There are so many other things which are attributed to Lahore but one element that has surpassed all other attractions is ‘food’.
by Fraaz Mahmud Kasuri
Lahore, also being the capital of Punjab, is the second biggest city in Pakistan. It is also the 26th largest city in the world. Besides having rich culture and lively atmosphere, it is known as the ‘City of Gardens’ because of its many parks and gardens. It is also called the ‘City of Universities’ as Lahore houses at least 28 universities and a large number of degree awarding institutes and colleges.
There are so many other things which are attributed to the city but one element that has surpassed all other attractions is ‘food’. Lahore is a city with an extremely rich food culture. People from Lahore are famous all over the country for their love for food. The city offers a vast variety of options when it comes to food. In recent times, with an addition of foreign flavours and recipes, the style of food in Lahore has gone even more popular. Other cities in Pakistan do have their own food identities and specialties but Lahore, being an open-minded, dynamic and welcoming metropolitan, has brought them all at one place. From Punjabi and Mughlai cuisines to Central Asian, North Indian, Middle Eastern and Chinese ones, Lahore has got all in it. Being impartial, it would not be a false accusation if we call Lahore the ‘food capital’ of Pakistan.
One other side of Lahore’s food is its street food which is famous all over Pakistan not only for being tasty but also for being in everybody’s range.
From Gol Gappa, Chikkar Cholay, Pathooray, Laddu Peethi and Ice Gola to Vara Pao, Dahi Bharay and Fruit Chaat, all is available on the streets of Lahore and that also at very reasonable prices.
To talk of fine dining, the city has a number of fine dining eateries including PC’s Marco Polo, Avari’s ‘Lakhnawi’, The Poet, Yum Chinese etc.
To combine the food with ambience, Cooco’s Den, Haveli Restaurant and Andaaz Restaurant present a wonderful view of Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque to its customers. Locals as well as foreigners are often seen here having food and enjoying the beauty of Lahore.
Adding more to the list, almost all major international food chains are also working here in Lahore including McDonalds, KFC, and Subway etc.
Besides serving the food, here in Lahore, several institutes are working to train the students in the field of hospitality. College of Tourism & Hotel Management (COTHM) Pakistan & Dubai is one such institute which is imparting skill based hospitality education and preparing a workforce to handle the food side of Lahore.
While talking to Hospitality Plus (HP), COTHM CEO Ahmad Shafiq said that Lahore had got the potential to be called as the food capital of the subcontinent but propagating the city as the food capital of Pakistan was need of the hour.
The government should consider this side of Lahore as well and brand the city as the food capital of the country, he said adding that ‘a city like Lahore aptly justifies this title’.
He also said that such declaration would not only uplift the soft image of Pakistan but would also pave the way for the private sector to invest more in the food industry of the country.
He also said that he had already requested Walled City of Lahore Authority (ECLA) DG Kamran Lashari to support this cause for the collective good of the city.
He further said that Chefs Association of Pakistan (CAP), and Lahore Restaurants’ Association (LRA) were fully in support of this cause and would stand by COTHM wherever and whenever needed.
He concluded that everything was already in place to announce Lahore as the food capital of Pakistan and all that was needed was the government’s backing in this regard.
WCLA endorses ‘Lahore as food capital of Pakistan’
To support and endorse the idea of branding Walled City of Lahore as the food capital of Pakistan, Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) and COTHM have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). While talking to HP in this regard, WCLA DG Kamran Lashari said that all the traditional and indigenous food items of Lahore should be preserved and showcased along with their hygiene and food safety standards. Recipes must be standardized and workforce should be trained to bring out the exact tastes of these food items, he said adding that Naani or Daadi kay khanay must be revived and Androon Lahore kay Mashroobat must be introduced to the young generation of Pakistan.