Kabul Serena Hotel/Restaurant: Most famous hotel/restaurant in Kabul
In Kabul, you will find the most complete breakfast at Serena Hotel. If you happen to stay in a guesthouse or hotel in Kabul and yearn for a very good breakfast, then Serena is the place. They serve brunch and buffet dinner as well. The Silk Route Restaurant is open from 6 pm to 10 pm. Cafe Zarnegar is open from 6:30 am to 10 pm. This hotel does not serve alcohol.
Favorite Dish: Aside from fine lunch and dinner, I recommend their breakfast buffet which includes fresh bread, fresh pastries, fresh juices, brewed coffee, omelette, cereals, fresh fruits, fresh butter, and anything that is understood as continental breakfast and a lot more.
And if you have to stay a long time in the country that you start craving for a good brunch - then book a table. Serena has brunch on Fridays. It starts at 11 a.m. It is a nice treat!
Taverna Du Liban: Favourite Lebanese Restaurant in Kabul
The owner continues to improve the setting of his restaurant to help the foreigners enjoy their time in Kabul. Taverna Du Liban is much safer than before and the service is getting faster. Take your time in reading the menu so you can explore the Lebanese cuisine each time you visit the restaurant. The first time I went there, I did not know that I would keep coming back. The food never gave me stomachache unlike when I visit other restaurants. The owner chooses high quality ingredients and always wants to please his customers. His presence in the restaurant keeps the waiters on their toes so you don't need to wait very long unlike in other restaurants. The dessert, chocolate cake, is on the house.
Favorite Dish: Tabbouleh - not a dish but it's one thing I always order. You will love their lambs/chicken dishes. Superb!
Safi Landmark Hotel/Restaurant: Very popular and best located restaurant in Kabul
On 26 February 2010, attacks took place near Safi Landmark. As of this writing there are reports that guesthouses and hotels near Safi are still taking place at 9:00 a.m. Kabul time. I will update my tips as I learn more.
When the security situation was not as bad, I used to visit Safi Landmark Hotel frequently to buy DVDs and jewelries and kitsch. Oh, before I forget, it has shops inside. You can find clothes, toiletries, perfumes, shoes, accessories for house, electronic gadgets, and did I mention jewelries?
Going back to the hotel itself, I haven't spent a night there but I go have buffet lunch or dinner with friends. They prepare great palows and their desserts are pretty okay. Waiters are attentive and you will surely find something from the selection of Afghan dishes. I enjoy their soups and crispy bread.
Favorite Dish: All of their Afghan dish are worth trying but I love the way they cook their rice at Safi.
Boccaccio Restaurant: Want to have a great time - go to Boccaccio!
There are two checkpoints before reaching the restaurant.
The restaurant is equipped with metal detector machine at the entrance. Before you reach the dining rooms, you will notice the lounge which is nicely arranged with good lighting and a huge plasma screen tv so if you want to watch sports, special programs while with friends, you can hang out at Boccaccio. Reservation is highly recommended especially for Thursday evening and during weekends. At lunch time, there is really no need to book a table.
Your takeaways are wrapped nicely.
Favorite Dish: Their pasta dishes are great, pizzas, salmon and risotto! Their Cook specializes in seafoods dishes. Wine here is a bit pricey. They do not have a list of drinks - just go to their bar and place your order.
L'Atmosphere: Popular for steak among others
Gone were the days where we'd look forward to going to this restaurant because a foreign band would be playing real good music! There are many reasons to come back to this restaurant. When you visit it in summer, you will know why it should be the number 1 address in Kabul after work. Guests sit in the beautiful garden and enjoy what they would usually enjoy back home. In winter, they make the place as warm as possible but of course if guests stay there too long, they will notice the smell of the fuel used for heating up the room.
Favorite Dish: They serve more meat dishes than any other restaurant. The last time I went there I enjoyed their cheese plate. Quiches are quite okay. Burger not their best but so-so.
Anaar Indian Restaurant: Most popular Indian restaurant in Kabul
My occasional visits to Anaar Restaurant are quite memorable because of the food and the ambiance. The kitchen is authentic and you can taste the fine spices as you savour the tender meat. At night, the lighting is not my most favourite but it makes the get-together more relaxed. During lunchtime, better to sit outside to enjoy your lunch. Waiters will be monitoring the tables to attend to all your wishes.
Anaar delivers packed orders righ to your door steps in Kabul without extra charges. Better yet, just order "take aways" in advance so you do not have to wait. While waiting for your change, won't hurt if you check if they give you exactly what you have ordered. Now, that is a tip from Penelope!
Favorite Dish: Order any dish - they are all great! I can't actually tolerate too much spices because of my allergies but I always tell them to make it "milder" and I haven't had any problem so far. I frequently go for tandoori chicken, tandoori aalo, murg malai kabab.
Bella Italia: Ristorante e Pizzeria
The restaurant is known for the Italian dishes (aside from pizza). The owner used to live in Europe so if you speak French, German or Italian, you will feel at home talking to him. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Bella Italia could be packed from time to time so better call first if you're going there with lots of friends.
Favorite Dish: I like Bella Italia even more now that I have tried their scalloped meat (Schnitzel) which was perfectly cooked - I had to tell them to say thank you to the Cook!
Try their Mozzarella Caprese for a start. My firend had Totellini Mozzarella. I had Gamberoni Grigli. Their red housewine was sweet which I kind of liked.
Golden Key Seafood Restaurant: Chinese foods in Kabul!
At lunch time during workdays, this restaurant may not be packed. I, for one, order takeaways, and just visit this restaurant during the weekend or at times in the evening while at work.
I like the Afghan mantu but because I am a native Asian, I crave for dimsums and Golden Key does some with vegetables, with shrimps or with beef or pork.
You can send your driver to pick up or order or you ca ask them to deliver.
Good Chinese foods you'll find in Kabul at Golden Key Restaurant!
Favorite Dish: My favourite is their spinach with garlic. If they have crabs, I order the dish too because their Cook is great! He can make seafoods taste like out of this world and watch out for those carrots - they may look like ships, fish or what-have-you!
Flower Street Cafe: Best pomegranate juice in Kabul
Flower Street Cafe was best known for its sandwiches and chips but the owner has done a lot of improvements. You will enjoy your coffee, smoothies and frapuccions after you've enjoyed your meal. If you are watching your weight, they have great salads. You'll love sitting in the garden with friends or colleagues or you just bring your laptop inside the resto and work while eating.
Favorite Dish: Never mind the sandwiches, they're all fine. I go here for the pomegranate juice!
Popo Lano: Another place with veggie alternatives
This is a pretty pricy place to have lunch or dinner in Kabul, but some rich Afghans and foreigners go here. They serve Italian food (pizza & pasta) as well as some Afghan dishes (which are much cheaper). They have vegetarian pizzas and one or two pasta dishes as well as a deceant salad bar.
Delhi Darbar: Indian food
Now almost everything is available in Kabul. At a price. Everything imported cost a fortune. At least for Afghans. Indian, Thai and Chinese food now compete with the traditional Afghan food. You choose what is more interesting and which environment is suitable for you.
This is one of the few places in Afghanistan where you can find vegetarian food.
Delhi Darbar has now also opened in Mazar-e Sharif.
Favorite Dish: Anything vegetarian.
Lai Thai: The business of Thai food...
For some reason, we ended up eating Qabli pulao three times a day in the first part of our trips on both occassions. Tastes good, but thrice a day??
So naturally we were plesantly surprised when we heard of this new Thai place in town. What - a Thai restaurant in Kabul??
Lai Thai, in Wazir Akbar Khan, one of the posh localities in town, where you`d find all the embassies and Aid agencies, probably serves every Thai dish one might find on a menu in Bangkok.
Run by a Bangkok born lady, who's entrepreneurial talents have meant that she looks out eagerly for for potential trouble spots in the world to expand her chain of restaurants. The UN staff, Aid workers, and other men in uniform that frequent her restaurant, are good for business, and its quite a niche that she`s carved for herself!
She runs restaurants in Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, East Timor, Kosovo, and was wondering what would be a good time to open shop in Iraq!
Favorite Dish: Here's some quotes from an interview in the Guardian, with Lalita Thongngamkam, the lady who runs `Lai Thai'...
"In a country like this, there is not much competition, when a country gets in trouble, I'm always interested."
"I always follow the UN," she says. Her logic: UN officials earn more than soldiers do and eat out more often.
For all its troubles, she says, Afghanistan is still a "very sweet cake" for risk-takers. A few years ago, she opened a restaurant in Australia. It flopped. "In stable places, there are too many competitors," she says.
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Los Amigos Steakhouse: Spanish-Afghan foods
It is not easy to find the restaurant as you won't find any sign outside. The soups are okay but desserts are the main reason why I come here. Other restaurants in Kabul do not offer much of desserts. French fries are not their best but the steaks are tender and yummy.
Favorite Dish: The restaurant has a bar and there are two small sections inside for dining. In summer, you will prefer to eat outside. There's a pool and the arrangement is nice.
Delhi Darbar: Indian restaurant
Pretty authentic Indian cuisine. The guy who runs it is from Delhi, and owned a restaurant there earlier. How he ended up in Kabul is a different story- something about being promised a restaurant in Europe and then getting stuck in Afghanistan along the way!
Favorite Dish: Apart from the usual Indian fare, i think there was a decent $6 buffet for lunch available.
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Chief Chicken Pizza: Pizza, Burgers, and Beer
Yea, this place was somewhat disappointing, and I did get sick the next day (though my friend who ate there didn't). So, you can order pizza or burgers (or Kebabs, of course),and I noticed another guy had ordered a beer.
It was a nice change from Kebabs
Favorite Dish: The Chicken Burger I had was not so great, and my friends double cheeseburger didn't look much better. But, the fries were soggy!!
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