Formerly a summer resort of the British Raj, the city of Darjeeling is a confluence of cultures. It is a gorgeous hill station with breathtaking natural beauty, flamboyant colonial architecture and joyful way of life. Let's look at some of the famous street food eateries over here.
51 - Gandhi Road, Chauk Bazaar
It is a favourite of those who prefer Tibetan and Nepali cuisines. The place is always filled with locals and visitors alike. This family run restaurant has an elaborate menu where there is a dish for all moods. Here we polished off some chicken thenthuk and steamed chicken momo. The food was really soul satisfying.
BHOLA AALU DUM
Below Gandhi Road
The combination of aalu dum and munchies is the quintessential street food of Darjeeling. It is an emotion for many. And one of the best names in this league is Bhola Aalu Dum. Here the bright orangish coloured potato curry is served with different munchies and fried snacks among which the bestseller is the aalu mimi Or potato curry topped with fried instant noodles like Wai Wai and chutney. We opted for aalu mimi and finger chips combo. The zesty and spicy aalu mimi tasted great along with the light and super crunchy finger chips.
WALIS BAKERS & CONFECTIONERS
Hill Cart Road, Chauk Bazaar
It is an old bakery cum confectionery that is still preferred by the locals when it comes to their daily bakery and snacks requirements. There are different kinds of breads, buns, cookies, tea time biscuits, small puffs available here that make for a great accompaniment with tea and coffee.
Besides Bazaar Post Office
It is a famous sweet and snack shop with a spacious sitting area where one can come and enjoy different sweets, chaats, kachori, beverages etc. Here we had a refreshing cup of Darjeeling tea along with the puffs.
KAPIL CHAAT SHOP
Their aalu chaat is another hot favourite street food dish in and around the locality. It is a potpourri of ketchup based aalu dum, chips, sev, peanuts, chutney, yogurt and a few other things. All these ingredients result in a zesty, sweet and sour dish that brings a smile on the faces of all chaat lovers.
It is a busy paan shop in the neighbourhood.
Yearning for some Mughlai cuisine in the hills then this place is a great option. They offer a mouthwatering range of curries, bread and biraya at an affordable price. The chicken keema that we had tried was light on spice yet revery flavourful just like any good homestyle dish.
Dr SM Das Road, Near Post Office
It is a hugely popular eatery that serves sweets, beverages and some of the popular North and South Indian dishes like chole bhature, dosa etc. at a very pocket friendly rate. Moreover, the old decor still radiates a relaxed old world vibe.
SANTOSH AALU DUM
Dr SM Das Road
It is another famous aalu dum place just like Bhola's. Here they served it with various kinds of snacks like sev, corn kernels, potato wafers, Wai Wai etc. We really liked its warm, spicy and crunchy taste of the aalu bhunja that had corn chips and sev in it. Santosh ji is a very genial and patient guy who takes note of your preferences.
Dr SM Das Road
Joey's Pub is an old and laid back bar where you can unwind over a glass of your favourite drink. In spite of the substantial crowd, we found it to be less noisy unlike most other bars.
Located in the heart of the city, this pure veg restaurant is renowned for its eclectic menu, classy ambience and great service. Since it was late at night we had tried the basic dal and roti combo. But their North Indian, Continental and South Indian menu are quite famous.
1, Nehru Road
Founded by Edward Keventers in 1911, this legendary place stands tall in the heart of the city. It is known for its coffee, chocolate drink and English breakfast menu. Its list of patrons includes a lot of celebrities from various fields. Here we had tried this chicken platter which had fried eggs, sausages, salami and meat loaf.
While ambling down the Mall road, you will find a row of puchka vendors with their tempting paraphernalia. Apart from pani puri they also serve bhel puri, churmur, chana chaat etc.
NERDVANA BOOKS & COFFEE
Dr Zakir Hussain Road, Tungsung Basti
It is a cosy youthful cafe serving an innovative menu of beverages and snacks. This less noisy place is a great spot to enjoy a book with your favourite beverage or snack. Our pick was a locally made kombucha which is a tea based probiotic drink.
Dr Zakir Hussain Road, Tungsung Basti
Started by three passionate friends, this is an experimental eatery that mostly uses locally grown or procured ingredients for their diverse menu. When we visited it during our Darjeeling Food Tour, it was in the nascent stage. Although the kitchen was not fully ready at that time, this super genial and passionate trio treated us to a soul satisfying spread of multigrain bread, hummus and stir fried shiitake mushroom.
GANG JONG RESTAURANT
NB Singh Road
It is a quaint family run restaurant that has been serving Tibetan food since 1967. So the menu consists of some authentic momo, thukpa, taipho, sa phalay etc. We went there to search for chicken taipho which is like a big sized steamed chicken momo with a thick and fluffy outer covering. The stuffing was quite satisfying and it went well with the chili oil accompanying it.
This too is an old family run Tibetan eatery with a compact non fancy sitting space attached to the open kitchen. The limited menu consists of pocket friendly homestyle dishes, many of which are made from scratch like the kaudi pasta that we had tried. It is a tiny hand made pasta tossed in stir fried veggies. These tasted like noodles but had a fluffier mouth feel because of its shape.
Nehru Road, Near Clock Tower
It is a British era bakery cum cafe which is famous for its Continental menu. It also has a pub and hosts live bands too. Just like Keventers this place too is a favourite of the many celebrities from and outside the city. People come here to enjoy their favorite meal, snacks or beverage sitting on its elegant colonial style balcony that overlooks the mighty Kanchenjunga. Since it was the last stop of our Darjeeling food tour and we were completely full, we settled for a hot toddy.