Trending new Chai Dhabas in Pakistan

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A good cup of tea can change your mood, can make you happy and boost your energy. After the new trend of elite and upscale chai dhabas in Karachi, it is now easier to enjoy your cup of tea along with hot and crispy parathas on a beautiful evening. Pakistan­ based Urooj talks about the trending, upmarket dhaba chai that’s becoming a part of lifestyle. In her weekly column, she gives us a glimpse of the lifestyle in Pakistan, exclusively for Different Truths.

As time goes by, traditions take on a modern twist – and this includes the love for dhaba chai too. Consuming exciting versions of chai at fun dhabas that have popped up all over the country is the thing to do. A good cup of tea is sometimes all you need after a long tiring day at work or a crazy day with a toddler at home.

I believe a good cup of tea can change your mood, can make you happy and boost your energy. After the new trend of elite and upscale chai dhabas in Karachi, it is now easier to enjoy your cup of tea along with hot and crispy parathas on a beautiful evening; the cold breeze in contrast with hot tea makes out a dazzling combination.

Other than this, the environment of the dhaba puts you at an eternal ease. You can go in your slippers and old payjamas and conveniently put your legs up on the chair without having to worry about who is thinking what. These tea dhabas are perhaps one of the best places in Pakistan to unwind these days, that too by spending very less amount of money. This trend of taking so­ called ‘low­brow’ food items (read: chai, paratha, tikka, paan or bun kebab) and treating them to a glossy makeover isn’t new to Pakistan — in fact, it follows from a global inclination to appropriate the mundane and transform it into high culture.

Let’s take a tour:

Chai­Wala: Intrigued by this dhaba that only uses mineral water, discourages littering and offers free WiFi, I had to give this place a try. The Nutella Paratha with strawberries paired with a cup of their specialty Cadbury chai deserves a special mention and is something that will keep me going back for more.

Gullu Butt Dhaba: The Gullu Butt Dhaba is the vision of three diverse individuals – the owner of a production house, an art director, and a commercial pilot. Their friendship and their love for food is precisely the glue that holds the trio together. What gave birth to this roadside dhaba was the need to have a place where one can sit and talk with friends over a hearty meal and a great cup of chai.

Chai Shai: Another dhaba in Karachi, Chai Shai offers the most delicious food. Like any traditional dhaba, their menu includes a variety of chai, different kinds of parathas and much more. If you’re looking for a place to chill with your friends but don’t want to go for an over­the­top dinner, then we recommend Chai Shai.

Mantu Gul Kitchen: Where there is chai, there are friends! Mantu Gul is a dhaba situated in Islamabad, which offers mouthwatering roadside delicacies. Their menu, in fact, boasts some North Hunzan specialties as well! So if you haven’t been to Mantu Gul yet, today’s the day.

Coffee Tea and Company: Since the dhaba trend has not yet reached Lahore, we have found a few high end tea shops that are just as amazing! If you’re one for an intellectual evening out with friends including some chai, then this is the place for you.

Pak Tea House: This historical tea house has got great chai and an even better ambience. Visit this super vintage restaurant if you’re in need for some caffeine and a chat with your friends.

©Urooj Murtaza


Urooj Murtaza currently resides in Karachi, Pakistan. She is a 38-year-old stay at home mother. She did her masters in International Relations from the University of karachi. She started working much before completing her intermediate, i.e Grade 12th. She worked with different prestigious institutions along with few banks. She has a heart for writing; it helps her go on in life.