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.

Habibi

Barbecued meats are a big part of Pakistani cooking, and Habibi is one of the most popular choices in Peshawar for an over-the-top, finger-licking barbecue bash, and at a good price. The Habibi Special Bar-B-Q Platter, the house’s flagship offering, brings to the table kabli pulao (rice pilaf with lamb, cabbage, cauliflower and various nuts), malai tikka (skewered chicken prepared with yogurt, cheese, cardamom and cumin) and, of course, the roasted meats: chicken and beef kebab, chicken thighs and mutton ribs. The rest of the menu is packed with many inviting dishes, from the special selection of fish-based bites to the ‘Mughlai Delights’, and don’t overlook their delicious curries.

Shiraz

Pakistani cooking is a complex and elaborate range of dishes, spices and flavors with mixed influences from the Middle East, the Far East and neighbouring India. Explore all the exotic nuances of such a rich culinary culture at restaurant Shiraz, a veritable centerpiece in Peshawar’s dining scene. Shiraz is a failsafe choice to enjoy the highlights of Pakistan’s and Afghanistan‘s gastronomy, prepared according to traditional, delicious recipes that have been in local families for years. Among the many tempting courses on offer, be sure to try the barbecued chicken, the national dish of Pakistan.

Layalina

Restaurant Layalina, in the Shelton Hotel, produces delectable dishes inspired by traditional Peshawari food, with influences from other Asian countries. There is also a selection of Italy’s irresistible pizzas and pasta. However, what is most striking about Shelton’s Layalina is its delightful ambience; the venue is full of wooden floors and beautiful pieces of decor that create an elegant yet intimate atmosphere. Ask to be seated in one of the 12 dining rooms, or try the charming outdoor area for a relaxing night out in Peshawar.

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