Best Food in Darjeeling to Try

Best Food in Darjeeling to Try



Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India and when you visit there you have to taste the variety of food in Darjeeling. The food of Darjeeling is more or else still unexplored by the majority of tourists. If you ask the tourists what is the famous food in Darjeeling? You will hear Momos as an answer. However, if we delve a little deeper you will find a variety of food In Darjeeling which has the influences of Nepalese, Tibetian, and Bengali cuisine and cooking styles.

In this blog post, we will explore the various food of Darjeeling that you can taste when you visit the queen of Hills. We will take you on a culinary journey of the famous food in Darjeeling and also local food in Darjeeling. If you visit any place it's important to taste the local food to get a taste of the local culture.

I am a firm believer in the fact that if you can trace the history of a place through food. Every ingredient in food tells a unique story in itself and you will also be able to notice that the way the ingredient is used it also shows the period in the history of a place.


Top 10 Best Food of Darjeeling


Now without further delay, let's start with a culinary exploration of the best food in Darjeeling you should try.




    Aloo ka Achaar

    Aloo ka Achhaar is one of the must-have food of Darjeeling. It’s Nepalese cuisine. Don’t get confused by the word “Achaar” which means pickle. It is not a pickle but a preparation with little thick gravy made with potatoes. 

    The aloo ka achaar tastes a little like pickle a little tangy and a little spicy due to the various ingredients like Mustard oil & chili, which gives it a pungent sweet smell with the right hint of spiciness to it. Aloo ka Achaar is also one of the cheap food in Darjeeling and any restaurant serves this with rice.


    Aloo ka Achar in Darjeeling


    Where to Have Aloo ka Achaar in Darjeeling

    Hasty Tasty in Nehru Road in Darjeeling serves mouth-watering Aloo ka Achaar. Remember this is a vegetarian restaurant hence don’t expect any non-veg here.
    Alternatively, you can order Nepali Thali anywhere and you will get it in the Thali for sure.


    Sel Roti or Sael Roti


    The next must-have food in Darjeeling is the Sel Roti. Again the name of the dish might sound confusing with the word Roti here, but it is not a roti at all.

    The Sel Roti is a sweet bread prepared by hand and is circular in shape. It looks almost like a donut but I would say donuts on diet as the Sel Roti is not that thick. The Sael Roti or Sel Roti is mostly prepared by the locals during the festivals of Dashain.

    The Sel Roti is local food in Darjeeling and you will not find it anywhere else. It is made with rice paste in which little sugar is added and then it is deep-fried. It is also served with butter or cheese.

    Where to Have Sel Roti or Sael Roti in Darjeeling

    It will be little difficult to find Sael Roti in normal restaurants or shops as mostly they prepare it during festivities. If you happen to make friends with a local then they can treat you with this local food of Darjeeling or else few star hotels keep it in their menu as a specialty item. 


    Sel Roti



    Gundruk ka Achaar


    This is another must-have food in Darjeeling. Gundruk is one of the famous  Nepalese dishes and also a favorite among the Gorkhali households.

    Gundruk is a fermented leafy vegetable dish and it's amazingly tasty. 


    Gundruk ka Achaar


    Preparation of Gundruk takes a long period as at first, the vegetables need to be fermented. To start with leaves of mustard, radish, cauliflower, etc are shredded and then packed in an Earthern pot. Warm water is then added to the pot and is kept for almost 10 days for the process of fermentation to end. At the end of the 7-10 days, then fermented leaves are taken out and then dried in sun, to be made into a cuisine later. 

    This fermented mixture of leafy vegetables is called Gundruk.

    To prepare Gundruk ka Achaar this Gundruk is prepared with chilies, onions, and other fresh vegetables. It has got a tangy taste and a typical smell that doesn’t smell fermented but is a little sweet to the nose.

    This is also a must-have food of Darjeeling.

    Where to have Gundruk Ka Achaar in Darjeeling

    Since this is a local food of Darjeeling, you will find it in various Nepalese restaurants. Few high-end restaurants also serve this. However the best bet will be any local restaurant near the Mall of Darjeeling.


    Ningro with Churpi


    If you love cheese then you will love Churpi too. It’s a local cheese of Darjeeling prepared mostly with Yak’s milk and also Cow’s milk. You get Churpi in two varieties hard and soft. Soft Churpi is delicious. 


    Churpi
    Churpi



    Ningro is basically a variety of fern called Fiddle fern. Ningro is not cultivated however these are the ferns that grow in wild in dense forest which is damp. This dish is prepared with these fern leaves and served with Churpee.

    Ningro with Churpee is one of the best food in Darjeeling, however, extremely few restaurants serve it.


    Ningro



    Where to have Ningro with Churpi

    Churpi you can easily find in many shops. You will get Churpi in Keventers and they sell it.

    The hardest part is finding a restaurant that serves Ningro with Churpee as Ningro is a highly seasonal fern so you will not get this dish throughout the year. Also once plucked it needs to be consumed for one or two days before it gets spoilt. Due to these two reasons, you will not find many restaurants serving it. 


    Shaphalay


    Shaphalay is one of the must-have Tibetian dishes when you are in Darjeeling. Shaphalay is a bread stuffed with meat and cabbage and then deep-fried or pan-fried.

    Shaphalay comes in all kinds of sizes and shapes. It is extremely soft from the inside and crispy from the outside. I prefer having the deep-fried Shaphalay as it's extremely crispy.


    Shaphalay in Darjeeling


    Where to have Shaphalay in Darjeeling

    Head to Nawang’s restaurant on the Robertson road. Shaphalay will cost you something around Rs 100-Rs 200 for two people

    Pork Buns


    One of my favorites is the pork buns that you get here in Darjeeling. Pork buns are one of the must-have food in Darjeeling.

    The pork buns that you get here are different from what you get in other cities. The meat of pork is added to the bread ( which looks like naans) and served with carrot and onion slices. The taste is a little on the sweeter side due to the addition of sauce.

    Pork buns of Darjeeling



    The pork pieces that are put here in Darjeeling are extremely juicy.

    Where to have Pork Buns

    You can have these yummy and mouthwatering Pork buns in Dekevas Restaurant which is just next to Kungas. It’s a beautiful small restaurant and serves some really interesting cuisines.


    local food of darjeeling



    Thukpa


    Another food in Darjeeling which you should have is Thukpa. Thukpa is basically a Tibetian dish however few places in Darjeeling serve amazing tasty Thukpa. 

    Thukpa is essentially a hot noodle soup with lots of veggies and spices. Thukpa is available in many places in Darjeeling even on the roadside stalls you will find Thukpa. The taste of Thukpa differs in terms of the spices which are added to it. It defines the taste of Thukpa.


    street food in darjeeling


    famous food in darjeeling


    Thukpa is majorly had as breakfast by the Locals, however, the tourists mainly have it as lunch or dinner.


    Where to have Thukpa in Darjeeling

    I would recommend only one restaurant to have Thukpa in Darjeeling and that is Kunga. The kind of Thukpa you get in Kunga is unmatched in terms of taste.

    Kwati


    Kwati is local food in Darjeeling and is a typical Gorkha cuisine. Kwati is also one of the most popular foods in Darjeeling. 

    Approximately 9 types of sprouted beans are boiled together and made into a soup. The soup is thick and spices are added to the Kwati to make is tastier. If you are fond of vegetarian food and Kwati is must-have food in Darjeeling.

    Kwati is full of proteins and gives immense energy. This dish is also prepared during the festivals in Darjeeling

    Where to Have Kwati

    You can find Kwati in any restaurant on Gandhi Road and Nehru Road as it’s a local food of Darjeeling.


    local food in darjeeling



    Aaloo Tama


    One interesting local food of Darjeeling that you have to try is the Aaloo Tama. Aaloo Tama is prepared with potatoes and fermented bamboo shoots.

    The potatoes are first cooked in oil and spices are added to the potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked Bamboo shoots are added along with Garlic, Lemon, Tomatoes and of course, the Dalle chili is added to make it spicier.

    One suggestion, try this only if you like the smell of the Bamboo shoots and are comfortable eating them, or else you might not like the Aaloo Tama.

    Where to have Aloo Tama in Darjeeling

    You can find Aloo Tama in Hasty Tasty on the mall road in Darjeeling. Also, you can find this in any restaurant that serves Nepali Thali.


    famous food in darjeeling


    Wachipa


    Wachipa is an extremely unique local food of Darjeeling.  It’s a Nepali dish that has got its way into Darjeeling’s cuisine.

    Wachipa is made with chicken which is minced, rice and powder from burnt feathers of chicken is added to it. If the powder of burnt feathers sounds a little weird, then let me tell you this adds to the taste of the Wachipa.

    Wachipa local food of Darjeeling has a unique bitter taste to it which is extremely tasty and doesn’t make your taste buds feel bad. Since it’s a local food of Darjeeling and is eaten in villages you will still find this dish being served on leaves rather than plates.

    It is also believed that Wachipa can cure body aches, but there is no scientific evidence to it.

    Where to Have Wachipa

    Not many restaurants serve it. You can try Penang Restaurant in Darjeeling as they serve Wachipa occasionally.



    So next time you visit Darjeeling, along with Momos try this local food in Darjeeling which will leave you with memories of amazing taste and you will remember the food in Darjeeling for a long time. 

    The food in Darjeeling will make you go back multiple times.


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