Food parks gain popularity in Pindi, Islamabad
By Mohammad Kamran
ISLAMABAD: The culture of dining at food streets and parks is becoming popular in Rawalpindi and Islamabad with food parks offering a lively atmosphere and good quality food at affordable prices.
Earlier, reputable restaurants were scattered in the two cities, but food parks and streets have made it easier for diners to access a large variety of cuisines in one place. Besides dining, these parks and streets are also being used for formal and informal gatherings.
The first food park was established in Islamabad at Melody Market seven years ago. Later, a Food Street was established in Islamabad’s Blue Area. Many diners from Islamabad and Rawalpindi visited these places, as there was no such facility in Rawalpindi till 2003 when the first food park was established at Double Road adjacent to the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Though this park is not as popular as those in Islamabad, it offers a variety of traditional and continental dishes. “I prefer inviting my friends to the food street. It is very affordable though four star hotels have the same cuisine,” said Siddique Alvi, a frequent visitor to the Rawalpindi Food Street.
It is difficult to find a place in these streets during rush hours, particularly lunch and dinner. Many office workers visit the food parks in the afternoons while the night sees mostly families.
“These places are crowded on weekends and public holidays and getting seats is very difficult. Sometimes, people return without eating when they can’t find a place to sit,” said Muhammad Ramazan who runs a Pulao Kabab shop in the Rawalpindi food street.
The capital administration is working on setting up another food street in the Blue Area. This new street will also help reduce crowds in other food parks during peak hours.