When you think about Agra, you usually think about the Taj Mahal. Visitors come here on day trips, eager to see India’s biggest tourist attraction. Agra also boasts a range of local restaurants that will satisfy the most critical food lovers. This carefully selected list explores the top ten of Agra’s many local restaurants.
Dasaprakash means ‘light of the servant of God’. The owner of Dasaprakash opened the restaurant in memory of his father, and decided to specialise in South Indian vegetarian cuisine. The dishes are all extremely tasty and the place itself is very clean. Their thalis are spectacular, and the ice cream desserts are really worth a try. The interior is designed to make way for intimate dining in a friendly atmosphere. Nowadays, the word ‘dasaprakash’ itself has become synonymous with South Indian vegetarian cuisine around the country.
Making a reservation is essential at Esphahan, Agra’s finest traditional Indian restaurant located inside the beautiful Oberoi Amarvilas hotel. Every evening, there have two sittings, one at 19.00 and the other one at 21.30, giving guests time to fully enjoy their meals. The menu might not be as extensive as in other venues but the dishes are all exquisite and include the most succulent North Indian tandoor dishes. Also, their rice with Kerala shrimp curry is a must try. The atmosphere is very romantic, as you dine listening to live santoor players.
If you are looking for something a little more authentic and down to earth that doesn’t cater for Western taste buds but offers you the very best of the local cuisine, you should definitely pay a visit to Shankar Ji. It is a local dhaba, or snack bar, close to a rickshaw stand. It is basic and simple, but it is a place where you will experience one of the warmest welcomes you could get in the city: everyone is constantly smiling. In addition, the menu is written in English. Shankar Ji is a must for anyone wanting to have an authentic dhabi experience.
The top Indian restaurants in Agra, which serve the richest curries and most succulent tandoori kebabs, are often located in hotels. Pinch of Spice is not, and as such is the best North Indian restaurant outside a five star hotel. The must-try at this restaurant is the murg boti masala, a chicken tikka in a very rich and somewhat spicy local gravy, and also the paneer lababdar, fresh diced cheese in a spicy sauce with onions. Dishes are all authentic, and the exclusive fine dining experience extends beyond the food to the service and ambience. The restaurant outlet at Fatehabad Road accommodates guests over three floors and overlooks the beautiful Taj.
For those looking for an affordable but tasty Indian restaurant, Joney’s Place is surely the answer. Locals simply love it, which is always a good sign. The restaurant itself is very small and cosy, and the dishes are all prepared in front of you, using fresh ingredients. Since 1978, they have been serving deliciously creamy lassisy. The banana lassi is one of the tastiest of the city, but their malai kofta is also one speciality not to be missed. It might not be a gastronomic concept restaurant, but the food is nevertheless tasty and the atmosphere welcoming. The staff will make you feel comfortable without being pushy.
A worthwhile stop on the way to a visit to the Taj Mahal is the Shankara Vegis restaurant. The thalis in this vegetarian restaurant are simply mouth-watering and you can enjoy them while looking at a beautiful view as it is located on the rooftop. The atmosphere is very informal and laid back. Guests also play games, such as chess or carrom, a boardgame similar to billiards. As you might guess, this restaurant has a very friendly owner and the dishes, on top of being tasty and affordable, come in no time.
The Jahanpanah restaurant aims to serve the best of Awadhi cuisine; enjoy developing your senses by tasting these yet undiscovered flavours. Their legendary dishes include tasty lucknawi biryanis, galawat kababs, and kakori. Authenticity is key to the restaurant’s philosophy: ingredients all come from Lucknow and all chefs are trained according to Awadhi cuisine practices. They all learn to master the dum style, cooking over a slow fire.
Lakshmi Vilas is the perfect restaurant to experience South Indian cuisine at reasonable prices. Over the years, the restaurant has become a very popular spot in Agra for food lovers. The interior decoration is very simple and the atmosphere is down-to-earth. A highly recommended meal is their thali, which is served for lunch and dinner and will satisfy all guests, even those with the biggest appetites.
Jhankar restaurant serves traditional Indian food while offering live entertainment with music and dances all night long. The place itself is very charming and elegant. Their menu includes many of the most mouth-watering Indian dishes including their specialty, the aloo dum chutneywale, potatoes with herbs and dried fruits in a coriander and mint sauce. Another delicious treat is Agra’s delicacy, the magazi murgh korma, chicken in yogurt, cashews, and poppy seeds, garnished with rose petals and melon seeds. What also makes it an even better experience is that the herbs and vegetables come straight from the restaurant’s kitchen garden.
Located on a beautiful rooftop terrace at the hotel Kamal, with a breath-taking view of the famous Taj Mahal, Stuff Makers is the perfect restaurant to enjoy the best of Agra’s cuisine. Not all dishes are Indian however. Guests can also opt for pancakes with honey for example. The restaurant is open all day, from 6.00 until 22.00 which makes it the perfect sport for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. No matter at what time of the day you decide to experience this restaurant terrace, the atmosphere will be unique and enjoyable and the views unforgettable.