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What Makes Jaipur Masala Chowk So Popular?

Masala Chowk is a new open-air food court in Ram Niwas Garden where you can enjoy the flavors of Jaipur.  Masala means spice and chowk means public square or an open area. The word hints at a place with a variety of kiosks serving street food. Initially, it was meant for the tourists since it is close to the popular tourist attraction, Albert Hall Museum in Ram Niwas garden. However, it has become a runaway success among the locals.

 

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Albert Hall Museum in Ramniwas Garden, jaipur

 

 

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Rush hour at Masala Chowk, Jaipur

 

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Masala Chowk brought back memories of Kiran cafe which was very popular among Jaipur residents for years and operated in another part of Ram Niwas Garden. In the 1970-80s, Kiran café was one of the few options for eating out in Jaipur. It was a favorite weekend destination for the families until authorities decided to pull a plug as the millennium approached. Kiran Cafe was extremely popular because of affordable prices and consistent quality.

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Masala Chowk has become immensely popular among the locals. The reasons for its runaway success is understandable. One, there is no other open-air food court in Jaipur. Two, it offers street food at a single place. Members of a family find it convenient to pick what they like and still eat together.

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Three, many legendary food outlets from the walled city area or old Jaipur have an outlet in Masala Chowk. Visiting old part of the city is difficult given the chaos, traffic, and parking problems. It is easier to visit Masala Chowk as it is much more accessible. Four, clubbed together all these food outlets offer a huge assortment of street food right from chats, Gol-Gappa, tea, dosa, samosa and so on. Lastly, the food is affordable and doesn’t pinch the pocket. There’s one for everyone.

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Here are things to eat at Masala Chowk in Jaipur

  • Samrat Misthan Bhandar is well-known for Samosa and Jalebi.
  • Somilal Rawat  is famous for Mishri Mawa and Gulab Sakri
  • Shankar Samosewala is famous for…but, of course, everyone’s favorite Samosa
  • Gulabji Chaiwala is famous for its tea.
  • Raman Dosa is famous for Masala Dosa and Uttapam. Caveat- It doesn’t taste like the ones in South India!
  • Gopal Singh Patasi – Gol-Gappa or Pani Puri
  • Prem Prakash Samosa is famous for low spice and low salt yet yummy Samosa.
  • Delhi Chaat and Cafe – Chola Bhatura, Aaloo Tikki & Chola, and Dahi Papdi Chaat.

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Is Masala Chowk a good place to try street food in Jaipur?

Masala Chowk is a good place to try street food in Jaipur. Following are the food outlets in Masala Chowk.

  • Samrat
  • Ramakrishna Kalkatti Chaat
  • Somilal Rawat Misthan Bhandar
  • Gopal Singh Patasi Bhandar
  • Shankar Samosa
  • Sethani Ka Dhaba
  • Indian Ice Cream Faluda
  • Raman Dosawala
  • Shri Jharkhand Nath Poha and Chaat
  • Gulabji Chaiwala
  • Delhi Chaat and Cafe
  • Prem Prakash Samosa
  • Wah Banna
  • Bhagat Misthaan Bhandar
  • Brijwasi Faluda Kesar Kulfi
  • Pawanaa Rajasthani Vyanjan
  • Jaipuri Chatkaraa
  • House on Fire
  • Andewalaz
  • Mahaveer Rabdi Bhandar
  • Icecream and shakes

Residents who grew up in the ’70s & ’80s fondly recall this place as a circus ground. Many Indian and Russian circus camped here providing affordable entertainment option to the people. In 90’s the concept of circus went away and so did circus. Later an amusement park by the name of wonderland operated for a couple of years. This place has been vacant ever since Wonderland closed down. The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) continue to call this place “Wonderland Park”.

 

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Then and now pictures by JDA depicts the development in progress. From Wonderland Park to Masala Chowk!

Masala Chowk Car Parking

Masala Chowk is over-crowded during the weekends and traffic jam is rampant. The earmarked car parking just outside the Masala Chowk is only for 20 cars.

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Car parking at Masala Chowk Jaipur

However, one can find cars parked in the vicinity in excess of this capacity. Masala Chowk Parking is a bit of menace as one needs to park their car at Ramniwas Bagh underground parking lot near Ravindra Manch theatre once the dedicated parking lot becomes full. Another car parking lot can be found near Ramniwas Garden entry gate on JLN Marg. This is the south gate of Ram Niwas Garden.

Masala Chowk Entry Fee

To reduce the influx of crowd, the JDA authorities decided to charge a Masala Chowk entry fee of Rs 10 per person. I’m not sure if it has any desirable effect. On a positive note, it is not taxing for the middle class.

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Packed Masala Chowk during the peak hours

There is a park area attached to Masala Chowk. JDA, the local authority responsible for implementing this concept has plans to hold various musical and entertainment programs for the public in this park.

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Park area of Masala Chowk

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Masala Chowk Timings

Masala Chowk opens at 9 AM. There is no standard closing time since every outlet follows a different time. Generally, it is open between 9 AM to 10 PM.

Ramniwas Bagh Timings– Ramniwas Garden is open for vehicular traffic from 8 AM to 11 PM only. After 11 PM, the gates of the garden are closed for the public.

How to reach Masala Chowk?

Masala Chowk is situated in Ram Niwas Garden, near Albert Hall Museum. You can reach the Albert Hall Museum with the help of Google map and then head towards the south direction from its ticket counter, Masala Chowk will be on your left side. One can even walk down to Masala Chowk from Johari Bazaar within 12-18 minutes.

Masala Chowk provides an authentic street food experience in Jaipur and is worth a visit. With its central location, the deal only gets sweeter! Your timing needs to be right to enjoy Masala Chowk experience. I recommend visiting Masala Chowk during the daytime or early evenings to avoid the crowd. It is best to combine it with a visit to the Albert Hall Museum. Masala Chowk is sure to keep your pocket happy with its affordable food price.

Check out other interesting posts on Jaipur Food Guide

street food in Jaipur Masala Chowk

 

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108 thoughts on “What Makes Jaipur Masala Chowk So Popular?

    1. Shreejith, Albert Hall architecture is one of its kind. It certainly is a beautiful building and I’m not surprised at your choice. I love this building too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Shreejith. 🙂

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  1. Is it new? Don’t remember it being mentioned earlier……. Reminds me of Dilli Haat food section — open air, though food is state wise but thronging with locals and tourists alike. Does Rawat also have an outlet there 😁……. Love their pyaaz kachori a must buy for us if we happen to be in Jaipur.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Monica, this place was recently inaugurated. I haven’t been yo Dili-Haat yet but I guess it sounds something similar. Unfortunately, Masala Chowk doesn’t have Rawat yet. You are right, Rawat Pyaaz Kachori is incredibly popular among locals and tourists. Do you visit Jaipur frequently?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Used to Arvind…… Ab nazar lag gayee hai 😂 hoping to visit sometime soon. Dilli Haat is more of handicraft haat of different state artisans and one section of it is the ipen air food area….. Good place to spend time 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      1. JLF? wow! great! I’m sure you must have enjoyed it. Of course, many people now stay away because of rush and crowd. Since it’s no more a pure lit stuff ( a large number of speakers have nothing to do with literature) it should be Jaipur Lifestyle Fest! LoL

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      2. Well, it is still a lot of literature including cinema and societal issues, which are going to be or already part of literary discussion. I liked it. Hope I go there again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course, it does have all of that. It’s interesting to hear new perspective and experiences. This year I only visited once. For the rest of sessions, I resorted to YouTube and FB live as it would have been impossible to find a seat in covered halls.

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      4. True. There were many students. Festival was free for students. There were many great authors and opinion leaders also. Specially session of Nawazuddin and his lady director was jam. Packed.

        Liked by 1 person

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