I was in Benares recently. I travelled there by train. It had been years since I had train food, and while it has not improved much, there was enough of a sense of nostalgia in me to order a meal. The soup, while not great, tasted wonderful. This is what nostalgia does to you. The sound of the bearers selling their wares has not changed a jot.
Sadly, this is not an article about food in the train. Maybe, I will come to that later.
Benares does not have too many great places to eat. However, there is a fantastic Marwari restaurant in a little gullie next to the chaat shop that you see photographed below. The other chaat shop is one called Kashi Chaat Bhandar. However, I preferred the chaat at Deena Chaat. Benares has chaat all of it's own – tomato chaat, palak-methi papri chaat and a few other things. Definitely worth trying if you like to experiment with chaat.
I am not going to talk/ write about the momo stalls and dosa stalls that have started popping up around the ghats. These are meant for the Indian pilgrim tourists.
There is a Marwari restaurant near the Dashashwamedh Ghat, and one which the foreigners like.
For those who don't mind sitting on a stool, or going to a really local restaurant, then you can try the kachori and jalebi. The kachori is softer than the ones that you get in Mathura, and are almost like poories.
Jalebis, well, you can't go very wrong there.
There are two types of lassi. The more traditional one, in the Benarasi style, is Shiv Lassi Bhandar, which is featured here. Shiv has been making lassi for 50 years, and is situated right outside the Ramgarh Fort. He adds rabri to the lassi. Not a very Punjabi thing to do.
If you want to do the touristy thing, and the foreigners love it, try the many flavours of lassi at Blue Lassi – in the gully that leads from the KAshi Vishwanath Temple to the Manikarnika Ghat.
Check it out!