Nominate: Best Pakistani Food Outside Pakistan

Posted on July 1, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Food, Pakistanis Abroad, Society
Total Views: 65141

Adil Najam

Note: Updated post, with reader suggestions for Pakistani Restaurants, here.

I will be in Chicago next week. As a Pakistani in America, the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of Chicago, is Devon Avenue; or ‘Dewan Street’ to us desi types. How can you not be intrigued by a street one part of which is called Mohammed Ali Jinnah Way, another is called Gandhi Marg, and yet another is known as Golda Meier Boulevard! Notwithstanding the sociological and political nuances of the multi-ethnic immigrant community that lives and works in and around Devon Avenue, for me the real significance of Devon Street is the food. Good food. Some would say great food.

My friends in Chicago insist that the very best Pakistani food to be found outside of Pakistan is to be found at ‘Dewan Street’. Some swear by Sabri Nihari, others prefer Usmania. Of course, my friends in Houston disagree; at least one of them believes that La Sani deserves the title. Those from New York will just laugh it off and rant out their own long list, and Shaheen Food and Sweets will nearly always be on that list. On the West Coast of the US, you have Shahnawaz both in Los Angeles and in the Bay Area. Another common favourite is the inconspicuously titled Food Factory in the Washington DC area which is Afghani-Pakistani and serves great freshly baked naans.

But this is just in USA. Tokyo is rich in Pakistani restaurants, including the Gandhara and Toronto has its own ‘little Pakistan’ with a street full of authentic Pakistani eateries. London, I would not even hazard a guess on because of its amazingly rich culinary offerings. I remember having some of the best seikh kabab’s I have ever had in Copenhagen, great nihari in Cardiff, rass malai in Cape Town kulfi in Vienna and, yes, pullao in Brasilia.

I am guessing I have already offended many readers by either mentioning what they consider the wrong choice, or not mentioning what they would consider the right choice. After all, the only thing that Pakistanis get more passionate about than politics, is food. Except, we tend never to compromise on the latter.

In that very spirit, lets hear from you about where you think we can get the BEST PAKISTANI FOOD OUTSIDE OF PAKISTAN?

Tell ATP your favourite Pakistani restaurants outside of Pakistan. If you live outside Pakistan, what are the best Pakistani restaurants in your area?

Do send us your favourites and nominations and we will start compiling a list and maybe put it up for permanent display somewhere on ATP.

Readers in Pakistan, we apologize; with you we cannot even compete!

30 responses to “Nominate: Best Pakistani Food Outside Pakistan”

  1. Anam says:

    In chicago, you can find the best paratha rolls at Tahoora, best nehari at sabri nehari, best barbecue at Khan bbq and best pakistani chinese at Usmania Chinese.

  2. Folks, we have an update to this post (here). May we please ask that all further suggestions and comments be posted there. Thanks.

  3. Yousaf says:

    Well , just for the info sake , I couldnt find a Single Paki resturant in Kentucky , now i am trying to find one in Memphis , TN , any ideas Gurus ? last time i tried Nihari was with Savoy houston Tx , and it was Alright , but could Never Forget the Legendry Nihari of Lahore which is “HAJI NiHari” AKA “DENAA Nihari” located “Lohari Gate” (in case if you would like to refresh your memory about ancient gates of lahore then this link could do the rest  , As far as Siri paya’s are concerned , Hats Off for USTAD PHAAJJAA Lahore . There is no compitition . :) simply NO .. could’nt find any thing even close to him .. whay you guys think ??

  4. bhitai says:

    I don’t know about the best, but arguably the dirtiest one is Shalimar in San Francisco. This place is an enigma for those who think the US has some kind of health regulations. Not that I care anyway, but if there’s any outbreak of a deadly disease ever traced to this particular location, I will be least surprised. Having said this, I am a huge fan of pretty much every non-veg dish on their menu. The hermanos and amigos there do a terrific job.

  5. Zain Imran says:

    I think Kabob Palace in Arlington, Virginia is a good place to eat. You should definately check it out if you are in the DC area.

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