Cooko's Den
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The best restaurant in Lahore

“Food Street”, is the main dining-out area in Lahore’s old town, but it does not contain the best restaurant.  That honour goes to an extraordinary establishment a few hundred yards away in the Heera Mandi (Diamond market) district, right up against the Badshai Mosque and the Mughal Fort. 

This is Lahore's Red Light district and the restaurant, Cooko’s Den, is owned by the son of a prostitute.  Despite this start, Iqbal Hussain grew up to become not only a fine artist but a Professor at the Lahore Museum of Art.  His restaurant is situated on five floors of a terraced 19th century town house.   A small dining area on each floor is decorated with his pictures but most diners prefer to go on up the narrow stairs to the roof and eat al fresco.    

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The food is cooked on the street below, and orders are taken and food delivered by a rope down the side of the house - a low tech, outdoor forerunner of the dumb waiter I guess.  

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The views are spectacular especially of the minarets of the mosque just across the street.    The food is good too. 

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There's just one warning for the timid tourist, the toilet is not the most private.  But so what?  You're alive and eating in one of the most exciting restaurants in the world.

    

 

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Last modified: November 12, 2006