The Top 10 Pakistani Restaurants in Karachi

Karachi's Skyline
Karachi's Skyline | Kashif Muhammad Farooq
Photo of Noreen Gulwani
13 January 2018

Karachi’s diverse culture, with its large and varied population, makes it one of the top cities in the South Asian region for food. We’ve compiled a list of the ten very best Pakistani restaurants in Karachi that make the most authentic and flavorful versions of Pakistani cuisine.


Restaurant, Pakistani, Seafood, Asian, Middle Eastern, $$$
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Kolachi and its spectacular view
Kolachi and its spectacular view | © traveldiaryofapakistani/instagram Kolachi

Kolachi is one of those local restaurants that is immensely popular. We suspect that its prime location right by the sea which sets it apart from all competition, along with its mouth watering food, has something to do with its success. The beautifully made open air wooden structure of the restaurant with warm yellow lighting, coastal breeze and a wide view of the sea makes its an ideal spot for special occasions and for just some relaxing time with good food. Their Makhni Handi and Seafood is among the locals favorite along with their Kebabs.


Restaurant, Pakistani, Asian, Halal, Vegetarian, $$$
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Kababjees may not be too old a player in the food business but it is a strong one nonetheless. The extremely speedy gain in popularity speaks tonnes about their impeccable taste, expert service and quality. Their many branches spread all over the city have sprouted in no time and they are always almost full, hence its advisable to reserve, especially on weekends. Their seaside branch next to Kolachi is a strong competition to the former. Their branches have a welcoming atmosphere with comfortable seating and a pleasant setting. And as the name suggests, their kebabs are worth trying out.

Lal Qila

Cafe, Restaurant, Pakistani, Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Halal, $$$
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Would you like to eat like a king at a Mugal theme buffet restaurant that gives you the option to try out all the Pakistani food you ever wanted? We thought so. Lal Qila or the Red Fort is just the place to be. Not only do they serve delicious local food from all the kebabs to aromatic rice but they are located inside a unique building that is constructed as a fort, and it will instantly transport you centuries back to more regal times. The ambient lighting and open gardens make it a good spot for a memorable night out.

Zahid Nihari

Restaurant, Pakistani, Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
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Nihari is the national food of Pakistan and Karachi has the best Nihari, obviously. Now, the best place to grab some delicious Nihari in Karachi is also a no brainer, as any Karachiite would tell you, and it is a special Nihari restaurant that gets the honor. Its called Zahid Nihari. Go there, order their beef Nihari and devour it with steaming hot naans. With this restaurant the focus is all on the food. The place itself is simple, clean but often busy and loud. It’s not fancy or expensive, making it perfect for every day of the week.

Meerut Kabab House

Restaurant, Pakistani, $$$

One of the older names in the industry, Meerut has been tried and tested by generations of Karachiites and they always deliver. Their kebabs are perfect and have consistently been so, and that is what makes them a strong contender in the highly saturated local food scene of Karachi. Go there for the excellent kebabs but not on special occasions, as their ambiance is unsettling and loud, with simple seating arrangement and no frills or fancy things. If you have a sensitive stomach you may want to leave this one out though and stick to more upscale places.


Restaurant, Pakistani, Asian, Middle Eastern, Halal, $$$
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This one is very new but it has gained a massive following because of a wide variety of yummy Pakistani food. Their bright and colorful truck art interior is also a plus point as it gives a true Pakistani aesthetic to the place making it seem cheerful and lively while keeping the high quality restaurant appeal as well. Karachiites love this one and so will you.

BBQ Tonight

Restaurant, Pakistani, Asian, Vegetarian, Halal, $$$
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One of the uncontested top restaurants in Karachi for local food is BBQ Tonight. Their story is something most Karachiites know and their love of food and the brand that represents has allowed this restaurant to grow from a food stall to a full service chain of restaurants. The environment is warm, pleasant and inviting and the food is of great quality. Their mutton chops, beef ribs, prawn masala and Afghani boti are exquisite.

Zoaq Restaurant

Restaurant, Pakistani, Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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Zoaq has received the most rave reviews by Karachiites because of its scrumptious food. Their location inside Dolmen Mall comes with a sea facing glass wall so that you can gaze at the sunset while you wait for your order. The ambiance is classy and comfortable with mood lighting. A few of the local’s favorite here are Chicken and Mutton Handi and Kebabs. The restaurant is however on the pricier side given the location, view and setting but its well worth the cost for a fine dining experience.

Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kabab House

Restaurant, Pakistani, Halal, $$$
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Karachi’s restaurant cuisine is dominated by all sorts of kebabs so its no surprise that that there are kebab houses on almost every commercial street of the city. One of the best among these is Sheikh Abdul Gaffar Kabab House. They have an upscale branch at Port Grand but their original one is located at Tariq road. Their mouth watering food is as good as any on the list. Some of their must-trys are Behari Chicken, Gola Kebabs, Dhaga Kebab and Malai Boti. Its a simple restaurant with no airs and graces, but great food.

Zameer Ansari

Restaurant, Pakistani, Halal, $$$
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This restaurant started off with humble beginnings as a small road side eatery but because of great food the brand has catapulted to new heights. Now a household name with BBQ lovers Zameer Ansari serves the best Delhi style BBQ in Karachi. The setting may be simple and humble still but the food is fiery and fabulous. Try out their Malai Chicken, Reshmi Kebab, and Dhaga Kebab and get there early as its often jam packed.

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