Referred to as the land of Tea, Tourism, Transport and Timber, Siliguri, is a major commercial center of North Bengal. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty and rich culture. Siliguri also boasts of a vibrant street food scenario full of fascinating tastes, actions and stories.
It is an old eatery in the marketplace famous for fresh puffs, patties, some fried snacks and pastries. Here we polished off a delicately flaky chicken patties whose filling was just on point.
It is another old bakery whose wide range of fresh breads and biscuits have a huge fan base. We tried their cheese rolls which is a current favourite of the people looking for hearty munchies. These tiny bow tie shaped snacks to seed in some zesty inhouse spice mix.
SILIGURI KRISHNA MOBILE TEA
Located in a busy marketplace Krishna Mobile Tea is a mobile tea stall famous for both masala and lemon tea. Traders and visitors stop by to energize themselves with a cuppa and some light hearted interaction.
BAIRAGI JHAL MURI
If you are a jhalmuri lover just like us then this place in Bidhan Market is a must visit. Bairagi Ji's perfectly spiced jhalmuri served with a smile is loved by all. For us, his Wai Wai jhal muri was an absolute revelation. This innovative snack is made of crushed Wai Wai and the rest of the jhalmuri related ingredients scored both on taste and texture.
Momo Gali, Seth Shri Lal Market
The love for momo over here is so cogent that a whole street named Momo Gali is dedicated to it. The sight of people busy folding and steaming huge batches of dumplings is quite fascinating. We had tried a plate of fresh steamed momo from one of the oldest shops over here and found it to be quite decent.
SHRIDHAR PHUCHKA CART
Seth Srilal Market
If you are anywhere in Bengal, you can't escape the temptation of puchka as it is an ubiquitous thing. One of the popular puchka stalls in and around Bidhan market is Shridhar puchka cart. We couldn't get enough of the gondhoraj lemon flavoured puchka which had a refreshing note to it.
KISHAN TIKKI GHUGNI
Another fun street side snack loved by the locals is the Tikki Ghugni. It is a delightful combination of crusty potato tikki, some spicy ghugni and chutney. The young vendor also serves Bihari litti chokha.
If you want to munch on some light and healthy snack then Prakash's chana jor garam is a great option. It is masala coated deep fried crushed chana. He also serves different kinds of spicy and dry savoury snacks called mixtures.
KAJOL DIM GHUGNI
Hill Cart Road
In Siliguri we came across a very unique protein packed dish called dim ghugni which is essentially boiled eggs topped with hot and spicy ghugni. This impressive pocket friendly combo is a meal in itself. The hardworking Kajol didi is a favourite of the locals.
CHOUDHARY PAV BHAJI
Hill Cart Road
They serve a decent Bombay style pav bhaji and is a very busy eatery because this dish has a strong fan base all over the country. Their bhaji wasn't completely mushy but had few veggie chunks intact.
Sekuwa is to Nepal what kebab is to India. These smoky, flavourful and succulent pieces of charcoal or wood fired grilled meat are quite irresistible. One of the best places for having sekuwa in Siliguri is Sekuwa Hut. Our pick from here was the chilli sekuwa which is sekuwa given and an Indo Chinese makeover using different sauces and seasonings.
SHIV KUMAR POORI SABZI
In the morning, this place is brimming with people from all walks of life eager to dig into the irresistible plate of hot maida poori and potato-yellow pea sabzi. If you are fond of this combo and street food lover too then do give it a try just for the vibe.
Khudiram Pally Road
It is another old sweet shop beside the vegetable market. They have all kinds of traditional Bengali sweets and snacks. Here we polished off some radha ballabhi with aalu dum, mishti doi and chenar jilipi.The former is a thick black lentil stuffed puri that has a deeply satisfying taste.
Bidhan Market Road, Hakim Para
It is an old eatery that dates back to the time of the Independence struggle and has hosted legends from all various backgrounds like politics, arts, academics etc. As a result it is an iconic spot in the food map of this city. Here you get a limited range of basic snacks like toast, omelette etc. and tea. We enjoyed the half boiled egg, butter toast and tea amidst the old world ambience.
AMARDEEP PUNJABI DHABA
It is a popular North Indian restaurant run by a Punjabi family. Hence the menu has a lot of Punjabi classics. The genial and warm owner recommended us to try their creamy dal makhni and chicken tikka masala and both of them were quite good. The later one was a flavourful curry made of tandoor grilled chicken.
It is another renowned sweet shop over here where you get to choose from over fifty plus sweets. Our pick was the baked rasgulla, rasmalai, kheer doi etc. The last one is a thick and dense flavoured yogurt made of kheer or reduced milk and it was divine.
NEW KALPATARU PICE HOTEL
Panitanki More, Sevoke Road
Pice hotels are humble eateries that serve Bengali meals at affordable rates. An old pice hotel in Siliguri is the New Kalpataru pice hotel. They have an extensive menu consisting of a wide variety of fish and meat dishes. Since their fish based delicacies are more popular, we decided to try three of them - chitol macher kalia, boroli macher jhol and boroli bhaja. Our order also included a customized veg thali that had rice, dal, jhiri aalu bhaja and aalu posto. The chitol macher kalia was a rich onion based gravy made of silver knife fish. The boroli bhaja on the other hand was a crunchy stir fry made of the locally available tiny boroli fish.
DEY CHOUDHURY STORES
Panitanki More, Sevoke Road
It is a busy pan shop where you can satiate your craving for this post meal treat. They have the basic ones and some fancy ones too.
Hill Cart Road
It is one of the very few restaurants in the city that serves authentic Chinese dishes alongside some popular Indo Chinese fares. The interior is very spacious with big tables and a touch of Chinese culture. Here we tried a wonton soup which was light, delicate and quite comforting.
ZAIKA BIRYANI HOUSE
Rolls and Biryani too are much loved dishes and one of the best places to have it here is Zaika Biryani House. Always jam packed with diners, this place is renowned for its tasty offerings. We picked up their hot selling chicken roll and it was succulent and delicious.
HIMAL TREE KOREAN BAKERY
It is a small and cosy Korean bakery where you will find Korean style cakes and easy to grab snacks. Our pick was some luscious whipped cream filled light and fluffy choux pastry and delightful Korean cheesecake.
Sevoke Bazar, Siliguri
Located near Nandi Bridge, Chaasum is a Chinese restaurant with a relaxed ambience and friendly staff. We tried a classic chow mein from here. It was different from the usual street side chow mein because of the absence of an overwhelming use of soya and chilli sauces. The veggies added a nice crunch to this spicy dish. We polished it off with some hot coffee.
LEELAMANI FAMILY RESTAURANT
Suntalay, Lohapul, NH 10
Leela Mani Family restaurant is a great pit stop for food and refreshment if you are travelling between Siliguri to Kalimpong. We had tried a Nepali thali consisting of dal, bhaat, gundruk and some other traditional vegetable dishes, thin country chicken curry, mutton kasa and sidra ko achar (fish pickle). This platter was light on spices yet very satisfying all because of the fresh ingredients and expert cooking skills. The momo too were juicy, well stuffed and perfectly seasoned. Apart from great food this place also scores for its hygienic, spacious and cheerful ambience.