There is no dearth of famous foods in India. Every state and, on many occasions, many cities and towns within a state serve up some exciting cuisines that are unique to that particular region within a state. If you are a foodie, there is every chance that you have already discovered your favorite cuisine and the favorite restaurant you want to eat it from. More so, if you are a food lover, you must be excited about trying new places and new dishes.
The following is a list of 10 cities in India that serves up some of the best dishes. As a food lover, you would be sorry to have missed any of these cities or the food they have to offer.
Top 10 Indian Cities for Food Lovers
The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai serves up some of the best and most authentic South Indian food of the region. Whether it be the idli, dosas, and vadas served up with multiple varieties of chutneys and tasty sambars, or full-fledged delicious meals available for every budget, or the feisty kothu paratha served up across the city, there is something for everyone in Chennai. One charming thing about the meals in Chennai (actually all over Tamil Nadu) is the “Meals Ready” boards that come out every day during lunchtime and serve up some of the fantastic, healthy basic food. Not to miss the bajjis and the sundals that are served up on the shores of Chennai that makes for a wonderful evening snack. The snack options are plenty too in Chennai, such as murukkus, seedai, ribbon pakoras and more. Here are 25 best vegetarian restaurants in Chennai that you cannot just afford to miss or at least try some when traveling to Chennai.
Think biryani, and think Hyderabad. Hyderabad, known as the land of Nizams, cooks up some of the best vegetarian and non-vegetarian dum biryanis the world has to offer. An amalgamation of the Mughlai, Turkish and Andhra cuisines, Hyderabad brings to the table some of the most evolved, complex, yet flavourful food. Haleems, sheek kebabs, and the works are a must-have when you travel to the city. For the vegetarians there are a host of south Indian options apart from the regular idlis and dosas, there are the Andhra specials of Guntur Idli, Persarattu, Pesarattu Upma, punugulu and more always served with multiple accompaniments and lots of ghee to fight the spice that is synonymous with Andhra cuisine.
Though this is a state in itself and not a particular city, it’s safe to say many places within this small state have great eateries, including in cities like polalam, baaga, Panjim and more. Goa is known for its seafood, which includes an array of dishes made from prawns, crabs, squids, fishes, and so on. The food in goa is typically a blend of Portuguese and Goan style especially at Brittos in Baga. Sorpotel, Goan sausage, and pao, vindaloo and Bebinca are all very famous in Goa. Given the influx of tourists from around the world, Goa has made international cuisines like continental, Mexican, Italian, Israeli, fusion cuisine and more it’s own. One thing you must try in goa is their local drink (that is similar to toddy) called Fenne. It comes in flavors like cashew and coconut and is a must-have. Enjoy the sea, enjoy the food, sip on some fenne or beer, and rejuvenate your senses.
Mumbai, the city of dreams, the city where people from all over the country come to fulfill their dream and live their life to the fullest. This city brings with it people from everywhere along with food across the country, because dreams are hardly fulfilled on an empty stomach. The city that never sleeps has a host of options no matter how deep your pocket is. Mumbaikars love their pav, be it pav bhaji, the famous vada pav, misal pav, anything ‘pav’ goes. There is a saying amongst certain groups that anything that fits in a pav is good to eat. Street food is their highlight, apart from their old-school bars, cafes, and nostalgia that they carry. When in Mumbai do not miss Bombil fry, the Frankies and the famous Maharashtrian Puranpuri.
Lucknow, the city of nawabs, comes packed with a rich heritage and rich food to match the grandeur. With a keen focus on Awadhi cuisine, Kebabs, Biryanis, Kormas are just some of the items available in Lucknow. When in Lucknow, some must-eats are the Galawati kabab and the Boti kebab, both melt in the mouth and enticing to the palate. The Lucknow biryani, Paya ki nihari, and sheermaal can take your senses on a wonderful adventure. Lucknow has a host of vegetarian options too, and sweets like different flavors of Kulfi, Malai ki Gilori, and Lakhnawi paan. A trip to Lucknow is incomplete without having their kullad chai.
Amritsar is famous for many things like the Golden Temple, the Wagah Border (that India shares with Pakistan), the location of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and more. However, one thing that it is also known for is being a hub of popular Indian food. No matter if it is your humble paneer bhurji, the famous Amritsari kulcha, Amritsari chicken for the non-vegetarians along with Amritsari fish for the seafood lovers, all of these are famous and finger-licking good. You cannot go to Punjab and not eat at a Dhaba that whips up some really tasty channa masala, shahi paneer, dal makhani, Sarson ka saag with Makki ki roti, stuff paratha, butter chicken and more. Having said all of this, even if you have eaten in the most popular food in India, there is something spiritual and humbling about having the langar at the Golden Temple. So, if you are in Amritsar, do try and make time to go there and have a simple but satisfying meal.
If you make a trip to Rajasthan, you would inevitably have to visit the mesmerizing ‘pink city’ that has acquired this name more out of love rather than merely the color of the walls. What can go wrong with the food in Jaipur? If you are not already a fan of dal-baati-churma, pakoras and mawa, hot and spicy Pyaaz ki Kachori, gatte ki sabzi, and daal kachori, and more, you will certainly be once you arrive here. As you walk through the streets of Jaipur filled with heritage, you can check out each one of these dishes and fall in love all over again. A really special treat for the non-vegetarians is the Lal Mass that is unique and succulent in this area. If you have a sweet tooth, then you are in for a pleasant surprise in Jaipur with ghevar, balusahi, jalebis, flavored kulfis, gujia, and flavored lassi.
Delhi, or locally called Dilli, is the capital city of India and is a city that serves up some of the best foods. Old Delhi, Chandini Chowk, are only some of the must-visit areas for food lovers. Old Delhi or Purani Delhi is a place to go to to have the best kebabs, stuffed parathas, golgappas and fabulous chats like Aloo Chat, Dahi Bhalla, papri chaat, and more. If you have been to Delhi and have not had the famous channa batura, you will regret it for the rest of your life as a food lover. For the non-vegetarians, you have butter chicken, grilled chicken, scrumptious kebabs and much more. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, the crispy syrupy Jalebis are for you. So, when you visit Delhi, do not forget to eat your heart out, as you absorb the sites of the nation’s capital.
Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, is referred to as the ‘city of joy’. Certainly in the gastronomical space, it brings to its patrons a lot of joy. Kolkata is known for a lot of things, and Bengalis love their sweets, be it rasagulla, Sandesh, mishti doi and more. They are special and tantalizing to the tongue. Jhal muri is a unique mix, somewhat like a bhelpuri but a dry form, it is fiery, lip-smacking and a must-have when in Bengal. Puchkas are another favorite, though they are called different things in different parts of the country like Pani puri, gol gappa and so on; Bengalis take their puchkas very seriously. If you are a nonvegetarian, Hilsa sarso bata, bhetki fish curry, egg rolls, mutton chops, and others are must-have. They take pride in their food, and when you try it, you will certainly understand why.
Kashmir and the beauty are well known, and as the capital city Srinagar does not fail you in the beauty or its culinary wonders. One of the most important and popular things in Srinagar is the Wazwan. It is considered the pride of Kashmiris and is a multi-course meal and is cooked on special occasions. Wazwan is a treat for anyone that enjoys their non-vegetarian food because almost everything in it is non-vegetarian. If you want to go the a la carte way, then some must-try dishes are the world-famous rogan josh, yakhni, Kashmiri dum aloo, Kashmiri pulao, Goshtaba, puri and halwa, samosa, jalebis, succulent kebabs, kahwa and more. When you get to Srinagar, not just the sights, even the food can fill your souls.
Like it’s people, Indian food is diverse. There is no popular Indian food. Indian food sometimes varies from district to district within the same state. Therefore, it is important to note that these are merely 10 Indian cities for food lovers. In this vast country, you can easily be spoilt for choices as far as the food you eat is concerned. So, do not be afraid to explore the different places and food, and all the places and dishes in between. If you are a food lover or food blogger, it is for a reason, it is because you have a passion for food like none else. The only way to quench that thirst that passion for food, is to try new things, eat new food, and dare to explore.
Let me know in the comment section which city or food is your favorite.
Gulshan Bafna is one of the luxury travelers in India. He, along with his wife, has traveled to many exotic places that one could dream. With their travel journey, they bring us the best face of those places. He compiles all of his travel journeys to give the taste of traveling to his readers. In his writing, he jots down the best things to do in all those places that he has visited. Reading these would help one know better about the place. He is also a seeker who loves exploring and discovering new places and share his experiences with everyone.