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With a signboard that reads, 'Yes, We are Less Dirty', most tourists are bound to freeze in their tracks and rub their eyes in disbelief. It's true - this is the Apsara Restaurant for you! Foodies will be spoiled for choice at this eatery which serves up an exciting array of cuisines spanning Korean, Chinese, Continental, Japanese, Indian and Israeli food. Air-condition is another decisive factor in Apsara's success; what better way to beat Varanasi's scorching summers than to chill here with good company in 'less dirty' confines and wallet-friendly rates.
Jyoti Cafe is a neighborhood spot to relish authentic local cuisine preparations in a no-frills setting. The friendly owners are quite welcoming of their guests, which usually comprise foreign tourists and locals alike. Stop in for a hearty breakfast of mueseli curd honey, cornflakes or the wholesome porridge, even as you get to choose from a wide selection of lunch and dinner options like aromatic curries, rice dishes, noodles and chopsuey.
Kashi Chat Bhandar is one of the famous fast food restaurants serving snacks and Chats. Some of the items they serve are Dahi Bhalla, Aloo Tikki, Paani Puri, Papri Chat, Mixed Chat and Dahi Masala Chat. In their sweet menu, Rabri Jalebi is the best. It has a typical Banarasi taste. The place is very small but is well maintained and clean. The prices are kept as low as possible so you can come here often with a gang of friends and enjoy munching some tasty snacks.
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 charming Buddhist pilgrim site of Sarnath has only a few quality restaurants to its credit. Rangoli Garden Restaurant is one among them which has a nice homely vibe to it. The large dining hall is surprisingly cool and comfy even in hot summer afternoons. The seating is comfortable and the service is friendly and relatively quick. The menu has an awesome range of Indian cuisine along with delicious Chinese delicacies. Paneer (Cottage Cheese) preparations are especially delightful with the few chicken and lamb varieties. Do visit for a satisfying meal.
Deena Chat Bhandar is a no-frills roadside joint that probably serves the most scrumptious street food in the sacred city. Much frequented by Bollywood celebrities and other famous personalities, the fast food stall is always teeming with food lovers pouring in from all corners of the city. Favorites include samosa puri, aloo chaat, bhel puri and tomato chaat, among other equally appetizing and flavorsome items.
Dosa Cafe is a famous spot in the holy city to enjoy inventive South Indian preparations like chocolate dosa and Ratatouille dosa, among other exciting preparations. The skilled cooks here come up with some creative yet flavorsome spin-offs of classic South Indian picks and draw in crowds from far and wide. Apart from the chocolate dosa, this cafe is also popular for the ice-cream truffle idly and uttapams. Finish off those scrumptious portions with a choice of cold and hot beverages available here.
Serving delicious Chinese dishes, Ming Garden is a popular eatery in the area. Located right next to the delightful Chrystal Bowl, this restaurant has a fan following in the city for the sheer quality of the food, reasonable pricing and the vibrant atmosphere. The choices in the menu are quite elaborate with 14 different kinds of soups and 26 different starters. There is a facility for private gatherings upstairs.
Located in a bustling area of Dasashwamedh Road just by the main entrance of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Madhur Milan Cafe is a small, unpretentious affair which lets the food do the talking. Locals and Westerners flock here to indulge in flavorful and generous helpings of popular Indian fare such as parathas, dosa, samosa, pav bhaji, paneer pakoras and more for unbelievably cheap rates. Not your regular cafe built within an actual structure, this one is essentially an open space which sees the chefs tossing dosas on large heated pans in full view of the street. A few seats are available for seating however standing and eating is the way to go about it!. A small counter at the side displays mouth-watering traditional Indian sweets in glass cases that can be had after your meal.
In-house restaurant at the Haifa Hotel, Haifa Restaurant welcomes casual passersby also to come in and partake the culinary feast dished out by the prodigious chef. Indian, Chinese, Israeli and Continental dishes are on the menu, and though the dining area is not very spacious or clean, it has somehow become a hot bet for long-term travelers living in Varanasi. Cheap and tasty food goes a long way in bringing in repeat customers.