6. The Blue Lassi Shop: You can find a lassi shop in almost every corner of Varanasi but the Blue Lassi shop stands tall among the lot. With as many as 75 flavours of lassi on offer, each with different toppings, this tiny yoghurt shop is a hidden gem, serving you Varanasi's freshest, creamiest, fruit-filled lassis for over 90 years. It is just a 3 minute walk from the Manikarnika Ghat. The blue walls are covered with passport sized photos of the visitors and patrons. My personal recommendation would be the Mango/Coffee/Chocolate or Coconut lassi.
7. Bhang Lassi from Godowlia: Happy high is the mood when you visit Varanasi. Cannabis or bhang is sold by government authorised shops and is generously used in beverages, especially ones made with milk. There are plenty of places where you can find this “special” lassi”. I followed the locals to the renowned Raju Thandai Ghar at Gowdolia Chowk. They serve Bhang Lassi and also Bhang Ki Thandai, a sumptuous milk drink (with weed). This one is highly recommended! One ‘medium-strength’ drink is strong enough!
8. Chaat from Deena Chat Bhandar: When you visit Varanasi, you have to taste the different chaats from Deena Chaat Bhandar. This famous chaat shop in Varanasi is known for some unique combinations served in khullads. I tried the Tamatar, Papri and Aloo Chaats. As a contrast to the savoury chaats was the Kulfi Faluda, again a must try. Tasty and reasonably priced, a visit is absolutely recommended.
9. Banarasiya Pan: When in Benaras, be Banarasiya! A ‘paan’tastic taste like none other, the Banarasiya Paan is a treat! Choose your ingredients from Kattha, Chuna, Snuff, Kiwam, Gulab Chutney, Baba Chutney, Gulkand, Paan Chutney, Coconut and many more. Kuber Paan Bhandar near Godowlia Chowk and Deepak Tambul Bhandar at Dashashwamedh Ghat are two famous paan shops in Varanasi and should feature in your itinerary!
10. Shopping in Varanasi’s local markets: One is in for a ‘saree’ state of affairs in Varanasi. Famous for its Benarasi silk sarees, shoppers can saunter into Vishwanath Gali and buy some traditional apparel at affordable prices. Bargaining skills are an added advantage if you are there. Do also visit the local food stalls for some sweets and snacks. You can also shop for knick knacks for home and brass statues of religious deities.