A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

Indore’s Sarafa Bazaar – India’s Midnight Market Where Food Comes Alive..

As a person who has one foot that’s home bound and the other itching to travel the world, I have visited many cities. But being a pakka (staunch) ‘Indori’, I haven’t been able to develop the same feelings for any other city. 
Well, the city seems to give enough reasons for me to boast around. One such reason is Indore’s Sarafa Bazaar Market that has become world famous not by any multi-crore advertising budget spent but simply by word of mouth publicity. 

So What’s Special About It?

Surprisingly, Indore’s Sarafa Bazar Market which is operational like a usual Indian Gold/Silver jewelry market in the daytime transforms into an all vegetarian food market by 9 p.m. daily and continues until late midnight. Further, only a few people know that it is the only night food market of India!

How to locate it?

IMG_20160523_223108It is located only 2.5 km. from Indore GPO. one can easily travel to Rajwada (the nearest destination up til where four-wheelers’ are allowed) by cab, car, two-wheelers’ or auto-rickshaws. Post reaching Rajwada, it is advisable to walk as the by-lanes leading to the food hub are very narrow and mostly overcrowded. Rest the aroma of the food will do its job!

When It All Began?

The exact establishment year is not known by the locals but it is said to have started a hundred year ago when the then Sarafa Bazaar retailers offered little places in front of their shops to the street food vendors for selling the delectable staff at night. They did so to ward off robbers thereby securing  their shops from theft.

What to Eat?

I know by this time you must be very eager to know about the much-celebrated variety of street food available here. Initially, there were just the traditional central Indian snacks and sweets on offer but with the time passing by delicacies from North & West India and Chinese cuisine have also made its place here.
Here’s a list of the all the gourmet food one should try:
  • Garadu:

    IMG_20160523_215517It is a kind of yam that is found and eaten commonly in central India especially Indore. Here it is cut into small pieces and deep fried until done. Then chaat masala and salt etc. are added to it and served. It is most commonly eaten in winters but I found it in few shops of Sarafa Bazaar in May month also. It tastes quite like deep-fried potatoes.
  • Aloo Tikki, Gol-Gappe & Dahi Bhalle:

    IMG_20160523_223418When it comes to Indian street food, the market dedicated for the same cannot falter. So here there are many vendors selling these and any other types of gourmet appetizing chaat.
  • Bhutte Ka Kees:

    No, I am not talking about ‘kiss’ but bhutte ka kees. The dish derives its name from the primary ingredient that is Bhutta (Sweet Corn). Its kernels are taken out and ground into a smooth paste which is then cooked with green chilies, coriander, coconut etc.
  • Sweets:

    IMG_20160528_211613[1]Malpua, Gulaab Jamun, Rasgulla, Rabri, Basundi, Shrikhand, Jalebi, Kulfi, Falooda, and much more are available here at many shops.
  • IMG_20160523_215658Pav Bhaaji originally from west India and Masala Dosa, Idli, Vada Sambhar from Southern India are also found here.
  • Pizza, Chinese noodles, Sandwiches are the latest additions from cuisines around the globe.
  • Shikanji: It’s not the usual lemon shikanji, but it is a special drink that is a combination of flavored thickened milk with dry fruits and a little yogurt.

Some of My Favorite Vendors:

  • Joshi Dahi Vada:


    For making Dahi Vada bang on each & every time along with his dramatic presentation.

  • Sharmaji Chaat Wale:


    For the perfectly balanced yet crispy Aloo Tikkiya-cholle. He has set up this cart for last 38 years, daily.

  • Shri Devnarayan Jalebi Bhandar:


    For Garadu & Jalebi..

  • IMG_20160523_223203
  • Things to Keep in Mind:

  • This market is located in old narrow lanes of Indore so four-wheeler parking may be a problem.
  • The food sold here are hygienically prepared and so safe for consumption, however, the final deciding factor must be your instinct with regards to food choices and trying out spicier stuff.
  • Packaged drinking water is readily available here so help yourself with safe drinking water.
Leaving you with this video link shot by me at Joshi Dahi Vada house. Click Here
Was this article helpful or been there, done that then write to me!





20 thoughts on “Indore’s Sarafa Bazaar – India’s Midnight Market Where Food Comes Alive..

  1. Nice read, however Manek chowk in Ahmedabad is another such midnight food market. It starts late night and is up till early morning hours. Also, during this time of the year i.e. Ramzan, Jama Masjid is a paradise for foodies. It starts around 7-8 PM and is bustling with people till early morning! 🙂

  2. Yummicious!
    Just curious, how do you know that- “The food sold here are hygienically prepared and so safe for consumption”? I mean you never know what street vendors are doing with their hands except adding spices on to the kadai! 😀

  3. Pingback: Traveling to Indore Then Try The Mouth-watering Must have Indore Food!

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