Pakistani Restaurant in Chicago Offers Authentic Karachi Ambience

via www.newcitychicago.com

Zaiqa, 858 North Orleans, is a gritty, cafeteria-style Pakistani joint with character to spare. Zaiqa attracts the cab-driving crowd, which means all men, so if you go at the lunch rush it’s like stumbling into a Pakistani frat party. Lots of smoking and yelling. In the evening the lights get low, the music softens–well, it would, if there was music–and a family crowd shows up, usually heading to the curtained-off area to one side. What rocks about Zaiqa is the straight-up Karachi scene, from the phone-card vendor at the front to the bizarre decor and the sudden rushes of kurta-wearing men into the basement where the Muslim call to prayer is answered five times daily. The food is good, too, but in a “for five bucks this sure beats Chipotle” kind of way, as opposed to, “the heck with Trotter’s, let’s go to Zaiqa!”