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Karachi and its food fads over the years

With eating out being our primary source of entertainment, it’s not surprising to see our food industry flourishing. One successful eatery soon results into a few copycats, and suddenly there is an overdrive! Be it chai dhabbas or Pan Asian restaurants, one has seen this phenomenon repeatedly over the years.

Here’s a quick look at the food fads we have seen come and go in Karachi.

Coffee houses

It started with the coffee shops/cafes craze, and there came a time when every street on Zamzama had a couple of cafes popping up, promising to serve the best latte or sizzling brownie. Many like Espresso and Butlers have made their mark but others like Costa Coffee and Ciao couldn’t survive.

Frozen Yoghurt

Around 2010 we saw the frozen yoghurt phase. Snog, Tutti Frutti and Berrylicous rapidly opened branches everywhere, but it all died down pretty soon. Surprisingly not one of these chains hold a store in Karachi anymore.

Pan Asian Cuisine


Most recently we saw a craze for Pan Asian cuisine (which is still pretty much on-going). After the classic Baan Thai and Fuchsia, we had Tao, Soi, Cocochan, Chop Chop Wok and many more still coming in.  This food trend looks like it’s here to stay, even though we might be getting a little tired of it.

Burger joints


With the city barely having any good burger options (Mr. Burger was left to only one branch at that time), people were thrilled to have Burger Shack, Burger Lab and Burger Inc providing a juicy variety. Mr. Burger too made a comeback and now we also have more gourmet options like This or That, Oh My Grill and Jucy Lucy.

Chai walas




Around the same time, we saw our first modern dhaaba, Chai Wala, make an appearance. It was a great concept – casual, comfort food and easy on the pocket. Of course, others were soon to follow till we reached a point where there was a Chai Wala, Shai or Master  around every corner. Not sure how well most of these will fare in the long run.

Waffles and desserts


Most recently, waffles and desserts have become a huge trend. Waffle Cart, Bond Street Waffles, Waffle Witch are leading the waffle market, while D’oh is one of the few that promises a good churro option. Similarly ice cream parlour Scream has recent brought in a doughnut ice cream sandwich that looks promising!

What’s next?


We predict the next food fad to be restaurants providing healthy food options such as Necos, Evergreen and Chatterbox Deli. The demand is certainly there with everyone moving towards the healthy lifestyle!



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