The Survival Guide to Kabul©

Published internationally in July 2003 as Kabul: The Bradt Mini Guide.

First published in Kabul in September 2002 as a pamphlet.



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Restaurants Update

July 2004


Taken from the first and second issues of AFGHAN SCENE MAGAZINE – June and July 2004.



JUNE 2004

The restaurant scene is still thriving in Kabul, with the menu slowly opening up.


The mix of restaurants on offer to those who are restricted to six by organisational house rules and curfews and those who can go anywhere offers a varied dining experience.


The Deutscher Hof German Restaurant in Qali Fatullah and the Lai Thai in Wazir Akbar Khan have been open for more than a year now and continue to remain firm favourites with their customers.


Gunter Volker, the manager of the DHK, has brought prices down and is looking forward to the Summer Thursday nights “eat as much as you can” BBQs in the beer garden.


Lalita at the Lai Thai has an interesting array of Afghanistan souvenirs on sale and the food remains tasty.


The Gandamak Lodge continues to be a “rice free zone” with the menu changing every three days and a good solid English breakfast on offer every morning, though a lunch choice is lacking (Friday breakfast tends to extend into brunch).


New dining experiences are offered by the Elbow Room Restaurant and Bar (see Review in this magazine) and the Bahn Thai next to the old Soviet Embassy (diners report the food is better here than the Lai Thai though the décor is basic).


The stress of living on top of each other in guesthouses means that there will always be room for bars such as the Feelings Club on Street 13 in Wazir Akbar Khan and the Tree House on Street 1 in Qali Fatullah.


Bs Place remains a firm favourite with its large outside garden as does Anaar with its mixed choice of food. The Intercontinental Hotel buffet on Fridays is hugely popular and it is great to sit outside on the terrace during warmer days.


Garden seating is now offered at the Zadar Croatian Cuisine restaurant. Saska has a charming manner with her guests and the supply of prsut and good cheese is a treat.


The UNICA bar still remains the closest thing to a dirty student union bar in Kabul.


UNAMA staff working at the Jalalabad road HQ are lucky to have an excellent pizza and coffee bar on site but otherwise Kabul still lacks a really decent Italian restaurant.


The Popo’lano at the Insaf Hotel and in Wazir Akbar Khan are still firm favourites with some people for Italian food and Pizzeria Milano near the Cinema Park and Everest Pizza in WAK aren’t too bad. The Mustafa Hotel pizzas are still liked by a lot of people.


For Afghan food the Roz restaurant on Muslim Street across from the Delhi Darbar Indian restaurant is by far the best in town. Taste restaurant just off Flower Street offers a good mix of cheaply priced food.


Karwansara Guesthouse has a great compound but most people report that the food is not particularly exciting anymore.


For Chinese food there’s a huge choice in town between a number of places such as the Li Li, Shanghai, Beijing and the Great Wall. Most people recommend the Great Wall.


For “Tex Mex meets TGI Fridays” in Kabul, Red Hot and Sizzlin’ is the place to go. Karaoke is the main diet here with tequila and pitchers of margarita all round. But watch your wallet when you have a large party there!


For your big meat dishes the Shandiz Iranian restaurant is popular but don’t forget the Haji Baba at the Flower Street and Chicken Street crossroads.


Restaurants do tend to come and go in post conflict zones: few remember the Irish Club which opened on St Patrick’s Day 2003 and lasted for about six weeks.


JULY 2004

Mediterraneo Club

Recently opened in Karte Parwan the Med Club (Club Med?) is Kabul’s latest dining experience. Run by a Canadian and her Albanian husband, with a Macedonian chef who’s worked in Sweden and Germany, diners are promised a mix of international cuisines here. Soups are $3, a pepper steak is $16 and the pizzas are $8-10. Med Club reports that the Italians love the espresso coffee and the pizzas. But that’s not all on offer at the club. Punters can enjoy a game on the large snooker/pool table. or chill out on tropical memories in the bamboo lined ceiling basement bar on one of the long red couches or even use the floor space and flashing lights for a spot of strutting.. One reviewer to wrote: “Great Pizza's and Great Atmosphere! Very cosy garden restaurant. Recommended!” There are also four rooms in the house for rent at $60 a night.

Tel: 079 44 77 33; Email:


Feelings Club

The Club on Street 13 in Wazir Akbar Khan has just upped its status from any old bar in a house to a restaurant. Yes, at last! The men who make the pizzas for ISAF and the UN are now in central Kabul. Last issue we said UN staff on the Jalalabad road were lucky to have their own pizzeria and that Kabul lacked a decent Italian restaurant. Now we have one in WAK. To date lunchtime openings have proved difficult as the chefs are working at the UN and ISAF bases but Feelings will deliver for a $1 extra in the evening. The bar is pleasant enough with a large garden and a great pool table upstairs. Anny who runs Feelings clearly misses Shanghai as photos of her home city are all over the walls. But she’s trying to catch the international feel of Kabul with every single flag of the world adorning the walls. Pizzas from $5-6.50.

Tel: 070 23 76 87


Talk of the Town Café

Once again signs that the Intercontinental Hotel is taking shape, it’s just such a shame it takes so long to get there otherwise this café would be full all day! Open from 6.30am-10pm you’ll have great cappuccino, Italian coffee, American full roast, or espresso for about $3. Although the sign says “Coffee makers in training. Please be patient.” they are doing wonders. The snacks menu is for the sweet or savoury tooth, choose from mini pizzas, toasted sandwiches and great cakes. Lounge around on the leather chairs and pretend you are in your favourite café or bar in any city. There is also an internet terminal and CNN or BBC World on the TV.







كابل، افغانستان

The Survival Guide to Kabul©