What images do you have in mind when you consider Varanasi? You must be considering the Varanasi Ghats, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, or the city’s winding lanes. We also associate food with Varanasi or Kashi.
Varanasi is a destination for food lovers, from lip-smacking chats to the sweet seduction of desserts and thandai. Therefore, we made the decision to compile a list of the best foods to eat in Varanasi as well as the best restaurants there.
I have no doubt that the food served pleased the Gods when they descended to Kashi. They may have chosen to shower Kashi with blessings in part due to the food. These are just my personal opinions, which I will keep to myself. Now let’s explore the mouthwatering aromas and flavors of Varanasi street food. Along with recommending the top restaurants and eateries in Varanasi, I will also write about the city’s top restaurants.
You shouldn’t miss Varanasi’s top street food
Varanasi is known for its street food, which includes chats, desserts, and sweets. Snacks and desserts are readily available all day. In fact, whenever we travel to Varanasi, we unintentionally go to Kachori Gali in search of the Blue Lassi Shop. After that, Kashi Chat Bhandar or Deena Chaat Bhandar are obviously frequent stops.
And during the winter, we merely look for shops that sell malaiyo in an effort to determine where it is best to eat it. So it’s wonderful to be in Varanasi. The culinary experiences are just right after all the sensory explorations of Varanasi’s lanes and alleys. Therefore, this is our pick for Varanasi’s top street food.
The most popular breakfast dish in Varanasi is kachori sabzi. Instead of your typical bread and omelette for breakfast, try the rounded, fluffy Kachoris that are served with hot sabzi. In essence, kachoris are puri-stuffed lentils that are accompanied by a flavorful gravy made of potatoes. The kachoris are freshly fried in front of you and served hot.
While visiting Varanasi, our favorite breakfast item was kachori sabzi. Many street-side stalls selling these crispy and savory treats can be found in the area around Kachori Gali.
The best place to eat in Varanasi:
The best locations are Madhur Milan close to Dashaswamedh Ghat and Ram Bhandar in Chowk (6.30 am to 11 am).
I’ll start with Varanasi’s street food, which is my favorite. In Varanasi, the Tamatar Chat is an absolute delight. Made from tomatoes, potatoes, the right quantity of spices, hing (asafetida), and the right quantity of sweet chutney, dhaniyaleaves, and a dollop of desi ghee for garnish. The best one is supposedly the Tamatar Chat of Kashi Chat Bhandar. We sampled tamatar chat from Kashi Chat Bhandar and other locations, and we can attest that Kashi Chat Bhandar’s version has the best flavor. On Lahurabir Road, you can find additional street-side stalls where you can purchase this delicious snack.
The best place to eat in Varanasi:
Without a doubt, Kashi Chat Bhandar is the ideal location for Tamatar Chat.
Additionally, there are other roadside vendors.
Another one of our favorite street foods in Varanasi is chooda matar. Actually, this is Poha with a Varanasi twist. Flattened rice is cooked with fresh green peas and a variety of spices after being soaked in Desi Ghee. The meal is quite filling and makes a delicious evening snack.
The best places to eat in Varanasi: Kashi Chat Bhandar, Deena Chat Bhandar
Only a few people refuse to Golgappe. Golgappes are unique and favorite street food in Varanasi because of their tangy flavor. In addition to the classic golgappe made with tamarind water, you can also try the sweet and sour Dahi Chutney Golgappe. Every chat shop in Varanasi sells this well-known Banarasi Chat.
The best places to eat in Varanasi: Kashi Chat Bhandar, Deena Chat Bhandar, and the street-side stalls
Malai toast is also unique to Varanasi. Try the Malai toast or Safed Makkhan toast if you don’t want to eat kachori sabzi for breakfast. Here, thick local bread is heated through in a coal oven before being generously brushed with either the preferred white butter or the standard yellow butter. The toast can also be topped with sugar or a dash of salt and pepper. The best way to enjoy this street food in Varanasi is with a hot Kullad wali chai.
The best place to eat in Varanasi:
Nearly all of the tea stalls serve Malai toast in the morning. One of the best is Laxmi Chai Wale, which is close to Godowlia Road.
Another incredibly popular street food in Varanasi is this. This dish is available from numerous streetside stalls. The Indian dish choka is made up of mashed potatoes, tomatoes, and baked brinjal along with various other spices. It is served with baati, a Indian type of bread. In Varanasi, you can find baati choka in both upscale restaurants and streetside stalls.
Best Place to eat in Varanasi: Baati Chokha Restaurant at Teliyabagh
Sweets and Desserts in Varanasi
Now let’s explore more of Varanasi’s sweet delights. Desserts and sweets are also very popular in the old city.
During your visit to Varanasi, you must try these sweets. If you enjoy sweets as much as I do, you must visit one of Varanasi’s sweet shops and try out Rasgullas, Chumchum, and Ras malai.
Rabri is another sweet dish that I adore, and Varanasi is home to some of the best Rabris. Any of Varanasi’s well-known sweet stores sells Rabri. When served with jalebis made from Desi Ghee, rabri tastes even better.
Well, well! Another popular dessert in Varanasi is jalebis. In Varanasi, sweet, juicy, and crispy jalebis are in high demand. Jalebis can make you happy at any time, whether you eat them with Kachori-sabzi or with Rabri.
Best Place to eat in Varanasi: Madhur Jalpan serves some great jalebis.
Launglata is a sweet dish that is usually prepared during Holi, though you can find it year-round in Varanasi’s sweet shops and on the city’s streets. The dessert known as launglata is made of crispy dough that is filled with milk solids (mawa), nuts, and sugar. In the sweets, you’ll also find cloves (laung). The flavor of launglata is very sweet.
Malaiyo is a special winter dessert from Varanasi that is only available in the colder months. The basic component of malaiyo is flavor-infused milk foam or froth, which is served in a tiny earthen bowl and topped with pistachios, saffron, and almonds. Just imagine the frothy Malaiyo simply melting in your mouth. The treat is undoubtedly fit for the gods.
Best Place for Malaiyo Varanasi:
During the season (November to February), you can find Maliyo shops all over Varanasi’s lanes. Head to Chaukhamba Gali for the best and most authentic Malaiyo. The store is located in Chaukhamba Gali, across from Gopal Ji Mandir, in the Chaukhamba gully. Its name is Markandey Sardar.
Typically, Malaiyo is available in the morning up until 11 AM.
I believe that Varanasi’s lassi differs slightly from that found in other regions of the nation. Although I’ve always heard of lassis from Punjab, the thick, creamy lassi from Varanasi also tastes divine.
In Varanasi, there is a lassi shop every two minutes, and the majority of them are fantastic. The lassis are typically served in earthen pots and are thick, creamy, and flavorful if desired. They are also generously topped with pistachios, Rabri, and malai.
Thandai is a milk-based beverage that tastes divine and is sold in numerous street vendors. Bhaang Thandai is also available in Kashi (Varanasi); in fact, the shops there will solicit your selection. Bhaang Thandai has a mild blend of wild marijuana that, to the uninitiated, will likely leave you feeling a little dizzy.
Tea or Kulhad-wali Chai and Lemon Tea
Nothing compares to the satisfaction of a steaming cup of Kulhad wali chai to start the day. Varanasi is a great place for chai (tea) lovers. Chai is best made with thick, milky tea that has been boiled for a long time and spiced with ginger or cardamom.
Lemon tea is also an option for those who prefer it over milk tea. There are several stalls selling excellent lemon tea along the ghats.
The name speaks for itself. Varanasi is known for its distinctive paan, or betel leaf. Without eating a Banarasi Paan, your trip to Banaras won’t be complete. The Paan is prepared by stuffing betel leaves with cardamom, fennel seeds, menthol, betel nuts, cloves, and other ingredients, as is common practice. You can only call a meal complete after you’ve had a banarasi paan.