In Kanpur For A Trip? Don't Miss Out On These 13 Street Foods
Image Credit: Meghana Dayanand

Nestled near the banks of the Ganges, the industrial city of Kanpur, which is known for its leather industries, offers an array of mouthwatering street foods that are so good that they might make you forget the existence of restaurants in this city. The people of this happy city seem to be big time foodies and their love for dairy and its products is evident in almost every eatery.

From milk to yoghurt, desi ghee, and chena, the dairy products in Kanpur are of exceptional quality and mostly sourced from local dairy farmers. This excellence reflects in the fame enjoyed by the sweets and other delicacies, extending their reputation not just within Kanpur but across the country and occasionally beyond borders when people gift these treats to their loved ones. Moreover, these eateries in Kanpur each have a unique history and a special narrative tied to the foods they offer. Many of these establishments have been around for at least 30 years, and some are even multi-generational businesses, adding to their heritage and significance.

If you shed inhibitions and dive into embracing the local street food culture here, you might be able to grasp and experience the true essence of Kanpur. And the winter season might be the best time to visit Kanpur, as you can savour many seasonal offerings like malai makkhan, dhaniya aloo, and fried sem ke beej, or sword bean seeds. Here is a list of must-try delicacies upon your visit to this industrial city:


Laddoo is a delightful sweet that is popularly enjoyed in Kanpur for its melt-in-the-mouth taste and texture. There are different sweet stores that specialise in different kinds of laddoos, like the sooji-khoya-desi ghee laddoos from the 70-year-old store, Thaggu ke Laddoo, or the pure ghee motichoor laddoos from Banarsi Mishtan Bhandar or Panditji's, which have been run for many generations.

Khasta Kachori And Subzi

Most Kanpur dwellers' Sunday breakfast is a plate or two of khasta kachori and subzi. This dish consists of a deep-fried pastry made from wheat flour and spices, filled with a spicy mix of ingredients like dals, peas, spices, or mashed potatoes. It is served with a boondi raita made from yoghurt, potatoes and peas gravy, and some pickles. Some places that are famous for their kachori subzi are Tewari Sweet and Bachaulal Ke Khaste in the city. they are known for their rich puff pastries that are accompanied by light potato and pea gravy.

Kulhad Tea

When in North India, a cup of tea is a must-try. And if someone makes masala chai with spices and serves it hot in a cup made of clay called kulhad, topped with an added layer of cream, you simply cannot resist it. In a few joints in this city, like Banarasi Tea Stall on 80-foot Road or MBA Chai Wala, you might want to sip on a cup of tea simply by looking at how it is prepared and inhaling the aromas that not only remind you of nostalgic warmth and comfort but also invite you to grab a cup, especially if you're visiting during the winters.


Samosa is a common snack that can be found anywhere when you travel across India. But when in Kanpur, you will get them colour-coded according to the variety of samosas available at this quaint joint on Birhana Road, where Pappu Ji sells over 65 varieties of samosas. Pappu Samose Waley in Kanpur takes the humble samosa to new heights with unconventional fillings like paneer malai, tandoori paneer, cheese, pizza, pasta, chowmein, and even chocolate. 

"My father started this store in 1990. People's tastes keep changing and currently, pizza samosas have been a top-selling variety among youngsters, especially. Apart from that, we send bulk orders for various functions across the city and to the Indian Railways as well," says Pappu Ji at his store. The vibrant and innovative samosas make this street food joint a must-visit for those seeking a contemporary twist on a classic snack.

Bun Makkhan And Mattha

Freshly baked bun or multi-grain toast with a generous dollop of white makkhan or butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper with honey, accompanied by a glass of freshly churned buttermilk, is a popular breakfast favourite of Kanpurites, especially those who go for an early morning walk at Phool Bagh or Company Bagh on MG road. Pahalwan Ji Ka Special Mattha or Panditji Ka Makkhan Bread are a few joints that offer this unique breakfast experience. Established over 60 years ago, the creamy white butter is freshly churned and spread over various buns, including multi-grain, pineapple, pizza, masala, and tutti-frutti buns, at Pahalwan Ji Ka Special Mattha.

Kebab Paratha

Kebabs made from mutton mince meat mixed with chopped liver called kheema kaleji are blended with spices like elaichi, cloves, cinnamon, kalonji, garlic-ginger, and more and served with a paratha made on a tava that is turned upside down. It is called the ulta tawa paratha and it pairs beautifully with the rich kheema kebab.

There are many places in Kanpur that serve paratha kebabs. Some places, like Bhanje Veg Corner, also cater to the vegetarian palate and serve vegetarian kheema kaleji, which includes vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, onions, etc., for as little as Rs. 30. The scrumptious meat kebab paratha meal would cost around Rs. 100–150 at Al-Huda in Kanpur. Anil Meat Wala is another place to give this combination a try, along with other meat delicacies in Kanpur.

Malai Makkhan

This is a winter's special and a frothy dessert that is made by pulling milk many lengths apart until it reaches the perfect consistency. This light and airy custard-like dessert topped with slivered dried nuts is available in the mornings at  many  shops that specifically sell them during the winter season. this ethereal treat offers a taste beyond description—light, smooth as air, mildly sweet, and adorned with nuts.

In Delhi, savour it as Daulat ki Chaat, while Varanasi calls it Malaiyyo, and Lucknow and Kanpur know it as Malai Makkhan or Nimish. Shukla Ji Makkan Bhandar is the best place in town to head to and get a scoopful of this dessert. They even pack it in huge pots and seal them in thermocol boxes for people who want to take this delicacy to their loved ones in other cities in India on a flight ride.

Suhal Aur Chana

A deep-fried flatbread made from wholewheat flour or maida called suhaal is crushed into a  spicy chana gravy that's topped with a spicy stir-fried potato preparation in a dried leaf bowl. If you need more flavours, a dash of mint-coriander-chilli chutney and a sweet and sour date-tamarind chutney are added on top with slivered onions as well.

This dish is similar to the Sindhi dal pakwan, and at Jeethu Suhal Cart, you can try this dish that is crunchy, soft, spicy, and sweet all at the same time. "We have been in the suhaal chana business for over 50 years," says Jeetu, who runs this street-side cart on Birhana Road in Kanpur. 

Dhaniya Aloo

This is  a street delicacy that you can get only in Kanpur. You may not have come across this street-side seasonal delight anywhere across India but in Kanpur. Cooked baby potatoes are tossed in a chutney that is made from coriander, raw mangoes or lemons for sourness, ginger, green chillies, and garlic. Some people also add a special winter spinach to the chutney to elevate the flavours.

Munna uncle near the RTO serves matar papdi chaat with dhaniya aloo in Kanpur. Apart from that, Murali batashe wale and Ram Swaroop Chaat waale on Birhana Road are popular for dhaniya aloo, which is also a seasonal delight as baby potatoes and good spinach are available during this season. In other seasons, they use regular potatoes and dice them to make a plate of dhaniya aloo. 

Paani Batashe

 Pani puri is one of the most popular street foods in India. Chaat in India is a must-try, and pani puri is a must-do for an evening snack on most evenings for many people. The puffy and crispy puris are filled with spicy poptatoes, chana or pea mixture, tangy water made from tamarind, mint, cumin, and more, and topped with some sweet and sour dates, jaggery, and tamarind chutney to create pani puris that provide various textures and tastes in a single mouthful.

The Englishman pani batashe or Murali Batashe Wale on Birhana Road is popular for his pani batashe or pani puri. He speaks in English to his customers and serves these delicious pani puri, due to which he became famous as Englishman Batashe wale. There are many popular street vendors that sell pani batashe in Kanpur as well.


Chaat is a popular evening snack in India and with the varieties you can get in Kanpur, it can easily be the chaat capital of the country. Right from palak-papdi and dahi-aloo puri to basket chaat at Chaat Chowraha or gudbud chat at Ram Swaroop's Chaat  cart, you can also find chaat made from eggplant in Kanpur. The chat-pata crunchy delight is an appealing treat to the eyes because of the way it is presented to the palate, which enjoys various textures and is in sync with the six-taste philosophy.

That's not all; chaat vendors in this city not only serve up aloo tikkis, matar chaat, and others but can also help you eat them with their tips to enjoy the myriad flavours of chaat from the corners of the plate without mixing them all completely. At pocket-friendly prices of Rs. 40–50, you could have felt the satisfaction of having eaten a whoesome meal from a dried leaf bowl in Kanpur.

Chena Sweets

We might have all eaten many rasmalais, rasagullas, raj bhogs, malai sandwiches, and more, but the ones you can get in Kanpur can prove to be the most enjoyable sweet treats after the ones in Kolkata or anywhere else in the country. These sweets made from cottage cheese and cream are not overtly sweet and some varieties, like Malai Gillory, especially from Budhsen's, are unique and not available in many places. RMB Sweets and Tewari's on Birhana Road are some of the places apart from Budhsen to try sweets made from chena.


Paan is a sweet mouth-freshener and digestive treat that includes gulkand, betel leaf, nuts, and more. It can be a dessert to end the meal on a sweet note or a snack and digestive that most people chew on throughout the day. With over 250 shops that sell paan in the city, some of the popular places to try paan are Banarsi Paan, Sangam Paan Bhandar for 90 Number Paan, Monkey Chaurasia, and Ramesh Paan Bhandar, which has been selling paan for 5 generations now.