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Zaika-e-Lucknow: Top food places in Lucknow

Zaika-e-Lucknow: Top Food places in Lucknow #BharatkaZaika

Lucknow is popularly known as the city of Nawabs but for the foodies, it has a different connotation altogether, they consider it as the ‘City of Kebabs’. As soon as you arrive in Lucknow the first thing that you will notice is ‘Mukuraiye, Ap Lucknow me hai’ written on billboards and other places, which literally translates to ‘Smile as you are in Lucknow’.

Lucknow has an opulent cultural heritage and is renowned for many things – the monuments with incomparable architectural features, the rich literature, the ‘Chikankari’ on clothes, the ‘Khatirdari’ (hospitality) or the ‘Tehzeeb’ (, the unique lingua franca or the delectable culinary delights. It has its own unique charming vibe to it.

The Awadhi cuisine dishes out copious vegetarian dishes but it is a food lovers’ paradise when it comes to the non-vegetarian offerings. We can all thank a toothless Nawab for the evolution that began in the 17th century for Kebabs. Without delving much in history let me highlight what are the places that are must-visits and what are the must-haves when you pay a visit to this iconic city and its scrumptious food.

Tunday Kababi

Tunday Kababi at Aminabad

No discussion around Lucknow’s food can be complete without the legendary Tunday Kababi. Their one-of-a-kind Galouti kebabs are one of the best kebabs that you will find in India. A one-armed chef for the Nawab of Lucknow first prepared it in the 17th century and since then it has captured the imaginations of all the food lovers across the region. The secret-recipe Kebab is prepared with minced meat and 160 different spices that lend an immaculate flavor to the dish.

The shop that started with humble origins is now converted into a food chain with multiple outlets across the city and country. You can also try Shami Kebab, Boti Kabab and Seekh Kabab along with other non-veg dishes.

Alamgir Restaurant

Alamgir is another gem of a place for non-veg lovers. It is right opposite to the Tunday Kababi restaurant in Aminabad in a small alley. If you walk into that alley today, you will feel as if the whole place is taken over by Alamgir with food being prepared everywhere. Their Band Ghosht and unique chicken Kalimirch are a must-have. Try them with their saffron-colored Sheermal.

I believe that the only place that can compete with Lucknow’s biryani is Hyderabad’s biryani but there are still places in Lucknow that will serve you something totally unique.

Outside Idrees Biryani

Idrees Ki biryani

Another place, which is based on, a secret recipe passed on from the previous generation. Currently run by the sons of Muhammad Idrees, who started this small place in 1968, is a must visit if you love to have biryanis. The place looks so ordinary and small from outside that if you are not keenly looking for it, you might actually end up missing it. Better look out for the huge crowd that is always gathered outside the eatery. You will be actually surprised to know how many celebs visit the place on their visit to Lucknow.

The best way to reach the place is to spot the patanala police station in Raza Bazaar in the Chowk area. If you aren’t comfortable eating in cramped up spaces then my advice for you is to take the biryani home and enjoy it there.

Awadh Biryani Corner

You will not hear a lot about this place, as it is a small place near the Dainik Jagran Chauraha (roundabout) but I can definitely vouch for their biryanis. I started going there during my school days since their biryani was dirt cheap and always came along with a free cola. Over the years I have become a lover of their biryani and their shami kebabs. Watch out for the portions before ordering, it might be too much for a single person.

Wahid Biryani

Idrees biryani getting prepared

Popularly known as the ‘Pride of Lucknow’, Wahid Biryani was started about 60 years ago. They have tried their best to preserve their authentic taste through its 55 spices that go into the preparation of their aromatic biryani. They have multiple outlets across the city.

Rahim Ki Nihari

It’s a 130-year-old restaurant started in 1890 and is famous for its Nihari & Kulche. What Tunday is to Kebabs and Idrees is to biryani, Rahim is to Nihari.

It started as a breakfast joint and you will be surprised to see the crowd even today queued up early in the morning. It is located on phool wali gali near Tehseen Masjid in Chowk. You can also try paaye, sheermal, kakori kabab, parsande, seekh kabab & kheer.

Dastarkhwan

Dastarkhwan is another non-veg eatery with multiple outlets. My favorite one is near the Tulsi theatre. Their Tawa Chicken Masala are a must-have with paratha.

You must be thinking I am mentioning everything related to non-veg but vegetarians don’t get disappointed. Lucknow has a lot to offer in veg especially when it comes to street food.

Band Ghosht & Sheermal at Alamgir

Baati Chokha Restaurant and Banarasiya

The Baati Chokha restaurant in Gomti Nagar and Banarasiya restaurant near Pheonix mall are famous for their local vegetarian cuisines. Both have got this rural ambience, which complements the food really well. Baati Chokha are a must have in them. Their refrigerated Kheer and Bakheer served in earthen bowls is too good.

Ratti Lal ke khaste

It is one of the oldest sweet shops in Lucknow. Lucknowites love to have Khasta Kachori in breakfast along with Jalebis. Ratti Lal is famous for its Khasta Puri. It is located in the Aminabad region.

Royal Café – Basket Chaat

If you are a fan of basket chaat or tokri chaat then you must have already visited the Royal Café in Hazratganj in Lucknow. Currently they have more than one outlet in the city. It is one of the most preferred places to hang out for couples.

Jain Chaat Corner

Sheermal getting prepared

Another great eatery offering mouth-watering chaat is Jain Chaat Corner near Novelty Cinema. It is one of the best places to try any variety of chaat. Their Papdi chaat and Golgappas are a must to have.

Sharma Tea Stall

Sharma Tea stall is one of the oldest tea stalls in the city, started way back in 1948. It is nearby Jain Chaat Corner in Lalbagh. They are famous for their bun Makhan (butter), samosas and of course tea. The highlight is the butter that is homemade. You might have to wait a little longer for your tea, as it is always crowded.

Prakash ki Mashhoor Kulfi

This place was started in 1965 and is one of the best places to try desserts. Their Kulfis are truly amazing. Every time my father used to visit that area in Aminabad, he would make sure he gets a portion for my mother. They have special packing for takeaways so that your kulfi doesn’t melt on its way.

Makhan Malai

Makkhan Malai

It is one of my favorite delicacies that I remember from my childhood. Back then a guy used to sell it on his bicycle door-to-door and we would not miss any chance to have it. Currently there aren’t many takers for this unique fluffy sweet dish and is majorly sold around Gol Darwaja area.

Honorable mentions: Shree Lassi at Chowk, Bajpai poori kachori near Leela Cinema, Raja Thandai near Gol Darwaja Chowk and Azhar Paan near Akbari Darwaja Chowk.

Do let me know whether you liked the collection or not and do highlight if I missed any major place. Now you know what all places to visit the next time that you are in Lucknow.

For all those who love kebabs,

For all those who love kulfis,

For all those who love biryanis,

And

For all those who love food…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

“#BharatKaZaika is a blogging event conducted by #BlogBoosterIndia. Hosted by Aditi, Mahesh, Pragun, Preeti, Saba, Sanjota, Sudip, Suhasini, Supriya and sponsored by Habhit Wellness Private Ltd.

This Post is written under my Food Travels for #BlogBoosterIndia #BharatKaZaika

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19

R – Restaurants in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge

R – Restaurants in Dubai | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

A place only becomes cosmopolitan because of its inhabitants from all across the planet and when you have people from all across then they are surely going to bring their food along with it. Dubai is one such place where you will find every possible cuisine in the world.

There are a plethora of options to eat with almost every big brand present and some of the smaller authentic places available. Everybody knows about the Cheesecake Factories and KFCs of the world, let’s keep this post experiential and what I would like to highlight is the places where I had food and found it really amazing, delicious and authentic along with being easy on my wallet.

Contrary to the belief that Dubai is only for the rich, one can still find good food for as cheap as AED 5.

Sigdi

I have to begin with the place where I order the most. They have two outlets – one in Al Nahda and the other in Al Karama. I have mostly been to Al Nahda one. Whatever you order, it is simply home-like delicious. Order blindly from their Indian and Chinese cuisine options.

Must Try – Bhuna Chicken and Mongolian pot rice.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Zaroob

Zaroob offers the most authentic Arabic street food in a more contemporary set up. They have about five outlets in Dubai. The word translates to ‘Small Alley’ and the ambiance literally brings back the old Arab days.

Must try – Falafel, Mana’oushe morsel, and Fateer.

Cost: AED 150 for two.

Bu Qtair Café

Bu Qtair was like a tea-stall in the 80s serving Indian tea to the pearl divers before becoming what it is today, an ultra-modern seafood shack on Kite Beach. Its simplicity lies in the fact that it still serves only three dishes, all of which are lip-smacking. Don’t even think of missing their Masala fish sauce.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Tom & Serg

Tom is from Melbourne and Sergio is from Spain and when their paths crossed they collaborated to come up with ‘Tom & Serg’. It is a no frills café where you can just walk in, order food, sit and relax and just feel at home. It is located in the industrial warehouse region of Al Quoz and might be difficult to initially locate it.

Must Try: Breakfast & Brunches. Head to Alserkal Avenue after the brunch.

Cost: AED 190 for two.

Din Tai Fung

New York Times rates it as one of the world’s top ten restaurants and it is the best place to try Taiwanese cuisine. They have three outlets in Dubai.

Must Try: Xiao long bao, noodles and vegetable dishes.

Cost: AED 160 for two.

Calicut Paragon

A popular name for South Indian cuisines and a favorite among them. With their two outlets – Al Nahda & Al Karama, they bring the authentic aromatic spicy flavors of South India to the shores of Dubai. Their seafood are real showstoppers.

Must try: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms, crab masala, fruity mango fish curry, whole pomfret in a spicy rub and biryani chai.

Cost: AED 120 for two.

Pakistani Cuisines

A lot of Dubai’s working strata survive on Pakistani restaurants and cuisines given their cheap price and location availability. Ravi Restaurant, Karachi Darbar and Daily Restaurant are the prominent names among others. My favorite is Daily restaurant because of its genuine taste and the value for money.

Must Try: Nihari, korma and biryanis.

Cost: AED 50 for two – yes your read it right.

Al Ustad Special

Just like Zaroob, Al Ustad is a historical place offering the old-world charm. It is one of Dubai’s oldest establishments serving Persian and Iranian cuisine. If you can keep up with the average service you are going to love the food there.

Must Try: Kebabs.

Cost: AED 70 for two.

Arabic Cuisine

‘When in Rome do as Romans do’, well if you are in Dubai then not trying Arabic food would be criminal, isn’t it? Some of the best places include; Al Fanar, Al Safadi and Al Halabi. My favorite is Al Safadi. It is a little expensive but the food will surely make up for it. You are going to fall in love with their freshly made pita bread and hummus.

Must Try: Shawarma, falafel, pita bread and hummus.

Cost: AED 190 for two.

Indian Street Food

Well, who doesn’t love Indian street food! I will highlight a couple of options – one expensive and one economical – the taste varies as per price.

Bombay Brasserie by Taj – everything here is exceptional and the combos start at 199 AED. Try their brunches with beer combos.

Bhukkad café in Al Karama is an economical option for the lovers of street food. Do try out their Aam panna, vada pav and pani puris. Cost for two is around 100 AED.

Biryani

If you are a die-hard fan of Hyderabadi biryani then these two places are a must go. Shahran and Biryaniwala & co. They are decently priced with authentic flavors.

Thali Restaurants

Indians are a huge fan of thalis, wherever you travel you would definitely come across a local thali. Well, Dubai isn’t spared either and you can find multiple options suiting your location and budget. Some of the worthy places are; Rasoi Ghar, Chappan Bhog, Maharaja bhog and Rajdhani.

My personal favorite is Rasoi Ghar in Al Karama known for their Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis.

Special mention – Manisha’s kitchen – authentic home-style Indian cuisine place. Their Al Karama outlet is famous for Maharashtrian food.

Puranmal

There are not much places in Dubai where you would find authentic Indian ‘chat’. I believe all the ladies will agree with me how important the flavors, the tanginess of water and the spiciness of chat is. To make a perfect chat is an art.

The Puranmal outlet in Meena Bazar offers the best chat in town along with other Indian cuisine options.

Must Try: Indian Chat, Sweets and Gulab Jamun.

Cost: AED 100 for two.

Kulfilicious

The last time I checked they had about two outlets, now they have grown to 12. I have been to their Al Nahda outlet. Well, I cannot pick one since I loved all the flavors I tried. Their fusion kulfis are simply too good along with their quirky interiors.

Cost: AED 45 for two.

Tea

Currently, Dubai has become like India where every roundabout will have a tea place but the Filis Café started the culture of tea in the region. During my stay, there was one in my complex and would be our regular hangout spot. I think for tea Filis Café is the best, there are like the Chaipoint of Dubai with outlet available everywhere.

Must try – Zafran Chai and Oreo Shakes.

Tea starts from 4 AED.

Special Shoutouts

Pressman’s pressed sandwiches – for sandwiches.

Asia’s kitchen – amazing Asian cuisine.

Kebab bistro & Funky Café – for Parsi food and Iranian café.

Faadil – for their Lassi. Try the mango lassi.

The lighthouse in design district – for Mediterranean and Greek food.

Café Ride – for Black coffee.

Da Vinci in Millenium Hotel – For Italian cuisine.

For all the alcoholic beverage lovers there is a separate post coming in a couple of days. Keep visiting and watching the space for the love of Dubai.

For all those who love to dine out,

For all those who live to eat,

For all those who eat to live,

And

For all the lovers of food…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 18th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.

Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘S’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.