Like everything else about this multi-cultural city, the local food in Siliguri shows traces of its diverse population with individual eating habits and preferences. Siliguri has been a focal transit point for all tourists travelling to the hill stations of the north-east. A large number of multicuisine restaurants cater to this daily influx of tourists for their appetite needs with great efficiency. Besides, the street food in Siliguri is a foodie’s delight. It advertises delicacies of the local culture like the signature momos or dumplings indulgently heaped with sauces to your satisfaction.
Momo (Steamed Dumpling) in Siliguri
Siliguri lies in the foothills of the Himalayan ranges and skirted by the Gangetic plains. Thus its food has imbibed a wide variety from authentic Bengali cuisines to traditional meals of Sikkim, Darjeeling and the north-east hilly regions. Being a cosmopolitan city, Siliguri will also offer the tourist and the general population cuisines from other parts of India, like North Indian snacks and the inimitable Chinese food which comes next only to Bengali cuisine in terms of popularity.
Snacks in Siliguri
Chowmein as snacks in Siliguri
Snacks in Siliguri comes in an amazing variety of street food which are mostly Chinese be it chowmein i.e. noodles with sliced chicken and vegetables tossed with chilli sauce, thukpa or Tibetan noodle soup, momo which is assimilated into Siliguri cuisine from the Nepali community, chicken fried rice, chilli chicken etc. However cuisines like Mughlai which include puris stuffed with minced meat and deep friend bathura are also available. The chowmein is also served in the variety of American chopsuey style. Street snacks also include plenty of vegetarian dishes including Mumbai chaat and South Indian specials.
Bengali delicacies includes jhalmuris i.e. puffed rice mixed with spicy bhujiya, onion and mustard oil, ghugni made with dried yellow peas or black gram curry, shingara or the North Indian samosa with a cauliflower stuffing and phuchkas or a Bengali variety of paanipuri.
Desserts in Siliguri
Sweets in Siliguri (Kaju Barfi)
There are some enticing bakeries in Siliguri as
well, which besides cakes and pastries also serve authentic Indian
sweets like the barfi, or a fudgelike sweet with silver coating and
laddoo or sweetmeat balls prepared with gram flour. Sweet shops like Rasoraj, Mahabirsthan, Unique Sweets and Snacks, Makhan Bhog in Sevoke Road and Guru Sweets and Snacks are acclaimed in Siliguri for their delicious and freshly prepared sweets.
Meals in Siliguri
Bengali Meals in Siliguri
With a sizeable population of Tibetan, Bengalis, Nepalese, Catholics and other communities, Siliguri offers a heterogeneous menu for all food lovers who come to the city. You can enjoy a bit of everything, though Bengali and Chinese cuisines are predominant in this quaint little town. As a hilly region, non-vegetarian dishes with chicken, mutton, pork, red meat like that of buffalo or game birds is a significant feature. However there are some authentic vegetarian restaurants at important junctions in the city. Bengali lunch/dinner items include the aloo bhaja or deep fried potatoes with a dash of turmeric, bitter gourd, sliced pumpkins fried in a batter of mustard gram flour, potoler dorma or gourd stuffed with minced meat, fish preparations like the inimitable bhapa ilish or hilsa steamed with ground mustard seeds, mustard oil, turmeric and chillies. All of this are served with steamed rice.
Chinese meals in Siliguri usually start with a soup based dish like sweet corn soup, chicken, prawn or mixed meat clear soup, manchow soup or the coriander thick soup. This is followed by a starter like chilli chicken, chilli prawn, chicken tai pai, shanghai roll, fried wontons, spring roll, ching kao or steamed dumpling and others. The main course includes rice and noodle based preparations teamed up with chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawn and crab which are cooked with a variety of sauces.
Beverages in Siliguri
Authentic Darjeeling and north-east Indian tea served in earthen pots or the bharer cha is the ideal beverage to consume in Siliguri especially during the monsoons and winter. Chhang or locally brewed millet beer served in bamboo glass is second only to tea in terms of popularity and is a must try for tourists to Siliguri and to the hills.
Restaurants in Siliguri
Indian Pagoda Restaurant in Siliguri
As a commercial hub and focal transit point to the hill stations of the east, Siliguri has numerous good quality vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants and eating joints to cater to tourists and all food lovers. Some of the fine dining restaurants are Bhojohori Manna, Kalpataru and Kalpana serving Bengali cuisine, Taiwah, Indian Pagoda and Yue Fung Chinese Restaurant serving Chinese dishes, Ranjit Restaurant for its South Indian delicacies, the Badshah Biryani Hut and Bedwin serving Biriyani and other North-Indian food items. Other multi-cuisine restaurants include Monarch Restaurant for its Tandoori, Indian and Chinese dishes, Havelli for mutton and fish preparations and Amrapali which is an exclusively vegetarian multi-cuisine restaurant available in Siliguri.