Open Hand Shop & Cafe, Assi: REAL espresso - barista style!
An oasis amidst the chaos! and they serve REAL coffee, the best I had in India! It is a quiet retreat with spotless clean western-style toilet! Freshly baked huge muffins, cheesecake, carrot cake and breadrolls as big as breadloaves. We enjoyed the boardgames & magazines and spent almost all our afternoons there. The staff is not in your face yet friendly. A MUST DO!
Favorite Dish: French fries and salad with a mega cappuccino! Fresh fresh fresh and barista-style coffee!
- Food and Dining
- Luxury Travel
Madhur Milan cafe: Place to meet locals and have delish cheap food
The cafe is where locals come to eat cheap vegetarian food.
It is situated not far away from the main Dasaswamedh Ghat, on the road with the same name.. If you are coming from the Ghat up the steps the Dasaswamedh Ghat Road is in front of you and it's curves on the left, the Milan Cafe is in the curve on the right side of the road.. You can not miss it! The sign is obstructed and you can read it properly, but in front of it there are 3 burning stows, where industrious chefs are frying your dosas and other goodies...
but I think you will recognise it, as is always full. there is no doors or windows , actually no front of the shop, it is open space with small bar on the right side, where are 2 kinds dozen of sweets displayed for sale. The food is mostly south Indian and they have lasi as well.
the Cafe is open from 4am to 11pm. Early start is due to Pilgrims prayers and ritual baths in Ganges river
Favorite Dish: My fav dish are Dosa Masala,Paratha and rice & chappati plate. The dishes are Rs 25 per plate with some other ones going up to Rs60.
The Brown Bread Bakery: A German Bakery in India!
We came here for breakfast on our last day in Varanasi, and it proved a good choice, although not very local! Despite being in the middle of the busy backstreets of Varanasi, I had the feeling it would have been more at home in London's Soho or Covent Garden areas, with it's organic food, chic seating areas, and world/dance music. I had a pancake (40-55rupees) which was tasty and filling, and my partner had chocolate cake (which he'd been craving) and a coffee he described as superb.
Check out the website for their menu and details of their charitable work.
(Pictures are from the website)
Madhur Milan cafe: Filling local food near the ghats
Just a short walk from Dasaswamedh Ghat, this cafe is situated on Dasaswamedh Road, next to the large gateway which leads into the market backstreets. The Thali, which cost 25INR, was so huge I couldn't finish it, and my partner's masala dosa (20INR) looked pretty fully stuffed as well! We returned the following day for breakfast and had puri bhaji which came with jalebis - an orange sweet made of deep-fried batter soaked in syrup; they're incredibly sticky!
- Budget Travel
Haifa Restaurant: Cheap food, great place to meet other tourists
How my travel partner and I found this spot escapes my memory yet I remember vividly the many meals I ate here. In fact, over the course of 3 days, Haifa restaurant become the go-to location when hungry.
Don’t expect any thrills here. The dining room is an open area at the front of the building with large windows looking out onto the street below. You’ll find all sorts of diners in the crowd, some locals but mostly very low key tourists. Of the people we spoke to during our various meals, many were long term visitors that had taken a keen liking to the city, and also the Haifa. Turns out this place was a well known spot for cheap good food.
First impressions will leave you wanting to turn around and walk out. This is not fine dining and you will even share your meals with the plentiful flies circling the dining room. Food is delivered as it is made; don’t bother to complain or ask everything to be brought at one time as this is not the rule. We ordered several items each meal quickly learning to dig in as it arrived regardless of whether the other person had food. Meals for the 2 of us ended under $6-7.
The address given is Assi Ghat although the actual location is a short walk from the river if coming by river.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Good Vegetarian food
If you are in Varanasi, try some delicious Indian vegetarian foods like Paneer Makhani, Paneer tikka, Paneer butter masala or any item of Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) as such. You will surely lick your fingers. But I would suggest that one goes for big restaurants and not streetside food corners.
Burger King: ...but not that one!
This place caught my eye because of its name when I was wandering around to find places to eat near where I was staying at the Hotel Surya. I popped in to see what it was all about and had a spicy veggie burger and fries which arrived about 5 minutes after I ate the burger. It's a popular workmen like dinner place with guys standing around a counter eating and chatting.
Canton Royale: At the Hotel Surya
This restaurant is located at the Hotel Surya where I was staying. The actually building was built in 1818 and has been converted in to an air-conditioned luxurious heritage restaurant with a pool behind. They had a wedding reception going on around the pool whilst I was eating there. The food was very good with good service. They serve Indian and Chinese dishes.
Varanasi Raga: Korean Cafe
Another treasure found! Varanasi Raga is a Korean Cafe with excelllent Korean Dishes. It is a nice place to chill, read a book from the small library and enjoy very tasty Korean Food. During our visit, the owner was in Korea. A friend of him took care of his place during that time. Very nice guy, very calm and very helpful. He gave us directions and a map.
Favorite Dish: We had the vegetable omelette. GREAT!!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Various: Try Vegetarian Food
Varanasi being a holy city seems to have a lot more selection on vegetarian cusine than meat based dishes. My exeriences on the meat based dishes seems mostly not that great as the flow of non meat eaters seems to out number the meat eaters.
Maybe the meat eaters have a sence of guilt when they visit Varanasi that they Veg-out. Nevertheless the veg selections are a lot more and specalized a lot more.... This is positively a good city to just veg out.
Favorite Dish: Various local restaurants.. not that any really.
Brown bread bakery: Cozy
We discovered this place on our last day in Varanasi. It's a place where many travellers come to have breakfast, lunch or diner. It's very cozy.
I had a Veg sizzler over there. Just order it there and brace yourself. It was a funny experience.
Haifa restaurant: Good food and a lot of choices
We ate at this restaurant when we were walking towards Ram Nagar fort. They serve local dishes, middle eastern food and many other dishes. You get a lot as well and the food we had was good quality as well.
Eating in Varanasi
The food in my hotel (the Radisson) was very good and I did not get much chance to eat outside because of a hectic schedule but I am told that Varanasi is known for its desserts. Obviously choosing a hotel to eat is a lot safer but there are plenty of restaurants in Varansi serving a wide range of cuisines including Chinese and continental. One interesting name caught me which was ‘Hilarious Restaurant’. Obvious be careful with food off the street.
Yelchiko: Best chinese,indian and continental food in vns
The food at Yelchiko was heavenly especially the Indian food.It is the only restaurant in varanasi,Iwas told,which offers good food along with high class wine and beer.The infrastructure was very attractiveand the resataurant had a cosy kind of ambience.
The stress laid on details regarding food and hospitality is worth mentioning.
Favorite Dish: I liked the Paneer Lababdar the most.
erm.. @ this hotel by the river ganga.. wil check.: yummy food but please don't "take-away"..
this restaurant of a small hotel serves yummy food.. however, the followings may be the reasons why the food taste so "yummy" & distinctive:
1. the "chunks" of "cow dung" being dried just outside its window (pic 1)
2. the dirt-encrusted tableware
3. the "recycled detergent container" used to contain take-away food
However, the above are parts and parcels of a backpackin trip and they are what makes a trip or an experience unique!! My suggestion, bring some wet tissues, ignore the aromatic smell across the window and do not take-away food!
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