Food & Shopping…
What to eat in Varanasi || Where to eat in Varanasi || Varanasi Food Variety || Travel and Food || Indian Food and Varanasi||
Food… Food and Varanasi.. they are just some divine ethereal combination.. are you getting what I mean?? It’s too much you know.. there can be way too many things to tell you about Benarasi Food.. but don’t worry.. I will finish everything about Varanasi food in just ‘few little’ words.. Just a few..
So Varanasi has a variety of food, you just can’t restrict in one particular thing or any particular place.. it’s an epitome of foodies’ miscellany.. I wanted to go all traditional in Varanasi for feed but I also ended up with some fusion, modern age touch and my food experience in this city were food-tastic.. SO many things to eat.. so many places and what variety.. the only problem with this post will be.. there are very less pictures proportionate to what I ate as I was so indulged, most of the time I remembered taking pictures of my dish right after finishing it. Pardon!!
So what all you must must must try in Varanasi? LASSIE was my first word.. I wanted to try as much lassie as I could.. as a result, I came with a sore throat back home.. but who cares!!
SO let’s start with LASSIEEE:
Search on the internet, ‘best lassie shop in Varanasi’ and You will come up with a hell lot of options, especially ‘Blue Lassie Shop” for their fruit fusion lassie.. I went there, waited for the shop to open, while there was still time to open, for some reason which I cannot mention here (personal reason, no other thing, it’s a safe place, be assured) I took an about turn and tasting their lassie was crossed red for me.
** Blue Lassie Shop is close to Manikarnika Ghat (after Dasashwamedh ghat), If Google map confuses you, ask the locals, they will give you the exact direction.
But there are many other shops.. luckily close to my guesthouse, there’s another very famous and one of the oldest lassie shops in Varanasi, is Pehelwan Lassie Shop near Lanka Gate. There are 3 shops with the same name, all belonging to the same family lineage, you can try at any of them. The one beside Lanka gate is the oldest one.
Let me tell you a thing here.. You actually do not drink Varanasi Lassie, you literally eat Varanasi Lassie. It’s lassie topped with Malai and rabdi.. it’s the ultimate desert, you may ask for.
I even had lassie at some not-at-all famous shops as well (making sure that they are clean, get a good local crowd daily and by the end of the day there are sold out of all their stocks).. And not for once I was disappointed.
** Pahelwan Lassie: After the 4 temple visits @Lanka (Durga Mata Temple, Sankat Mochan, Tulsi Manas temple, Tridev Temple), take a break at Pahelwanl lassie shop and take a sip of their soothing, chilled lassie.
Kachori & Jalebi:
When in Varanasi, if lassie is a must-try, so are kachori and Jalebi. Start your day with a mouthful of crispy, hot, puffy Kachoris, then relish your kachoris with some sweet jalebis.
Now whoever you’ll ask, will tell you to go to the one and only ‘The Ram Bhandar’ (near Kashi Vishwanath Temple, inside a narrow lane), selling the best of kachoris from ages!! Go early morning, enjoy Dal puri/ dal kachoris (the same things) or if you are lucky then you may get Aloo kachoris (puri made with potatoes), I wasn’t the lucky one to have Aloo kachoris… but their kachoris, in general, are really good, delicious, hot and crispy and little expensive than other places!!
But that’s Okay… But there is also another point for you.. When is Varanasi, there are many local shops that sell one of the best of foods. Look for some decent crowd, hygienic place, good people.. and you are bound to have your experience.
Like, near Lanka gate (close to Assi) I found this shop called ‘Cachi ki Kachori’, they only sell kachori and Jalebi in the morning, they are open till 9 in the morning and that’s it, they are closed for the day.. but during that 2-3 hours, they sell like anything and the people are so humble; I used to ask them to pack, they would do it very carefully, plus they used to give me plates so that I could have my food inside my room comfortably (all these without asking them!) and I found their kachori really relishing and so apt to the taste.
Kulladh Wali Chai (Tea in a mud cup):
Oohhhh!! There’s nothing like chai in India.. actually, there’s nothing like masala chai with milk and sugar in India.. and that too in a mud cup. Benaras is famous for this. In every lane, street, even at the ghats (Assi especially), you get tea stalls and just enjoy cups and cups of them. They are tasty obviously, they are refreshing, and super good and oh so Banarasi..
Even if you don’t want to try the other two (you really won’t!??).. do try the Chai in a mud cup… it’s food meditation!!
You also have so many varieties of Chaats, Pani puri chat, Dahi Pani puri Chaat, Tomato Chaat, Thandai (which I didn’t try on my Solo trip, if you want to, ask for without ‘Bhang’, you may feel dizzy), Samosa.. ohhh.. I am missing them.. I should have stayed more to try more!!
And Don’t forget the Tandoori Momo stall outside Assi Ghat.. that’s unbeatable..
& those foods stall area inside Hindu University!!!
I can’t eat a lot when I am travelling (maybe excitement reverberation!!), so I can’t try a lot of things at a time!! & I call myself ‘Foodie’!!
*** Let me share a very important point with you.. When in Varanasi, apart from running to the famous shops to try this then that… look around you, wherever you see a decent crowd enjoying food at a local shop, go and just try whatever they are selling.. you won’t regret.. take my word.
Benaras is famous for Sarees, traditional Banarasi Sarees.. but you need the help of locals to buy good quality sarees. You may ask at your hotel/guest house/ your guide etc. to help you recommend a good shop.
Apart from this, there is a huge long Market outside Dasashwamedha Ghat:
If you want to take a walk, the entire stretch will take about 10 minutes to take a round. You will see plenty of Clothing shops, selling traditional wear, then there are shops for accessories, small souvenirs like pictures, then shops selling small showpieces like shiva lingams, to take back home, gift others, you also get such showpieces of other gods-goddesses, made of metal, stones; utensils for Puja, traditional home décor etc.
This market however is very centric to tourists, right outside one of the oldest ghats of Banaras, this area attracts tourists very easily.
You can also buy wooden toys here.
So Food- shopping post done, there’s one more post to share with you for now on Banaras and this series will be done.. For Now 😉