Indore Food Guide for a First Time Traveler

Indore, also known as the business or commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a synonym for Food. Specifically, the street food in Indore is extremely popular among all the food lovers in the country. This Street Food Capital gets this name because of its ‘Flavors’, the variety of chats and a wide range of street foods that it offers. Whatever be the reason of your visit to Indore, the food is bound to make you awestruck. Sarafa Bazaar during the night and Chappan Dukaan (56 shops) are two destinations that should be on top of your food itinerary. The moment you enter the city of Indore, it welcomes you with the aroma of food (popularly called ‘Indori Mehamannawazi’). Here’s an Indore Food Guide that will walk you through the streets of Indore and leave you enthralled.

Indore Food Guide: An Overview

Must try items for first timersPoha-Jalebi, Dahi Bada, Bhutte ka Kees, Khopra Patties, Dal Bafla, Shikanji
Must visit foodie placesSarafa Bazaar, Chappan Dukaan, Rajwada
Best vegetarian item in IndorePoha-Jalebi, Dal Bafla, Sabudana Khichadi, Shikanji, Kachori
Best non-vegetarian item in IndoreNafees Biryani, Chicken varieties
Recommended street food itemsDahi Bada, Bhutte ka Kees, Khopra Patties
Food items native to IndoreGaradu
The Famous Vijay Chaat House at Chappan Dukaan
The Famous Vijay Chaat House at Chappan Dukaan

Before you head to Indore to tickle your taste buds, preliminary knowledge about the place is important. Internet will give you the details but friends’ native to the place will guide you to the destination as was my case. From my personal experience, I would say it is completely safe to roam around on the streets during the nights and would recommend every foodie to go for this once in a lifetime experience.

Indore as a Travel Destination: Highlights

LocationCentral India
StateMadhya Pradesh
Best Time to VisitOctober to March, July to September
Best Mode of External TransportVolvo Bus, Train
Best Mode of Internal TransportAuto Rickshaw
Budget AccommodationHotels
Cost Status of a 2 Day TripModerate (Rs. 800 – 2000/- per night for a 2-3 star hotel)

The street food in Indore has its roots based in the recipes from its neighboring states – Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. These three combined together have created magical victualchats that will rest on your palate forever. You will not hesitate to say that Indori street food items are assault courses for the taste buds and a boot camp for the mouth.

Sarafa Bazaar

Mr. Joshi st Sarafa Bazaar
Mr. Joshi st Sarafa Bazaar
Image Source

The Sarafa Bazaar is a bustling jewellery market by the day and a food fiesta at night. For a market that is more than 100 years old, one can say Indore has got the heaven for midnight foodies in the form of this Ratri Bazaar. The street serves an approximate 3000 visitors each night, constituting both local and tourists. It starts after 8 PM in the evening and serves till 2 AM late night.

If you are in Indore even for a single night, the Sarafa should be on top of your list. It is in fact a narrow lane crammed with people wanting a bite of their favorite dishes at the popular street food stalls. The atmosphere filled with enthralling aromas and enthusiasm is heartening to see. So now that we are at the Sarafa Bazaar, let’s get started with the showstoppers (You would have to fight for your share if you are late):

Indore Food Guide for Street Food Lovers

Recommended ItemAvailability
Dahi BadaJoshi Dahi Bada House, Sarafa Bazaar
Bhutte ka Kees Joshi Dahi Bada House, Sawariya Chaat House, Sarafa Bazaar
Khopra Patties Vijay Chaat House, Sarafa Bazaar and Chappan Dukaan
Garadu Roadside Outlets, Sarafa Bazaar

Dahi Bada

Indore Food Guide -  Joshi Dahi Bada & Bhutte ka Kees
Indore Food Guide – Joshi Dahi Bada & Bhutte ka Kees

Dahi Bada or Vada are deep fried lentil balls added to sweet-sour tasting curd. Started in 1977 by Ram Chandra Joshi, the Joshi Dahi Bada House has been reigning the hearts of the foodies in Indore for nearly 4 decades now. The badas are prepared in style by Mr. Joshi who flings your bada in the air, catches it in a bowl full of curd and then sprinkles it with various masalas in a single pinch. This shop opens at 11 AM in the morning and serves toothsome Dahi Badas till 1 AM after midnight (The reality is that you need to be there before 11 pm otherwise you are going to miss out).

Average cost per person: Rs. 40/-

Bhutte ka Kees

This is a unique speciality of Indore prepared from boiled mashed corn fried in ghee (clarified butter) and then mixed with gram flour, asafoetida, coriander, cumin seeds, lime juice and their unique blend of spices. The best place to get this – Joshi Dahi Bada House again!

Average cost per person: Rs. 40/-

Khopra Patties

Indore Food Guide -  Khopra Patties
Indore Food Guide – Khopra Patties

The Khopra Patties has its own X-factor which distinguishes it from the usual Potato Patties. These are Aloo Tikkis stuffed with grated coconut and then deep fried. This patty is served with tangy chutney which enhances the taste.

Average cost per person: Rs. 15/-


Indore Food Guide – Garadu

This is a winter special delicacy sold at almost all the local street food stalls. Garadu is a variety of Yam which is chopped into pieces, fried twice and then tossed in spices and lime juice. The crisp garadu chunks in the chilling winters can give the potato wedges a run for money.

Average cost per person: Rs. 20/-

Indore presents an ultimate variety of Vegetarian food. The love for food is evident by the fact that even though the markets here do not start their business until 11 am, street food vendors begin their sales during early morning hours.

Indore Food Guide for Vegetarians

Recommended ItemAvailability
Dal BaflaHotel Rajhans, Sarafa Bazaar
Poha-JalebiYoung Tarang, Chappan Dukaan
Sabudana KhichadiSaawariya, Sarafa Bazaar
ShikanjiNagori Mishtaan Bhandar, Sarafa Bazaar

Dal Bafla

 Indore Food Guide -  Daal Bafla
Indore Food Guide – Daal Bafla

Dal Bafla is a simple yet mouthwatering dish. The Baflas, medium size balls made with wheat and semolina are baked in oven (little hard on the outside but soft inside) and served with hot Dal (tangy at times). They are different from the traditional Bati from Rajasthan in the sense that the bafla is first boiled in the turmeric water and then baked. It is crushed and dipped in ghee before being served. Delicious Ladoos made of semolina; coriander-mint chutney and mango pickle are what accompany the bafla.

Average cost per person: Rs. 200/-


Indore Food Guide -  Poha-Jalebi
Indore Food Guide – Poha-Jalebi

This is a unique combination you will find literally anywhere in the city in the morning hours. Widely adopted as a breakfast option, Poha, made of flattened rice and Jalebi – a sweet made of Gram flour crisply fried and dipped in sugar syrup will definitely make your day. You can top up the Poha with special Indori Clove Sev to shoot up the Taste Meter.

Average cost per person: Rs. 15/- (Poha), Rs. 30/- (Jalebi)

Sabudana Khichadi

Sabudana Khichadi is a common dish made of soaked tapioca. It is especially eaten during festivals and fasting and is prepared in almost every household in India. However, if you taste it in Indore, you’ll realize that you can swear by its lip-smacking taste. Here, it is served with fariyali namkeen, lemon juice and garnished with coriander.

Average cost per person: Rs. 40/-


Indore Food Guide -  Nagori ki Shikanji
Indore Food Guide – Nagori ki Shikanji

Traditionally, you would call Lime water as Shikanji. But that’s different in the food loving city of Indore. Here, you’ll be served a Shikanji made of Milk, saffron, dry fruits and a bit of tanginess from the Mattha (buttermilk). It tastes more like a glass of Lassi. A visit to Sarafa Bazaar is incomplete without having Nagori ki Shikanji.

Average cost per person: Rs. 55/-

If you think you’ve stuffed in street food enough for a month, hold on. This is just the beginning and you’ll soon realize that the list is pretty much infinite. Here are a few items that will light up your eyes and make you think twice before saying a ‘No!’

Indore Food Guide: Heart Says I Want More

Recommended ItemAvailability
KachoriLaal Balti Kachori, Rambag Gelda Kachori, Dawa Bazaar & RNT Marg Ravi Alpahar, Anand Bazaar Prasidh Ki Kachori, Sheesh Mahal near Cloth Market
Pani PuriStreets of Indore
Moong BhajiyaUncleji Ke Moong Bhajiye, Anoop Nagar
Egg BenjoJohny Hot Dog, Chappan Dukaan
Bina Tala SamosaStreets of Indore


Pyaz ki Kachori with Indori Sev topping
Indore Food Guide – Pyaz ki Kachori with Indori Sev topping

Kachori, a top notch for the chat lovers, is basically a puri stuffed with spiced lentils, potato, or beans. You might have tried the traditional Kachori made of Dal or Aloo. But here in Indore, you will get a variety like Pyaaz ki Kachori, Mutter ki Kachori, Bhutte ki Kachori, Fariyali Kachori and so on.

Average cost per person: Rs. 20/-

Pani Puri

You’ll find hardly any street food lover who does not like Pani Puri. It’s also known as Gol Gappe in some parts of India. Indore again has its own twist to this dish. Here, you’ll be served as many as 7 different flavors of Pani Puri in addition to the usual mint and chilli spiked water. Hing (asafoetida), lime, ginger, garlic, and so on.

Average cost per person: Rs. 20/-

Moong Bhajiya

Moong Bhajiya is Lentil balls deep fried and served with fried chillies and green chutney. You cannot go to Indore and come back without having tasted the scrumptious moong bhajiyas! They can be had as an evening snack and perhaps even for breakfast. They are always served fresh and piping hot, which only goes to add to their wonderful taste.

Average cost per person: Rs. 40/-

Egg Benjo (Hot Dog)

These are not exactly a Hot Dogs, but burgers, banjos and sandwitches. The Egg Benjo made from an omelette, crisp and red with chillies, nestled in a warmed bun that is melt-in-the-mouth soft is a claim to fame for the shop’s chief.

Average cost per person: Rs. 30/- (without cheese), Rs. 45/- (with cheese)

Bina Tala Samosa

Bina Tala Samosa
Bina Tala Samosa

Contrary to the traditional Samosas that are a deep fried triangular shaped snack, these are specially baked Samosas served with freshly chopped onion, tomato ketchup and sev.

Average cost per person: Rs. 20/-

After all the succulent and palatable vegetarian food, one will definitely be curious to know what Indore has on offer for the Non-vegetarians. However, you will be a little disappointed to find out there are hardly any non-veg street food options. A few good Restaurants offer nectarous non-veg food.

Indore Food Guide for Non-Vegetarians

Recommended ItemAvailability
Biryan-E-NafeesNafees Restaurant, Old Palasia
Madni DarbarChoti Gwaltoli, Sarwate Bus Stand


Ask for the best biryani in Indore and the answer will be “Nafees Restaurant”. It’s cooked with either mutton or chicken, (its rich taste will transport you to the era of the nawabs) laced with the most aromatic spices, layered with long, flavorful & soft rice, topped with caramelized onions and coriander leaves. The aroma will keep you hooked, till you dig in. Bhuna gosht and Mutton Angara are also a must try items at Nafees.

Average cost per person: Rs. 400-450/-

Hotel Madni Darbar

After indulging in all the diverse street food items, if you want something spicy and delightful, turn towards the Madni Darbar. Chicken Takatak, Chicken Begam Bahar, Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken Fry are just a few names that you cannot simply ignore on the Menu card.

Average cost per person: Rs. 250-300/-

          It’s now time for a crack at the sweetmeats after a sumptuous main course offered by the food paradise. You cannot keep yourself at bay especially when you see the appealing dessert stalls at the Sarafa Bazaar. Here are a few sweets that should be on your must try list.

Indore Food Guide for People with a Sweet Tooth

Recommended ItemAvailability
Mawa BaatiAny stall at Chappan Dukaan
Malpua – RabdiStreets of Sarafa Bazaar
JalebaJai Bhole Jalebi Bhandar, Sarafa Bazaar
Kulfi FaludaMaduram Sweets, Chappan Dukaan, Nema Kulfi Faluda centre, Old Palasia

Mawa Baati

Mawa Baati
Mawa Baati

Mawa Baati is a larger than life Gulab Jamun with a filling of crispy and rich nuts. It is one of the most delicious sweets of Indore and can be found at any of the stalls along Chappan Dukaan.

Average cost per person: Rs. 50/-

Malpua – Rabdi

 Indore Food Guide - Malpua
Indore Food Guide – Malpua

Malpua is a winter speciality of Indore. It is essentially a pancake prepared from milk and mawa that is deep fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. Garnished with rich dry fruits and served with hot Rabdi, Malpuas are one of the lip smacking deserts you will find in Indore.

Indore Food Guide - Rabdi
Indore Food Guide – Rabdi
Image Source

Average cost per person: Rs. 50/-



If you have some space left in your tummy after having a feast at the Food Capital, head towards the sweet stalls of Sarafa Bazaar for a bite of the Indori version of Jalebi, called Jaleba. It is a giant jalebi weighing about 300 grams which one person definitely cannot finish.

Average cost per person: Rs. 40/-

Kulfi Faluda

With the rising mercury levels, Kulfi Faluda, the Indian version of ice-cream definitely comes to the rescue. If you happen to visit Indore during summers, head towards Madhuram Sweets or Nema Kulfi Faluda center for an enchanting serving loaded with dry fruit toppings.

Average cost per person: Rs. 80/-


Experience the Fire Paan

After all the appetizing and flavorsome food, your tummy definitely needs a treat of an Indori Paan to end the culinary journey on a high note. Anna ka Paan is well known for a special kind of Paan which features cashew, almond, and gulkand, filled inside a thin layer of green petha and held together with a clove. You will also find Smoke and Fire Paan in Indore which are rare attractions for the first timers.

Average cost per person: Rs. 50/-

Indori Namkeen

Any trip or write up on Indore will be incomplete without a special mention of the wide variety of Namkeen that are on offer. You can taste the namkeen samples before you buy them. The star among these is none other than Indori Sev or Laung (clove) Sev. A variety of Sev like single clove, double clove, palak, aloo and even pineapple flavored are available. In addition to these there are varieties of Matris, Chikkis, Bhujia that you can take back as souvenir for family and friends.

Indore Food Guide for Namkeen Lovers

 Recommended Shops 
 Om Namkeen, New Palasia, near Chappan Dukaan
 Ratan Sev Bhandar, Sarafa Bazaar
 Apna Sweets, Lodhipura, near Malganj Square
 Aakash Namkeen, Chappan Dukaan
 Ganesh Ratlami Sev and Namkeen, Chappan Dukaan
 Madhuram Sweets, Chappan Dukaan
Indori Namkeen
Image Source

Indore has a lot to offer, if you are a foodie you’ll definitely enjoy it and if you not, you will definitely become one when you visit Indore. Believe me, I’ve been there once but while penning down my experience here, my heart is urging me to head back and indulge in this food extravaganza again. The night market at Sarafa Bazaar is one thing you cannot miss. It will make you fall in love with Indore especially because it is a food lover’s paradise.

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