When you plan a trip to Amritsar, India, one of the must-do's on your list should be eating at a dhaba.
Traditionally, a dhaba is a street-side 'restaurant', usually small, with an 'open kitchen' and few chairs & tables.
More often than not, it's a truck-drivers' pit stop!
Amritsar is dotted with many dhabas, some excellent, some over-hyped, some restaurants masquereding as dhabas...
Here are some tips on the three dhabas that are recommended often:
Kesar da Dhaba, Bharawan da Dhaba & Brother da Dhaba.
In my opinion, Kesar wins hands down.
Bharawan da Dhaba & Brother da Dhaba have grown into restaurants and though the food there is quite decent (not great!), it doesn't feel like a dhaba.
It's usually filled with noisy tourists and local families. Both the dhabas are located opposite Amritsar's Town Hall and are a short walk from the famous Golden Temple (another must-do). That might account for the crowds at both these places.
One exception on the mediocre food front - the black daal, a Punjabi staple, is the best at Bharwan da Dhaba.
Kesar da Dhaba is located at Passian Chowk, in the bye-lanes of Amritsar, and you will probably need a rickshaw driver to take you there. This is the one that's mostly patronised by locals, though there are a few tourists who have found it by asking around.
The first thing to order at Kesar da Dhaba is the lassi - sweetened buttermilk, topped with cream. As innocuous as that sounds, you have to see the glass of lassi to believe it - a really tall steel glass filled to the brim and topped with dollops of heavy cream.
For some of you, it may be all the lunch you need!!
Order the aloo paranthas (rotis stuffed with spiced potato filling), the black daal and maybe a paneer dish or sarson ka saag - another Punjabi specialty. Or you can order the plain paranthas, tandoor roti or makke di roti (made of maize flour).
Be warned that all the breads are plus-sized and the accompaniments are also generously-portioned. Try going in a group so that you can sample various dishes.
Nevertheless, you WILL be stuffed!!
To work off the heavy lunch, wander around in the surrounding market areas and shop for some colourful juttis (shoes) or phulkari dupattas (traditional form of embroidery in Punjab, and very beautiful).
Travel tip shared by Delish Direction