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. 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.
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
Pandit Raja Thandai
|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.
|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.
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.
|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
|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.
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.
Prakash ki Kulfi
|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.
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 –
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|
|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|
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.
About the Author
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