Located a few minutes away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the Raj Bandhu Sweet Shop is buzzing with activity during all times of the day. Selling the choicest sweetmeats in town at fixed rates, you can even sample a few of the usual suspects such as gulab jamun, jalebi, motichur laddoo and others. Spicy deep-fried snacks that Indians consume at tea time are also on offer. This shop is hard to miss because of the line of policemen who sit right by the entrance to guard the little streets leading up to the temple.
Within close proximity of Dasashwamedh Road and the ghats lies the Phulwari Restaurant and Sami Cafe, a little haven which offers diners a cozy respite from the abrasive crowds of the city. Acclaimed for its interesting menu, expect to find a lineup of Mediterranean delicacies such as falafel, as well as the usual Italian suspects- pasta, lasagna and others. Their shady garden is a fine spot to catch up with travelers and exchange notes.
i:ba Cafe Restaurant is a slice of Japan in Varanasi in every respect. With a wonderful decor that stands out from the rest of the eateries, one can expect a slew of authentically prepared Japanese dishes served to perfection. Prices are not too high and the service is friendly. The only downside is its distance from the main Dasashwamedh Road however if you happen to be living around Assi Ghat, i:ba is not too far.
A respite for motorists in the hot sun, and a fancy place for the tourists to try something native of the locality, Shiv Prasad Lassi Bhandar is a charmer of sorts. With a backdrop of the mounting Fort that proves contrasting to its unassuming manner, this place serves delicious Lassi (sweet curd topped with thickened cream). A highly popular destination in the city, they serve the lassi in small earthen pots, which undoubtedly provides a cooling effect. There are wooden benches in the outdoor setting, but most of the customers are seen standing in a huddle while relishing.
Run by the amiable Mohammed Ainbosi from Jordan, Hayat Mediterranean enjoys its location by the peaceful Assi Ghat, attracting backpackers and foreigners who've made the city their home. With a relaxed lounge-style seating accentuated by cushions and lighting, one can indulge in their flavored sheeshas while sipping on authentic Middle Eastern drinks. The prices aren't too bad either so stop by for a taste of Jordan in Varanasi, if you ever need a change of palate. Italian and Indian dishes are also served up by the über talented chef!