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Call ‘em pani ke batashe, golgappe or phuchkas, (but not water balls, please!), there’s a comforting and a nostalgic feeling about crunching on a perfectly done pani puri.

A deep-fried crispy wheat or suji ball, made hollow on the head with a finger and filled with spicy potatoes! Sometimes you’ll find chana too, topped with tangy and spicy tamarind water, made fragrant by mint leaves, herbs and black salt.

This has been our go-to snack, after college, tuition or school or maybe on the occasion of a brief halt during our evening strolls with siblings or friends. Everyone knows that this is the unofficial snack of India- every nook and corner has a bhaiyya with a stall, selling these absolute yum munchies. You’ll see people of all age groups frolicking around and crowding these kisoks because it’s super pocket friendly and as a snack, it has really scanty competitors of its stature.

These can be relished during any season but since the weather these days has become a bit tolerable, we’ve come up with 7 ultimate pani-batashe places in Lucknow where you can drop by for an awesome experience.

1. RO Pani ke Batashe

Set up in 1981, this joint’s actual name is Sadar ke Prashidh Pani ke Batashe and they’ve been a leading seller of this favourite Indian snack! The YUMMY filling in their batashe makes us travel kilometers so that we can end up here, relishing this delicacy. The pani in which they dunk these phuchkas is famed for the spice factor but their USP definitely lies in the fact that they use RO water, unlike other vendors. Hygiene is a highly regarded factor here so you’ll even find the servers wearing gloves to serve you ‘untouched’ batashe which is a rarity.

Location: Near Chhappan Bhog, Sadar Bazaar

Timings: 5 PM to 10 PM

2. Shukla Chaat House

One of the oldest chaat places in Lucknow, Shukla Chaat House stands as a superior choice when it comes to random evening hogging sessions. Their golgappes are light and crisp and when served with a spicy-tangy water, the taste will just settle in your mouth for a long time. You can’t skip on this place if you’re on a foodsploration in or around the Ganj area.

Location:11 Shahnajaf Road church building, Hazratganj, Lucknow

Timings: 4 PM – 10:30 PM

3. Kapoorthala ka Batashe wala

If you’re a resident of Kapoorthala, you’d be knowing the bhaiyya who sells these, is an icon! Although this isn’t an official name but everyone in and around this area, knows of his kiosk. His USP lies in the fact that he serves over 20 variants of chutney and if you’re not a batashe person, go for the chaats and experience a foodgasm by spending just a few coins! Oh, he also sells this plate of ‘dessert batasha’ but we ain’t gonna tell you about this- move your lazy limbs and head over to unravel this surprise.

Location: Near Sahara Building, in front of Jumbo King- Archies.

Timings: After 5 PM.

4. King of Chat

Truly a ‘king’, this 75 year-old place has been ruling our cravings and we can never tire of the same serving, every day! Always bustling with crowds in search of a palatial nirvana, their batashe are famed for the crunchy-spicy-chatpata elements which are unique to this joint. People actually flock here from the other side of the city, just to have a taste because it is always worth the travel and money!

Location: Near KD Singh Stadium, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Hazratganj, Lucknow

Timings: 5pm – 9pm

5. Jain Chat

Located opposite Novelty Cinema, this iconic chat house in Lalbagh has been a rage in the city ever since its inception! Their pani puris simply have the best masala fillings inside and their basic seasoning is what makes them stand out. If you’re in and around this area, don’t skip on stopping here because that’ll be a mistake you’d regret when hungry!

Location: Lalbagh Chowk, Lalbagh, Lucknow

Timings: 5pm – 9pm

6. A-block Pani ke Batashe

If you call yourself a pani-puri fan and have never had the Indira Nagar’s A Block wale “Ramnath Chat Bhandar” ke batashe, your batasha exploration is incomplete. This stall is known for selling huge batashas and if you’re new to the place it’ll take a while for you to adjust to the size.

The puri literally crumbles in the mouth and when you do get accustomed to them, well the flavour explosion that happens inside your mouth is marvellous. If you find it hard to locate the stall, just head to the most crowded stall and it’ll be the bhaiya we’re speaking of!

Location: Mina Market, A Block, Indira Nagar, Lucknow

7. Parampara (Chowk)

Batashas at Parampara are a crowd favourite. With two kinds of pani, one sweet and another spicy, Parampara serves crunchy and flavourful batashas. If you’ve never had the pani-puris here, you’re surely missing out on all the great taste. The sweets shop albeit more famous for its sweets, serves delicious chaat and gol-gappas as well.

The crispy puri, the tangy water and the mushy matar will leave you wanting for more, because just one plate is never enough!

Location: Gole Darwaza, Chowk, Lucknow

Golgappas are something we can never say no to, no matter how full our tummy is we always save a secret space for these mouth-watering delicacies. These 7 places are the best of the best. So if you are a golgappa fan or a pani-puri aficionado, head to any one of these listed place (or ALL of them!) and get your dose of flavour explosion.

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