Islamabad may not have its own unique cuisine. However, its culinary culture has evolved to a great extent over the last few years. The picturesque capital city of Pakistan is home to a number of popular restaurants serving incredible food.
Unlike Lahore, which is considered a citadel for traditional food lovers, the lush green city surrounded by the majestic Margalla Hills has recently begun to gain recognition for celebrating signature dishes from around the world in the form of international food festivals.
Given the fact that Islamabad is home to a large number of foreign workers and diplomats, along with politicians and blue-collar workers from across the country, you can easily find something to satisfy every palate here.
From local food chains to international franchises and from casual cafes to posh restaurants, Islamabad is perhaps the only city in Pakistan boasting such a wide variety of ethnic and foreign cuisines.
There is no shortage of fine dining restaurants in Islamabad. However, a refreshing change in the city’s food landscape has come in the form of various theme restaurants. A number of eateries with creative décor and exceptional menus are offering a unique dining experience to their customers.
Along with being a great place to hang out with friends and family, these restaurants and cafés in Islamabad provide patrons with an opportunity to enjoy some literature-inspired beverages in a hall reminiscent of a fantasy movie set. Moreover, you can even munch on some tea time snacks at a café that reminds one of a race track.
Here are some theme restaurants in Islamabad everyone should try visiting at least once.
The Smokey Cauldron
If you loved the magical adventures of the boy who lived under the stairs, there is a huge chance you’ve already visited The Smokey Cauldron located in Super Market. This Harry Potter-themed café has quickly become one of the most popular eateries in the city.
Its incredible décor and a wide variety of props that make you feel like you’re having lunch at The Three Broomsticks – an inn frequently mentioned in author J.K. Rowling’s bestseller fantasy novels.
This captivating cafe in F-6 Islamabad also offers the fans of the classic book series a chance to don house-specific Hogwarts robes. Moreover, patrons can pose with props for some rather incredible photos. You can also browse the collection of wands, hats and other colourful yet alluring merchandise displayed near the main counter on the ground floor.
The menu at Smokey Cauldron features a long list of brilliantly inventive food items. The dishes include The Shrieking Steak, Dragonfire Burger and Devil’s Snare pasta.
However, the ‘Potions’ menu is the main highlight of this themed restaurant. This unique cafe in Islamabad offers Unicorn’s Blood, Amortentia, The Goblet of Fire and of course, Butterbeer – the signature butterscotch, caramel and vanilla beverage from the fictional world of ‘Harry Potter.’
Timings: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Location: F-6 Markaz, Main Super Market, Islamabad.
Burn Out Restaurant
If you’re looking for some good food in Islamabad, you should give this theme restaurant a try.
The self-proclaimed ‘first car-themed restaurant in Pakistan,’ Burn Out Restaurant is located in Jinnah Super Market. It is a multi-cuisine eatery that has drawn the attention of food lovers and car fanatics alike.
One of the busiest theme restaurants in Islamabad, Burn Out Restaurant is located near College Road. The eatery offers its patrons to enjoy a delectable range of Continental and Oriental cuisine in a unique environment.
The walls of the restaurant display the logos of major luxury and sports vehicle brands. Meanwhile, the main hall reminds one of a race track. All the seats here are shaped like cars with a wheel on each side. Burn Out Restaurant also has a rooftop sitting area. It’s perfect for cool summer nights and sunny afternoons in the winters.
Apart from its innovative car-themed décor, the restaurant has also gained recognition for holding live music sessions. It provides a platform for upcoming and aspiring artists who want to showcase their talent.
Timings: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Location: 3rd floor, Ammar Centre, Jinnah Super Market, Islamabad.
If you have lived through the 1960s, you would probably agree it was the best era for fashion and entertainment industry in the country. As the name suggests, 1969 Restaurant in Islamabad pays homage to the golden era of Pakistan with its vibrant décor and colourful interior. It is located near the beautiful Shakarparian Hills.
Surrounded by mesmerizing green hills, this 60s-themed eatery provides its customers with a refreshing dining experience. Moreover, it is one of the best places to enjoy some good food in Islamabad. Especially when you need a break from your daily routine or want to spend some peaceful time with your family.
The restaurant, which was established in 2010, has both an indoor and an outdoor seating area. The outdoor area is beautifully maintained and is an ideal place to have tea during the cool summer evenings and bright winter days. Meanwhile, the stunning indoor area will make you feel nostalgic for the past.
With its artisanal tableware, vintage furniture and hospitable staff, the unique ambience of the 1969 Restaurant will make your dining experience even more memorable. The theme restaurant in Islamabad also offers an extensive menu that includes everything from traditional Pakistani food to western cuisine.
Timings: 12:00 am – 12:00 am
Location: Garden Avenue, Shakarparian National Park, Islamabad.
If you are looking for more restaurants and cafés in the city, here are some of the best brunch spots in Islamabad. Meanwhile, you can also satisfy your sweet craving at these incredible dessert places in the federal capital.