So it’s your best friend’s birthday and you’re looking to make their special day extra special? Even though birthday surprises have become a cliche, it doesn’t mean it won’t fill your loved one’s heart with joy! I’ve been looking for places to celebrate my birthday, or just hang out and have a quality meal. I have narrowed down my list to these 5 places in Islamabad:

1. Aqs Gallery

Apart from being an art gallery, Aqs is one of the city’s best eatery. You can reserve either an indoor or outdoor venue here to celebrate the big day. They also provide the most amazing themed parties. The decor is not just unique, but simply jaw dropping. The picture below shows how much they care to make one’s day special. You can invite as many friends or family members to the party as you want. The staff does a great job at serving guests, and makes sure the food trays are never empty.

aqs changeCourtesy: Aqs Gallery 

2. Street 1 Cafe

If you aren’t bringing in your own cake for the birthday, don’t think twice about ordering something from Street 1 Cafe’s desert menu – their selection is fantastic. If you ask me, I would visit this place every month just for its Red Velvet Waffles and Belgian Chocolate Molten Lava Cake! I once visited them and asked for their private dining area with a seating arrangement for over 10 people; unfortunately it was booked for a birthday party. Which is just as well, as it showed me what a great place it was for celebrations.

Street 1 cafeCourtesy: Street 1 Cafe 

The lights, ambiance, and the decoration are done lavishly, and the Italian dishes here are simply wonderful. (They also offer the upstairs area for couples who wish to dine in a quiet and more romantic setting.)

3. 1969 & Time Goes On

This restaurant is located opposite to Islamabad’s Lok Virsa Museum in the Shakarparian area. The retro decoration of this eatery  best represents the 60’s; a cozy environment and beautiful lighting make this one of the best places to celebrate one’s special day, especially if that someone is a bit nostalgic.

Cafe 1969Courtesy: 1969 & TGO

The drinks here are their specialty, while their menu is full of traditional, continental, Italian and seafood dishes. Be sure to book in advance to get a spot here.

4. Atrio Café & Grill

Are you in the mood for dining at the rooftop with a great view of the city? Then you need to try Atrio Café & Grill. Located in the Jinnah Supermarket, Sector F-7, this rooftop will mesmerize you with a stunning view of the Margalla Hills.

atrioCourtesy: Atrio Cafe & Grill

The place itself offers birthday arrangements from balloons to happy birthday banners and glorious flower baskets. Be sure to try the BBQ here.

5. Howdy

“No One Does Birthdays Like Howdy!”, is what their advertising claims, and we have to agree! Howdy is favorite for children, teenagers and those who love burgers, to celebrate their birthdays.

HowdyCourtesy: Howdy

The choice of music here is good, and the environment is clean. Though I wasn’t satisfied with the seating arrangement, the decor they did for a birthday I attended was very impressive. Don’t forget to take pictures with cowboy hats!

Let me know if I missed a place you think should have been on the list!