The food of Banaras is a much important feature of this city as important the temples and ghats are. When you are in Banaras you simply cannot miss the variety of food this city has to offer. Banaras is famous for its chaats, lassi and thandais along with several types of sweets. The Kachoris, the samosas and the pakodas are to die for. Here is a list on how you can go on a food trail when you are visiting Banaras.
The Lassi shops in Banaras especially in Vishwanath Gali and Dashashvamedh Ghat are a must try. There is a famous lassi shop in Ramnagar across the river in Ramnagar too whose lassi is worth the fare you’ll pay for the boat, along with this Pehelwan ki lassi in BHU area is another place where you can have lassi worth the price you’ll pay
This place is one of the most iconic places in Banaras. The moment you move away from Vishwanath Gali you’ll be in Kachauri Gali the land of most delicious Kachauris and other street foods. Although you need to arrive in the early morning around 7 because this area goes almost deserted as the stock lasts. Here Choora matar is another dish that is a must try. It looks too much like Poha but is prepared in a different way.
When in Banaras, Thandai is a must. As you walk out of Dashashvamedh Ghat and reach the market area you’ll find some of the oldest and famous thandai shops of this city. With time they have changed a little and have started to keep Thandai in different flavors. You can either have thandai with bhang mixed in it or the plain one that will give you a mild kick if you are new to it. Also when here why don’t you try the Banarasi Paan as well?
Fun Fact: There is no such thing as Banarasi Paan (although a lot of Banaras fanatics will kill me for saying this.) At most of the paan shops they just give you meetha paan or magahi paan with some twist but that twist is what makes this paan special.
Chaat is as iconic to Banaras Food scene as Thandai is, there are chat shops everywhere you’ll go to. There are a lot of chat stalls with different preparation styles along with catchy names for their shops. Price range varies from stall to stall and this is the only city where a plate of chat can range from 10 rs to 100 rs. The essential ones Aalu and Tamatar ones are must try flavors.
Served in a kulhad a humble cup of Makkhan Malai is as soft as a baby’s bottom (ok that came out wrong). But trust me when I say that makkan malai in Varanasi is capable of beating international level desserts by a huge margin. In mere 10-15 rs you can go having 3-4 cups of this creamy delight non-stop without going heavy on your stomach.
Apple Pie at Pizzeria
Confused, from where did Apple pie in the city of Lassi and chaats come from? Well with the increasing hippie scene at Assi Ghat a lot of local restaurants emerged here with international food items and one of them was Pizzeria. This small café is one of the most famous cafes in Assi Ghat area. The Apple pie along with its Pizzas and Pastas is just delicious and a must try. A bonus point of this restaurant is that you get to eat here in open air environment looking at the river flowing by.
Litti Chokha is an extremely popular dish from UP/Bihar and it as tasty as simple it could be. You can find litti chokha stalls everywhere in Varanasi like Samosa and chat stalls. Made with sattu filled in flour dough and served with mashed potatoes or Roasted Brinjal, the food is a must try.
Jalebi Rabri is a combo you’ll die for. There are stalls in Vishwanath Gali that serve hot jalebi with rabri served over it. It is an early morning dish as it goes sold out the moment it is brought in the stalls.
Keema and Biryani
The muslim areas of Banaras serve some of the most awesome Keema and Biryani in the city prepared in Awadhi style. These hidden and lesser known gems are a matter of finding out by asking around and you’ll get into some of the best non-veg restaurants that you’ll ever visit.
Chocolate Croissant at Bread of Life, Shivala Ghat
Also known as Varanasi’s own German Bakery this small café specializes in all kind of bread products that they prepare by themselves but their Chocolate Croissant is a must try. These croissants are cheap but the ghat area and café’s surroundings are as dirty as it could be. So if you are a typical hygiene caring kind of person this place is not for you.
These are few of the places in Banaras that you can visit during your trip to Banaras, of course you can explore the food scene in this city on your own because every restaurant, every café and every stall has something different to offer.