|Beef Carpaccio at Okra|
|Okra's rustic Mediterranean interior|
1. Okra has got to be top of the charts. The tiny rustic Mediterranean style restaurant has been wowing Karachi for the last 15 years. Okra is known for high quality, fresh ingredients treated simply on a flavorsome menu. Top treats include the Fresh figs with Breseola, Smoked Trout and Black Ink Pasta. Desi items like Kheema Methi with Paratha are also firm favourites. Okra also serves some of the best breads in town including yummy olive focaccia – this is definitely not the place to pass on the bread basket. The only complaint is that Okra is so tiny and popular that getting a table is very tough.
|The lovely terrace at Cafe Flo is perfect for Al Fresco dining|
2. Café Flo is a Karachi institution. The best of French Bistro cuisine including favourites like French Onion soup, Lobster Thermidor, Escargots, Steak Dijonnaise, crepes and the best Hollandaise in town. There are also plenty of more modern items on the menu, all true to the restaurant's bistro style. Café Flo has maintained its excellent standards since moving out of the Alliance Francaise and serves some of the best continental food in Karachi. The pretty terrace has a lovely atmosphere and is perfect for Karachi’s balmy nights.
|Grilled fish with a herb pesto at Cafe Flo|
|Fuchsia's chic modern interior|
3. Fuchsia is known for its great contemporary Thai cuisine. The chic modern interior is minimalist yet welcoming. The menu offers a great selection of Thai food, from salads and hand-wrapped dumplings to curries and stir-fry. Portions tend to be on the small side but Fuchsia gets top marks for flavor. The grilled beef salad, crispy fried red snapper in tamarind sauce and green curry are all popular picks on the menu.
|Modern Thai cuisine by Fuchsia|
|Sakura - Japanese cuisine at the PC Hotel|
4. Sakura is the only restaurant from a hotel to make it into the top five. Located on the top floor of the Pearl Continental Hotel, Sakura is Karachi’s best-loved spot for Japanese food. The Nobu-style renaissance in Japanese cuisine hasn’t hit Karachi but Sakura offers excellent if unimaginative Japanese food. It’s the place to go for great sushi and the live Teppanyaki tables make for an entertaining dining experience.
|Sushi by Sakura|
|Kolachi's sea-facing terraces are among Karachi's most beautiful dining spots|
|BBQ at Kolachi|
5. Kolachi is a relative newcomer but has rapidly won a space in the hearts of Karachi foodies. Located at “Do Darya”, a beachfront avenue deep in Phase 8 of Defence, Kolachi is easily the most popular of the many seafront restaurants in this somewhat remote location. Consisting of elegant wooden sea-facing terraces, Kolachi has a charming and unique atmosphere. The menu includes Chinese and continental items but it’s the Lebanese and Traditional Pakistani fare that draws the most crowds. The Lahori fish, Hunza Kebab and Kolachi Karahi are all must-try items at Kolachi.
|The scent of sea breezes adds to the charm of Kolachi's pretty terraces|
It was incredibly hard to narrow this list down to the top 5 and there were some strong contenders on the shortlist including Café Aylanto, The Deli, Pompeii and China Kitchen. Who else deserves a spot? Which Karachi restaurants would make your top five?
Coming soon to Karachista – the top 5 cafes in Karachi and the top 5 Dhabha-style restaurants in Karachi