Eating Out in Varanasi: What and Where?

Famous for its ghats (river banks), gallis (narrow lanes) and yogis (sages), Varanasi is one such Indian city that is frequented by the tourists from far and wide not just for its temples and heritage but for its food also. People flocking to the ghats, indulging in Ganga aarti (prayers) at the banks of River Ganga is a common site. If you are a gastronome you can have a stroll around to taste the foods that are really great. Here is an overview of what you get to eat and where in Varanasi.

There are certain ghats like ‘Assi Ghat’ which is pretty clean then rest of the city and you can consider sitting on the steps of it to have a calming experience. You can catch hold of the sites like boats setting out for tours, children playing and splashing in water, yogis chanting mantras and barbers at work. There are certain eateries which should be the part of your trip if you want to enjoy the city optimally.

A typical breakfast in Varanasi is Puri Subzi (deep fried flat bread with cooked spicy veggies.) and kachoris which is puri stuffed with lentils. Both puris and kachoris are fried before your eyes and they are served with crisp and hot along with aloo rassa( potatoes cooked in gravy.)  Though it is available at several places but there are certain small and little known food joints which are particularly famous like Madhur Milan near ‘Dashwamedha ghat’ and ‘Ram Bhandar’ in Chowk.

A famous breakfast item available at several food joints is crispy jalebis which are served hot. These are served either with curd or rabri (condensed milk dessert) and taste simply great.

Another food item to add in your food trail when you are in Varanasi is chaat. You will get diversified varieties. Right from the modest aloo-tikki to a wide range of potato patties with chickpea curry and topped with chutneys to pani puri and papdi chaat, you will get a wide range of varieties here. Kashi Chaat Bhandar is a popular destination near Dashwamedha ghat and a must try is Tomato Chaat here.

There is another unique item that is a must try for all those who visit Varanasi to eat something great is Butter toast also known as ‘safed makkhan toast.’ This is a thick, local bread slice toasted over live coal and then slathered with white butter or regular butter. You will find it in “Laxmi Chai Waale.’ Though this food item is available at several places but this tea-stall is known for good toasts. You will also get deeply boiled tea cooked over coal stove and served in earthen glasses.

Do not miss another top selling and a known food of Varanasi which is lassi  (yogurt based drink). It is thick, cardamom flavoured and topped with a lot of cream, rose water and dry fruits. You can have it at Ram Bhandar but Lassiwala near the Assi Ghat or Thandai (Milk flavoured with a wide range of spices). On your way back do not forget to try the sweets of Varanasi from a sweet shop. Launglata,  laal peda and Banarsi paan are some of the must-haves in Varanasi.