Lucknow’s nostalgia lives on in the way its townspeople describe their food. Prose and culinary science blends as kebabs and desserts come along with stories of how they were conceived. The old crumbling walls of Chowk and the magnificent landmarks of the city are the stage for an epicurean adventure that has evolved since the days of kings into the streets and palates of the common person.Uncover an interesting facet of the city when you explore the street food in Lucknow.
1. Food Stops at Chowk
The Chowk is a 500 metre stretch of old world flavours and numerous shopping stalls. The beating heart of Lucknow’s street food scene, this is the venue where most Lucknow food hunts begin.Tundey Kebabi: It is said that the Tunday kebab was the result of a quest by a nobleman who wanted a meaty delicacy that was so soft that he didn’t have to chew it. The kebab is the flagship of Lucknow’s street food now and a stroll in the Chowk will eventually lead you to this delicacy.
2. Tunday Kebab
Galawati kebab: If the Tunday kebab has competition for being the best street food in Lucknow, then clearly it comes from the papaya infused galawati kebab which melts in your mouth.
3. Boti Kebabs
Since you are in the capital of Awadhi and Mughlai cuisines, the boti kebabs cannot be missed. Grilled marinated meat pieces, these are perfect accompaniments for evening sojourns into the old town. Naushi Jaan is the place for succulent sheekh kebabs, another meaty delicacy of the Mughals.
You do not miss out on the kebab fun even if you are a vegetarian. A stall opposite the Chowk post officehas specialized in vegetarian kebabs which still retain the aromatic and explosive spices that madeTunday and galawati world famous.
4. Rahim ki Nihari
Located at the Akhbari Gate, this place is famous for nihari and kulcha. One of
Lucknow’s breakfast specials is the slow cooked goat trotters stew – the payai ki nihari. As tasty as it is, this is also a power packed meal for the hardworking Lucknow citizen.
5. Mithai and Gajak
For 2 centuries, the Ram Asrey sweetshop at Chowk has been satisfying sweet lovers and is considered one of the best food places in Lucknow. Specials here include the kali gajar halwa and habshi halwa. The malai gilori is a lost art that is now surviving in this Lucknow institution.
Pandit Raja is a place where people flock for thandai, an Indian cold beverage that includes saffron, spices and dried fruits like cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios. There is also a bhang versionavailable.
7. Chaat Runs
A visit to some chaat houses is essential if you are to experience the best food in Lucknow.Chowk’s Dixit Chaat house is one of the most famous places for chaats and batashas in the city and specials here include the dahi alu tikki, a combination of tangy curd and potato croquette cooked crisp in pure ghee. Shukla Chaat Bhandaar is another popular chaat joint that is famous for its mutter tikka, a favourite Lucknow snack.
8. Tokri chaat
Also called basket chaat this dish is a delightful preparation of spicy filling in hollow fried bread that looks like a basket. Make sure you do not skip the Lucknow variant of this chaat, head off to Hazratganj’s Royal Cafe. Morning visitors to the Chowk’s Gol Darwaza can be treated to desi ghee fried
9. Pani Ke Batashe
Taste a quick round of multiple flavours when you order pani ke batashe or gol gappes in the heart of the old city. There is, after all, a reason why these hollowed fried bread with spicy fillings are one of the famous street food in Lucknow.
From architecture to language, there are a lot of Persian influences in the city of Lucknow and cuisines too follow a similar trend. When in Lucknow, make sure you try the popular sheermals, mildly sweet naan style bread with saffron in it. These go especially well with meat.
11. Kashmiri chai and kagazi samosa
In the Aminabad area of old Lucknow, you can stop for a particular beverage that Lucknow has borrowed and made its own. Kashmiri chai is pink in colour and is salty, a novelty item that helps keep people warm in the chilly foggy winters of Lucknow. As typical of most Kashmiri imports, this take on tea also involves dry fruits and milk. The chai goes best with kagazi samosa, a light puff dipped into the tea and scooped with a spoon.
They say the lassi at Nazirabad’s Pahalwan Lassi is so thick that you can stick a spoon in it and it stands without sinking. This refreshing drink is perfect for those hot summer days where exploring the city has left you needing a dose of energy. Sai Lassi in Chowk offers variants of this beverage including toppings of dry fruit.
One of the popular desserts of Awadhi cuisine, the milk cream preparation called nimish is a fragrant dessert that includes saffron. Also known as Makhan malai, this is a winter speciality.
14. Kulfi Falooda
A list of the famous food in Lucknow will have to include the Kulfi faluda at Prakash Kulfi,a traditional ice-cream style dessert that is a summer favourite. The fruit kulfi here is also recommended by connoisseurs.
Jalebis are found across the country but Baburam’s halwai in old Lucknow is famous for the consistency that has not wavered for a century.
A stimulating part of Indian cuisine, the after meal special that is paan holds a special place in Lucknow. If you are looking for the best combination of flavours packed in a betel leaf, then Azhar Paan is the place to be.Hospitality lives in every breath of Lucknow. The city has created a habit of enamouring all those who visit with its pre-colonial charm and uncompromised delicacies. One does not have to venture into fine dining for the best dining experiences in Lucknow. As you endeavour into the city, looking for the famous food of Lucknow don’t be surprised that your learning experience goes beyond the culinary world but into facets of history and culture as well. Enjoy the tasty delights of Lucknow and share your experiences of the city that started a culinary revolution.