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  • Payal Sharma

A Local's Recommendation: 12 Mouthwatering Street Foods You Must Try in Gangtok


Many tourists seen enjoying the hustle bustle of MG Marg, Gangtok
Lively M. G. Marg, Gangtok

Have you ever wondered about the vibrant street food culture of Gangtok? The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, offers a delightful array of street foods that will tantalize your taste buds. Influenced by Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian cuisines, the street food in Gangtok is a blend of flavors that will leave you craving for more.


In this foodie's guide, we will explore the top street foods to try in Gangtok, where to find them, and some special food items that are unique to Gangtok.


The Top 12 Street Foods to Try in Gangtok and Where to Find Them


Gangtok's street food scene is a paradise for food enthusiasts. Here are the top 10 street foods you must try when visiting Gangtok:


1. Momo:

Chicken Momo at a restaurant in Gangtok
Chicken Momo

These steamed or fried dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients are a popular street food in Gangtok. You can find delicious momos at bustling stalls in MG Marg, Lal Bazaar, Tibet Road, and Deorali Market.



2. Thukpa:

Instant Pot Thukpa at a restaurant in Gangtok
Thukpa Noodles

A hearty noodle soup, thukpa is perfect for warming up on chilly days. Look for this comforting dish in the Development Area, Ladakh Road, and Tibet Road.



3. Phagshapa:

A Steaming Bowl of Phagshapa at a restaurant in Gangtok
Steaming Bowl of Phagshapa

This traditional Sikkimese pork dish cooked with radishes and chili is a must-try for meat lovers. You can savor its flavors at Lal Bazaar, MG Marg, and M.G. Road.


4. Sel Roti:

Sel Roti, a delicious food made on special occasions in the Himalayas
Sel Roti

A traditional Nepali sweet treat made from fermented rice batter, sel roti is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You can find it at local street food stalls, especially during festivals like Dasain and Tihar.



5. Chhurpi:

A bunch of Churpi, made out of Cottage Cheese
Churpi / Chhurpi - made from Cottage Cheese

Made from yak milk, chhurpi is a firm cheese that is often chewed as a snack. Explore the markets of Gangtok, such as New Market and Lal Bazaar, to find this unique delicacy.


6. Sha Phaley:

Sha Phaley at a restaurant in Gangtok
Sha Phaley

A Tibetan deep-fried bread stuffed with minced meat, sha phaley is a popular street food item. Visit Tibet Road, Development Area, and MG Marg to taste this savory delight.


7. Thenthuk:

Thenthuk at a restaurant in Gangtok
Thenthuk

A traditional Tibetan noodle soup, thenthuk is wholesome and delicious. Indulge in this flavorful dish at local eateries in Tibet Road, MG Marg, and Paljor Stadium Road.



8. Gyathuk:

Traditional Gyathuk at a restaurant in Gangtok
Gyathuk

Another Tibetan noodle soup, gyathuk is a must-try for noodle lovers. Head to Tibetan restaurants and street food stalls in Tibet Road, MG Marg, and Gangtok Market to enjoy a piping hot bowl of gyathuk.



9. Chowmein:

Nepali style Stirfry Chowmein at a restaurant in Gangtok
Chowmein - Stirfry, Nepali Style

Dig into the flavors of Indo-Chinese cuisine with delicious vegetable or chicken chowmein. Find it at various street food stalls across Gangtok, especially in MG Marg and Deorali.



10. Alu Churra:

Alu Churra at a food stall in Gangtok
Alu Churra

A popular street food dish, alu churra consists of crispy fried potatoes seasoned with spices. Sample this delightful snack at street food vendors in MG Marg, Deorali Market, and Gangtok Market.



11. Kinema:

Home style Kinema in Gangtok
Home style Kinema

A fermented soybean dish, kinema is a popular food item in Sikkim. Look for it in local markets and traditional Sikkimese restaurants.



12. Churpi Soup:

Churpi Soup at a restaurant in Gangtok
Churpi Soup, Gangtok

Made from chhurpi cheese, churpi soup is a unique and delicious soup popular among the locals. Look for it at local restaurants or street food stalls.


Make sure to bring your camera along, as the vibrant colors and aromas of Gangtok's street foods will undoubtedly tempt you to capture the moment.




The Best Time to Visit Gangtok for Street Food Lovers


While Gangtok is a year-round destination for travelers and food enthusiasts, certain seasons and festivals enhance the street food experience. The best time to visit Gangtok for street food lovers is from October to March. The weather during this period is pleasant and dry, making it ideal for exploring the streets and indulging in the local flavors.


Visiting Gangtok during festivals adds an extra touch to the street food experience. Here are some festivals and events that offer a wide variety of street foods:


1. Dasain Festival (October):

Experience the vibrant celebration of Hindu mythology with delicious street food offerings.


2. Tihar (Diwali) Festival (November):

Celebrate the festival of lights with a range of sweet treats and delicacies.


3. Losar Festival (February):

Welcome the Tibetan New Year with traditional dishes and festive street food.


4. International Flower Festival (March):

Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of flowers while relishing the diverse street food stalls.




Some Tips and Precautions to Enjoy Street Food Safely and Responsibly


To ensure a safe and enjoyable street food experience in Gangtok, keep in mind these tips and precautions:


  • Choose busy and reputable stalls that maintain good hygiene standards and use fresh ingredients.

  • Opt for hot and cooked foods, as they are less likely to cause food poisoning or stomach upset. Avoid raw or uncooked foods that may carry bacteria or parasites.

  • Drink bottled or filtered water to avoid consuming tap water or ice cubes that may be contaminated. Also, be cautious with dairy products that might be unpasteurized or contaminated.

  • Carry some medicines or remedies for common ailments such as diarrhea or indigestion. If you experience severe symptoms or allergies, consult a doctor.

  • Respect the local customs and etiquette when enjoying street food. Use your right hand to eat or pay, avoid wasting food or water, and ask for permission before photographing vendors or customers.

  • Dispose of waste responsibly in designated bins or bags. Avoid littering or throwing away non-biodegradable items on the streets or in nature.



Conclusion


Embarking on a culinary adventure through the streets of Gangtok is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a satisfied palate.


From the tantalizing momos to the aromatic thukpa, Gangtok's street food offers a wealth of flavors to explore. Make sure to try the special food items like kinema, sael roti, chhang, phalay, and churpi soup to get a true taste of Gangtok's unique culinary offerings. So, why wait? Indulge your taste buds and discover the joy of street food in Gangtok.


Don't forget to share your thoughts and experiences on street food in Gangtok! Happy Reading!


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