Anarkali Food Street is a famous bazaar of Lahore due to its traditional foods offering a variety of food, besides ensuring a very clean and family-oriented environment to the visitors. This street is devoted especially to eating out and it welcomes hundreds of people every evening. It is the pedestrianized street lined with food stalls restaurants, and other food shops. Tables and chairs are set along the street in the evening. Because the gates from the both sides of the street are closed off for traffic at 7 o clock in the evening. People use to come in this street after evening to enjoy the formal and informal meetings with dinner. This food street make a wide rang of different types of food in a single area. The street is patronized by the office worker during the day time and by families in the evening. People of middle class society prefer to visit this food street this is less expensive than hotels and quality restaurant.
The food street has a morning breakfast dishes like halwa-poori, anda-channa and lassi as well. Famous food outlets at Food Street are Pardesi hotel, Fazal Spicy Bar, Bukhara restaurant, Sindhi Baryani Shop, Ustad Labba Muragh Chanay, Jhaal Chakiyaan Daal, Chacha Peekha Lassi wala and some juice corners and tea stalls etc.
Chappal kebabs , is a famous dish made from beef and channa dal for instance, are originally from Peshawar and were a foot in size which gave them that name. True to its word most of the food is very rich and can be eaten with breads like Tile wale naan or rogini naan or the simpler tandoori roti.
But unfortunately like the tragic end of Gawalmandi Food Street Anarkali Food Street is likely to be closed down sooner. Because during the day time Anarkali food street looks like a commercial bazaar. Now a small area of this bazaar is specified for food stalls. Much of the area has been covered by the t-shirts and jeans shops and shoe stalls. Different types of shops like Master paints, medical stores, mobile repairing shops, hair dressing shops, general super stores, sceneries stalls and shoes shops have been opened in the food street area. So it looks like a shopping bazaar than that of food bazaar. .This has minimized the real charm of the food street. There was time when tourists used to visit this bazaar specially and enjoy the traditional Lahori food like Nihari, Haleem, Fish, Sri Paya, Taka Tak, Hareesa and many more. But Anarkali Food Street has no more an attraction for Lahories including foreigners as well as other visitors.
The basic reason that was given regarding this bad condition of food street is longstanding complaints of residents of the locality that it had become very hard for their families to move in and out of the their houses at evening time when street had been closed for vehicular traffic. A woman said that opening of the food street for traffic is their long standing demand because they have to travel a lot to reach the Hospitals in case of an emergency. The residents also complained that their female members faced some harassment like eye-teasing while passing through the food street.
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Allama Iqbal Open University (Aiou) Islamabad