What to Eat
Try out the best in cuisine that Lucknow has to offer……
(All eateries featured here are highly recommended, well tried and tested by our experts and have received positive feedbacks from our guests. We encourage feedbacks from you too in this section, as quality of food, services and decor is usually not the same all the time)
Lucknow has no dearth of eateries and it is said that Lucknowites are compulsive eaters who eat from their hearts and not their mouths. Since the age of Nawabs eating has been no less than a passion for Lucknow. Till date if you walk into the lanes and by-lanes of Lucknow you tend to bump into these small road-side kiosks and carts that thrive on serving the palates of Lucknow. We recommend when you are in Lucknow – just walk out of your hotel and try out the local eateries that often offer you better and economical food stuff than your hotel restaurants. If you are not price conscious we highly recommend ‘Oudhyana’ at the Taj Residency, they offer you the most authentic Avadhi cuisine. Of course you may not be able to try out everything from their elaborate menu but the best way would be to ask the Chef to prepare a special ‘Thali’ (combination of small portions served in a metallic large plate with bowls) along with a mixed Kabab platter. Your choice of kababs must include, Kakori Kabab, Galawat Kabab & Murg Tikka Mirza Hashnoo. Your thali should have Nihari Gosht, Murg Avadhi Quorma, Baigan Mirch Ka Saalan, Dum Biryani and in breads include Sheermaal & Rumali Roti. Follow this meal with a few sweet dishes such as Shahi Tukda, Siwaiyon Ka Muzaafar, Kulfi or try their Thandai flavoured ice cream. We at Tornos will be happy to guide you through placing an order on your behalf or can just explain the chef what you want – send us a request to this effect to discuss more on what, where, how and why to eat when in Lucknow. We too are very keen Awadhi Cuisine enthusiasts and love to experiment and experience Lucknow’s best food offers.
Here under we have tried to figure out the non-hotel eateries in Lucknow that offer you the best in their own categories. It would be good to take a round of an area called Tulsi Food Road by the side of Press Club where they sell good, bad and the ugly food from Avadhi & Mughlai kitchens.
|Cuisine / Dish
|Specialty & Remarks
(Original shop is located in Chowk at the extreme end of Gol Drwaza where the lane opens up into Akbari Gate. Though one shop of Tunde’s grandson is in Nazirabad (Aminabad) where they serve lamb and water buffalo’s meat, but in Chowk they only serve water buffalo (traditionally authentic)
|Lip-smacking Galawat Kebab – a soft minced meat patty shallow fried on a special pan over charcoal fire. Here it is served with Parantha – unleavened Avadhi bread. Be prepared to close your eyes to surroundings and hygiene, though they make and serve fresh but your eyes will not appreciate the location, surroundings and condition. We tell you it is worth ignoring all these parameters and just biting into this preparation.
(Located in the Akbari Darwza lane on your right when you enter from Nakhaas side. This is a small hard to locate shop – be sure to enter the right one)
|They serve a combination of Kulchey-Nihari, a traditional breakfast curry made of soft boneless meat pieces in a light gravy served with baked pizza type leavened bread that is fluffy and very light. This too is a traditional shop some 125 years old and still maintains a secret recipe. Mind you the dish is quite heavy for breakfast, it is not a bad idea to have it for lunch or dinner.
(This too is located in Akbari Darwaza lane and is a double floor shop and fairly large is size)
|Mobeen serves many dishes from Avadhi menu and all are quite nice too, but their Pasanda Kababs and Phirni is the best that we can recommend. Pasanda Kababs are thin flakes of a buffalo’s hind legs cut and marinated in spices to be wrapped on steaks and baked in earthen ovens. Try them without a bread as a starter if you have to enjoy the musing taste and aroma. Phirni is a sweet milk and rice preparation served after meals. It is hard to have just one but you need to be careful as it is made of milk which is a strict no-no when traveling in India.
(Located behind Press Club at the end of the allay of eateries, the last shop offers good Awadhi and Mughlai food, but what one should try is their Kakori Kebabs.
|Kakori Kebab is a softer form of the mughlai seekh kebab that were indeed developed in a hamlet named, Kakori about 50 km from Lucknow. Unfortunately these kebabs have vanished from the place where they were originally made and rather Naushijaan is the only eatery in the city other than Oudhyana of the Taj that still makes them.
Idris(On Victoria Street at Paata Naala is a shop that is undoubtedly the best in Biryani, it is small and may not look good but just park your car and have it inside that, without looking around too much)
Bismillaha (In Nazirabad by the side of Tunde’s shop is a small biryani outlet of Bismillaha)
|Biryani in Lucknow is a softer form of the one served in Hyderabad. Traditionally it is flavoured rice cooked with Avadhi spices, coloured with saffron and mixed with small pieces of Goat-Meet. Biryani in Lucknow is cooked by Dum process where pots are sealed to cook on slow fire. Try it here and you will find it quite different in taste as softness if you compare it from elsewhere. If you wish to try Idris, ensure that you reach before 8 in the evening as they make limited stuff and there are so many waiting for that.
(Located by the side of K.D.Singh Babu Stadium near Clarks Avadh crossing on M.G. Marg)
|Kulfi is a traditional ice-cream frozen in wooden or earthen pots by shaking the box filled with syrup, sealed with flour dough and shaken with crushed ice till the syrup freezes. This shop has surpassed the fame and quality that once was associated with Prakash Kulfi. Prakash Kulfi is go down in quality and services drastically – it is a strict NO-NO today for Kulfi.
(Located on the very Lalbagh crossing, on the road that leads from the crossing to Hazratganj)King ChaatOn M.G Road opposite DM’s bungalow – it is a road side kiosk)
|‘Chaat’ is a vernacular world for licking and so very true to its meaning the dish is a tangy preparation which is sweet-n-sour sometimes with lots of chilly powder to challenge your taste buds. This preparation is an eaten during the evening outings or winter afternoons. Not a replacement of any major meal but is a good early evening brunch. Try their, ‘Aaloo Tikki’ and ‘Mattar’, you can not stay away from licking the plate after it is over.
|Sweets & Snacks
(Chowk main crossing just before the Gol Darwaza)
(Saddar Bazar off Military Cantonment Area)
|Malai Gilori is an out of this world preparation served almost at all sweet shops of Lucknow but none could beat this one in taste. They are the ones who developed this cream wrap filled with dry fruits and milk solids.
This shop is a very popular and an innovative sweet shop. They are pricy but give you value for money in terms of quality, presentation and packaging. The products from this shop are available at different up-market Lucknow shopping malls too. Every now and then you will find their mention in local news papers in interesting articles like a sweet meat covered with gold foil or a laddo weighing 50 Kgs et al.
(Fore-Noon & Evening Drink)
|Sri Lassi Corner
(In Chowk – just before Gol Darwaza is a very small shop of Shri Lassi on the road that leads to Chowk from King Gorge Medical College – CSMMU)
|This is a sweet whipped yogurt served with cream topping in summers. Ask them to serve in ‘Kulhad’- earthen drinking bowls to get a different muddy taste.
(Fore-Noon & Evening Drink)
(In Chowk – Opposite Gol Darwaza on the road side that leads to Chowk Stadium. Look for this empty shop with scanty furniture and no décor)
|Milk based preparation with some Indian cool spices – a sort of flavoured milk with real ingredients, this drink has cooling effect of sorts. You are free to try it as they use pasteurized milk.
(There is hardly any place in Lucknow, were one can find an authentic Chinese spread. One reason is the Lucknowites love their Awadhi food and another is that Lucknow taste-buds are used to host of spices and chefs here just do not follow the thumb rule but love to experiment)
(Gole Market – Mahanagar)
|Chung Fa is operated by a Chinese family. The best thing is they try and offer you true Chinese taste, but with just a blend of Sino-Indian menu to suit the Indian taste buds. You are free to speak to the owner, he will be more than happy to dish out an authentic Chinese meal with no Indianised version such as Munchurian & Paneer Chiles (Sino-Chinese dishes very popular in India).
China House is the best fine-dine Chinese specialty restaurant. With seventy two covers, which includes two private dining spaces spread out spaciously, this signature restaurant great service and contemporary ambiance.
(Up-market, Fine Dine Restaurant)
|If you wish to dine in style – its here. An Specialty Restaurant with the finest Décor and great taste. You get all that you desire from a great restaurant. They serve an array of best Kababs that include Kakori, Gilawat, Hariyali et al.
|Multi Cuisine & Fusion Cuisine
(Main Hazratganj by the side of Kapoors. The other branch is opposite Sahara Ganj Mall
|They offer a mix of everything in a cool ambiance and great service. Just that it is quite crowded, specially during weekends. Their Indian Platter is quite an affair and an experience when in India.