Darjeeling has a varied range of cultures consisting of cuisines of the Gorkhas, Khampa, Lepcha, Sherpas. The food of Darjeeling is famous for its cuisine that is primarily a blend of food that is influenced by West Bengal, Tibet, and Nepal, which makes for a truly exciting culinary scene in Darjeeling.
Here is some of the delicious and famous food of Darjeeling:
1. Darjeeling Tea
Darjeeling’s special tea is a must. The authenticity of the drink is such that it cleanses your mind, giving you spirit new energy. A special recommendation would be that while sipping on this tea, one can enjoy the beautiful view that Darjeeling offers and listen to some heartwarming music!
Where: 1. The House of Tea Address: 11, Nehru Road, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
2. Nathmulls Tea & Sunset Lounge – Address: The Rink Mall (Opp. GPO), 19, Ladenla Road, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Thukpa is essentially a dish of Darjeeling but finds its roots in Tibetan cuisine. A hot-noodle soup, Thukpa comprises many veggies, some customary tinge of spices, and Hakka noodles. It is one of the most admired dishes within the town and is available at almost all the restaurants and roadside stalls. One can also find a much diverse variety of Thukpa noodles within the city too. Thupa originally is offered as a starter but can also be eaten as a wholesome meal itself, as it is delicious and healthy!
Where: 1. Devekas Restaurant – Address: Chauk Bazaar
2. Kunga Restaurant – Address: 51, Gandhi Road, Chauk Bazaar
While Momos have become a popular snack in many metropolitan cities, it is one of the most adored plates of food in Darjeeling. Part of Tibetan cuisine, Momos are mostly dumplings made out of flour with vegetable or chicken/pork stuffing and can be cooked through the process of steaming or deep frying. Momos are also served with a bowl of hot soup on the side with usually 6-7 pieces on a plate.
Where: 1. Hot Stimulating Cafe – Address: Lebong Cart Rd, Richmond Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal. (Best place for Momos)
2. Kunga Restaurant – Address: 51, Gandhi Road, Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
4. Nepali Thali
A Thali is a platter of various ranges of foods served on a single plate. The traditional Nepali Thali is an excellent combination of our daily lifestyle food, which retains its originality and delivers the customers some fantastic and delicious food. A traditional Thali comprises of ‘Dal’, ‘Bhaat’, ‘Tarkaari’, ‘Chutney or Achaar’ and finally a sweet dish to complete the meal with a bang. The Nepali thali is a common and favored food in Darjeeling.
Where: Revolver Restaurant -Address: 110 Gandhi Road, Behind Union Chapel
5. Naga Cuisine
The Naga population within the city is considerably lower; however, their population’s influence on food in Darjeeling is quite notable in the town. The Naga cuisine is famous for its meats and fish which are often cooked through the process of smoking, fermenting, etc. A grand Naga thali comprises fermented rice served with chicken or pork, also with fermented bamboo shoots, achaar, and a sweet dish.
Where: Revolver Restaurant – Address: 110 Gandhi Road, Behind Union Chapel, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Churpees are local snacks made out of Cow’s or Yak’s milk. A Darjeeling original, Churpees are necessarily a milk snack and resembles cheese with coming in both versions of hard and soft. Churpees mixed with cabbages can also be a filling for vegetable momos. Also, it is often used by the Nepalis to cook a version of Churpee with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies to make what they call ‘Churpee ko achaar’.
Where: Keventer’s – Address: Keventer’s, 1 Nehru Road, Darjeeling, India. They only serve breakfast and snacks.
7. Sael Rotis
Sael Roti is another one of the Nepal specialties and is a delicacy during special occasions at home. They are ideally flat round pieces of bread prepared from rice paste and are then deep-fried, resembles the shape of a bagel.
Where: Get friendly with a local, might invite you to come to have a meal with these delicacies.
8. Aloo Dum
Along with the Naga cuisine, Bengali cuisine is also famous in the town of Darjeeling. The most typical dish of Bengali cuisine is Aloo Dum, which has a special place in the heart of the locals staying in the town. The preparation of this food of Darjeeling includes boiling the pieces of potatoes in a gravy made up of spices such as red chili powder, garlic, finely cut onions and, ginger cloves. The final touches to the dish in Darjeeling are garnishing it with coriander and bhujia.
Where: Hasty Tasty – Address: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal. Also available at the local vendors standing near Mall Road, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Chaang, also known as ‘Tongba’ is prepared by fermenting yeast, and warm water is added to the fermented millet. It is a beer-like brew but almost with no alcohol and customers enjoy it in a Bamboo container, and they should drink it through a bamboo pipe as a traditional ‘Pratha’. Fun, right?
Where: Hot stimulating cafe – Address: Lebong Cart Rd, Richmond Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Shaphalay is another food in Darjeeling with Tibetan roots. It is essentially bread with a meat filling, and its accompaniments include either a curry or chutney and vegetables. However, it is commonly associated with roasted barley known as Tsampa. This traditional dish is a must-have!
Where: Nawangs Restaurant – Address: No 7 Robertson Road | Clubside, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
If an alluring view with delicious delicacies by your side is your fantasy, then the food of Darjeeling is the right fit for you!