Food during the trip to Varanasi on Dev Deepawali 2022. Part 2 of 2

Please read the part 1 of 2 by clicking on the link here: Part 1 of 2

This part is about the food we had during this particular trip. This is neither a general commentary on food in Varanasi, nor is it a comprehensive guide to food in Varanasi.

In a nutshell:

In this trip we enjoyed two unbelievably good home cooked meals, food at a guest house where the owner & his family eat the same food that the guests & staff have, some famous street-food of Varanasi & some below par food experiences.

This is a travelogue & the idea is to share our experience during travel & provide information on what we saw / heard / gathered from our experiences & conversations. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF PLACES TO VISIT IN VARANASI.

Address & other details: 

The guys who organized the trip – Ganga Jamuni

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries / Hotels / travel companies reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant/hotel/place of travel in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

Cost of the trip paid was paid by YUMMRAJ to Ganga Jamuni by UPI payment transfer. From that, Ganga Jamuni have paid all the expenses of the trip including cost of food.


  1. A local Banarasi restaurant by the river – Theth Banarasi
  2. Hand churned lassi at Rajaram lassi wala
  3. Chai at Assi Ghat
  4. Food at Hotel Ganges view – where the owner & his family eat the same food that the guests & staff have
  5. A forgettable experience at Kerala Bhawan
  6. Mindblowing good Home Cooked Dinner on a boat – Dev Deepawali night
  7. An unforgettable Lunch at Bharatendu Bhawan – The Century & half old Haveli of Bharatendu Harishchandra
  8. Deena chaat bhandar
  9. Laxmi tea stall
  10. The Ram Bhandar – Kachoris, poori
  11. Malaiyo



  1. A local Banarasi restaurant by the river – Theth Banarasi

This place is good to be at. The cooks are quite good. We went a day before Dev Deepawali. The serving staff was all over the place. They were slow, inefficient, needed extreme follow up. One waiter told us that he had just joined that day & knew nothing. Epic mess.

We tried a Banarasi dish named baati chokha. Baati was somewhere between a litti of Bihar & Baati of Rajasthan. It was baked on coal fire. Was good to tast & the texture was right. The chokha was chatpata & good to taste.

  1. Hand churned lassi at Rajaram lassi wala

We were hungry after a long day trip & walking back to the car, after a wonderful visit to a zari making & banarasi saree weaving workshop of Shyam Sundar Jaiswal ji (see details in part 1 of 1).

We saw Rajaram lassi wala, near Surya shop, Bulanala.


The shop was large but was quite sparse & clean. A gentleman sat in the middle of a raised platform. There was a large flat container filled with curd. He said he sells 8-10container full curd everyday. After we placed order for lassi, the gentleman started hand-churning the dahi. The final product was just mind-blowing good. It was almost not a drink but had to be eaten (super thick enjoyable lassi). The taste was a perfect balance of sweet, sour & salt. Simplicity was the USP of this lassi, coupled with lumpiness due to hand churning.


  1. Chai at Assi ghat

In the morning when we went to stroll at Assi g hat, we saw a man sitting on the floor & rotating a lever in a cast iron non-motorised machine. Spoke to him & realized that he is the third generation person in his family who is using this 70+ years old German made device that blows oxygen to the chulha to increase the intensity of the fire.

He was making a fresh batch of chai

Loved the strong cooked (not brewed) tea with the right amount of sugar.

  1. Food at Hotel Ganges view – where the owner & his family eat the same food that the guests & staff have

In general, the food at Hotel ganges view felt like eating at someone’s house. No shortcuts in cooking. Traditional food with timeless taste & flavours, using seasonal produce.

They only serve vegetarian food.

  • Ganges view lunch – We ordered a thali.
  • Paneer curry – The paneer in the curry seemed to be made inhouse. Super soft & nice.
  • Saem aloo – the saem (green crunchy flat beans) retained its texture well & yet complimented the soft aloo.
  • Gobhi aloo – Dry slow cooked potato & cauliflowers were real good to taste.
  • Mooli saag – Flavour bomb radish leaves at the onset of winters was ust the right thing.
  • Hari Chutney seemed to have been freshl made on silbatta.
  • Baingan pakoda was good to taste.
  • We enjoyed all above food with Phulka
  • Dahi was served on the side.

Rate the thali 4.5/5

  • Ganges View dinner was served in a buffet.
  • Baingan fry was really good to eat.
  • Parwal fry had the right seasoning & right texture
  • Kaddu curry was excellent – the texture of pumpkin was celebrated & so was the taste & flavours. Spiced just right, not too much.
  • Paneer curry was very good
  • Daal was thick, had enjoyable texture & just everything right
  • We enjoyed the food with Phulka
  • We also had Kheer for dessert.

Overall rating of the dinner 4.25/5

(c)         Ganges View breakfast

  • There were quite a few vegetarian items on offer (no eggs). We had Poori with pumpkin subzi. Loved it.
  • The poha was ok.
  • Loved the hot Jalebis

Overall rating of breakfast is 4/5

Om Café

A café serving simple & good to taste European vegetarian food, made from good ingredients. The taste of both items we had were good but noting memorable/ great / outstanding.

Our Vegetable salad seemed fresh & nice. The salad tasted Ok. Have had way better vegetarian salads at Di Ghent Café.

Tomato thin crust Pizza was good. Have had much better pizzas at Da Susy’s.

Kerala bhawan

We were excited to hear ‘Kerala’ but found it to be just another Udupi restaurant serving idli dosa vada etc.

We ate dosa, idly, vada etc. They were good. Better than chains like Vaango. Way inferior to Saravana bhawan etc. No comparison with Murugan Idly or Sangeetha.

Dinner on a boat – Dev Deepawali night

Our Host Shagufta arranged home cooked dinner on the boat from her friend who is a part of an erstwhile royal family. Everything was just outstanding. Two best items that we remember are –

  • Dahi bada
  • Dal Farra – a dumpling whose cover is made from lentils

lunch at Bharatendu Bhawan

Our host shagufta took us to the Haveli of Bhratendu Harishchandra (read more of that experience in part 1 of 2). The family was very kind to cook & feed us a very elaborate & special Banarasi food.

  • Thandai made from scratch, & tasted some bhang made on silbatta. We are not much into bhang / alcohol etc & have very less benchmarks. What we felt was that this one was at a different level altogether. The bhang was dark green & looked liked pudina chutney. The thandai was absolutely marvellous – sweet but not too sweet, the hot after taste of pepper & more…..

  • Sattu Samosa – this was totally new for us. The filling was dry & flavourful. Loved it.
  • Bhindi kalonji – Okra flavoured with nigella seeds.
  • Baingan Kalonji – Aubergine flavoured with nigella seeds.
  • Harey urad dal – Daal made Green split gram
  • Kaddu lauki nariyalka raita – Pumpkin, Gourd & grated coconut raita
  • Suran kofta – Fried dumplings made of Yam
  • Aloo badi mangodi ki sabzi – potato, Moong lentil dumplings
  • Maide besan ki poori – A poori made of maida & besan (chick pea flour)
  • Masala roti – Wheat roti with spices in it to flavour
  • Dabki bhaat – A rice with lentil dumplings
  • Rai bhaat – A yellow rice tempered with mustard seeds
  • Shakar Kandi aur lauki maide ki kheer –
  • Attey gond ka laddoo –
  • Adrak kismish ka achar –
  • Gobhi aloo other vegetables achaar

Not describing each item as each was exceptionally good. Each was best in class. There were few dishes like Dabki bhaat, rai bhaat, Shakar Kandi aur lauki ka kheer which we had not even ever heard about but enjoyed to the brim. The others like bhindi kalongi, harey urad daal etc are common dishes but here these were elevated to a completely higher altitude. The attention to detail, the thoughtfulness & the skills of cooking was top notch.

The meal was priceless, beyond rating & memorable forever – the setting, the warm hosts who opened their doors to us & the wonderful food.

Deena chaat bhandar

The shop has a huge finishing kitchen set up near the entrance & as we walked past it, we waited for a table of 4 to sit. Due to absence of any queuing discipline enforced by the shop owner, customers were going & standing next to someone who is eating. The idea was that ‘I will sit here as soon as this person vacates’. Quite an ugly scene I would say.

The waiters were well versed with the description of the items but would refuse to recommend any dish. They would just say ‘sab accha hai’ (everything is good).

The man sitting next to the huge tawa near the entrance was constantly churning different dishes in batches. His helpers were serving them to customers who preferred to stand outside the shop & eat & also to waiters for servicing customers who came inside & took a seat.

The food was quite good but overall it was not the best that we ever had. There were ups & downs

  • Dahi Golgappa was chatpata & good. We have had better at chandni chowk, chawri Bazar Delhi.
  • Samosa Chaat was good too. Again we have had better.

  • Tamatar chaat was new for us & was quite nice. It was a thick, textured dish, served in an earthen cup. Piping hot. Straight from the tawa. The balance of taste of salt, sweet & sour was good.

  • Chura matar is the dish that we really liked at Deena bhandar. It was slow cooked (not steamed) poha with green peas & onions.

  • Kulfi falooda was nice

Laxmi tea stall

This is again an iconic place near Kashi Vishwanath mandir. People just go there to have a simple food – quarter pound bread loaf halved into two, with a generous coat of whitish butter. The magic of this simple dish was the crispness of the beread & the amount of butter applied when piping hot. Sugar was being added on top.

Chai served here was nothing fancy but really good, had good strength & the right amount of sweetness.

  • Bread butter
  • Tea

The Ram Bhandar

We have had poori subzi here before & liked it. This time also we did like the freshly fried piping hot poori & aloo subzi.

However we really loved the texture of the Spherical Khasta Kachoris, & the flavours & taste of the filling.

Nameless Malaiyo Shop (Few shops away from Chaukhambha sub post office)

Malaiyo is a very interesting sweet, made with variation in different parts of Northern India only during Winters. In Lucknow the variation is called Nimish. In Delhi it is called Daulat ki Chaat. All of these are made from the creamy froth of milk.

Malaiyo at times is a bit premium with addition of kesar etc. Daulat ki chaat is usually garnished with khoya kheer. Unmissable if you are in Varanasi.

Netaji Paan Bhandar, near Kashi Vishwanath Temple

A food story of Banaras can’t end without a Banarasi paan. We enjoyed our melt in the mouth tender leaf meetha paan at Netaji Paan Bhandar.

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