Kids Corner


Amritsar Street Food That Will Make Your Mouth Water





A visit to Amritsar invariably includes two things -- paying your respects at The Golden Temple, and then gorging on all the delicacies the city dishes up.

The locals here love their street food, and the city is swarming with street-side vendors selling the freshest, hottest and richest versions of everything from a refreshing glass of lassi and sugary, sweet halwa, to buttery paranthas and spicy gravy.

Here's a list of rich Punjabi delicacies in all their fatty splendour -- so get your hands dirty, and eat to your heart's content. You'll probably pack on a couple of extra kilos, but we guarantee it'll be worth the weight.


Gurmit Singh has been running his tea stall very successfully for the last 58 years, and shows no signs of slowing down.

When it comes to bubbling hot creamy chai, this man has the perfect formula.

Monopolising on the majority of tea-drinkers in the city, he has consistently been whipping up his famous tea from his stall on Queen's Road. His day starts at 5 in the morning when he sets up shop, and stays open till ten every night. A glass -- yes, not a cup -- will cost you no more than a couple of bucks (rupees, that is - remember, $1 is equal to Rs 60), but you'll probably remember it long after you've left.


If the name were any indication, you can safely presume that a visit to Makhan da Dhaba won't help in trimming your waist. Here's what you get -- absolutely fresh pieces of boneless sole fish, coated in a spicy batter of gram flour and carom seeds, deep fried till they're crisp and golden on the outside, and soft and moist within.

If you love your fried food, it really doesn't get any better than this. You've undoubtedly seen versions of Amritsari machhi (fish) on most Punjabi menus across the country, and probably tried a few too.

But you haven't really eaten the dish till you've tried it here -- Makhan da Dhaba hits all the spots and gets it just right.

Although the prices here are higher than you'd expect to pay at a humble establishment of this nature, you'll realise that the deliciousness is worth every penny.


You can smell this joint before you see it. With 70 years of experience under their belt, the owners of Sunder Meat Shop have been dishing out some of the city's best kebabs from their humble venue in Chatiwind Chowk near Chawl Mandi.

More recently, another outlet was opened at Maqbool Road, to cater to the huge number of regulars dropping by for a quick bite.

Although the entire menu -- it's not veru extensive -- is worth exploring, the juicy mutton tikka, soft and moist shammi kebab and crispy mutton chaap are favourites with the locals.

You could go to either one of the outlets, though the original one in Chatiwind Chowk is supposedly the better of the two.


Chawla's has several outlets, within Amritsar and even spread across the rest of Punjab and the country, but it all began right here on Lawrence Road.

This is the original outlet for the now hugely popular chain, and should definitely top your list of street food places to eat at. Go here to treat yourself to their signature cream chicken. As the name suggests, it's creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious.

Eat it alongside a hot roti straight out of the tandoor, or alternatively a side of rice, and don't mix it with any of the other side dishes on the menu -- this dish is the star and deserves a meal all to itself.

An absolute must for carnivores.


You know that image you have in your head, of a strapping sardar downing glass after glass of chilled lassi without the faintest hint of stopping? Ahuja's stall -- students from a nearby college drop in by the hour -- has become an institution of sorts in the city.

The lassi here is pretty basic -- you only need to choose between sweet and salty -- but there seems to be a secret ingredient that sets it apart from all the others in Amritsar. Served nice and chilled in a large glass, it's probably the best way to cool down in the heat, and is loved by both locals and tourists for its consistent deliciousness.

[Courtesy: Happy Trips. Edited for]
August 25, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 25, 2014, 12:38 PM.

Two friends settled down at the roadside dhaba and used both hands to fill their barrel-like bellies when suddenly one passed away. The concerned dhaba wala asked the surviving Sardar: "Aren't you rajeya (done) yet?" The reply, between mouthfuls: "No, not me ... but he is!"

2: Kaala Singh (Punjab), August 25, 2014, 1:21 PM.

Having experienced the cuisine of Amritsar many times, I can say with conviction that Punjab can earn billions by promoting Amritsar as a culinary destination.

3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 25, 2014, 1:32 PM.

I have it on good authority that Gurmit Singh of Giani Tea Stall is seriously contemplating to stand for the next elections and claims he has good prospects of becoming the next prime minister.

4: Kaala Singh (Punjab), August 25, 2014, 1:52 PM.

@#3: This guy may become the PM of this hell of a democracy, but will he be a lemming like Manmohan Singh or will he have some substance in him? Both belong to Amritsar ...

5: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), August 25, 2014, 3:33 PM.

MMMmmmmmm ... tell me about it. I grew up in Amritsar for the better part of my youth ... what a delight all the dishes of Amritsari cuisine are on your palate, leaving behind eternal longings for more ... mmmmmmmm.

6: HARINDER SINGH 1469 (New Delhi, India), August 26, 2014, 4:26 AM.

Just landed after a three-day trip to to Amritsar and Dera Baba Nanak (near Kartarpur Sahib, at the Indo-Pak border). Indeed, the street food is a lot of thrill and charm. Inspite of our need to continually strive for fitness, we indulge when we go to Amritsar. I was told by one of the finest paaparr manufacturers that we can do wonders (10 times the sales they enjoyed before 1984) if the Govt of Punjab cooperated with and supported industries such as the paaparr varriaan sector. There is a great demand for such products from all over the country.

7: Harinder Pal Singh (Patiala, Punjab), August 26, 2014, 10:51 AM.

Food in Amritsar is a lip smacking proposition. Some of the missed joints are Kesar and Bhraawan da Dhaba. Novelty. Amritsari Kulcha, Beere da Chicken. Lachman di Jalebi. Crystal's milk badam! For the rich fare that Amritsaris enjoy it would be expected that heart diseases would be very prevalent. But health statistics in Punjab show that Amritsar has as much or even lower incidence of heart diseases than anywhere else in Punjab! Guru Ram Das's benevolence?

8: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 26, 2014, 6:39 PM.

#7 is my nephew. Harinder is an eminent doctor and he should know. If not, they simply die laughing. What a nice way to exit the world of madness. By the way, just to assure you that you have a better after life do simran, otherwise you might be reborn as a jalebi or a samosa. In which case ask for a little more chutney; it comes free.

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