The palace of Maharaja Gulab Singh on the banks of Tawi River, Jammu, mid 19th century. Few days back I answered a question, "Which is the best place to eat in Jammu?", on Quora. I’m expanding it as a blog post by adding some additional information.

Jammu like any other Class B city in India has changed a lot in last decade. A couple of multiplexes/malls have come up, lot of brand name fast food chains/cafes (Dominos, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista etc) have started their franchises in the city and a lot of new restaurants/food joints have also mushroomed around the city. This post is not about these places. You can look them all up in Google.

Here’s are the places that have been around for years with their specialities:

  1. Pahalwaan di Hatti, Pacca Danga, Old City/Gole Market, Gandhi Nagar/Off National Highway, Bari Brahmana: Desi Ghee1 Sweets, Samosas, Aloo Tikki, Channa Bhatura, Lassi, Kaladi2 Kulcha and other snacks.
  2. Pappa di Hatti, Residency Road, Old City/Gole Market, Gandhi Nagar/Opp Govt Women’s College, Gandhi Nagar: Chicken Tandoori, Tawa Chicken, Mutton Tikkas, Mutton Chops, Kebabs.
  3. Gian di Hatti, Gole Market, Gandhi Nagar: Chicken Tandoori, Tawa Chicken, Mutton Tikkas, Mutton Chops, Kebabs.
  4. Paras Ram da Dhaba, Panjtirthi, Old City: Mutton Curry, Mutton Zakhni, Khatta Mutton, Mutton Rogan Josh.
  5. Rawalpindi Sweets, Jain Bazar, Old City: Channa Bhatura/Channa Puri made in Desi Ghee.
  6. Babli Sweets, Lakhdatta Bazar, Old City: Channa Puri, Channa Samosa, Paneer Pakodas.
  7. Amritsariyaan di Hatti, Raghunath Bazar, Old City: Sweets, Samosas, Aloo Tikki, Channa Bhatura and other snacks.
  8. JKTDC’s Wazwan, Residency Road, Old City: Authentic Kashmiri Non-vegetarian Cuisine.
  9. Mughal Darbar, Residency Road, Old City: Authentic Kashmiri Non-vegetarian Cuisine.
  10. Falak, Residency Road, Old City: Full service restaurant with good ambience. Bonus: It revolves and if you spend enough time here you’ll be able to see 360° view of the city, Trikuta Hill and River Tawi.
  11. Imperial Grill, Bahu Plaza, Gandhi Nagar: Full service restaurant with adjoining bar. Bonus: Live music.
  12. Pawan Ice Cream, Akhnoor Road (across canal), Jammu: Fresh Ice Cream in multiple flavors.
  13. Other small but cult shops:
    • Balushahi, Matthi, Namkeen Snacks: Sharma Sweets, Sarajan Dhakki (Jain Bazar), Old City.
    • Fresh Lime Soda: Fatu-da-Chogan Lane (near Pacca Danga).
    • Faluda/Matka Kulfi: Purani Mandi-Link Road Chowk, Old City.
    • Old Pakodas Shop: Raj Tilak Road, Old City.
    • Suji Halwa made in Desi Ghee: City Chowk, Old City (only available early morning before 8 am).
    • Channa Bhaturas/Channa Puri/Channa Kulchas: Kanak Mandi-Rajinder Bazar Chowk, Old City.
    • Over Sweetened Barfi (World Famous in Jammu): Bahu Fort, Jammu.
    • Girdhaari Kachaloo3 Chaat: Kachi Chaawni, Old City.
    • Makhan Paan Shop: Raghunath Bazar, Old City/Bahu Plaza, Gandhi Nagar.

And a few of Highway Pit Stops:

  • Kalari Kulcha at Singh Restaurant: Military Hospital Crossing Udhampur, Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
  • Pateesa4 & Kalakand5 at Prem Sweets: Kud (near Patnitop), Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
  • Rajma Rice served with dollops of Desi Ghee and Anaardana Chutney6 at Small Old Dhabas: Peeda (near Bagliar Dam), Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
  • Paneer Pakodas and Tea at Small Stalls: Nandani Tunnel, Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
  • Non-veg Pickles and Chicken Dishes at Old Shops: Manthal (near Tikri), Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
  • Tea, Matthi and Over Sweetened Barfi at Tea Stall run by a visually impaired guy: Thandi Khui (near Vijaypur), Jammu-Pathankot Highway.

If you want any place to be added in this list, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll update the post.

Bon appétit!

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons: "The palace of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, on the banks of Tawi River, Jammu, mid 19th century."

  1. A lot of references to desi ghee (clarified butter) in the post. Apparently we Dogras love our ghee. 

  2. Kalari is a traditional ripened dense cheese indigenous to the hills of Jammu & Kashmir. It’s usually fried in its own fat and salted before eating. After frying it ends with brownish crispy layer outside and soft, creamy, gooey cheese inside (just like melted mozzarella cheese on pizza). It’s then salted and eaten as is, with fulkas or sandwiched in bread/buns. Folklore is that Singh Restaurant in Udhampur started serving Kalari with Kulchas (buns) resulting in popularity of this snack. 

  3. Kachaloo, called Taro in english, are boiled and a chaat is made by adding spices, herbs, lemons/limes and tamarind water. Sometimes boiled black eyed peas are also added to the chaat. 

  4. Pateesa is a sweet made in form of a cake from gram flour, desi ghee (yet again), dry fruits and some such. The pateesa from Kud melts in your mouth immediately. 

  5. Kalakand is a soft creamy barfi also know as malai barfi in some parts of India. 

  6. Anaardana Chutney, another Jammu delicacy, is made by crushing pomegranate seeds with green chillies, onions, spices, herbs and yoghurt.