Best budget restaurants in Lahore

Lahore is what we all call Pakistan’s food hub. The only main entertainment in Lahore is food. I have lived in Lahore since birth and I don’t know what to do without good restaurants here. Now, as students, we can’t always live on fast food. It gets to a point where you crave good food. So here are some restaurants that are affordable from a student’s perspective. Click here to see Best Desi Food Restaurants in Lahore.

Arcadian Cafe

The first on our list is the Arcadian Cafe. This restaurant has quickly become one of Lahore’s most popular dining establishments.  With more than 4 branches, it can safely be said that it is one of the best in the city. What I also really like about this restaurant is that it has a rich cuisine. A great variety of dishes.

More importantly, the price is impeccable compared to what it delivers. This is the only restaurant that I would say is proportional to the pricing vs the quality and flavors of food.

My favorites are the Red Dragon Chicken, Arcadian special, Chicken Chilli Dry, and Stanchion Chicken. Just to name a few top performers. I think this restaurant with its pricing really stands out compared to others.

You can find Arcadian Cafe in Emporium Mall, Packages Mall and in Gulberg.


Ah, Nandos. I love me some Nando’s! If you are in fashion for some grilled tasty tender.

Chicken Nandos is the place for you. But I’m warning you about the Peri Peri Sause because it’s damn hot! Although Nandos has a limited menu, it makes up for it in many other ways.

Consistency is key. Nandos has not changed in taste for years and remains the same which is the plus for Nandos. Nandos suits students well. Because they are always coming up with new deals for students that are cheap and affordable.

Bottomless drinks have been their trademark for years. This can also be an attractive point for people. If you visit Nandos with some of your friends, I suggest you try the whole chicken dish with 2 or 4 sidelines. It can be good enough for 2 to 3 people.

Mi kong

Located in Faisal Town, Me Kong is a restaurant serving only Chinese food. This is a brand new branch that they have opened and their Chinese dishes are really decent. From a price point of view, Me Kong serves its customers well.

When I ate there, I found the food to be tasty. Not the best but it was good to say the least. For those of you who want to dine well on Chinese food and you are on a budget, try Me kong.

I’m sure it’s not half as good as Yums, but for the price range I’d consider it the best in that category.

Haveli restaurant

If you haven’t tried Haveli in the new food street Lahore, you are missing out on something big. A little steep for the price, but it will be worth it. In addition, the atmosphere is just excellent. It is right next to the beautiful Bahadsahi Masjid. One of the few seductive rich heritage of Pakistan.

Most people go for the view and the delicious Karai. By the way, a great place to have your Sehri in Ramadan too.

The hot spot

One of the best places to have dessert while having a handful of dishes by their side. It is especially famous for their desserts, but their other dishes will not disappoint you at all. For less than Rs 1000 you can get a really tasty dessert or one of their dishes like pasta or grilled burgers.

The atmosphere is really groovy. With a wide range of movie props and mementos.  A great place to hand out at the weekend with friends and even family.

Maro Tandoor

Technically Maro tandoor cannot be categorized as a restaurant but my list would not be complete without it. For snacking this is a great place and it’s cheap too. They specialize in stuffed naans.

My favorites are the Nutella Naan and the Pizza Naan. Both cost less than Rs 500/- which is a great deal. It’s a great combination for me and it’s filling too. I would highly recommend all of you to try it out if you haven’t already. Although it’s been a while since it’s been running. See also Chinese Restaurant in Gulberg Lahore.

John Jacob

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