Food in Lucknow is full of flavours and is varied both in its type and taste. One thing that comes to everyone’s mind when talking about Lucknow is its food. The city has so much to offer in terms of taste and variety that you won’t be able to leave the region easily, once you arrive. As a foodie, you will be left with a feeling of craving for more and more food in Lucknow
The list of delights that appeals to most foodies in India is quite elaborate when it comes to a city like Lucknow. In fact, during recent years, there has been an admiration for food in Lucknow by travelers from abroad. The food here is most certainly getting space on the bucket list of travelers and foodies from across the globe.

Lucknow is the capital of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It was the epicentre of the 1857 War of Independence that marked the beginning of the freedom struggle in India. Lucknow is also the epitome of literature, performing arts, tehzeeb (mannerism) and cuisine. Overshadowed by nearby towns like Agra and Varanasi, Lucknow is surely an underrated travel destination of Uttar Pradesh.

Most people visiting the city of Nawabs feel that food in Lucknow is all about the street food in the Chowk area. But that is not true. There are plenty of other amazing places to visit to have great food in Lucknow. Through the means of my current blog, I have made an effort to introduce all the food lovers to good and budget eating places in Lucknow. I hope it turns out to be useful.

food in lucknow

The city of Nawabs is sprawling with food, taste and flavour across its length and breadth. Picture by Sujith Nair

Food in Lucknow 

The city of Nawabs is sprawling with food, taste and flavour across its length and breadth. From the plush restaurants of Hazrat Ganj to the narrow alleys of Aminabad, from the delicious food stalls of Chowk to the variety of Sadar Bazaar, there’s one entity that unites the people of Lucknow is its food.

The aroma of food in Lucknow whiffs along with the airflow and makes you want to savour it. Right from the huge assortment of Kebabs for meat-eaters to the diversity in Paranthas for vegetarians, food in Lucknow serves all equally.

Not only is the food in Lucknow diverse but it is also unique in a lot of ways. While exploring the eateries of Lucknow, you will find out about many food items that aren’t available anywhere else in India. The list ranges include but is not limited to spicy food, desserts and local juices and drinks.

Street Food in Lucknow

If you consider yourself a true foodie, you have got to venture out into the streets of Lucknow and try out the local preparations. Be it Kachori Chaat, Tikkis, Tunday Kebabs, Mutton Biryani, Malai Chai or the commonly savoured Samosa, the streets will feed you all.

Each item that is available in the streets of Lucknow is also available at plush eating places. But the flavour that is imparted to the various delicacies and snacks in the streets is surely more authentic. Also, less commercial. You can easily feed yourself and fill your heart’s delight for under ₹ 200.

My Top Picks of Budget Eateries in the City

Being from Lucknow, I’d like to draw the attention of all the foodies and would-be travelers of Lucknow to the best eateries in the city. Not only do these places prepare excellent food but are also quite affordable.

Netram Mithai

Location: Aminabad
Cost for two: ₹200
Must-Try Items: Kachori, Poori Sabzi

This place is one of the oldest running shops in Lucknow. Located in Aminabad which is one of the best markets in Lucknow, you can easily satisfy your taste buds here. Go straight for the delicious poori sabzi and kachori after a hectic day of shopping.

Another great experience here could be to grab the breakfast thali that they offer, starting from 10 am.

Sharma Ji ki Chai

Location: Lalbagh
Cost for two: ₹ 50
Must-Try Items: Malai Chai, Bun Makkhan, Samosa

The chai here is to die for and apart from that Bun Makkhan and Samosa can also be savoured along. The Samosas here might seem a bit different due to their huge size and slightly spherical shape but the taste is delightful. It won’t be hard for you to locate this place as it is always full of people. From people going back home after a morning walk to people wearing formals going to their offices, Sharma Ji ki Chai has managed to draw all the attention over the years.

Ram Asrey

Location: Chowk (Baan vali Gali)
Cost for two: ₹ 350
Must-Try Item: Malai ki Gilori

Ram Asrey has been running for over 200 years now and surprisingly the quality has not degraded at all. They serve many different types of Halwa but it is especially famous for its Malai Ki Gillori.

Food in Lucknow is incomplete without sweets and this is one of the best ones. Malai ki Gillori is basically Mishri, dry fruits and cardamom wrapped inside a sheet of malai. Edible silver is placed on top of it. Once you taste it, you’ll know that it is unquestionably the most praised sweet of the Nawabs.

Royal Cafe

Location: Hazratganj
Cost for two: ₹400
Must-Try Items: Basket Chaat

This place is right opposite Saharaganj Mall. The outlet is rather small and no seating is available. But don’t allow that to stop you from eating here.

Basket Chaat is, however, one of the most famous dishes served here. It can be customized according to your taste and you can fulfil both your sweet and spicy cravings.

The Basket Chaat is so fulfilling that one person can’t finish it alone. Most of the food found in Lucknow revolves around non-vegetarian and oily food but Royal Café is for sure the best place for quick vegetarian snacks.

Chhappan Bhog

Location: Sadar Bazaar
Cost for two: ₹ 300
Must-Try Items: Jalebi, Dahi vada, Milk cake

When talking about sweets in Lucknow, Chhappan Bhog is one name that can’t be ignored. It is an established brand now, all thanks to the delicious sweets they serve which are made to perfection in pure Desi Ghee.

This is one of the best places to have Jalebi and Dahi vada. Another great thing to have here is Kulfi, which is available in many fruit flavours.

food in lucknow

Jalebi is a popular street dessert in India. But in Lucknow, it’s a lot more delicious. Picture by Sujith Nair

Pandit Raja Thandai

Location: Chowk
Cost for two: ₹ 50
Must-Try Item: Thandai

If you’re a person who has a taste for Thandai, this is the right place for you. The menu here is quite simple and short. There are only two things on it – a small glass of Thandai and a large glass of Thandai.

You can have the Thandai as it is or you can have it along with Bhaang, for no extra cost. An added advantage of visiting this place is that you get to interact with its very interesting owner and listen to his stories.

Tunday Kebabi

Location: Aminabad
Cost for two: ₹ 300
Must-Try Item: Kebabs,  Parantha

Hygiene freaks might not consider having anything there, but the great taste more than compensates for the filthy surroundings. Plus, it’s very pocket-friendly. This will surely be the best and the cheapest food in Lucknow that you can have as a meat-eater. It is a well-established fact now that a trip to Lucknow is incomplete without having Tunday Kebabs. They serve only Kebabs and Paranthas but the kebabs that they serve are especially famous because of the fact that they melt as soon as you place them inside your mouth. It literally feels like heaven.

Food in Lucknow

Meat lovers should certainly visit this place for experiencing a huge assortment of kebabs. Picture by Palash Singh

State Bank ke Paan

Location: Near State Bank, Main Branch
Cost for two: ₹ 50
Must-Try Item: Banarasi Paan

Lucknowi meals are incomplete if not ended with a Paan as a mouth freshener.

One of the most amazing paans in Lucknow can be found at this place. Ranging from Meetha paan to Banarasi paan, State bank ke paan won’t disappoint you at all.

However, paan is not the only thing that they serve. During evenings, they serve chai and coffee along with patties. This is another reason why this place is mostly very crowded.

food in lucknow

A trip to Lucknow cannot be deemed complete without savouring the delicious Banarasi paan. Picture by Surabhi Gupta

Idri’s Biryani

Location: Nakhaas
Cost for two : ₹ 300
Must-Try Items : Awadhi Biryani, Lucknowi Biryani

Idri’s Biryani is an extremely small shop but is indeed very famous for its amazing Awadhi Biryani and Lucknowi Biryani. The Biryani is cooked well and you can also see all the layers of rice when they serve it to you.

In fact, this place is so well-known that it might happen that the moment you finish eating your Biryani, they might’ve run out of it due to the excessive demand.

Divedi ki Chaat

Location: Chowk
Cost for two: ₹ 150
Must Try: Paani Batasha, Tikki

Once you have Paani Batasha (also called gol gappe) in Lucknow, you won’t be able to savour paani batasha at any other place.

Divedi ki Chaat serves the best Paani Batasha in the city. The Tikkis are perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crispiness and an abundance of great taste.

Food in Lucknow

The popular Gol Gappa in Lucknow goes by the name of Paani Batasha. Picture by Neelanjan

Sakhawat Restaurant

Location Near Gymkhana Club
Cost for two ₹ 600
Must-Try Items Pasanda, Kebabs

Apart from the delectable Shaami Kebabs, Pasanda is a must-have at Sakhawat restaurant. Pasanda is basically dry fruits rolled inside the meat, which is then tied with a thread and cooked.

This place is so popular amongst the non-vegetarians that they run out of stock within 4 hours of functioning.

Shri Lassi Corner

Where Chowk
Cost for two ₹ 250
Must Try Lassi, Baadam milk

As the name of the place suggests, Shri Lassi corner, of course, serves the best Lassi in town. They also serve great Chole Bhature.

This can be one of those places where you have a heavenly breakfast and kick start your day on a happy note.

Naushijaan Restaurant

Located Tulsi Theatre, Hazratganj
Cost for two ₹ 600
Must-Try Items Boti Kebab, Parantha

Serving exquisite Mughlai food, Naushijaan is well-recognized for its Boti Kebab and Parantha. Boti kebabs are different than Galawati Kebabs as they contain little amount of gravy but they too will melt inside your mouth and will force you to have another plate once you finish your first one.

The kebabs can also be accompanied by Sheermal, which is another simple yet tasteful delicacy.

Food in Lucknow

The yummy, tasteful and super delightful Boti Kebabs of Lucknow. Picture by Jamshed

J.J. Bakers

Location Hazratganj
Cost for two ₹ 400
Must-Try Items Brownies, Choco Lava, Dutch Truffle

JJ Bakers is one of the best bakeries in Lucknow and is pocket-friendly as well. You can buy loads of Brownies, Choco Lava Cakes and Chocolate Chip Muffins to satisfy your sweet tooth at prices unimaginable.

You can find other mouth-watering savoury items too.

food in lucknow

Freshly baked brownies with some chocolate sauce on top is worth relishing. Picture by Hans

Prakash ki Kulfi

Location Aminabad
Cost for two ₹ 150
Must-Try Item Kulfi Falooda

At Prakash ki Kulfi, the menu doesn’t have a lot of items but whatever there is, shouldn’t be missed.

Prakash Kulfi is one of the oldest shops in Lucknow, serves yummy and rich kulfi-falooda. Its taste will stay with you for a long time.

food in lucknow

Kulfi Falooda at the popular ‘Prakash ki Kulfi.’ Picture by Deepanshu Shrivastav

Delicious Food in Lucknow for Non-Vegetarians – Top 5 Items to Try

The food in Lucknow that is prepared specially for meat lovers is quite unique. You may or may not find some of the mutton, chicken and egg items in the rest of the country. But what you will certainly not find is the authenticity with which it is cooked.

If I have to pick five items that every meat lover travelling to Lucknow should try, they have got to be the following –

Mutton Biryani
Galouti Kebab
Boti Kebab
Keema Parantha
Handi Chicken

Do not leave Lucknow before tasting all of the above food items. Their taste will stay with you for a long time. Also, tell your peers about it so that they visit the Nawabi capital as well.

Delicious Food in Lucknow for Vegetarians – Top 5 Items to Try

Even though a lot of people associate food in Lucknow only with non-vegetarians, there is a huge variety of items for people who do not eat meat. In fact, the range is so wide that it’ll leave all the meat-eaters envious.  My top picks are as follows.

Ulte Tawa ka Parantha
Kachori Sabzi
Basket Chaat
Pani ka Batasha

Be sure to try all of the above items and more. Allow the tanginess from the chaats and the spice from the kachori to amalgamate in your mouth.

Must-Have Desserts in Lucknow – Best Items for Foodies with a Sweet Tooth

Lucknow is surely a paradise for people with sweet tooth. The number of desserts available both at eateries as well as on the road is amazing. My top picks for anyone who wants to try desserts in Lucknow are mentioned below.

Malai ki Galori
Malai Ghewar
Khoya Ladoo
Kulfi Falooda

Indulge in all of these sweet based foods in Lucknow. It’s ok if you put on a few pounds. These treats will surely be worth it.

Food Trucks in Lucknow

The city of Nawabs is slowly evolving and is catching up with the fad of food trucks. Even though you can spot a few food trucks every now and then, there is no single one that strikes out as of now. But I’m sure in the near future, Lucknow will get its own version of Food trucks and will be an absolute hit with the foodies.

Till that time, move around, explore the streets, savour the food and carry the taste with you.

The current blog on food in Lucknow is based on my personal experience of delicacies and eateries in the city. Also, the budget has been kept in mind for the average traveler. I hope that more and more foodies get attracted to my fascinating city. Trust me, it will cast a long-lasting impression.

Happy Eating.

About the Author

Saloni Saxena is a Life Sciences undergraduate at Ramjas College, University of Delhi. While her current residence is in Delhi, she carries the charm of Lucknow and Bhopal within her. Being a polyglot, she wishes to explore the world and all the eccentric scientific phenomenon it offers. Count on her when you need someone with old-world wisdom who knows to keep the child within you alive.