I know, I know people go to Banaras or Varanasi for religious and spiritual purposes, but you get to eat too while you are there, right. So hold on tight as Banaras is foodie’s paradise too.
Let’s start at breakfast. In Uttar Pradesh, what better way to start than with stuffed Kachoris accompanied by Kala Chana sabzi with mooli or equally tasty potato curry and chutney. The kachoris are usually stuffed with moong or urad lentils or potates. Kachori Gali near Kal Bhairav mandir is the best place for a lip smacking breakfast. If you still feel hungry after kachoris, go for awesome jalebis just round the gali towards main road. You can’t miss the shop.
Do not miss various kinds of lassi at Godaulia crossing.
Try Batti Chokha, next to Anand Mandir Cinema, Telia Bagh. The restaurant is 15 years old and serves pure vegetarian meals. Baati played an important role in India’s Independence struggle. Freedom fighters like Tantia Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai made this simple meal their travel meal as it needed very little water and can be baked without the use of utensils. It can stay fresh for 2-3 days and is really a great health food.
Wheat or sattu (roasted gram flour) balls stuffed with patotes or paneer are served with chokha, a mixture of roasted brinjal (eggplant), tomatoes, onions and dash of lemon juice for added flavour. The other accompaniments are various chutnis, achars and desi ghee.
Try Pizzeria Vatika, they serve thin-crust pizzas out of a wood-fired oven on a terrace overlooking Assi Ghat. The story goes that an Italian tourist got friendly with owner and showed him the ropes and then as they say rest is history. But remember to leave a little place in your tummy for the delicious apple pie – it’s something to die for.
If you are done with the veggie goodies and want some meat, try Aman restaurant on Bhelupur Road, Near Vijaya Cinema Crossing. They have quite an extensive menu but their Band Mutton is out of the world.
If you are a chaat lover, try Keshari Ruchikar Byanjan close to Kashi Vishwanath temple. They also serve flavoured milk and ice creams.
End your Varanasi sojourn with a Banarasi paan.