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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 shops and 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. The success of Jaipur Masala Chowk has prompted authorities to open more such places all across Rajasthan with a similar concept.

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Rush hour at Masala Chowk, Jaipur

 

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It has become immensely popular among the locals. The reasons for its runaway success is understandable. Here’s why Jaipur Masala Chowk is so popular.

One, there is no other open-air food court in Jaipur offering some of the most legendary names. Two, it offers street food in Jaipur 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, 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 in the menu 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. The popularity is also evident from the fact food shop vendors not present here are finding means as to how to get a shop in Jaipur Masala Chowk. Jaipur Development Authority allots shops & kiosks in Masala Chowk.

Things to eat from the menu card of shops at Masala Chowk Jaipur

  • Samrat Misthan Bhandar

Samrat Jaipur is well-known for Samosa and Jalebi. The original outlet of Samrat is in Chaura Rasta. They have recently opened another one in C-Scheme area.

  • Somilal Rawat

It is a well-known shop for Mishri Mawa and Gulab Sakri. The establishment’s first outlet is in Johari Bazaar.

  • Shankar Samosewala

Shankar Samosa is not a very old outlet like others but has become popular for Samosas in Raja Park area.

  • Gulabji Chaiwala

Gulab Ji Chai s famous for Chai/ tea. This shop has become one of the popular places for tea in Jaipur. The person who started this shop is 90 years old and still makes Chai every day. Before serving to their customers at Ganpati Plaza, their first shop, every morning the owner serves it free to the poor people.

  • Raman Dosa

This shop at Masala Chowk is famous for Masala Dosa and Uttapam. Caveat- It doesn’t taste like the ones in South India!

  • Gopal Singh Patasi

Gopal Singh is one of the legendary names for Gol-Gappa/ Pani Puri/ Puchka. This is one of the original shops in the Kiran cafe compound in Ramniwas Bagh.

  • Prem Prakash Samosa

Prem Prakash Samosa is famous for low spice and low salt Samosa. Their original shop is in Golcha Cinema in Chaura Rasta

  • Delhi Chaat and Cafe

A well-known shop in Bani Park for 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 in Ramniwas Bagh is a good place to try street food in Jaipur.

List of Jaipur Masala Chowk shops and kiosks.

  • 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

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Masala Chowk History

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.

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 Jaipur 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 Jaipur Timings

Masala Chowk opening time is 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 visitors and traffic from 8 AM to 11 PM only. After 11 PM, the gates of the garden are closed for the public. Make sure you plan your trip to Masala Chowk accordingly.

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How to reach Masala Chowk?

Jaipur Masala Chowk Address -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.

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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.

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Ram Niwas Garden roundabout near Albert Hall Museum

Check out other interesting posts on Jaipur Food Guide

street food in Jaipur Masala Chowk

 

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

  1. The food must be good if the locals eat there..as always your posts are very informative Arv and make me want to visit Jaipur even more…Sooner rather than later I hope 🙂 Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only been to Southern India (Chennai and Tamil Nadu) and this seems so different. I think here in the UK we tend to lump India into one big bucket – and in fact, from what you’ve shown, Jaipur is completely different!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fiona, Happy to know you have been to Southern India. You are correct, India is a land of diversity. The differences are quite stark. North and South India differs so much. I’m sure you will love visiting Jaipur. Thanks for exploring this post. 🙂

      Like

    1. I haven’t been to Delhi Haat but I have seen a couple of pictures. I guess Delhi Haat is a bit more upmarket. It’s a fairly new place but immensely popular. I’m sure you will love it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the idea of an open air food court! The only food courts I have ever visited were in a shopping mall and they felt so constricted and crowded, this sounds a lot better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess that is because of weather and climate. Since you live in a cold country, enclosed and heated space is a must. Out here we don’t have such extreme temperatures. We have a range of 4C-46C. Someday you should visit Jaipur and India; experience it yourself, Lise! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. 🙂

      Like

    1. Suzanne, I feel that you will enjoy a trip to India. I don’t think I need to mention the reasons since you have already listed them out. Well, I’m not promoting it and I’m not being paid to do so. I’m simply sharing my part of the world. I’m hoping it helps people. Thanks for taking out time to read and share your thoughts here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I went here back in February and loved it. During our time in Jaipur we ate more food than any other place we visited – and it was all so amazing. Masala Chowk was one of the best stops from a food standpoint since all of the things we found we loved earlier in the trip were available in one place. And of course there was ker sangri to be found which was bot my son’s and my favourite dish we had in Rajasthan. Unlike many Indian foods, that is one thing we can’t find here in Canada so we’ll have to keep coming back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wow! That’s great Todd! Ker Sangri is one of the authentic Rajasthani dishes. I’m not surprised why you liked it. Masala Chowk is a great experience for anyone who wants to experience authentic India. You not only get to taste food but also watch how the locals, their food choices and so on. Even though you may be able to find Indian food in Canada, but it can never replicate the taste and the setting. Thanks for checking out this post on Masala Chowk, Todd! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely place for eating one’s meal outdoors! I have always been attracted to restaurants and cafes, which offer their food outside in the open air away from the often stuffy inside facilities. Another great post, Arv!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes- I have eaten in many Indian restaurants- just not in actual India. I also have tried making a lot of my own pastes for curries very successfully. I am a major carnivore but have eaten many vegetarian Indian meals, mainly cooked by my friend when I lived in the UK. She loved to cook!

        Like

      2. That’s great, Orla! If I’m not wrong it’s the tandoori dishes which are incredibly popular in the UK! I’m sure you will love the food in India…whenever you decide to visit. I assume you are in Ireland, now!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Indian restaurant nearby​? Sounds great. Most such restaurants are run by Indians and must be great. With places like Masala Chowk you get incredible variety. Yeah, I guess nothing like the place of origin. 😊

        Like

  6. Beautiful post, as always, but also very informative. If we end up in Jaipur, we will have to visit Masala Chowk. Pinned for future reference 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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