On a food trail in Haridwar
It's not just temples and ghats that make Haridwar special, its food also deserves equal recognition.
When you visit Haridwar, one of India’s most revered towns in the northern state of Uttarakhand, you are prepared to immerse yourself in spiritual exploration. Whether it’s the temples, the ashrams, or the ghats by the Ganga river, all these places are packed with a sea of devotees who travel from far and wide to seek the blessings of the divine.
Amid the chants of Har Har Gange (hail Goddess Ganga) that reverberate through Haridwar’s streets, you cannot miss the cluster of shops of all sizes selling local treats, which your eyes and nose will instantly feast on.
The sheer variety of savouries and sweets will send your mind into a tizzy. From piping hot samosas and crispy kachoris served with potato gravy to aloo puri and delectable sweets, Haridwar is a delight for those who enjoy exploring a region through its culinary offerings.
Interestingly, it’s not just the street food that is popular in Haridwar; hotels and restaurants in town also whip up some authentic Garhwali food.
Here is YS Life’s curated guide on some of the best food joints in Haridwar.
Treats from the streets
Mathura Walo Ki Pracheen Dukan
When in Haridwar, you cannot miss visiting this tiny sweet shop on Moti Bazaar road. Not many know that this landmark has been around for over 90 years, having appeased many generations with its frothy lassi and malai samosas with a unique stuffing of malai and dry fruits, instead of the usual spicy filling.
That’s not all. The store offers all kinds of sweet treats–from pedas and barfis to gulab jamuns that fly off the shelves in no time.
Make sure to get here during the day because the shop shuts as early as 6 pm.
Mohan Ji Puri Wale
Walk through the streets of Haridwar and you are likely to come across many hole-in-the-wall joints selling aloo puri. However, if you want to get a taste of the best, it’s Mohan Ji Puri Wale all the way–a shop in the city’s Har Ki Pauri area.
The shop’s freshly fried puris served with tangy potato gravy are a match made in heaven. If your appetite allows it, pair this meal with a glass of lassi and get transported to food heaven!
Again, try getting here as early as you can, both in the mornings and the evenings, as most devotees head here after the Ganga aarti at Har Ki Pauri.
Pandit Sevaram Sharma Doodhwale
This shop in Moti Bazaar may be over 100 years old but it continues to find favour among the young and old alike for its variety of milk-based treats.
Start with a glass of lassi or hot milk infused with rabri or kaju and badam, served in kulhads. The quality of milk in this holy town has been much talked about, and one definitely needs to taste it themselves to understand what it means.
If desserts make you go weak in the knees, try the shop’s dry fruit milk cakes and melt-in-the-mouth malai laddoos. Trust us, you can’t stop at one!
Bhagwati Chole Bhandar
If you don’t enjoy aloo puri as much, Haridwar’s chole bhature is your next best option. But make sure you have it at Bhagwati Chole Bhandar in Har Ki Pauri.
Mornings or evenings, you are sure to witness people making a beeline for this dish. The chole gravy is thick and spicy and can be enjoyed either with bhature, kulcha or bun, with a side of mint chutney and salad.
Some even like to drink the chole ka pani for an extra spicy effect.
Make sure to get here before 5 pm as everything gets sold out by then.
Pahalwan Ji Khasta Wale
This shop in Kankhal is packed to the hilt for its crispy khasta kachori paired with piping hot aloo sabzi, flavoured with hing (asafoetida). Served in a makeshift bowl made from leaves, this streetside snack is garnished with onion slices and coriander for added zing.
Try going here in the afternoon after lunch to avoid long queues.
Jain Chaat Bhandar
Chaats are a universal favourite of people of all ages. If you love indulging in hot aloo tikkis or savoury papdis, Jain Chaat Bhandar in Moti Bazaar is the place to go.
Choose from the vast menu that includes everything from dahi vada and papdi chaat to aloo tikki, golgappe, and more. The shop’s most popular item is kanji vada–moong dal balls immersed in tangy mustard-flavoured liquid.
Besides the street food, Haridwar has a few places that serve authentic Garhwali food.
The Dining Room, Pilibhit House
The Dining Room at Pilibhit House is a must-visit if you are looking to enjoy authentic Garhwali fare. The thali served here comprises aloo ki thechwani, gehat ki dal, pahadi kadi, turai ki sabzi, arbi ke gutke, and a special raita with flavours of mint, chilli, and grated cucumber. The meal is best enjoyed with mandua ki roti.
End the meal with some quintessential Indian sweets like gulab jamun or moong dal ka halwa.
Cost for a thali: Rs 2,000 + taxes
Timings: 7.30 am - 11 pm
If you are in Haridwar, a meal at Amrit Bhawan, a 40-year-old plush boutique property, is a must. The focus here is on promoting regional cuisine, local ingredients, and family recipes.
Amrit Bhawan’s thali has kafuli, aloo jakhiya, rajma, aloo aur arbi ki thechwani, urad dal ka pakora, kheere ka raita, rice, and more. You can also order the nourishing and delicious gehat ke kebab made from horse gram.
For desserts, don’t forget to try the Himalayan red rice kheer and shrikhand.
Cost for a thali: Rs 890 + taxes
TImings: 12 noon - 2.30 pm; 7 pm - 9 pm
While Chotiwala in Har ki Pauri is preferred for its variety of savouries and sweets, many travellers also swear by its thali that includes both North Indian and Garhwali delicacies. The local dishes served here include aloo ke gutke, kafuli and pakoras.
If you have some space left in your tummy, indulge in the singodi made from a combination of khoya and coconut that’s wrapped in the indigenous maalo leaves and steamed. It bears a striking resemblance to Bengal’s beloved bhapa sandesh.
Cost for a thali: Rs 250 + taxes
TImings: 8 am - 11 pm
Edited by Swetha Kannan