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.
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.
The Bread of Life Bakery is undeniably a haven for home-sick Western tourists who crave their hearty breakfasts consisting muffins, warm pancakes with syrup, steaming hot chocolate, croissants and fresh omelets. Not just this, Chinese dishes are also served at this relaxed cafe where one can lounge around writing postcards or letters for hours on end. An art gallery and silk shop upstairs stocks some interesting things that can be taken home as souvenirs. A good idea would be to drop in after a sunrise boat ride. Only cash accepted.
Kerala Cafe in the heart of the sacred city serves up delectable South Indian grub in a relaxed setting. The no-frills eatery offers an exciting menu featuring South Indian standards like lemon rice, masala dosa, filter coffee and other classics. Hop in for a typical Kerala-style feast and enjoy the generous portions and friendly service.
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.
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.
Anamika Coffee and Kulfi House is a famous ice cream parlor that was established quite a few years ago. Since then it has become the favorite of not only the locals but also the tourists from across the country. It is a very small joint but well maintained and neatly kept. Apart from kulfis and ice creams it also serves snacks. Some of the items from its menu include Masala Dosa, Idli, Pav Bhaji, Sattu Paratha, Manchurian and Chilli Paneer. It is an affordable place so you will surely be tempted to do often.
Not to be confused with the global burger chain, this Burger King restaurant is immensely popular with locals who swear by it. Families with kids, teenagers and students are spotted here at all times chomping down a variety of cheese pizzas, stuffed parathas, pav bhaji and other delicious deep-fried vegetarian snacks. Preparation time and service is rather quick too so come for a sampling of fast-food - the Indian way!
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.
The crispy Kachaudi (round balls prepared with flour and stuffed with baked lentils and spices) can be rightly called as North India's favorite snack. At Varanasi's Kachaudi Gali, you would probably savor some of the most delectable kachauris that the country has to offer. Counted as one the city's top landmarks, it is always swarmed with food lovers hopping in to devour those piping hot crispy balls served with imli (tamarind) and chana (gram) chutney.