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10 Must-Try Desi Restaurants in Islamabad

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Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, is not only known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its diverse and mouthwatering culinary scene.

If you’re a food enthusiast looking to savor the rich flavors of Pakistani cuisine, you’re in for a treat. The city is home to a plethora of desi (local) restaurants that offer a delightful range of traditional dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

In this blog, we’ll take you on a gastronomic journey through the 10 must-try desi restaurants in Islamabad, where you can experience the true essence of Pakistani flavors.

A Symphony of Desi Flavors with 10 Exquisite Restaurants in Islamabad

Exploring more flavors with desi restaurants to try in Islamabad.

1. Usmania Restaurant

Usmania restaurant
Usmania restaurant

Tucked away in the heart of Blue Area, Usmania Restaurant stands as a true gem for those seeking an authentic Desi dining experience. With its inviting ambiance and a menu that pays homage to traditional Pakistani flavors, Usmania has earned its spot as a beloved restaurant in Islamabad.

The restaurant boasts an extensive menu that features a wide range of Desi dishes, from succulent kebabs and aromatic biryanis to rich curries and traditional desserts.

One of the restaurant’s highlights is its commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients that elevate the taste of every dish. Whether you’re a fan of fiery spices or prefer milder flavors, Usmania’s menu caters to various taste preferences.

Location: 13 West Jinnah Ave, Block D G 6/2 Blue Area, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 11:30 AM – 11:30 PM
Phone: (051) 2873245
Website/Social: Usmania Restaurent
Google Reviews: 3.8 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.3K)

2. Des Pardes Restaurant

Des Pardes Restaurant
Des Pardes Restaurant

Nestled in the scenic locale of Saidpur Village, Des Pardes Restaurant offers more than just a meal – it provides an immersive cultural experience. Set against the backdrop of the quaint village, this restaurant captures the essence of traditional Pakistani dining in a unique and picturesque setting.

Des Pardes is renowned for its commitment to preserving traditional cooking techniques and recipes. The restaurant’s menu showcases an array of Desi dishes that reflect the rich heritage of Pakistani cuisine.

From sizzling tandoori naans to aromatic karahis, each dish tells a story of flavor and tradition. The outdoor seating allows you to enjoy your meal while soaking in the beauty of the surrounding village.

Location: Saidpur Rd, Saidpur, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 12 PM – 12 AM
Phone: (051) 2320009
Website/Social: DES PARDES RESTAURANT Saidpur Village | Islamabad
Google Reviews: 4.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (7.5K)

3. Khoka Khola

Khoka Khola
Khoka Khola

For a Desi dining experience that combines contemporary vibes with classic flavors, Khoka Khola in Beverly Centre is a must-visit. This restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Pakistani cuisine, catering to a younger audience while staying true to the essence of Desi flavors.

Khoka Khola’s menu is a fusion of traditional and innovative dishes that showcase the versatility of Desi cuisine. From delectable street food-inspired snacks to reinvented classic dishes, every bite at Khoka Khola is a delightful surprise.

The restaurant’s chic interior and vibrant atmosphere add to the overall experience, making it an ideal spot for both casual gatherings and special occasions.

Location: Beverly Centre, Jinnah Ave, F 6/1 Blue Area, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 9 AM – 12 AM
Phone: (051) 8444929
Website/Social: Khoka Khola | Islamabad
Google Reviews: 4.2 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (2.3K)

4. Tandoori Restaurants

Tandoori Restaurants Islamabad - Roti Shoti
Tandoori Restaurants

Tandoori Restaurants is a haven for those who crave the smoky flavors of tandoor-cooked dishes. Situated in the heart of F-10, this restaurant boasts a menu that pays homage to the art of tandoori cooking.

From succulent kebabs marinated in aromatic spices to freshly baked naans, every dish is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Pakistan. The restaurant’s tandoor masters skillfully prepare dishes that capture the essence of traditional cooking methods.

The menu offers a variety of meats and vegetables, all cooked to perfection in the clay tandoor. Whether you’re a fan of seekh kebabs, tandoori chicken, or the ever-popular tikka, Tandoori Restaurants is a paradise for tandoori enthusiasts.

Location: House No, Khursheed Market, St#30, 66 Street No 25, F-10/1 F 10/1 F-10, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 12 PM – 12 AM
Phone: (051) 2105566
Website/Social: Tandoori Restaurants
Google Reviews: 4.2 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.4K)

5. Salt n’ Pepper

Salt n' Pepper
Salt n’ Pepper

Salt n’ Pepper is a name that resonates with food lovers across Pakistan. With its presence in Islamabad’s Blue Area, this restaurant continues to uphold its legacy of serving flavorful Desi cuisine with a modern touch.

Established in 1983, Salt n’ Pepper has become synonymous with quality and taste. The restaurant’s menu is a delightful fusion of traditional and contemporary dishes.

From their signature Lahori charge to flavorful biryanis and aromatic curries, Salt n’ Pepper offers a wide array of options for Desi food aficionados. The elegant ambiance and attentive service make dining here a memorable experience for both families and friends.

Location: Plot No. 55, Shabbir Plaza, Blue Area, G 6/2 F-6, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
Timings: 10 AM – 11:59 PM
Phone: (051) 2604911
Website/Social: Salt n Pepper
Google Reviews: 4.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.6K)

6. Bar B.Q. Tonight

Bar B.Q. Tonight
Bar B.Q. Tonight

When it comes to indulging in the bold and smoky flavors of BBQ, Bar B.Q. Tonight stands as a pioneer in Islamabad’s culinary scene. With a prime location in the Blue Area, this restaurant has been satisfying BBQ cravings since its inception.

Bar B.Q. Tonight’s menu is a carnivore’s delight, offering an extensive range of grilled meats that are marinated to perfection and cooked over open flames.

From juicy beef steaks to tender chicken botis, every bite is a burst of robust flavors. The restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients and authentic BBQ techniques ensures that each dish retains its original charm.

Location: Embassy Rd, Block A G 6/3 Blue Area, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000 |
Timings: 12 PM – 12 AM
Phone: (051) 8317132
Website/Social: Bar B.Q. Tonight
Google Reviews: 4.1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (6.2K)

7. Khyber Dodai

Khyber Dodai
Khyber Dodai

Khyber Dodai is a culinary gem nestled within the bustling F-6 Markaz. This restaurant takes its name from the renowned Khyber Pass, which has been a historical trade and cultural route connecting South Asia and Central Asia.

Khyber Dodai brings the flavors of this region to Islamabad, offering a diverse range of traditional Pashtun dishes. The menu is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the Khyber region. From the succulent seekh kebabs to the hearty chapli kebabs and aromatic lamb dishes.

Khyber Dodai showcases the rustic flavors of Pashtun cuisine. The warm and hospitable ambiance adds to the overall experience, transporting diners to the heart of the Khyber region.

Location: Super Market, School Rd, F-6 Markaz F 6 Markaz F-6, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 1 PM – 1 AM
Phone: 0303 0066660
Website/Social: Khyber Dodai | Islamabad
Google Reviews: 4.1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (2.7K)

8. Cheema & Chattha

cheema & chattha
cheema & chattha

Located in F-11, Cheema & Chattha is a culinary destination that specializes in traditional Punjabi dishes. The restaurant’s emphasis on authenticity and quality has earned it a loyal following among locals and visitors alike.

The menu at Cheema & Chattha is a celebration of Punjab’s rich culinary legacy. From the quintessential saag and makki di roti to the hearty and flavorful nihari, every dish is prepared with care and attention to detail.

The restaurant’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients adds a fresh and wholesome dimension to its offerings.

Location: Street 20, F-11/2 F 11/2 F-11, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
Timings: 7 AM – 11 PM
Phone: (051) 2211011
Website/Social: Cheema & Chattha | Islamabad
Google Reviews: 4.1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.9K)

9. Haleem Ghar Blue Area

Haleem Ghar in Blue Area is a haven for those seeking the ultimate comfort food: haleem. This hearty and wholesome dish is a favorite among Pakistanis, and Haleem Ghar has mastered the art of preparing it to perfection.

The restaurant’s menu revolves around the star dish – Haleem. Prepared with a blend of wheat, barley, lentils, and meat, haleem is slow-cooked to achieve a rich and creamy consistency.

Topped with flavorful garnishes, Haleem Ghar’s version is a treat for the senses. The cozy ambiance and focus on a single dish create an immersive experience for Haleem enthusiasts.

Location: Ground Floor Ginza Center, Jinnah Ave, G 7/2 Blue Area, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000
Timings: 11 AM – 12 AM
Phone: (051) 111 425 336
Website/Social: Haleem Ghar
Google Reviews: 4.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5.8K)

10. Desi Tarka Restaurant

Desi Tarka
Desi Tarka

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Area, Desi Tarka Restaurant offers an authentic feast that resonates with the essence of Desi cuisine. The restaurant’s commitment to delivering a genuine Desi experience is evident in every dish on the menu.

Desi Tarka’s menu is a homage to the diverse regional cuisines that Pakistan boasts. From the vibrant flavors of Sindhi biryani to the aromatic Lahori chana chaat, each dish reflects the culinary heritage of different parts of the country.

With a warm and inviting ambiance, Desi Tarka invites you to embark on a flavorful journey through Pakistan’s rich culinary traditions.

Location: P3FM+C53, Block B G 6/3 Blue Area, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
Timings: 6:30 AM – 12 AM
Phone:  0310 0333663
Website/Social: Desi Tarka | Islamabad
Google Reviews: 4.0 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (22)


In the diverse culinary landscape of Islamabad, a symphony of desi flavors awaits those who seek an authentic and tantalizing dining experience. These 10 remarkable desi restaurants, nestled within the capital’s vibrant streets, capture the essence of Pakistani cuisine in unique and delightful ways.

Each restaurant in Pakistan tells a story about its delicious food and culture. Some have a traditional feel, while others have a modern touch. When you eat there, you can enjoy tasty food and experience the local culture. These restaurants are like the essence of Desi food.

As you start this food journey through Islamabad’s must-try Desi restaurants, remember that each bite tells a story of tradition, flavor, and a deep love for food in this vibrant city’s culture.


Q: What are some must-try Desi dishes in Islamabad?
In Islamabad, you must try dishes like “Nihari,” “Karahi,” “Paya,” a slow-cooked beef stew, “Chapli Kebabs,” minced meat patties with spices, and “Biryani,” a fragrant rice dish often cooked with meat. For a sweet treat, indulge in “Jalebi” or “Gulab Jamun,” popular Desi desserts.

Q: Are there any vegetarian options available in Desi restaurants?
A: Absolutely! Many Desi restaurants in Islamabad offer a wide range of vegetarian dishes. You can enjoy dishes like “Daal Makhani” (buttery lentils), “Paneer Tikka” (grilled cottage cheese), and various vegetable curries that cater to vegetarian preferences.

Q: Do Desi restaurants in Islamabad cater to different spice tolerances?
A: Yes, most Desi restaurants in Islamabad are aware of varying spice preferences. They often provide options for adjusting the spice level of dishes according to individual preferences. You can request dishes to be prepared mild, medium, or spicy, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience.

Q: What distinguishes Desi food from other cuisines?
A: Desi food is distinguished by its use of aromatic spices, bold flavors, and intricate cooking methods that have been passed down through generations. It often includes dishes with a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and spicy elements, creating a unique and diverse culinary experience.

Q: What role does street food play in Islamabad’s Desi food scene?
A: Street food is an integral part of Islamabad’s Desi food culture. You’ll find street vendors selling popular snacks like “Chaat” (a tangy mixture of potatoes and chickpeas), “Samosas,” and “Dahi Bhalla” (lentil dumplings in yogurt). Exploring street food stalls can provide a unique culinary adventure.


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