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On A Food Trail in Darjeeling

AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE

Darjeeling, the beautiful city in West Bengal and housed by the lush embrace of lesser Himalayas, is a sight for sore eyes. Darjeeling is a treat for all your senses, with lush greenery in all corners to the crisp mountain air, but most importantly it’s a treat for your taste buds. From mouthwatering street food to Michelin-worthy establishments, Darjeeling has it all. 

Photograph by @vikramdasz, Instagram.

Darjeeling at night.

To start your food tour in Darjeeling it is absolutely important to walk around the city and take in the scenery to work up an appetite because rest assured there is a lot to taste. While you are at it, check out the street food that the city has to offer. A stroll down Mail road and Chowk bazaar is the way to find local delicacies.  

Darjeeling has an amalgam of different cultures, this shows up in the local street food too. Besides the dishes specific to Darjeeling the Chinese spring rolls, Bengali style chops and cutlets, and pakoras are also something you shouldn’t miss out on.  

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Streets of Darjeeling.

The already sprawling Mail Road and Chowk Bazar gets even livelier in the evening, with a string of street vendors selling some amazing food. Momo, the meat-filled dumplings, is a very popular dish and can be found dotted across the city. The Darjeeling momos are especially good due to their juicy, almost soup dumpling-like quality. Shaphalay, a meat-filled pie or flatbread, is something to try on the streets of Darjeeling. Especially during the cold winters, this steaming, deep-fried delight is sure to put a smile on your face. 

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Darjeeling’s savoury dumplings, momos

The city has a rich history, with many establishments dating back to Colonial times. Keventer’s and Gleanary’s are two such establishments. Beloved by the locals and tourists alike, the menu here today is a mix of their old colonial heritage and Indian cuisine. Gleanary’s has a delectable range of baked goods. That aside the restaurant serves everything from buttery steaks to tandoori platters, all of which is well made and stands up to its stellar reputation. 

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Gleanary’s

Keventer’s, with its delectable view overlooking the hills, is an experience to be enjoyed by all your senses. The chicken platter, which consists of chicken sausages and a variety of fried chicken lunch meat, is well received by customers. Their full English breakfast and teas are also something worth trying during your visit. 

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Chicken Platter at Keventer’s.

Naga cuisine is also incredibly popular in the hill town. Breathtaking and complex, you can enjoy naga delicacies at Revolver restaurant. Their Pork with dry bamboo shoots is an absolute must-have. If you are in the mood to try something more exotic, try their Akhuni. A fermented soybean product is used in dishes to render them a sharp umami smoky flavor.

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Naga Platter at Revelover.

With a predominantly Nepali population inhabiting the city, it would be a shame if you weren’t to try Nepali food. Penang is known and loved for its wide variety of Nepali offerings. Their Gorkha Thali is the way to go if you want to experience the true flavors of the cuisine. 

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Nepali thali at Penang.

Any trip to Darjeeling would be incomplete without a trip to KungaKunga is a restaurant that specializes in Tibetan cuisine. Some things to try at Kunga include their Thukpa, Wai Wai, and a range of dumplings. Also don’t forget to get a taste of churpee, a hard goat milk cheese, popular in Himalayan cuisine.  

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A variety of dumplings at Kunga.

To wash down your hearty Darjeeling food tour the perfect place to end it is Fiesta. With a pint of your favorite cold brew and a side serving of Sel Roti, slightly sweet deep-fried bread rings much like donuts, you can conclude your trip. 

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Fiesta, Darjeeling.