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In contrast to the burgeoning dining scene in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, Peshawar is slightly lagging behind. However, there are sophisticated restaurants serving flavorful, traditional food to explore here. We list the 10 best places to dine in Peshawar.
Darvesh is an unpretentious little spot in Peshawar serving authentic, traditional Pakistani staples. The rich menu includes rices, soups, salads and the unmissable Pakistani meats, both barbecued and not, with a special selection of exquisite dishes prepared with the mutton meat that is so common in Pakistan. Darvesh takes particular pride in its nans, the flatbreads baked in the tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven typical of Southern Asia. Try the cheese, garlic, mint, spicy, beef or chicken nans for a real treat.
Darvesh, 32-A/2 Old Jamrud Rd, Peshawar, Pakistan, +92 91 5703017
Three different branches in the city and a 50-year history of feeding Peshawar’s residents are part of Namak Mandi‘s reputation as a go-to for authentic Pakistani staples. Try the hot tikka karahi, a portion of chicken, lamb or mutton meat cooked in a karahi, a utensil similar to the Chinese wok, and characterized by the strong, spicy flavour of capsicum pepper. Or tuck into the chapli kebab, a top favorite among Peshawarites and available in beef or chicken meat. Its unique taste comes from typically Pakistani ingredients such as the pomegranate and dry coriander seeds added to the succulent meat.
Namak Mandi, Jahangirpura, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan, +92 051 5522167
Years ago, Chief Burgers pioneered fast food in Peshawar. For the first time, Peshawarites tasted a range of delicious burgers, rolls and pizzas in a fast food outlet, and loved the experience. Indeed, Chief Burgers’ snacks (the menu also includes a tempting selection of sizzling steaks and fried chicken bites) have been so consistently good, and the service so invariably satisfying, that it is one of the busiest dining spots in Peshawar. It is particularly popular with the city’s university students, who love the combination of tasty food and cheap prices.
Chief Burgers, Jahangir Abad, Peshawar, Pakistan, +92 91 5844788