In this post, I am covering a place that was part of my childhood and growing-up days. Hazratganj it is! This old and vibrant market used to be my favorite when I lived in Lucknow. A few days ago, I had to make an impromptu trip to Faizabad (now Ayodhya) due to a personal reason. The return journey gave me a chance to make a quick stopover in Lucknow. I had two hours to spare and I utilized them purposefully in revisiting Hazratganj’s old and popular eateries aka hangouts. I opted for an overnight train (Kaifiyat) from Delhi to Ayodhya Cantt railway station to reach early. After, spending the day with my family and relatives, I had to be back in Delhi on the same day, hence I booked a late night flight from Lucknow. Faizabad to Lucknow is not very far, just a smooth drive of 2.5 hours. We left the city by 4.30 P.M. and reached Hazratganj in Lucknow by 7 P.M. My flight was at slated for 11.45 p.m. Thus, before heading to the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, husband and I opted to spend our time in Hazratganj like our courtship days. We had returned to the city together after 13 years. We had memories of hanging out at Sahara Ganj, Royal Cafe, Bajpayee Kachori Bhandar, Moti Mahal, etc.
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5 Places that should not be missed in Hazratganj in Lucknow
- Bajpayee Kachodi Bhandar – Our first pit stop happened at Bajpayee Kachodi Bhandar. This shop was established in 1975. We wanted to check if the kachoris are still the same there. The Chole with potato is also very interesting. The combination is spicy as well as chilly, so be ready to handle that. It is one of the oldest places for poori and kasta kachori. It is a small shop. They don’t have a place to sit and eat. One need to either pack it or stand and relish. The pooris and khastas are very crunchy and tasty. If you are open to trying local taste, this must be on your list, whenever you are in Hazratganj. Husband and I were happy to be back. We digged in and ate 1 plate. We also got some packed for our folks at home.
- Shukla Chaat House – This is iconic shop for the chaat paapdi, paani bataashe, lovers in Lucknow. It is one of the oldest & very famous chat corners in Hazratganj, Lucknow. Aloo tikki, Matar tikki , Matar dahi chat , Papri Chat, Dahi ki puri & Pani puri is an authentic street food fun of Lucknow and to savor the taste, one must come to Shukla Chaat House. It is crowded but the service is quick. Even that day, there was a queue but I quite liked the fact that everyone waited for their turn for their paanipuri. I love golgappe and did not budge before I had washed down two plates. One must try the matar chaat as well. You don’t get this commonly in other cities. The shop may not look very attractive but locals love the stuff here. We were very happy to relive the taste of Lucknow street food.
- Royal Cafe Basket Chaat – They have a USP – the basket chaat. The basket chaat or tokri chaat is a famous chaat made up of grated potatoes which is deep fried to make a crispy fried Basket/Tokri base for the chaat. Royal Cafe is also one of the oldest eateries of Lucknow. It has a couple of restaurants. One can sit and eat comfortably. They serve multi-cuisine but their basket chat has been the talk of the town. It is one huge platter with a vibrant colour splash. And lots to eat in there, Aloo Tikki, Papdi, Bhalle, Matar, Dahi, Saunth Chutney, Green Chutney, Sev, Boiled Potatoes, Fresh Anardana Seeds, Chaatmasala, Dhania Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Amchoor, Jeera Powder etc. The place was beaming with food lovers. We could not find space inside but we enjoyed our chaat outside. It is very filling. One must come for it empty-stomach. I quite like their tokri. It is very interesting and you can see how it is made.
- Chedi Lal Shakes and Juices/ ChediLal Ramprasad Vaish – This one is also an old gem, established in 1922. During its hey days, it was very popular for it shakes. It is still called as the King of shakes. They serve all fruit shakes and juices. I had a mango shake and enjoyed it. Everything made me nostalgic. When I was young, I used to visit Hazratganj with my parents and it is used to be the most fun day.
- Moti Mahal restaurant, Hazratganj in Lucknow – This place drenched me in nostalgia because I was a regular at this place with my parents, when we lived in Lucknow. Even today when mom dad visit Lucknow they love to go here or whenever I get a chance, I love to talk about this place. It was always our one stop for dosa, chola bhaturas, chaat, sweets, lassi, kulfi falooda etc. It has always been a haven for vegetarians. In the recent years, they have been sluggish and slow but this time, things looked different. I had no space in my stomach but it was fun to just visit the restaurant and share memories with my husband.
Here is a 6th one too – While I have been talking about the oldies, it was good to see the shining shop of ‘The Hazelnut Factory’ as well. I went inside to check out and bought a cake as well. It was well lit, had lots to meet sweet cravings and had an attractive vibe about it. If I had enough time, I would have loved to stop for coffee here. If you have been here, do let me know how it is.
We made the best use of two hours that we had. It was time to head to the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport. First, we thought of taking a taxi but then we thought why not check out the Lucknow metro. We were standing right there at the Hazratganj station. And we did the right thing. It was extremely convenient and the fastest mode as well. Hazratganj metro station had beautiful display of Chikan work of Lucknow and that’s a very good thing to do to remind locals of our heritage. Also, Lucknow metro deserves an applause for connecting the railway station, airport, hazratganj to the city. Overall, it was a memorable evening in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. A city that I truly love and have the most fondest memories from.
Hope you enjoyed reading this! Please do share your favorite eateries from Lucknow.
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