Thinking of delicious Punjabi food? Think Amritsar! Dreaming of hitting a street food trail in Punjab? Think of Amritsar again! Amritsar is one of those places in India that is a foodie’s absolute delight. When people think of Amritsar, they think of the Golden temple and the Wagah border, but when I think of Amritsar, I think of those mouth watering kulche, pind de chole, jalebi, kulfa and much more. It’s streets offer some of the best street food of India and is a must explore and taste for the food lover in you. From dhabas to the langar in the golden temple and from the iconic shops in the small alleys of Amritsar to the floating street vendors, this is one place where all kinds of foodies will find peace.
Below are 10 top food experiences from this holy city that you should experience on your next trip. As I am a vegetarian, these experiences are from a vegetarian’s perspective. If you are a meat eater, you will find an even better range as Amritsar is also one of the meat food capitals of India.
A Glass of Fresh Lassi in the Morning
Some people start their day with a cup of coffee. For some it is a cup of tea. When you are in Amritsar, it is a big glass of freshly made lassi. This sweet yoghurt drink is available almost everywhere in the city and available from as early as half past six in the morning. My favorite lassi moment was from the streets of Shastri market where I would drink a glass of fresh lassi every morning (my power charger) just before I went for my morning walk around the old corridor of Amritsar.
Puri Chana for Breakfast
Most of India associates Puri with Alu Gravy. In Amritsar, it is Puri served with Pind de Chole, onions and tangy radish. And this combo is like a traditional breakfast choice and one that you should not miss at any cost. Whether you are relishing them at the iconic Kanha Sweets, Goenkar Sweets or at any of the small thela walas on the streets of old city, you are bound to absolutely enjoy this iconic Amritsari breakfast.
True Ghee Experience at Kesar da Dhaba
If there is one dhaba that you have to visit in Amritsar, this has to be it. Kesar da Dhaba, located in the old city of Amritsar and not far away from the Golden temple is an iconic restaurant here. They do not use oil to cook the food. Instead, they use ghee. Their dal makhani, gulab jamun, lassi and kulches are to die for. But, let me warn you. Do not expect to feel hungry for a long time as the rich ghee food takes you to food heaven and keeps you there for a long while.
Langar at Golden Temple
Another iconic eating joint of Amritsar. Called the Guru ka Langar or the community Kitchen, this place serves food to thousands daily. And did I say that food here is free of cost? People from all walks of life come here, sit on the floor and eat the delicious food cooked in the community kitchen. Food served here is simple and traditional, but its taste is top class. A must visit after offering your prayers at the Durbar Sahib (Golden Temple).
Gurdas Ram de Jalebi Wale
The name says it all. A small and non-descript joint, this place whose history traces to 1956, dishes out some dreamy jalebis and gulab jamun. They only make these 2 desserts and make it right in front of you. Not set in the most enterprising atmosphere, but the food is as good as it can be. As it is located very close to Jallianwala Bagh and the Golden temple, it offers the perfect excuse to recover those lost calories and get closer to heaven.
Kaala Khatta at Ramkaran Cool Spot
Chuski le lo! Chuski le lo! These calls from my school days still ring loud in my head even today. The different colored Chuskis and the Kaala Khatta are two super popular summer drinks/sip ons. Ram Karan Cool-Spot, a popular name in Amritsar is a mobile vehicle that serves these treats on a tri cycle. Located in the posh residential area of Amritsar, Ram Karan has served his treats on destination weddings for Punjabis worldwide. I was lucky to discover this mobile cool-spot thanks to a Sardarji friend of mine. The Kaala Khatta here is legendary and one that I would always recommend.
Falooda, Rabri, Gond Kathira and Kulfi ice cream put together make the Kulfa. Created in a mighty big tin device, the A-One Kulfa on Queens road is the best place to enjoy this sweet treat. Open between 3 and 11 pm, if you having a craving for something sweet and if you wish to try something iconic, then the cold Kulfa definitely makes the cut.
Chungi de Kulche for your afternoon Kulche Lunch
A small dhaba that only locals know, Chungi de Kulche is one of the best places in town to enjoy your Kulche lunch. Much cheaper than the other dhabas, this place is known mainly for its Kulche. Go here for your Kulche craving!
Family Dinner at Brothers Dhaba
A name that every Amritsari family knows is Brothers Dhaba. Insanely popular during weekends, this place serves all the top food attractions of Amritsar. It’s dal makhani, chole, Kulche and Parantha are famous. I had one of my dinners there and was very happy with the quality of food served.
Bade Bhai ka Brothers Dhaba
With a name that makes you take notice, the Bade Bhai ka Brothers Dhaba is another Amritsari restaurant that commands great status for its tasty food. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, this Amritsari Dhaba chain offers great food value. Paranthas, Kulche, Chole, Paneer, Dal Makhani and much more are on offer here. I had Kulche, Chole and Lassi here for breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of its branches is located close to Jallianwala Bagh and not too far away from the Golden Temple.