I shamelessly rep them at every social gathering that they are discussed at.
On the bare bones menu, we have a Wrap, complete with fries in it, a Wehshi Zinger Burger, a Fillet Burger, and an Andaa Shaami Burger. Customize any of them your way with homemade sauces galore, some veggies, add a fried egg, maybe some cheese, all for under Rs. 500. How’d you like that?
Recommended: Wehshi Zinger with cheese and the Atomic sauce.
Sarrak Pe Karrak
In our review, C+G called Sarrak Pe Karrak “A Dhaba with a Twist”. It started off as a fad, and has really clung on to its fame since. Media outlets (including ourselves) have covered them like no one’s business, and I’m pleased to say we still rep it hard.
Clean, lean, and with all the right perks, SPK has re-imagined a dhaba and executed the plan seamlessly. They have in-house board games and vintage art on the walls, and you’d love it even if it’s only because you’re a pseudo-intellectual. I personally go there for endless hours of Ludo.
Looking for a strong cup of tea? Sarrak Pe Karrak has your back, and then some. Their sub-Rs. 500 offerings are delectable, and I have yet to find someone who disagrees with their philosophy. Try the parathas, or the crispy fries, because you gotta stay crispy.
Recommended: Crispy fries and chai.
Chaudairy Ice Cream
DHA has a new ice cream joint, who would have thunk it? The Hot Spot, Cosa, Andersen’s, all in the same locality means the competition is tough, so it really takes a special something to stick out. Chaudairy Ice Cream does just that.
There’s a lot more to love about this creamery than the comical name. Noor likes the Lindt Milky ice cream, and I tend to agree with most things Lindt (this would be a great time to plug my DHA famous Lindt cake). The layout of the shop is eccentric, but even that may be an understatement. I guess you’re just going to have to read our review to find out.
Go for the music and the ice cream, it’s a cool little evening spot. Basically just check it out, you cheapskate. It wont bleed you dry.
Recommended: Lindt Milky ice cream and a side of sass.
I dream of Awesamosas. For me they need no introduction, they are the start and the end of my culinary journey, especially when we talk about eating in Lahore on a budget. But for you lame ass lamesters, I’ll fill you in.
Lahore Eat three years ago was a godsend, because it introduced me to Awesamosas. I have been in touch with Daniyal (one of the founders) since, and they’ve been genuinely good to me (the samosas, as well as the Awesamosas team). I once used to source my qeema (ground beef) samosas from Nimco in Karachi, but Awesamosas had something to say about it. So I listened. And boy am I glad I did.
On the menu: Caramelized Onions Samosas, Hyderbadi Aaloo Samosas, Reese’s Samosas, Apple Pie Samosas, Steamosas, Supakoras, etc. etc. etc.
Recommended: Dam ka Qeema Samosas
Robbiya Ice Cream
So I legit screamed at my editorial team when I heard we hadn’t reviewed Robbiya yet. They don’t get it. They probably never will, but that’s why you have me to look out for you. Obviously, we’ll be doing a review ASAP.
Robbiya is made from the blood, sweat and tears of their staff. I mean I’m sure there’s some sugar and dairy in there somewhere but it’s mostly the other stuff. I remember when people started boycotting it because their staff used their bare hands to mix up the ice cream. Good. More for me! I don’t care.
Seriously, you’d be an idiot to not risk food poisoning for this ice cream. I’ve been poisoned twice and I still rep it big time.
Recommended: Those cheap ass cones with the 2-in-1 ice cream with a whole bunch of that chocolate syrup that freezes upon contact with cool surfaces.
Let us know how you like the first chapter of Lahore on a Budget, and stay tuned for more!