Shillong’s natural attractions are the reason why tourists come here once, but the food is why they keep coming back. If you enjoy your meats, this is the place to be. Mixing it up with something from a variety of cuisines (local, North Indian, Chinese, Bengali, Assamese), one can find plenty of food stalls and restaurants dishing out yummy food.
Khasi and Jaintia cuisines are the most popular of the many varieties that one can sample in Shillong. Here are the top 12 foods available in Shillong.
Quick Facts about Food in Shillong
Where to eat: For an authentic food experience, you don’t need to go to any high-end restaurant. Visit one of the many food stall in and around the market area that dish out local delicacies.
Popular areas: Popular areas for street food in Shillong are the Police Bazaar and the local city centre.
Prices: Food is reasonably priced. No special pricing for tourists.
Best dishes to eat in Shillong
You may have eaten momos any number of times, but you’ve got to try them here. Popular in the northeast region of India, momos are best eaten with spicy-tangy chutney (a blend of dried red chilli and vinegar).
From street stalls to local eateries, many restaurants in Shillong serve fresh and hot momos with different fillings. Pork and chicken momos are very popular with the locals. If you want to avoid street food, a popular restaurant is Hotel Broadway on GS Road.
A popular sweet in most Indians cities is the jalebi. This divine treat is loved by people across the country and Shillong is no different.
Although the cuisine of Meghalaya is generally a far cry from that of Delhi or UP, one thing that binds all three together is the humble jalebi. The sweet is ideally eaten hot. Many sweet marts in Shillong serve hot and crispy Jalebis.
Many locals queue up at local street stalls in Shillong to get their daily fix of Tungrymbai. The dish is popular in Meghalaya and is prepared using fermented soybeans that are grown in Shillong.
You’re unlikely to get this anywhere in the country other than northeast India, so it’s definitely one of the top treats in Shillong. The dish is best eaten with bread or roti. Tungrymbai can be eaten at local street stalls in and round markets in Shillong.
This dish is Shillong’s specialty. Rice drenched in a flavourful mix of sour and spicy, topped with an assortment of herbs like mint leaves and ginger flower, along with pork meat that packs a real punch.
Jadoh is a Meghalaya treasure found everywhere on Shillong’s streets. A popular place to get Jadoh from is Jadoh’s in Don Bosco Square or Trattoria in Police Bazaar.
Another favourite you don’t want to miss out on in Shillong. Pork cooked with black sesame seeds and soy sauce. The toasted sesame seeds, often found in Chinese cooking, takes this dish to another level altogether. Dohneiiong can be found at many food stalls in and round the main city centre as well as near the Police Bazaar.
Not a local dish, Chowmein is very popular with the people of Shillong. Spicy and hot, it is prepared with egg noodles on industrial-sized woks on the streets. It is usually served with chicken or pork, and contains onions, garlic, ginger, and spices over a bed of noodles.
The dish is served at most local Chinese stalls and restaurants in and around Shillong, but if you want the best, sample it at Kimfa on GS Road.
Pineapples grow easily in Shillong. Typically, you would find the giant Kew variety. And it’s amazingly delicious. Sweet and tender, you’ll find street vendors selling cleaned and cut pineapples with a tangy masala sprinkled over it. Head to any local market and sample on this delicious fruit.
8. Betel Leaf
The Betel Leaf is a popular food item had after a meal in most parts of India. However, the betel leaf found in Shillong is out of this world. Spicy and hot (great in the cold weather), it is the perfect way to end a meal experience in Shillong.
Although it’s not easy to digest at first, eating a Betel Leaf in Shillong is a must-do for every tourist who visits the city of Shillong. Taste it at one of the many tobacco and tea stalls in around the main market square.
9. Smoked Meats
Smoked meats in Shillong (and all across northeast India) are very popular. You’ll see meat being smoked all across the city and even more often once you get out. There are restaurants and food stalls all around serving these smoked meats.
From pork to chicken, smoking is quite a popular cooking technique with a large section of locals. Smoked and grilled meats are eaten during the colder months in Shillong.
A popular pork dish without a specific recipe, local eateries have many different ways of preparing Dohkhlieh. Women folk come to markets every morning with their concoction. It can be described as a salad made using pork, onions, and local spices. Don Bosco Square is where you’ll find it most easily.
Another popular dish in Meghalaya, Pukhlein is prepared from fermented rice. As it is one of the few desserts in Shillong, nearly every restaurant in the city will serve it.
12. Chilly Pork
Indo-Chinese cuisine is an important part of the Meghalaya food scene. In Shillong, you’ll find plenty of Indo-Chinese dishes. Among them, chilli pork is perhaps most famous. In the main market area, local Chinese food stalls serve freshly cooked spicy and hot chilli pork portions at very reasonable prices.
Just like we’ve mentioned above, Shillong is a food lover’s paradise. The city offers a lot of dining options, making it difficult for one to choose. There are plenty of street foods available in Shillong, but these are some of the best dishes to try if you are visiting the city.
Does your city or state offer the same variety of food that Shillong has to offer? What are some of the favourite street food dishes that one should try in your city and state? We would really like to know. Share with us in the comments section.