On our travels to India we loved, loved, loved the spicy food which made it easy to enjoy each day just that much more. I didn’t take many food photos during our most recent tour but I wished I had. I would probably do so now because I could have captured soooo many Instagram-able images.
Venturing into town to visit a local restaurant is a great enjoyment while on tour and you are spoilt for choice in India. There is a large variety from fine dining to typical Indian Dubha. Restaurants that are not busy normally do not have a high turnover so food may have been sitting for some time… avoid them and look for a busier place.
Dining at the hotel restaurant is often a great choice as these restaurants can deliver a fabulous fine dining experience in a stunning setting. The service is usually excellent and there is typically a wide menu choice with western food included.
Avoid fresh cut fruit bowls, peeled fruits and vegetable salads on the road side. It’s best to stick with fruits like oranges, bananas, papayas and fresh coconut water. Only eat fresh fruit where you don’t eat the skin.
Ice candies made from shaved ice which are sold on the street look very tempting on a hot day but it is best to avoid these as they could be made from tap water. A lovely cool drink when you are out sightseeing is very welcoming but its best to avoid this if ice is added.
Pani puris are a loved street food of India. These are small crispy hollow fritters which are consumed with stuffings and flavoured water, and are best avoided unless you know for sure that the water inside is filtered water.
In general, I think it is best to avoid eating at roadside stalls unless you are certain of the quality of food. Often food is prepared without the benefit of running water so the chance of contamination increases.
See a selection of top restaurants here.
Don’t drink tap water in India. Be sure to carry a refillable bottle all the time and refill with filtered water from restaurants and hotels which usually have filtered water available. If no filtered water is available then you can buy bottled water. Be sure to check the seal before buying and open it yourself.
What to do if you get an upset tummy:
Travelers often worry about the dreaded Delhi belly. The majority of visitors do not get sick and if they do its usually for a couple of days as our tummies adjust to a different diet. However, on occasion a bug can be awful and downright debilitating.
My tips are:
- stay away from any cream based desserts
- always eat freshly cooked food from a restaurant which has good facilities including a running water supply
- drink water from a bottle which is sealed and opened in front of you
- brush your teeth with bottled/filtered water.
- If you start to feel queasy try to keep well hydrated and switch to plain rice and yoghurt which is readily available at all Indian restaurants and hotels
- Ask for hot water and lemon as your preferred drink at hotels and restaurants.
This should do the trick but in some instances you may need assistance in which case pharmacies are available along the way for over the counter medicine such as Imodium and electrolytes. Your guide may also arrange for a doctor to see you at the hotel and in the worst case scenario you may go to hospital.
I have never been sick in India but Basker took me to hospital in Morocco on a recent tour when I must have picked up a bug and felt terrible. At the hospital I was so grateful for the wonderful staff who looked after me. They had me rehydrated, up and on my feet in no time. This was kind of reassuring and helped me to feel more relaxed about travelling so far away from home… but always with full medical insurance.
See my trip to Morocco here.
To read about my full India trip experience including itinerary, attractions, tips etc please click here