Even in the wee hours of the day, you can see people queueing up for their share of Nihari and Chaat.
The city of Nawabs is also a city of foodies, known for their unflinching loyalty towards the Lucknawi ‘zaika’. Even after the fall of Awadh, Lucknow managed to restore much of its vintage charm through its food. From Idris’ Biryani to the iconic Tunday Kebabi of Aminabad, Lucknow is brimming with heritage food hubs that have now also become a sensation beyond the city. Many of you may not know that indulgence starts early in Lucknow. Even in the wee hours of the day, you can see people queueing up for their share of Nihari and Chaat. The pace of Lucknow is contagious, and the sheer love for food rubs off on you soon. With the food so good, you’d be a fool to rush. Take your time and relish every morsel of your meal, that’s what the wise men would say.
Here are five of our favourite breakfast spots in Lucknow that you must try soon:
Rahim's Nihari Kulcha
You would find several restaurants in Lucknow that are being run by second or third generations of the same family, and Rahim’s Kulcha Nihari is one of them. You would find it packed with customers as early as 9 a.m in the morning, and the speed at which the Kulchas (leavened breads) are doled out will make your jaws drop in awe. Some of the noteworthy items on the menu are mutton and beef Nihari, Nihari is a comforting, slow-cooked meat stew that is usually consumed in the morning. The word Nihari for that matter is taken from the word ‘Nahar’ which means morning in Arabic. And legend says that it is cooked for over seven hours before it is served hot in the morning. If you wish to linger around for a while at Rahim's, the paya, keema kaleji and mutton biryani are also worth trying.
A modest café, renowned for its basket chaat. Basket chaat or Tokri chaat is a Lucknow specialty where grated potatoes are used to make a basket. This crispy, edible basket is filled with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, chutneys, boondis and more. Nestled in Hazratganj, Royal café is ideal for your early morning chaat cravings,
Bajpayee Kachori Bhandar
Located in Hazratganj, Bajpayee Kachori Bhandar is where you go for a quintessentially, desi, greasy fare. The shop does kot have the most modern seating. The Puris are fries right in front of you and served with spicy chickpeas topped with diced onions, chutney and pickle. The Khasta Kachoris or crispym lentil-filled Kachoris are also served with a hot portion of fiery potato curry, making for a wholesome breakfast.
The Chowk area of Lucknow is also bustling with many small dhabas and restaurants, some of which go back more than a hundred years. At Mubeens’s you can find a plate of Nalli Nihari as early as eight in the morning. Pair it with Kulcha, and make sure you have it hot. Later in the day, you can visit again for their tempting Pasanda, a rich meatball gravy.
If you are around the Aliganj area of Lucknow, you must visit the Mahalaxmi sweets during morning. From Pyaaz Kachori, Chole Bhature, Pri Sabzi and chaat, you would be spoilt for choice here. The restaurant also serves many Indo-Chinese dishes like chilli potatoes and noodles.