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Ram Babu Paratha Bhandar

Pia Mileaf-Patel

$4 a person

One more post on India, because the food was so, so good! In Agra, at the Taj Mahal, there isn’t an abundance of delicious restaurants like there are in Agra’s neighbor, Delhi. People are there (understandably and obviously) for the architecture. The Taj Mahal is more stunning that I could have imagined; I’d seen pictures, but even with the hoards of people coating the grounds, it stood as this insane, glowing, wonder.

            You’d think that with so many visitors, there would be a ton of no-fuss places to have a great lunch, especially since a visit requires loads of walking, but many of the restaurants nearby specialized in tourist food at tourist prices, for example, restaurants with English names, such as “Pinch of Spice.” As you can imagine, everyone in my family hates a missed dining opportunity, so I did some research and found Ram Babu Paratha Bhandar.

            It was not in walking distance from the Taj, and in fact, we had to ask several people for directions and ultimately had to walk across a street and over a ditch filled with water, but when we were seated with our plates of crispy, buttery flatbread, sweet and spicy dahl, and potato curry, we knew that the trek had been worth it.

            Like many of my favorite restaurants from our trip, we had to know exactly where we were going. Many restaurants will give you directions if you call, and often don’t look like restaurants at all, but when you’re inside, it’s a change of scenery from the bustle of the street to elegant couples and families eating a lunch out.

            Ram Babu Paratha Bhandar is a family-run place, which has been serving up parathas in countless flavors for years. If the giant bin of water (which you should definitely not drink if your digestive system is not accustomed to the water in India) is not for you, order a Thumbs Up, a petite glass bottle of cola with a great logo. The aloo (potato) paratha is a must-try if you’re on your own, but if you are sharing, split as many flavors as you want to try. I’d definitely recommend the green pea and fenugreek paratha as well!