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Lassi, a yogurt drink topped with fruits and spices, is hugely popular in the Northern side of India, and Varanasi has the atmospheric Blue Lassi Shop to boast an exclusive shop. Painted in blazing blue, the small outlet is on the narrow alley leading to the mighty Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The small seating area has a nice display of photographs. Served in earthen pots, the drink is a must-try while in India; look no further than this blue laden charmer to try it out.
The Brown Bread Bakery has plunged abysmally in terms of hygiene, ambiance and service, ever since the original German owner Michael left after differences with his Indian partner. Drawn in by previous glowing reviews in popular backpacker guides, unsuspecting budget travelers and backpackers still arrive here only to be greeted by a musty odor, mice scurrying hurriedly between cushions and lethargic service. Make sure you ask the waiter if you are likely to get what is included in a set meal; the chefs often replace non-vegetarian items for vegetarian ones, for example mushrooms replace meat. The menu rattles on about various N.G.O's supported by this cafe as well as the freshest meat being flown in from Delhi. For what it's worth, the prices are inflated but then again, to each his own. Go for yourself and check it out - and maybe later head to the newer Brown Bread Bakery on the other side of the road for an unbiased comparison. The old Brown Bread Bakery is a perfect example of how change in management can make or break a business.
Located at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple area, Shanti Cafe offers a refreshing change from the South Indian cuisine which is usually found in the area with some exotic Japanese delicacies along with a couple of Korean dishes. The restaurant's menu consists of delicacies like Miso Soup with Pork, Kimchi Cold Soba and Pork Curry which is a far cry from the vegetarian food found in the area. A range of traditional Indian beverages like masala chai and lassi are served alongside Japanese teas and coffee to provide some variety. Although the decor is minimal, the food alone is quite a draw for tourists.
Tucked away in the by-lanes of Varanasi's Old City lies the Vishnu Tea Emporium whose hand-painted signs are seen on almost every wall of the ghats area and its alleys. Young Vishnu who speaks a smattering of French proudly discusses how he explains the tea-making process to French tourists in their own language. Home-made spices and coffees are up for sale, while those wanting to sample a hot tea before buying it can do so too.
Authentic Korean food is on offer at this charming place at the Manikarnika Ghat. The ambiance is richly traditional and the food is genuinely impressive. The interiors are adorned with mixed symbols of Korean and Indian culture. The Korean wall writings and the Indian showpieces effortlessly convey the purpose of its existence. The food is served in large portions and is reasonably priced. Functional since 2001, the establishment is a welcome change to the dining scene of the city. An internet cafe and a musical instrument store part of the cafe also attracts lot of visitors.
Bona Restaurant or Bona Cafe serves some of the best Chickenkas and Jabchaebab along with rice and salad. Chickenkas is served with spicy gravy chicken and potato soup whereas Jabchaebab is made up of Korean potato noodles. It is served with few veggies, sticky rice and mushrooms. This restaurant has a very different menu so if you want to try something new; this is the perfect place to come to. They cater mainly to the foreign bag packer crowd and that is why they have a variety in their menu. The decor is inspired by Korean culture and the cuisine is a mix of Korean and Indian cuisines. It is also one of the most posh cafes in the city of Varanasi.