Lucknow is known for its non-vegetarian food, you don’t hear much about its under-rated vegetarian food joints. We travelled early last year when we went to witness ardh kumbh in Prayagraj and adjoined by a trip to Banaras.
Our travel style is usually shoestring, and we try to use lots of cheap public transport and try street food wherever we venture out to explore a new city. This time it was Lucknow. Through some research, we had a grand food plan. The idea was to munch our way while immersing in the beauty of Lucknow. We had two full days for sightseeing and food tasting before heading to Banaras.
We have compiled a list of must-visit vegetarian joints in Lucknow area wise:
Vegetarian Street Food Joints in Hazratganj, Lucknow:
1. Bajpai ki Kachori
We started with breakfast at Bajpai ki kachori, this is an old joint which serves kachori with special spicy chole (Chickpea). So, the very first dish we tasted was Bajpai ki Kachori at Hazratganj.
It’s a very simple shop with a basic setup but this simplicity in making his pooris, kachoris served with aloo sabzi with choley, onion slices and pickle will turn into a mouth-watering delight. It is the spiciness of the sabzi, which we loved. We tried all the dishes; pooris, kachori and samosa, each dish was so perfect in the taste that you would like to have it again and again. This happened to us and we stopped by this joint twice or thrice during our travel. People queue up in front of his shop in great numbers every morning when the shop opens at 8 and you will find the crowd remains till it is closed in the evening.
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm
2. Shukla Chaat House
Shukla ji ki chaat is the best joint for the Indian Chaats, it is one of the jewels of our food trial in Lucknow. They serve mouthwatering Golgappe (known as Pani batashe), Dahi batashe, Aloo tikki and Matar ki tikki. It is a tiny roadside stall, no seating facility but the taste will remain in your mind for a long time. Although at first glance it will not attract you if you are a street food lover you must stop here and try all the items. The footfall is quite high so don’t be late 😊
Timings: 6 pm to 10 pm
3. Shukla Tea stall
It’s a pretty small shop just opposite to Shukla chat house, but it was crowded which drew me to the place. When we entered the shop it looks like a utensils store lots of kettles, mugs, vessels which shows how much tea he sells every day.
So very first famous “Gol Samosa”, I had it at Shukla tea stall and trust me I would say one of the best Gol samosas of Lucknow I have tasted here. Tea quantity is too much and within 10 Rs. I thought it would be too milky, but he boils the tea leaves in a separate container so if you want less milk you can ask for that too.
Timings: 8 am to 9 pm
4. Royal Café
This place is famous for the Basket Chaat, although they served all variety of chat. Basket chaat they served in edible basket shaped made of potato thin flakes. If you are too hygiene cautious then this is the place for you. You can try gol gappas and other snacks too. But we found this place quite fancy and not so pocket friendly.
Timings: 11:30 am to 08:30 pm
Vegetarian Street Food Joints in Lalbagh, Lucknow:
1. Sharma Tea center/ Sharma ji ki chai
A very famous place in Lucknow for chai and the kind of set up they have, says everything. Tea is good and to enjoy it more you can add bun-maska and gol samosa. They use homemade white butter to spread on the bun with raisins. You will find this place every time packed up, although I found gol samosa taste better at Shukla tea stall.
Timings: 7:00 am to 07:30 pm
2. Sardar Ke Choley Bhature
We were roaming in this area and suddenly we saw another crowded place – Sardar ke chole bhature. As the name says, this place is famous for Punjabi style chole bhature and you can try kulcha as well to have a full packed brunch. You can also try “Sooji ka Halwa” made in pure ghee.
Timings: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
3. GPO Dahi Bada
The next place in Lalbagh area is GPO dahi Bada. Enjoy the super tasty dahi Bada here which was so soft that it melts instantaneously.
Timings: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm
Famous Desserts to Try in Lucknow:
1. Makhan malai at Chowk
Malai makhan is a special dish in Lucknow and Banaras which you will get during winters. A cream-coloured ethereal sweet-dish that melts in the mouth. The key to makhan malai preparation lies in exposing the milk to dew.
The process begins in the evening with boiling milk in a huge saucepan over a stove. Thereafter, fresh milk cream is added to the boiled milk and it is boiled again. Once the mixture cools down completely, it is filled in buckets and hung under the evening sky for six to eight hours and in the morning sprinkles sugar, and cardamom powder over the portion to mix the layers. That’s the reason you will get this dish during winters only.
Timings: -8:30 am to 11:00 am (Best time to have it)
2. Malai Gilori at Ram Asrey Sweets, Chowk
Ram Asrey sweets shop is famous for its sweets and the most famous one is Malai gilori or Malai pan. Ram Asrey have another outlet in Hazratganj as well but at chowk it’s the original one from where they have started this shop. This is where I have tasted their most famous Malai gilori. This sweet shop apparently invented the Malai Gilori in 1805. It is located in a quaint little lane very reminiscent of a Ban wali gali. Malai gilori is known with the name of Malai pan as well because of its shape of pan. As it goes in your mouth it melts instantaneously but I found it too sweet, so 1 piece is enough to taste. They sell this sweet on per piece basis and it costs around 25 -30 rs per piece. Although they have a variety of sweets available, I have tasted just Malai gilori which is their speciality.
Timings: – 9:00am to 10:00pm
3. Prakash kulfi, Amenabad
Prakash Kulfi is quite a well-known place in Aminabaad. Although Aminabaad is famous for clothing shops, one of the oldest Kulfi shops of Lucknow is Prakash ki mashoor kulfi. It’s a faluda Kulfi and Many flavours are available to taste but if you want the true refreshing classic taste of Prakash Kulfi then you must try ‘Kesar Badam Pista Kulfi’. Space is a bit small, so if it is crowded you must wait for your turn.
Timings: – 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
After so much food tasting, we agreed to say Lucknow food is one of the best and delicious tastes that you can get in India. It is a myth that vegetarians can’t enjoy food in Lucknow since it is primarily known for Awadhi cuisine. But we would say that If you are a lover of local vegetarian food, Lucknow can be nothing less than a treat for you.