Stories about cafe

Does Karachi have anything else to offer other than food?

As a Karachiite, not even a day goes by without hearing about the launch of a new eatery in the city. On some days, it’s a fine-dining restaurant presenting an unusual variety of a relatively unexplored cuisine. On other days, it’s a café with a new vibe, interior or facilities. Or on most days, it’s our favourite go-to spot – a chai dhaba. Almost all renowned areas of Karachi are famous for not just food outlets but entire food streets that are insanely popular. Boat Basin in Clifton, Zamzama in Defence, Burns Road in Saddar, Bukhari commercial and Port ...

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In Pakistan, restaurants only care if you fast, but not if you pray

“Fast, pray, feast!” This attractive marketing tagline, alongside tempting pictures of food, is being circulated by a well-known eatery this Ramazan, as is the case every year. Not only is the food tempting, but also the deals. And why not? When one opens their fast at sunset in this most special month for Muslims, delicious food is but a must. But there is one issue. While they openly marketed the “pray” bit, there is no place for praying if you go to said eatery for an iftar deal. A young girl I spoke with who went there with her friend ...

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“So, what’s Pakistan like?”

The old man had the most startling blue eyes, the kind that glittered in a wizard-like way. He was a contractual worker fixing some room in the building where I work, and I met him in the kitchen over my morning coffee. He asked where I’m from and widened his eyes. He didn’t comment on how good my English is, but how American my accent is (which I take no offence or pride in – it’s not the two years of Master’s in St Louis but all those American movies and TV shows I watch). And then he asked me ...

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Revisiting Islamabad’s Hotspot: The obvious sexism that no one notices

Hotspot – the place where all the brats and burgers of Islamabad ‘hang out’ Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bash these brats and burgers. Half of my friends come under this category and I love them. I’m not here to criticise Hotspot ice cream or food either. Their food is actually not bad. In fact, I’m not here to talk about any issue of importance. I’m here to talk about something insignificant. Something no one cares about because they don’t believe it is a problem. Something all these brats and burgers just accept and, consequently, condone. Something that these ...

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Mews Cafe: An aesthetically delightful experience

Mews is one of Karachi’s newest and emerging cafés. Having had the opportunity to visit Mews prior to its opening, I was eager to go back and see what changes had been made to the café. Photo: Mushal Zaman Even though quite a few people have given negative reviews about Mews on Karachi Food Diary, regarding the service, reservation ordeals and exorbitant prices, I was eager to visit it again. Advertised as a hearty and wholesome restaurant, Mews has yet to disappoint me even after two visits. They have lived up to their self-proclamations. Driving by and seeing how busy Mews ...

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New Quetta Super Sharjah Hotel: The dhaba monopolising the chai, paratha market!

Did you know that there is a chai ka dhaba (tea cafe) in Karachi that has four branches in one of the most affluent parts of the city? Similarly, were you aware of the fact that this said cafe has only three items on its menu and it operates from 6:30 in the morning till late in the night? No? Well then, don’t be disappointed; I didn’t know these facts either. In fact, there was a lot more I didn’t know about this peculiar cafe, until I decided to investigate and find out more. Photo: Saadia Tariq Almost every other morning, as I ...

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At Roadside Café: Three cups of tea and a gunshot

When I used to go horse riding I learnt that whenever you fall off a horse you have to immediately pick yourself up and get back on or you will develop a fear for life. The truth is on the outside I seemed determined but after falling nine times it got to my head and gave me a bit of insecurity. I mean do you know how irritating untrained and unpredictable horses can be? Karachi I feel is the same; yes we are resilient but we are lying to ourselves if we say that it doesn’t eat at your nerves one ...

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Give your wallet a workout at Café DownTown

Glitzy, jazzy and hip. These are the words that came to me as soon as I stepped into Café DownTown, located on Khayaban-e-Sehar in the DHA area of Karachi. In a very short period of time, this expensive new eatery has become a fairly popular hangout among the young crowd of DHA and Clifton. Café DownTown is another addition to the eating-out map of Karachi. Talking to the five young entrepreneurs of this restaurant, I learnt that an ardent passion for food led them to open the place. Their goal in setting up Café DownTown was to respond to the need of many offices and businesses as ...

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Pane and Amore: Sweet, savoury treats

Named after an Italian term that means ‘bread with love’, Pane and Amore is a fairly new café located in Shahbaz Commercial, DHA Karachi. When I visited this Italian cum Turkish styled cafe, I could smell the aroma of freshly baked products as soon as I stepped inside. The café is small, the ambiance artistic, and the food includes many snacks from sweet to savoury; cupcakes that make your mouth water, brownies, Italian sandwiches, and gourmet burgers along with a wide range of Arabic starters are some items on the menu. The menu is updated regularly. The sandwiches are made with fresh, crunchy bread, ...

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‘Thank you guys’ said the robbers

Incidents of armed robberies, mugging, mobile phone snatching and rape etcetera aren’t new in Karachi. The recent robbery at The Second Floor (T2F) Café did garner attention however, with people discussing security measures in place, while others even mocked the exhibition entitled “Art Loot Maar” (ironically means theft/robbery) which was taking place at the time of the incident. The café, T2F which karachisnob.com lists as one of the “coolest” cafes in town “is an alternative space” says Bina Shah, Karachi-based author and former editor of the Internet magazine SPIDER. Opened in 2007, T2F, operated by a non-profit organisation, quickly became ...

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