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Food & Beverages

10 Must-Try Street Foods Of Lucknow

By Vidhi

Updated - May 15, 20246 min read

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Lucknow, the City of Nawabs, boasts a rich history and a vibrant culinary scene. Beyond the grand feasts enjoyed by royalty, Lucknow's streets offer a treasure trove of delicious and affordable street food. From melt-in-your-mouth kebabs to melt-in-your-heart sheer korma, these streetside delicacies are a must-try for any food adventurer. 


1. Kebabs: A Reign of Flavor


No exploration of Lucknowi street food is complete without indulging in kebabs. These succulent, marinated meats are grilled to perfection, offering a symphony of flavors and textures. 


Galouti Kebabs:  These melt-in-your-mouth kebabs are a Lucknow specialty. Made with minced lamb or beef, slow-cooked over charcoal, and flavored with a secret blend of spices, galouti kebabs are so tender they can be eaten with a spoon. 

Seekh Kebabs:  These long, cylindrical kebabs are made with minced meat, onions, and spices, skewered and grilled. Seekh kebabs come in various versions, including chicken, mutton, and even vegetarian options. 

Tunday Kebabs:  This unique Lucknowi kebab boasts a distinct story. The legend goes that the creator, unable to use his hands due to an injury (tunday in Hindi), devised a method of preparing kebabs using only his one functional arm. Tunday kebabs are typically made with buff (buffalo) meat and have a richer, bolder flavor profile compared to other kebabs.


Image courtesy: Taming Twins



2. Biryani: A Royal Indulgence on the Streets


Lucknowi biryani is a culinary masterpiece, layered with fragrant rice, succulent meat (chicken, mutton, or vegetable), aromatic spices, and fried onions. Unlike its Hyderabadi cousin, Lucknowi biryani is lighter and more delicately flavored.  This flavorful dish is often served with raita (yogurt-based condiment) and salan (gravy).


Image courtesy: Licious

price: 566rs


3. Basket Chaat: A Sweet and Savory Explosion


Basket Chaat is a delightful explosion of textures and flavors. Crispy fried baskets (made with wonton or samosa wrappers) are filled with a medley of savory ingredients like potatoes, chickpeas, onions, and chutneys.  A dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of sev (thin fried noodles) add a touch of creaminess and crunch. 


Image courtesy: classic Radhey sweets

price: 160rs



4. Chole Bhature: A Punjabi Powerhouse


While not exclusive to Lucknow, Chole Bhature is a popular street food choice. This hearty dish features fluffy bhaturas (fried bread) dipped in a rich and flavorful chickpea curry (chole). The combination of soft bread and spicy curry is a satisfying and delicious street food staple.

spice up the curry

Image courtesy: spice up the curry

price: 150rs


5. Kulcha Nihari: A Slow-Cooked Delight


Kulcha Nihari is a slow-cooked stew made with meat (mutton or beef), bone marrow, and a blend of aromatic spices. This rich and flavorful dish is typically served with kulchas (leavened flatbread) that are perfect for soaking up the delicious gravy. 


Image courtesy: Now Lucknow

price: 180 rs



6. Lucknowi Paan: A Refreshing End


After a satisfying exploration of Lucknowi street food, indulge in a traditional paan. Paan is a betel leaf filled with a variety of ingredients like chopped betel nut, slaked lime, spices, and sometimes even candied fruits or chocolate. The flavors can be sweet, savory, or pungent, offering a refreshing and unique way to end your culinary journey.


Image courtesy: Lucknow pulse

price: 60rs


7. Sheer Korma: A Sweet Dream


Sheer Korma is a rich and creamy semolina pudding flavored with cardamom, saffron, and nuts. This melt-in-your-mouth dessert, often served during Eid celebrations, is a true indulgence for those with a sweet tooth.


Image courtesy: Cook with Manali

price: 140rs


8. Chicken Shawarma: A Global Twist


Lucknow's street food scene also embraces international flavors. Chicken shawarma, marinated chicken slices cooked on a rotating spit and served in a pita bread with toppings like hummus, tahini, and vegetables, is a popular option.


Image courtesy: Delish

price: 180rs


9. Shahi Tukda: Bread Pudding Royalty


Shahi Tukda, meaning "royal bread," is a decadent bread pudding dessert. Deep-fried bread is soaked in a sweet and fragrant milk mixture, then topped with nuts and a drizzle of creamy rabri. This rich and flavorful dessert is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.


Image courtesy: Whisk affair

price: 120rs



10. Kulfi Faluda: A Cool and Refreshing Treat


Kulfi Faluda is the perfect way to beat the Lucknow heat. Kulfi, a dense, creamy Indian ice cream, is combined with faluda (thin vermicelli noodles), rose syrup, and nuts. This refreshing and flavorful dessert is a delightful treat for any time of day.Lucknow's street food scene extends far beyond this list of 10 must-try options. Here are some additional hidden gems to explore:


Image courtesy: My masala box

price: 150rs



Malai Makhan: This melt-in-your-mouth dessert combines cream (malai) with butter (makhan) and sugar, creating a rich and decadent treat. 

Imtiaz ki Roti:  This legendary stall serves melt-in-your-mouth rotis (flatbreads) cooked on a tawa (griddle) and layered with ghee and a sprinkle of salt. 

Aloo Tikki:  A popular street food across India, aloo tikki is a savory fried potato patty served with chutneys and chopped onions.

Lassi:  This refreshing yogurt-based drink comes in various flavors, from sweet to salty, offering a perfect cool-down option.

Thandai:  Made with almonds, milk, spices, and rose water, thandai is a fragrant and refreshing drink, especially popular during festivals like Holi.


Tips for the Adventurous Eater


Embrace the Local Experience: Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. Ask local vendors for recommendations and explore stalls with long lines – they're usually a good indicator of delicious food!

Hygiene Matters:  While street food offers an authentic experience, prioritize hygiene. Look for stalls with clean surroundings and good food handling practices.

Carry Cash: Many street vendors may not accept cards, so carry enough cash for your purchases.

Bargaining is Optional: Bargaining is a common practice in street markets, but it's not always expected. Use your discretion and be respectful of the vendors.

Savor the Flavors: Take your time and savor the unique flavors that Lucknow's street food scene offers. Each bite is a journey into the city's rich history and culinary heritage.


A Culinary Adventure Awaits

Lucknow's street food scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, textures, and traditions. From the melt-in-your-mouth kebabs to the refreshing kulfi faluda, each bite is an adventure for your taste buds. So, grab a plate, embrace the local spirit, and embark on a delicious exploration of Lucknow's culinary treasures.

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