There are two distinct areas where you can find some of the best restaurants in Agra – Taj Ganj area and Sadar Bazaar.
Taj Ganj Area
The Taj Ganj area has the most restaurants in Agra that cater to the backpacker tourist crowd so expect budget rooftop restaurants with multi-cuisine menus. Many have views of the Taj which is a huge drawcard here. None are licensed but most will find you a beer if you ask nicely and drink discreetly.
If you’re after the best view of the Taj, head to the rooftop restaurant of Saniya Palace Hotel which also serves good Indian dishes and Western style breakfasts, pancakes as well as pizza.
If you’re not fussed about views of the Taj, the places to find good food in Taj Ganj are Joney’s Place that whip up everything from creamy lassis to toasted sandwiches and Indian food. They also cater to the Asian crowd with their popular packet noodle soups. Another good Agra restaurant is Taj Café that specialise in Indian thalis as well as pizzas and excellent lassis. For really cheap food, Shankar Restaurant near the auto rickshaw stand serves up simple Indian dishes, while Yash Café has set breakfasts, thalis and pizza.
For some of the best food in Agra, head to Esphahan, Agra’s best hotel and top-notch Indian restaurant that specialises in Mughlai cuisine with unusual offerings such as quail curry. There are only two sittings each evening, at 7pm and 9.30pm, so booking a table is essential. Expect to pay a pretty penny here.
Sadar Bazaar has a lot more restaurants than Taj Ganj with a focus on Indian dishes rather than multi-cuisine menus. For South Indian cuisine, head to Lakshmi Vilas for affordable food while Dasaprakash has a nicer, more intimate setting with wood-lattice screens. For the best North Indian cuisine, Vedic has a vegetarian menu while the more upmarket Mughal Room at Clarks Shiraz Hotel has the best Mughlai dishes in the area. For the budget traveller, Tourists Rest House has an all-veg menu with nice candle-lit tables around a small fountain.
For the best kebabs in town, you can’t go past Mama Chicken, a fast food chain situated on the footpath of Gopi Chand Shivhare Road, off Taj Road. This place does many different kinds of veg and non-veg kebabs for the best value in town. If you don’t mind standing and eating off a table on a footpath, this is one of the best restaurants in Agra.