Allahabad India – Best Places to Eat and Dishes to Try
Allahabad's culinary culture is characterised by a diverse mix of flavours, which range from spicy to tangy to sour and sweet. The city is most famous, however, for Mughlai cuisine of North India, although it also boasts an impressive number of dessert parlours and mixed kitchen restaurants serving continental dishes, North American style burgers and novelty as well as traditional Indian specialities.
Local specialties to try
Kachori sabzi is a favourite with the locals and can be found on every street corner in the city. This snack type breakfast consists of a spicy potato and lentil curry accompanied by a deep-fried bread, which is dipped into the sabzi. Delicious, filling and cheap this dish is a must when in Allahabad.
Another celebrated North Indian speciality to try when in this historical city is the chhole bhature, a fragrant chilli and chickpea curry served with leavened flatbread. Both meat and vegetarian kebabs are part of Allahabad's staple diet and are widely available. We recommend you try the chickpea version, which consists of delectably seasoned, mashed and then grilled chickpeas served with khameeri parantha, raw onions and green chutney.
Dum aloo is another Allahabadian staple, which is a must when in the city. This tasty potato curry made out of whole baby potatoes is liberally seasoned and spiced, then slow cooked to absolute perfection. Comes with a traditional flatbread and a creamy gravy made out of curd.
Chickpea and potato based curries are among the most popular in Allahabad as is bread and deep-fried savoury snacks such as pakoras, samosas, Amritsari kulchas, raj kachoris, kathi rolls and chaat. You won't have to search hard for these as they're among the most popular street foods in town, favoured by locals and visitors alike.
Allahabad is also known for its sweets, desserts and ice creams which are widely available, cheap and absolutely divine! We recommend you try some traditional specialities such as makkhan malai, a rich pudding made from milk cream topped with cardamom and almonds; rasgulla, round semolina dumplings served with liberal lashings of sugary syrup; imarti, a deep-fried doughnut-like sweet made out of urad dal; kulfi falooda, a rich and flavoursome ice cream, served with nuts and rose jelly; or the jalebi rabri, which is another deep-fried speciality made using maida flour batter and saffron infused syrup.
Most of the sweet shops in the city are clustered around MG Marg, in Civil Lines, which is lined with outdoor seating and stalls selling various local sugary specialities. There you will find some of the tastiest and cheapest deserts in the city, made using traditional recipes that are unique to Allahabad.
For the best rasgulla, however, head to Chowk, which has numerous shops specialising in this unique North Indian sweet.
While in MG Marg, we also recommend you check out Shanenshah, a fast food restaurant famous for its chole bhatures (INR80), masala dosas (INR60) and five-flavour special ice cream (INR110). This is a great place with a relaxed atmosphere and cheap but delicious local fare.
Another excellent local eatery nearby is the Aao Ji Haryana Dhaba, which has super speedy service, friendly staff and serves up delectable traditional thalis (INR80), North Indian curries (INR110) and veg uttapams (INR65).
If you're keen to sample Allahabadian kebabs we recommend you visit Eat On restaurant, also in Civil Lines, for the best kebabs in town. This place gets pretty crowded so be sure to get there before the evening rush. Made using fresh ingredients and seasonal spices Eat On's kebabs are an absolute bargain at INR20 per portion and will leave you wanting more!
Netraam in Katra is the place to go if you're after kachori sabzi (INR60), which comes with imli ki chatni and curd raita. We recommend you try the pumpkin option, which is milder than the aloo but equally as yummy. This place is also famous for its desserts, most notably the jalebi rabri which is said to be the tastiest in town.
Another fabulous place to try out some traditional treats is Kamdhenu Sweets, on MG Marg, which specialises in authentic home-baked sweets (INR240 per box), cakes, samosas, shakes, lassis and ice creams (INR45 per scoop). We recommend you try the black forest fantasy sundae desert (INR60), which is fruity, flavoursome and fantastic!
If you're after a sit-down meal, Friends Forever on Sardar Patel Marg in Civil Lines is the place to go. This little restaurant is famous in Allahabad for its friendly atmosphere, amicable rates and fabulous local fare. The restaurant has two seating areas, one with simple dining tables and chairs, and another with comfy sofas for casual lounging. We recommend you try their chicken tikka (INR160) or the veg thali (INR185), which consists of dhal, subzi, rice, roti, salad, pickles, and gulab jamun.
Western and International food
A vast majority of eateries in Allahabad have pan-Asian, Western and North American dishes on their menu.
If you wish to try some truly excellent burgers, we recommend you head to Hot Stuff, on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, which is something of an institution in Allahabad. This place has a chilled-out vibe, friendly staff and a pretty extensive menu consisting of both veg and non-veg dishes. We recommend you try their seasonal spring rolls (INR130), chilli burger (INR85) and pineapple pop ice cream (INR60), all of which are absolutes scrumptious.
Another excellent place to sample something other than Indian cuisine is El Chico restaurant in Civil Lines. This swanky eatery serves pretty fantastic Chinese and continental dishes. We recommend you try their crumb fried fish fingers served with tartar sauce and French fries (IRN325), chicken broth made with wild mushrooms and crunchy croutons (INR110) and the mixed grill (INR425), which is portioned to share.
If you're after some pizza or Italian inspired cuisine head to Paradise on Hashimpur Road, which does a mouthwatering in-house special pizza for a mere INR200.
Cafes and coffee houses
There are also plenty of coffee shops and cafés in Allahabad, and Indian Coffee House, located on MG Road, is among the best. This is a popular and busy place, known for its fantastic hot cream coffee (INR40) and a wide selection of tasty and affordable snacks. We recommend you try their butter masala dosa (INR43.50), which is delectably rich and crunchy.
Pubs and bars
Pubs and bars are rather limited in number in Allahabad, but the popular spots tend to draw pretty large crowds in the evenings and on the weekends.
Fire at Night, on Sardar Patel Marg, is a small but vibrant place with a chilled out atmosphere and a great selection of alcoholic beverages. Their lime and chilli whiskey cocktail is superb (INR170) if a little pricey.
Another place to check out if you're after some nigh time action is Glassy Junction on Strach Road, which is known for its relaxed atmosphere, sophisticated décor and trendy crowd. This place has an extensive wine list and does a great fish-fry (INR275). Highly recommended if you're looking to unwind with friends.
If, however, you're looking to dance the night away Trinity Lounge & Club on Thornhill Road is your best bet. This place draws a young and frolicsome crowd, plays some great tunes and serves a wide selection of beverages at fairly affordable rates. A beer there will set you back about INR125, but the music will keep you dancing until closing time!