The city of Varanasi is one of the most significant spiritual destinations of Hinduism. There are many places to visit in Varanasi that promise to refresh your heart, mind, and soul. From taking quiet strolls by the ghats to watching the sun go down from a boat on the Ganges, this city is a peaceful abode that you can plan to go to for an enriching experience.
But there’s another side to this coin; Varanasi is a famous food lover’s paradise as well! Yes, that might come as a shock but the ancient city is home to some of the best restaurants in the country. From mouth-watering Banarasi Kachori Chaat and tomato chaat served in tiny mud pots to foods produced by organic farming, Varanasi offers myriad food options to satiate the taste buds of foodies.
So, don’t just visit Varanasi for its spiritual essence but also the various national and international cuisines and unique street food options in this labyrinthine old city. Here is our list of the best restaurants in Varanasi exhaustively curated for all the crazy food lovers out there:
1. Dolphin Restaurant
Located high above the Man Mandir Ghat, the Dolphin Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Varanasi. It lets you enjoy the serene view of the Ganges through a breezy balcony when you head to the place to savour some lip-smacking delicacies on your Varanasi trip. An ideal place to have an evening meal, the restaurant is also regarded as one of the best non-veg restaurants in Varanasi. It is known for serving delicious Indian, Tandoori, Chinese, and Continental foods. Great food, great view, and a wonderful experience overall.
2. Canton Royale at Hotel Surya
Canton Royale is located inside a heritage building that is 200 years old. It is the main restaurant of Hotel Surya that is quaint yet exhibits unmatched colonial elegance. It is also one of the best restaurants in Varanasi when it comes to top-end restaurant choices.
One also has the option to eat out on the huge lawn. This offers a perfect setting for a lovely evening where one can enjoy the Indian food dishes (the best here!). Order the thali here and you will be thanking us later! The restaurant falls under the list of top 10 restaurants in Varanasi and we cannot agree more. Regal and well-kempt, it is also considered the best vegetarian restaurant in Varanasi.
3. Pizzeria Vaatika Café
This laid-back and pleasant café close to Assi Ghat overlooks the ceremonial area of the Ganges. Being one of the famous restaurants in Varanasi, the Pizzeria Vaatika Café offers a short escape from the hustle-bustle of Varanasi. You can order a veg pizza and also choose from an array of Indian dishes. Eat an al fresco pizza on an elevated garden or relish some of the specialities such as apple pie and ice cream here. Take your pick!
4. Vegan and Raw
The 1st vegan restaurant in Varanasi, Vegan and Raw is situated in the backyard behind Brown Bread Bakery’s ORGANIC Shop. It is a clean and tranquil garden that provides a refuge from the pulsating Varanasi city. Considered one of the best eating places in Varanasi, the restaurant serves food produced by organic farming. The specialities here include organic vegan bread, homemade pasta, scrumptious vegan cake, and much more. Other choices include Tibetan dumplings (momo), couscous, and tofu enough to tantalize your taste buds.
The casual courtyard setting of the restaurant offers the perfect set-up for a refreshing respite with your friends and family.
5. Brown Bread Bakery
We’ve spoken about the café; let talk about the bakery as well…
Credited for offering the best food options in Varanasi, the Brown Bread Bakery is located at Bangali Tola, Pandey Ghat. Catch glimpses of the Ganges when you sit around low tables in this casual rooftop café. Delectable pasta, sandwiches, and more than thirty types of cakes, breads, and cookies await you at the Brown Bread Bakery. If cheese is your guilty pleasure then this bakery is your personal paradise with more than 40 varieties of European-quality cheese. If you wish to grab a quick, delicious breakfast before you head out to explore the web of twisting alleys of Varanasi, the bakery offers a European breakfast buffet as well.
Darbhanga is one of the best places to eat in Varanasi if a classy setting is what you seek. Food lovers will easily go gaga over Indian, Continental, and Thai food options offered here. Do try these out when here – palak chaman (paneer in spices and spinach) that tastes like heaven and the aloo chaat which will only leave you wanting for more. You can even savour some traditional Banarasi food here which includes the Banarasi Thaali.
The Beautiful fresco paintings adorning the ceiling really elevate your dining experience here, making it is one of the top restaurants in Varanasi.
7. Aum Café
Run by an American woman, the Aum Café is an appealing and colourful little cafe that is regarded as one of the best places to eat in Varanasi. It serves organic green-tea lassis, lemon pancakes, and various healthy vegetarian options like kicharee (dhal, rice, and vegetable with coriander, cumin, ginger, fennel, curd, and chutney) with fine bread pudding. Do try out the chocolate chip pancakes with masala chai and the dal chilla as well. Popular as one of the best veg restaurants in Varanasi, the café has such a welcoming vibe to it.
8. Kashi Chat Bhandar
All the street food lovers out there, this one is for you. The Kashi Chat Bhandar is a street food joint situated at Godaulia. Chaat is one food that is extremely treasured in Varanasi. The highlight of the restaurant is the tomato chaat that is served in a tiny mud pot. People are known to stand in queues for hours to taste this one particular dish. Easily one of the best restaurants in Varanasi, Kashi Chat Bhandar can be chosen for a quick bite between stops.
9. Mangi Ferra
Undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Varanasi, Mangi Ferra is an indoor café that also has a bar. The bar café is built under a tree that makes it a great place to hang out. The coffee shop within the café perfectly complements the bar and offers some fascinating vegetarian munchies along with non-vegetarian platters.
For pure veg restaurants in Varanasi, you can head to the Chrystal bowl, Baati Chokha, and Taste King.
All in all, these restaurants offer the best food options in Varanasi, taking you on a whirlwind of a culinary adventure. Whether it is standing in colourful lanes to binge on your favourite street food or enjoying glimpses of the majestic Ganges from the rooftops of cosy restaurants, Varanasi will continue to surprise you right till the end.