Mukhtar Ahmad Sweet House

Opposite Firangi Mahal, Chowk Vakil Ahmad’s father, Mukhtar Ahmad set up this sweet shop. Mukhtar Ahmad was a farm hand in his native Adampur (Bahraich). He learnt the craft of confectionery in Lucknow and taught it to his son. His son completed his schooling and joined the business. Vakil Ahmad tells us: “Our business is […]

The Famous Kulfi of Jajivan Lal

Opposite Kotwali, Chowk Dileep Sahu tells us that it was his grandfather Shriram Sahu who started selling kulfi about 50 years back. He used to sell door-to-door, from a large basket that he carried on his head. There were few itenarant vendors of kulfi in Lucknow at that time. Dilip’s father Jagjivan Lal set up […]

Mandoo Bhai ki Shikanji

Pata Nala, Chowk Mandoo Bhai relates: “Generations of our family have dealt in shikanji. My father and my elder brother ran this business, and now it is my turn. We had a tiny stall right opposite where my father and my brother used to operate from. After both of them passed way, I took up […]

Ramesh Bun Matar

Bun-Matar Crossing, Near Lucknow University, Babuganj In 1965, Ramesh Kashyap used to sell bun-matar off a stand near the Lucknow University. After 1980, he moved it to its present location in Babuganj. His son, Mohan Kashyap sets up the stand in the same place. His customers recall that Ramesh was a very jolly person. He […]

Pat-a-Cake

Madan Mohan Malviya Marg An artisanal bakery that derives its name from a nursery rhyme caught the eye of kindergarteners and their parents who came to pick up their kindergarteners from Red Hill School on Gokhale Marg towards the end of the last millenium. Abhishek Gupta, started this business in 1999. His family lived in […]

Shri Ram Kachaudi

Bangla Bazar Sanjay Shukla left his village in Unnao District and came to Lucknow to work at a spice factory. Sanjay enjoys cooking, so in 2019 he started this business. His wife and son Vinay have given their full support to the venture. Sanjay’s major objective is to supply good, yet inexpensive food to fill […]

Baba ka Dhaba

Alambagh Shiv Kumar Verma is from Ganeshganj in Gonda District. He lost his father when he was only a small boy. His mother and he came to Lucknow in 1983. Shiv Kumar began scrounging for coal by the railway tracks to sell for a pittance. He moved on to selling sev, khasta and pakori from […]

Madan Nankhatai

Near State Bank, Alambagh In 1947, Haveli Ram had to flee to Lucknow via Punjab during the Partition. His family included his 10-year-old son Madan. The nankhatai business began just about then. Haveli Ram set up a stand selling nankhatai in Aminabad. Business ws brisk. When he was a little older, Madan joined his father. […]

Tinku Rewri Shop

Rewri wali gali, Charbagh Market This shop was started in 1982 by Alok’s father. The family belongs to Lucknow itself. The rewri wali gali in Charbagh has been home to generations of rewri makers and sellers. The inner chambers of the houses on both sides of the street are used for making rewri out of […]

Babu Lal Malai Wale

Batashe wali gali, Raja Bazar This 70-year-old business was set up by Vishal Gupta’s grandfather, Babu Lal. The family is from Lucknow, and the business was take up in time by Babu Lal’s son and now by his grandson. After his M Sc, Vishal was reluctant to leave home. His parents, too, wished that he […]

Idrees Biryani

Pata Nala, Raja Bazar Abu Baqr states: “I cook with good indent and have always kept to the path shown by Allah and his Prophets. I cook the food, Allah adds taste to it. This business earned its fame because of my father Mohammad Idrees and Allah’s will. I am but a seeker of skill, […]

Raja Thandai

Chowk Just before independence in 1947, two brothers from Unnao Ram Adhar and Shiv Adhar started the business of thandai near the Gol Darwaza. Ashish Tripathi who runs the enterprise today addresses both of them as ‘grandfather.’ Ashish’s father was set to work in the shop when he was 16. Tall and powerfully built, he […]

Makkhan King

Gol Darwza, Chowk We met up with a long-standing customer, Amit at 6 AM on a chilly winter morning. “I wonder why people have taken to calling the Nimish as makkhan malai. This is a dish that was invnted in Claude Martin’s times. Sharar’s book ‘Bygone Lucknow: the last example of eastern culture’ mentions that […]

Jay Dugdh Bhandar

Near Koneshwar Temple, Chowk Saroj Awasthi’s grandfather started this business in 1973, selling milk, curds, lassi and kachchi malai (also known as balai in Lucknow). It still operates from the same location adjacent to the doorway of the Koneshwar temple and is counted as one of the established shops of the locality. They are famous […]

Hari Paan Bhandar

Having served the nation as a paramilitary soldier in the Border Security Force in his youth, Vishwanath Dikshit retired in 1956 to set up this shop. He had an eye for the betel leaf and the raw catechua that goes into making paan. Connoisseurs took no time to recognize the talents of the new establishment. […]

Khasta in a Box

Gol Darwaza “Our home is on the Gudiya Ghat—Sahebdeen and Radheshyam Gupta were the only two people who used to sell khasta from a box. Of these two pioneers who introduced the people of Lucknow to this style, Radheshyam was my grandfather. We set up the box by 6 AM, filled with khasta, dry curried […]

Sevak Ram

Chowk Vikas Gupta tells us—“My great-grandfather Tika Ram set up shop in the phool wali gali near the Gol Darwaza. At the time, Manna Manohar used to run a shop that attracted so much custom, that he would have to disappoint many customers. He used to sell only kachauris. My great grandfather got his blessings […]

Ram Asrey

Gol Darwaza In 1805, when the Chhattar Manzil was newly built and the Qaiserbagh palaces were not even thought of, Ram Asrey set up a sweet shop. He began with peda and flavoured sugar candy. Ram Asrey had the technical prowess to crystallize aromatic khas, cardamom and saffron with cane sugar. He then invented the […]

Bhaijaan’s Shop

Opposite Irfaniya Madarsa, Sarkata Nala, Akbari Gate About 50-60 years ago, Imtiyaz Rasul moved from Bahraich to Lucknow as a child. He began operating a stall near Akbari Gate to sell gur patti (toffee), gazak and laddoos in the winter and besan papri, nuqti namkeen and namakpara during the summer. As times improved, he got […]

Mullu Khasta Wale

Katra, Chowk Monu Singh relates, “Our shop has seen three generations. It was started by my grandfather, Mool Chand (Mullu). After him, my father Vishwanath (Bisso) took over, and now I am carrying the tradition forward. I never saw my grandfather. He had passed away before I was born. My father had started helping at […]

Jagdish Mishthan Bhandar

Karari Tola, Chowk About 60 years ago, when he was only about six years old, Jagdish’s father passed away. His mother Lalita Devi left her native Lakhimpur Kheri for Lucknow. In Lakhimpur, Lalita used to augment family income by grinding soaked lentils into a paste for use in various dishes. She started this business in […]

Shree Lassi Corner

Midway between Charak and Chowk Crossing Ramesh Chandra Gupta moved out from under the shadow of his formidable forefather Nandu Halwai in 1983 to lay claim to the legacy as a member of his fourth generation of descendants. Shifting operations from the phool wali gali, he set up a derelict laundry cupboard near Gol Darwaza […]

Lazeez al-Durbar

Victoria Ganj, Chowk Mohammad Arfad salutes the grit of his father Mohammad Imran Qureshi and uncle Mohammad Ghufran Qureshi, before he tells us their story. The two brothers came and settled down in Lucknow from Sylhet (Bangladesh) via Calcutta. In their journeys, they got to know about the kathi roll, which they served to the appreciative […]

Siraj Hotel

Victoria Ganj, Nakhas About 10 years ago, Mohammad Urooj started this business and named it in memory of his late grandfather. Their mughalia paratha, roll, chicken and mutton pulav and biryani made with parboiled rice are highly appreciated. A half-portion of chicken pulav was priced at ₹ 60 to begin with, and is now ₹ […]

Raja Nihari

Johri Mohalla, Bazar Khala, Chowk Abeer tells us that his family belongs to Lucknow itself. “My father, Raja Qureshi used to work at a butcher’s. He was interested in cooking, so in 1972, he converted his hobby into a business. The shop came to be known as Raja Nihari and acquired a good reputation by […]

Rahim Kulcha-Nihari

Akbari gate We had dared to intrude upon Zubair Ahmad at his world famous outlet a little late in the evening. He was regaling clients and random visitors with an anecdote. A buzz of conversation floated among the oblivious clientale enjoying their meal. All of a sudden, he lost his temper and petulantly exclaimed—“Hey, listen […]

Mubeen’s

Akbari Gate In the early days, Mohammad Mubeen set up shop in Nakkhas, selling pasanda, nihari and kulcha. In 1973, they moved to the present premises; and are now famous all over Lucknow. Mubeen’s father Ismael and mother Nadiri learnt to cook under the tutelage of Nadiri’s father, the Major Domo of the then Begum […]

Net Ram

Near Aminabad Kotwali Ajay Kumar tells us that his ancestor Net Ram was originally from Mathura. In 1854, he set up an establishment known as Net Ram, Mool Chand Sweets in Allahabad. The town still has an important crossroads named Net Ram Chauraha. He had two sons—Mool Chand and Bhim Singh. In 1922, Bhim Singh […]

Bajpai Kachauri

Naval Kishore Road, Hazratganj About 9 Km away from the current premises, the Bajpais had a sweet shop in Patiyala/Rahimnagar. When her husband died, the widowed Mrs. Bajpai took her three small children and started working for Seth Durgadas in nearby Narhi. Her younger son was 15 when he got a job at a flour […]

Ashfaq Hotel

Hussainabad Close by the gate of the Chhota Imambara in Husainabad is the famous eatery that was started some 50-60 years back by Mohammad Ashfaq. He started with a shack, but took up the current premises in a few years to run it till 2007. It is now run by his son, Mohammad Javed. Javed […]

Luchai

Hussainabad Mohammad Ansar says that this outlet was started by his father. For the past seven years, Ansar is in charge. The working hours are 6 AM to 1 PM. “The luchai was invented in Kanpur. The word derives from the Bengali ‘luchi’ for what we know as a ‘poori.’ My ancestors used to make […]

Kashmiri Chai

Hussainabad Moeen is a Lucknowite. For the past 25 years he has been working at the shop, with the first 10 years spent as apprentice. Before him, his father Abdul Ghaffar and grandfather Abdul Hamid had served Kashmiri chai to the people of Lucknow. Kashmiri chai is rose pink in colour and is therefore also […]

Thele Wali Biryani

Pulao wali gali, Near Sayyad-ji ki mazaar, Opposite Naintal Bank, Nakhas It was around 1950 that Imtiaz’s grandfather, Abdul Majeed left the services of an impoverished Taluqedaar of Barabanki and came to Lucknow. Confident of his craft, he set up shop near Naaz Cinema. Loading a huge pot of biryani, another of raita and the […]

Haji ji the Laddu Wala/The Sweet Shop Underneath the Tree

Nakhas Haji Abdul Gafoor came to Lucknow 70-80 years back from a small town near Gonda and Bahraich. He set up shop in the shade of this very tree. His son Mohammad Sharif, followed by his son Mohammad Faisal and now, as the representative of the fourth generation, Faizan succeeded to the position. At first, […]

Lakhpati Kachauri Walla

Balaganj Satish Chandra is called Lakhpati (Millionaire) by the good people of Balaganj. He has been running the shop for the past 25 years. “I used to sell chaat in Balaganj earlier, but it has been 15 years since that stopped. I was very fond of food as a child, and have learnt all the […]

JD Mishthan Bhandar

Balaganj Crossroads Kishan took over the responsibility of running this outlet from his father, Jamadar, but the outlet itself was established in 1985 by his grandfather, Jugali. Their simple bill of fare comprises poori-sabzi, khasta kachori, jalebi and lassi. In the early days, two pooris with subzi were priced at 25 paise, but it is […]

Bajpai Kachauri/ Mishthan Bhandar

Nadan Mahal Road, Raqabganj/Temple Road, Balaganj The Bajpai Family of Barabanki has been running these two establishments since 20-40 years, with the fourth generation currently in place. The brothers Bajpai have a remarkable grasp on the preferences of their clientele. Only pooris are sold at the younger brother’s establishment, while the older brother makes sweets […]

Sakhawat

Near Awadh Gymkhana Club, Qaiserbagh ‘Sakhawat’ means ‘munificience.’ Haji Wahid Ali set up a stall selling kababs and biryani in a narrow lane beside the Oudh Gymkhana in 1911, named after his son, Sakhawat Ali. There was a begum sahiba’s mansion facing the main road then. Wahid Ali was given space in the garage. In […]

Prasiddha Poori Bhandar

Near Udayganj Hanuman Temple, Sadar. Ram Singh tells us that his father Bhairav Singh Mistry and mother Manuni came to Lucknow from Gonda. In 1955, they set up shop under a tarpaulin shade in the Bhoosa Mandi (hay market), selling poori-sabzi. Ram Singh was born and brought up in Lucknow itself. Recalling his childhood, he […]

Narayan Lassi

Chaupatiyan Four generations have run this establishment,. Initially, Prem Narayan Gupta set up shop in Narhi to deal in sweets and ghee. In 1978, his son Masandeen shifted the outlet to Chaupatiyan and since 1982, concentrated on Lassi. After him, his son Raj Kishore; and since 2006, his grandson Sushant Raj took over in course […]

M P Chhole-Bhature Wale

Mata Prasad Gupta started this enterprise about 35-36 years back. Their reputation increased rapidly in Chaupatiyan. In 1998, he set up the current premises, naming it after the initial letters of his name. Manoj Gupta is the son of the founder, and has thrown his heart and soul into enhancing the goodwill of the establishment […]

Lalla Biryani

Chaupatiyan Vijay Shankar Verma, better known by his nickname Lalla was born in Shahjahanpur, but grew up in Lucknow. His mother died when he was in high school. He dropped out so that he could earn some money to support himself and his little sister. He set up a paan shop, followed by a stall […]

Shree Gokul Prasad Halwai

Chaupatiyan Manish Kumar Gupta relates with pride that this famous establishment was set up by his great-grandfather Gokul Prasad in 1929. Gokul Prasad came to Lucknow from a village in Sitapur district. He took up premises on rent and started with traditional sweets. His son Ganga Ram and grandson Suresh Kumar continued the tradition. Suresh […]

Jain Chaat

Lalbagh Square. Sanjeev Kumar Jain says that his father, Santosh Kumar Jain migrated from Tikait Nagar (Barabanki District) about 30-35 years ago, to set up a chaat stall near the main Lalbagh crossroads. After heroic effort, he managed to acquire a proper shop. This establishment is currently managed by Sanjeev and his brother Raju. Garlic, […]

Bengal Bakery

Forsythe Road, Lalbagh Ahmad Hussain was a professional baker since British Raj times. Having first tried in Almora, Nainital, Ranikhet and Bareilly, he finally started Cupid Bakery in Lucknow. After him, his son ran the bakery for a few years and then leased it out to a Bengali family. Cupid Bakery now came to be […]

Aishbagh Thela Biryani

Shabbir is from Lucknow itself, but learnt to cook at an old establishment near the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi. In 2004 he started selling biryani off his hand cart near the eidgah in Aishbagh. His fame spread gradually in the area. His used to be the sole outlet in this area when he […]

Chhappan Bhog

Sadar, Cantt. Khshitij Gupta recounts that his father Ramsharan Gupta started this sweet shop along with his brothers Vinod Gupta and Shekhar Gupta in 1992. They laid the foundation of a long-term relationship with customers from a small shop in the Sadar area of the Cantt. They named the establishment as a tribute to Lord […]

Beena Kashyap

Khadra Beena came to live in Lucknow from Colonelganj after her wedding. Her husband, Raju, became a substance abuser, and also had a back ailment. He became incapable of running his shop. Apart from the responsibilities of bringing up five children, Beena went into business in 1995. She was 24 or 25 then. The initial […]

Gharib Nawaz Hotel

Khadra Old Lucknow lies on both sides of the Stone Bridge across the Gomti. Chowk and Husainabad are on the right bank have their share of famous food joints, and Khadra on the left bank has its own. Vazir Ahmad is a devotee of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer, and named his restaurant after his […]

Rehmat Ali Sweet Corner

Near Tehseen’s Masjid, Akbari Gate, Chowk. Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to Calcutta in 1858 and Roshan Ali, who used to cook halva for the king could find no employment that suited him. His son, Rehmat Ali finally took up courage to start a halva shop in 1865 so that ordinary folk could also enjoy […]

Tiwari Kesariya Thandai Corner

Chowk Santosh Tiwari recounts: “I have an LL. B. degree, and had got a job in the Railways. But my mother asked me why I was interested in a salaried job when I had a business of my own? So I started managing this business. The shop was started by my grandfather. He used to […]

Azhar Paan Wala

Akbari Gate, Chowk Azhar is originally from Shahjahanpur. When he was 15, in the 1970s, he came to Lucknow. There used to be Naseem’s paan shop right in front of Mubeen’s famous shop. He got a job there. He worked for Naseem for 10 years as apprentice and learnt the trade. Then, with his master’s […]

Tunday Kababi

Akbari Gate, Chowk When we met Mohammad Abu Baqar, he told us: “My maternal grandfather, Haji Murad Ali established this outlet in 1897. Mine is the fourth generation. After my grandfather, his son Haji Raees took over, and now I am in charge. As a boy, my grandfather was crazy about kite-flying. One day, he […]

Bedhu Lal Sahu Namkeen

This shop was established in 1916 by Bedhu Lal Sahu. After him, his son Jagat Narayan Sahu ran it for several years. Now it is managed by his grandsons, Sanjay Tandon and Kapil Sahu. The two cousins recall that when they were small, their Dalmoth used to be sold at ₹ 10 a kilogram. The […]

Ache Bhai Kulche Nihari

228 /151, Raja Bazaar. Ghufran Ahmad Khan rues that everybody knows him by the name of ‘Achhe Bhai Nihari Wale’, but only a few know that the original Achhe Bhai was his grandfather Chunne Miyan who set up this business about 70 years ago. Ghufran’s father succeeded him. “I addded very little to the business […]

Haji Inayatullah Hotel

Nazirabad Road, Opposite Bilali Masjid Saifullah, manning the cash counter, says that this outlet started operating about 65-70 years back. His grandfather used to live in Lucknow itself, and used his own name for the establishment. The initial objective was to serve Nihari and Kulcha to the clientele. Gradually, the menu began to diversify. These […]

Shakeel Biryani

Aminabad “Well, my name is Shakeel Ahmad Khan. This business started in 1992 and I set it up myself. We offer biryani which is our family’s profession. We started with biryani and continue with it. My father, too cooks. Only, he used to make it out of beef, but I use chicken. My grandfather Majeed […]

Khanna Jalpaan

Aminabad According to Ashish, the present shop owner, this outlet was established in 1918. Earlier, there was a biscuit factory in these premises. Raja Ram started serving tea and biscuits. A cup of tea was priced at 2 pice. The tea was highly appreciated in Aminabad, and soon enough he could establish branches in Chowk […]

Alamgir

Nazirabad Mujir Ahmad is overseeing the service and the billing. He says– “More than 50 years have gone by since Alamgir Restaurant was started. It has been our endeavour to serve the food that the nawabi families used to eat, to all discerning clients. This has been our traditional occupation. Before my father, my grandfather […]

Hari Matar

Near Agrawal Stores, Gadbadjhala Hari Prasad (Vishnu’s Blessing) started the eponymous establishment Hari (Green) Matar (Peas) and Sohaal about 50 years ago with the homonym as its sole decoration. His family is originally from Fatehganj, but it was from Faizabad that they moved to Lucknow to seek a livelihood. Hari Prasad is illiterate, but was […]

Ravi Chaat

Gol Darwaza, behind Chowk Kotwali Ravi tells us that his grandfather used to make and sell only batasha. Made of a dough containing a definite proportion of whole-wheat flour and semolina, the crisp pastry would melt in the mouth. This feature is still in place. In the decade of the 1980s, Ravi’s father extended the […]

Pandit Chat Corner

Phal wali gali, Aminabad Angad Maharaj had started selling chaat in 1880, but his shop was registered with the Municipality in 1927. Angad Mahraj was Kalyan Kumar Sharma’s grandfather. Now his grandson Amit Kumar Sharma has taken over. Amit has studied Hotel Management and has a degree from IHM, Chennai. After qualifying, he worked as […]

The Litti-Chokha Cart

High court road, Qaiserbagh Near Civil Court, Qaiserbagh Bus Stand. Shyam Babu’s uncle Jitendra started this business about 30 years back. Their clan, with roots in Ballia, operates about 20 outlets selling litti– or bati-chokha all across Lucknow. Shyam used to work as apprentice for his uncle in the early days, but has been independent […]

Prakash Kulfi

Aminabad Chauraha (Prakash Kulfi Chauraha) Prakash Chandra Arora’s family was displaced from West Punjab and arrived in Bareilly in 1947. A few years later, Prakash Chandra came to Lucknow, seeking employment, with just one rupee in his pocket. He worked at several places, but ultimately started his own business—selling kulfi from a small wooden platform […]

Babu-da

Shiva Ji Marg Shivathan (Babu-da) is an extremely jovial person and a conversationalist. There is always a smile on his face. He sells chops—vegetable, egg and fish and also fish cutlets that are famous across town. He relates—“We are from Bengal. My father had started working when he was barely 7-8 years old. Even so, […]

Shukla Chai

Hazratganj In 1930, Lalta Prasad Shukla set up this shop. Initially, they dealt only in milk, yogurt and milk barfi. Later they started serving pooris. In 1965, tea was offered for the first time, and became so popular that the pooris took a back seat. Lalta Prasad’s son Gyan Shankar took over from him in […]

Pandit Ram Narayan and Son

Near Old RTO, Latouche Road According to Prakhar Tiwari, his grandfather Ram Narayan left Rehmatgarh for Lucknow in 1929 in search of livelihood. Here, he and his wife started a business of sweet dahi bada. Grandma Sumitra Devi would make the dahi-bada, and Ram Narayan would sell them, first off a stand, and then a […]

Durga Khasta Corner

Ajay Kumar Sahu relates the travails of his father, who fled Sitapur to escape the plague. By 1972, he had managed to support his family, selling khasta, poori and mungaudi off a hand cart. “Father died in 1985, when I was just about 18 and in High School. I dropped out of school midway and […]

Naushijaan

Press Club, China Bazar, Qaiserbagh Tanu Tandon at the billing counter of this restaurant informs us that it was started in 1999 by Shameel Shamsi as a side-business to indulge his hobby. We recalled that the evening the restaurant was inaugurated, Shameel had invited a much-loved qawwali singer, Hyder Baksh to perform and offer his […]

Pardesia Khaste Wale

Rajaji Puram Shatrughan Rathore relates “I used to make khasta at home earlier, which all my friends praised a great deal. They advised, why don’t I try to sell khastas like these? In 1986, I was persuaded by my friends to start this business. I used to haul around a big basket of khasta on […]

Good Bakery

GM Ahuja came to Lucknow from Sind (Pakistan) in 1947. Baking had been the favoured profession in his family even there. In 1958, he set up Green Bakery in Narahi, but the great flood of 1960 totally destroyed it. Gathering up courage once more, he set up Good Bakery in 1963. Time passed, and a […]

Om Shiv Bhandar

Anand Crossing, Qaiserbagh Some 90 years ago, Mahadev Prasad Gupta left his native Unnao for Lucknow, and set up the business here. After him, his son Sunil Kumar Gupta; and now grandson Ashish Kumar Gupta have taken their tradition of excellence forward. Ashish says that customers come near and far for lassi. The enjoy the […]

Makhdoom Hotel

On the near Odeon Cinema, Machchli Mohaal Mohammad Rahim says that this business was started by his father Makhdoom Baksh about 80 years ago. They used to live in this locality itself. He started out with tea and qeema samosa. Rahim’s mother used to prepare the qeema samosas. Even when Rahim was young, it was […]

Charminar

22, Lalbagh Crossing Mohammad Asif is a graduate and has been managing the restaurant for the past six years along with his brother Yusuf. He tells us that this business was set up by his grandfather Ashraf Ansari back in 1960. His grandfathre had moved from Bijnore to Lucknow at the time of Partition. He […]

Saradarji’s Famous Chhole Bhature

42, Trilokinath Marg, Sushanpura, Lalbagh Karanjeet Singh tells us: “The shop was named by my forebears. After partition, they fled straight to Lucknow and settled here. In the beginning, they set up shop in the verandah right outside. They would sit with chhole in a large platter and halwa in a pan, and customers ate […]

Sharma ji ki Chai

Lalbagh Lalit Sharma’s father Chandra Prakash Sharma moved from Aligarh to Lucknow, and set up a tea shop in 1950. Initially, a coal-fired clay oven was used for cooking. Tea was served in clay tumblers (kullhad) then, as it is today. Liberally buttered buns (bun-makkhan) was much liked. When Lalit was a boy, one serving […]

Shukla Chaat House

Lalbagh, Lucknow Dinesh Shankar Shukla, about 65, retired as a banking professional. For the past 50 years, he has manned the dispensing of batashas at one of Lucknow’s iconic chaat outlets—Shukla Chaat House. This outlet is unbelievably tiny. When asked, he responded that they never felt the need to expand. This much of space was […]

Shikanji Walla – Hot and Cool Corner

Opposite SBI Main Branch (Tare Wali Kothi) Anoop and his brother Ranu are pleased that they are now famous because of lemonade. The two brothers run this outlet jointly. They started with a trademark spiced lemonade in 1992, which sold for Rs. 8 a glass. Now they have added cold drinks and snacks to the […]

Sehgal Samosa

LIC Building, Hazratganj Some time back, a radio channel organized a ‘samosa challenge.’ The field comprised 268 competitors. The people of Lucknow had propelled the Sehgal brothers (Sanjay and Ashok), who sell samosas and tea in the compound of the LIC Building, to a spot among the las ten. The brothers could scarcely believe that […]

Laddoo Chanakya

KD Singh Babu Stadium, Parivartan Chowk Laddoo Chanakya KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium, Parivartan Chowk When he was 17, Darshan Singh ran away from home. From Faizabad, he moved to Kanpur, and got a job at a shop that was renowned for kulfi. One day, the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh came […]

King of Chaat

Near KD Singh ‘Babu’ Metro Station Originally set up in 1941 by Hari Narayan Tandon, this outlet is famous for aloo chaat, matar, spinach (pataura), brinjal pakoras and of course, paani ke bataashe. It is currently run by Hari Narayan Tandon’s grandson, 56-year-old Arjun Tandon. According to him, his grandfather was a freedom fighter, and […]

Satish Chaurasia Paan Bhandar

1, Moti Mahal Road Ashish Chaurasia is proud to belong to the hereditary profession of making paan. His great-grandfather was in this profession in Faizabad. This outlet was started by his grandfather Babu Lal Chourasia in 1957. He named it after his son Satish, and now as the third generation, he has carries the legacy […]

Madras Restaurant

HazratganjViswanath Nair tells us that this restaurant was started in 1951 by his father KP Parameswaram Nair from Kerala in 1951. Parameswaram and two of his brothers left Kerala to seek their fortune. One left them when they reached Chennai, to sail to Singapore and then went on to emigrate to the UK. One stayed […]

Indian Coffee House

Ashok Marg, Hazratganj The Indian Coffee House opened for business on 10 February 1945. It was set up as the Lucknow outlet of the Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative Society. Very soon, freedom fighters, politicians, artists, writers, poets, scientists… all who understood the importance of deep conversation, but mostly lacking deep pockets… made it their own. […]

Chhedi Lal Ram Prasad Vaish (King of Shakes)

Opposite Sahu Cinema, Hazratganj. In 1922, Chhedi Lal Vaish established a shop in Hazratganj which is today known as Chhedi Lal Ram Prasad Vaish. After him his son Ram Prasad Vaish, and then grandson Ramesh Vaish took over the shop and today this ancestral shop is mainly overseen by Akash—a scion of the fourth generation. […]

Chaudhry Shakes and Snacks

Hazratganj Gurjit Singh tells us: “This shop has been here since 1960. That was the year my father moved from Delhi to Lucknow at the invitation of his friends, to set up the business. We had a similar business in Delhi. The weather is an important consideration for this business. At that time, soft drinks […]

Bombay Pav Bhaji

Shahnajaf Road, Hazratganj Managing the counter, Padmesh Sharma recounts “Our family is from Jaipur. We had come to Lucknow as tourists during a summer vacation. Our friends had suggested the trip, because they said Lucknow is the city of Nawabs and its cuisine is famous internationally. So we just came. My father noticed that people […]

Apollo Bakery

Opposite St. Francis School, Hazratganj. Mehboob Alam, who owns this bakery tells us that his grandfather, Fazal Ahmad used to have his bakery in Hussainganj. A Christian priest, who used to teach at St. Francis School, was so fond of the bread that Fazal Ahmad baked that he prevailed upon him to open shop close […]

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