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New Food Street, Fort Road, Lahore

As part of the Walled City Lahore Project, the city’s famous Food Street was relocated from Gawalmandi, near Anarkali Bazaar, to inside the Walled City on Fort Road, close to the Badshahi Mosque, the Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) and Taxali Gate.

Before and after… Fort Road, better known as Heera Mandi was once a bustling and notorious red light district in Lahore. In addition to these nocturnal activities the area was a civic mess of uneven streets, garbage heaps and overflowing sewage. However, the area has been spruced up as the focus shifted from business to food. Stretching over 1.2 kilometres, New Food Street includes 25 heritage buildings renovated to their former glory and forming the backdrop for some of Lahore’s favourite desi cuisine.

Sajji and chargha are popular

The ‘street’ to foodie heaven… With a total of 27 restaurants, roadside dhaabas and food stalls, New Food Street’s collective menu is comprehensive and includes desi and Lahori favourites such as gol gappay, paye, ‘fish fry’ and lassi. Meat lovers will particularly appreciate the variety of meat, sajji, nihari, karhai and haleem to name a few. Visitors have the option of dining in converted haveli restaurants such as Andaaz, Cucoo’s Den or Haveli Khalil Khan Restaurant or at street side food stalls.

Royal treatment… Although food is the main attraction, the splendid views of the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort and its landscaped royal gardens (which adjoin the Food Street) are nothing short of breathtaking. Enhancing the shahi experience are the horse-pulled buggies that transport visitors from the designated parking areas to their restaurant of choice on the Street.

Fresh lassi

Connecting to history… Under the rehabilitation plan, the historical Roshnai Gate (which was previously sealed) has been reopened. The gateway connects the Mosque and Fort complex to Fort Road and allows Food Street visitors easy access to the historical sites and vice versa, increasing footfall to both the places.

In a nutshell… The variety of food available here is incredible and affordable (Rs 700 per head on average) while the ambience is worth experiencing. The area is well lit and security arrangements are adequate making this a great place to visit with the family. Just watch out for those horse drawn buggies!

– Maheen Hassan

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 14, 2012