Located just 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away from Mathura, Vrindavan is a sacred town full of innumerable temples with intricate architecture and carvings. As per the Hindu mythology, this was where Lord Krishna spent his childhood years and also showcased his divine love for Radha. Numerous devotees from all across the country and beyond come here to seek divine blessings.
Apart from the religious association, Vrindavan also boasts of a quintessential food culture dominated by milk-based delicacies, that has been molded by the spiritual connection. The traditional fare on the streets and the household is mostly Sattvik food. So in this episode, we have come here to seek the divine blessings of Lord Krishna and to eat the pristine street foods available here. Our escapade was mostly centered around the bustling lanes of Sri Banke Bihari Mandir.
We started our food trail with breakfast at Agarwal Mithai Bhandar with the Gujrati dhokla from the counter outside the shop and then quickly moved inside to relish the quintessential breakfast spread comprising of urad dal kachoris, potato, and pumpkin sabzi, and fresh curd. The humble and traditional spread was all prepared in pure desi ghee and had no onion and garlic in it. There is something very enriching about such food that makes us feel more wholesome, calm, and joyous. If you like the food then ring the bell placed outside to announce it.
Our second stop was Radhe Radhe Pede Wala, a very old establishment in the city whose sweets are a craze with all sweet lovers. Here we had the Khurchan Malai served in a tiny earthen pot, Moong dal Burfi and Peda. We highly recommend this place for your sweet cravings.
While visiting the city be very careful about the impish monkeys whose menace is simply unpredictable. They are notorious for snatching your belongings.
After those toothsome sweets, we arrived at a place selling Kanji Vada and Cheela. We tried them both as they appeared super appetizing. The former one was light and refreshing while the latter one was zesty and filling.
For lunch, we went to Jaipuria Bhojanalay to try their unlimited Satvik thali that is very popular with visitors. It was an eclectic spread of roti, rice, dal, bottle gourd curry, kadhi, chutney. It was light, tasty, and wholesome. Though it is an unlimited thali there is one catch and that is you can't share it with anyone else.
Since Vrindavan is also famous for some amazing chats, we couldn’t resist trying a serving of Aloo tikki chat. It was truly satisfying. Next was the turn of paan from Ashoke Paan, a local favourite. Being a Paan aficionado we can easily vouch for the brilliance of the simple betel quid that Ashoke ji gave us.
With our palette cleansed and our appetite restored we stopped by a random cart selling something very interesting. It was the Rabri Chuski, an innovative take on Rabri. This would remind you of gola or crushed ice pops. Essentially it was a yummy rabri served on a bed of crushed ice.
While ambling down the street full of enthusiastic visitors, we spotted a young boy selling Golgappas with differently flavoured water. The flavoured water with different condiments like hing, harad, etc. was lip-smacking. Do make an effort to trace him down and binge on his zesty golgappas.
Our final stop in this gratifying food exploration in the holy backdrop of Banke Bihari Mandir and its adjoining areas was Brij bihari lassi shop. Their kesar gulab lassi served in an earthen tumbler was as delicious and refreshing as it could be.