What are you missing in Lockdown?

This is a guest post by Misfit Wanderers who hail from Lucknow! When they shared their idea of blogging about Lucknow, I couldn’t think of anything but Lucknowi food. Personally, the city is very close to my heart as it was an important part of my childhood. I lived for first thirteen years of my life in Lucknow and I totally love the Chikan stuff from there.

With Unlock 4.0 enrolling in India, it is a big relief for food and travel. While leisure travelling doesn’t seem on my cards right away, I am definitely making a list of my favorite dishes that I should be able to eat soon. Hygiene is definitely on my mind and I am glad everyone is starting afresh with precautionary measures. When we talk about food – especially street food, there are some cities that simply can’t be overlooked. One such name is the city of Nawabs – Lucknow.

I am not sure how soon we will get back on the roads to savor street food but there is never a bad time to talk about it.

What are you missing in Lockdown
Let us explore Lucknowi Food and its delight!!

Do you know LUCKNOW and its craze for food?

Lucknow the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is not only famous for its historical monuments and ‘tehzeeb’, but it is also one of the best places in India to indulge in ‘yummy’ street foods. Locals of Lucknow know it well and its high time that travelers visiting Lucknow make a note of it too. Spicy, sweet-n-sour, sweets – all the deliciousness that this city has to offer, I bet it has the potential to become the food capital of India.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, Lucknow has street food items for both set of food lovers. It is a paradise for foodies because of its mouth-watering dishes. Though the city of Nawabs has so many food items to try, here I will talk about the 10 Lucknowi foods and street food corners that we are missing, yes, especially during this lockdown.

Here’s our list of our favorite Lucknowi Food (feel free to add yours)

  1. Tundey Kababi in Aminabad
  2. Prakash Kulfi in Aminabad
  3. Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe in Hazratganj
  4. Wahid Biryani in Aminabad
  5. Pardeshi Pani Puri (56 Flavours) in Gomti Nagar
  6. Shukla Chaat House in Hazratganj
  7. Sharma Chai in Lalbagh
  8. Netram Ajay Kumar Kachodi in Aminabad
  9. Malai Gilori at Ram Asare in Chowk
  10. Chaatori Gali (1090 Chauraha) in Gomti Nagar
Lucknowi delicacies
On top of all lists of Lucknowi Food

Tundey Kababi in Aminabad

Tundey Kababi is the sole reason why Lucknow is known as the City of Kebabs, besides the City of Nawabs. I won’t mind saying that this place is the pride of Lucknow and Awadhi cuisine. All famous personalities including actors from Bollywood, businesspersons, and politicians have tasted the amazing kebabs of this place and have unanimously declared it the best.

Almost every one who visits the city wishes to try kebabs. Started with a small outlet in 1905, Tundey Kababi is spread in every corner of the city and is recognized internationally also. Some of my favorites are Galawati Kebab and Seekh Kebab. It is said that more than 100+ spices are blended in to give it the perfect taste. If you’re a non-vegetarian, I am sure I have made your taste buds crave for Kebabs.

Prakash Kulfi in Aminabad

Sweets can’t be missed while talking about food or Lucknow, both. I remember, in my childhood, how I used to buy Kulfi from hawkers who came in my neighborhood. I have always loved kulfis over ice creams. And when it comes to Prakash Kulfi – I’d give up everything.

So, this famous and authentic dessert, Kulfi Falooda at Prakash Kulfi, will win your heart with its flavor. It melts down as you would want it to. In summers, this Kulfi feels like a lifeboat to people drowning in the sea of sweats.

Whenever I am around the Aminabad market, I do not return without having Prakash Kulfi, no matter what. They have been serving the city for quite a long time and are considered one of the oldest Kulfiwalas of Lucknow.

10 Lucknowi Foods We’re Missing in Lockdown
Typical Lucknowi Food- Royal Basket Chaat!

Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe

Chaat is like therapy to the taste bud, especially for North Indian foodies. This spicy food is made using mashed potatoes, dried peas, a lot of spices, and served with curd. The best thing about chaats is that despite the ingredients being almost the same, every shop has its own way of putting up a treat.

But here in Lucknow, you are in for a special package if you order Chaat at Royal Cafe in Hazratganj. Being a Lucknowite, I might sound partial but trust me this is the best chaat. I can’t even explain in words what the savory Basket Chaat does to me when I sit down to eat it.

Basket chaat is an upgrade to normal chaat in a way and is served by the Royal Cafe in Lucknow. Basket chaat is served in a tokri (basket) kind of bowl, made up of fried potatoes and more. This basket serves as a bowl for holding the main ingredients, and you guessed it right… This is the only chaat in the world which can be eaten with its bowl or basket. Innovative, huh?

Wahid Biryani in Aminabad

Lucknowi Biryani has its own popularity. For you, Biryani maybe a food item, but for me, it’s pure love. You have no idea of my pain as I am missing my favorite Biryani platters.

While there is Moradabadi and Hyderabadi, there is another one too to fall in love with ⏤ It is Lucknowi Biryani. Wahid Biryani in Aminabad serves the authentic taste of Lucknowi Biryani.

Actually this name doesn’t need any introduction. It has earned a name not only in India but also globally. They have been serving delicious Biryani since 1955. In fact, many Bollywood actors and big personalities are its regular customers.

This Lucknowi food, Biryani is not as spicy as Hyderabad and is close to Muradabadi Biryani. Light spices, shimmering texture, and mouth-watering aroma, ah! I can’t write more. I am missing it more.

10 Lucknowi Foods We’re Missing in Lockdown
Paanipuri is love!

Pardeshi Pani Puri Point (56+ flavors) in Gomti Nagar

They say girls can’t ignore Pani Puri no matter what the situation is. It is yet another street food loved by everyone, especially the youths. I am no exception. I love the chatpata paani.

Let me introduce you to a hidden gem in Lucknow which is not known to many, but I’m sure you can’t resist visiting the stall after reading this.

Pardeshi Pani Puri still sells Pani Puri on a cart in Gomti Nagar’s Patrakarpuram in front of the Maxx store. What sets him apart from others is that he has invented over 56 flavors of unique Pani Puri or Gol Gappa. Fifty-six ⏤ it’s a lot!

It includes flavors like Bahubali, Chocolate, Silver Ark, Fire, Paan, etc.

Actually I am his regular customer. But since lockdown, I haven’t been to his place and since now unlock 4.0 is unraveling, my patience is giving up too.

Shukla Chaat House in Hazratganj

If you ask anyone in Lucknow which is the best place to have Chaat, the answer would be either Shukla Chaat House or Royal Cafe’s Basket Chaat. Located in the heart of Lucknow, Hazratganj, the Shukla Chaat has been tantalizing the city for the last 50 years.

Some varieties of Chaat are aloo tikki, matar tikki, papdi chaat, dahi bade, and pani puri. It’s not very far from the Hazratganj metro station.

Shukla Chaat House - Famous Lucknowi Foods

Sharma Chai (Tea) in Lalbagh

Tea is one of the common beverages in India. And Lucknow’s Sharma Chai has maintained its unique taste over the last 50 years. This place has been a favorite among the officer-goers. Kulhad Chai with Bun Maska is the ultimate combination to try out here.

We used to have Sharma Ji Ki Chai quite a lot before this pandemic situation. The place doesn’t look so fancy but it drags people from all corners of Lucknow. We have certainly missed the vibes and Sharma Ji Ki Chai over this Covid crisis.

Lucknowi Foods That I missed in the year 2020
Bun Maska to die for!!

Netram Ajay Kumar Kachodi in Aminabad

Kachoris are famous in western India, but it has a special preference in Awadhi city of Lucknow. The serving style is different and its a loved breakfast. Netram Ajay Kumar is a popular joint known for its kachoris.

They cook kachori and khasta in pure desi ghee and serve it with aloo sabzi. Option for thali is also there which costs ₹80 only. It is located in the busy area of Aminabad in Lucknow.

Well if you are anything like us, I bet you are missing it already.

10 Lucknowi Foods We’re Missing in Lockdown
Lucknowi Foods That I am missing badly

Malai Gilori at Ram Asrey

One more dessert that can’t be ignored in the city of Nawabs is Malai Gilori at Ram Asrey. They have two outlets but the main and oldest one is situated in Chowk. It’s very close to the Rumi Gate – one of the top places to visit in Lucknow.

Ram Asrey’s Malai Gilori has an addictive taste and is recommended for you if you love sweets. It’s made by layers of malai (milk cream)  being wrapped around sweet ingredients and is served in the shape of a triangle.

I have a sweet tooth and when it melts in the mouth, I definitely feel transported to heaven for a few minutes. Believe me, I have never been satisfied by grabbing just one. This pandemic is really being harsh on my taste buds.

Chaatori Gali (1090 Chauraha)

Started in 2011, Chaatori Gali is Lucknow’s favorite food corner where people hang out with their family and friends. And no it’s not a food item but a place where all street food lovers come in and enjoy various delicacies of Lucknow at one place.

One can have biryani, kebabs, momos, chaat, kathi rolls, and many more fast food bites. It is located at the Gomti Riverfront (the other side) near 1090 or Women Power Line Chauraha.

The evening lighting lends a romantic ambiance and that’s why it is most popular among couples and friends.

That’s All – I Think I Should Go to Eat Some Items

If you live in Lucknow then you must have tried all the above-mentioned food items and if you don’t belong to Lucknow then I must say you should try all these food items whenever you are in the city next time. After the pandemic is over, do visit the city for its food.

There are many other famous food items that I haven’t mentioned but they are exceptional too. Some of these stalls and outlets have had very humble beginnings but they have maintained a unique taste over decades and that’s the main reason why they rule our hearts and mind. Because for foodies like us, taste matters.

These were the Lucknowi foods that we genuinely craved during this lockdown. And now the government is gradually giving relaxations, I hope these shops get back on track with all the hygienic precautions. I am sure a lot will change about locals walks and street food but we will have to live in the new normal to suit ourselves.

So, tell me which of these food items you have already tried or are missing? And which items you would definitely try when you are in Lucknow?

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.