Sarafa Food Market In India’s Indore Comes Alive After 8PM


The mornings and afternoons in the Indian city of Indore are vibrant, filled with traffic and gentle murmur. Clean stretches of roads decorate this city priding itself to be the country’s cleanest. No amount of allure, though, would prepare you for the night’s ritualistic revelation. As you step into Indore’s food market, known to locals and tourists as the infamous, heavenly Sarafa Bazaar, you are embraced with open arms by the city’s buzzing nightlife – a buzzing not of discotheques and ear splitting music, but the clattering of utensils, the fizzing of simmering oil and excited smacks of lips finally satiated by the street food they have craved so long. 

This Food Market In India's Indore Comes Alive After 8PM
via MP Tourism

Locals are now used to the Sarafa Bazaar that comes alive only at night after 8pm. Used to, but not bored of. The food market has never been taken for granted; flocks of inhabitants and tourists cover the long bands of streets, standing carefully close to the food stalls. To the foreign eye, though, such celebration of food and flavor is the road to culinary heaven. 

By the time the jewelry shops dotting the streets close down, the Sarafa is ready to commence. This is a tacit agreement between the two parties. As the story goes, Indore’s food market started close to a century back. Jewelers had happily agreed to let food vendors occupy some space by their shops, hoping, and not in vain, that this would result in mutual profit. Today, if you do happen to visit a jewelry store in Sarafa street during closing time, your hosts will be happy to offer you a taste of sabudana khichdi and bhutte ka kees

Sarafa Bazaar continues well into the night. The darkness of the hours cast away by the brilliant lights at the stalls. The number is overwhelming – well over 50 stalls stand proud to serve you humble results of family recipes passed down over generations – the taste and texture just as equally rich. Indore is not, and never has been a city of subtle flavoring. 

If you are lucky enough to visit this food market, you’ll find stalls for poha-jalebi, samosa, malpua, garadu, ratalu, mangore, dahi bhalla, sabudana khichdi, dal bafla, bhutte ka kees, hapus ice cream, and a wide number of Indian preparation. Tread lightly, dear friend. Stop by each stall, have a taste and move on to the next adventure. 

The Sarafa Bazaar is one of India’s most loved food markets for reasons well justified by its delectable offerings. Head there close to 8pm, and watch with gleaming eyes as the jeweler street transforms into a food bazaar.

We are obsessed ith Indore’s food market. Are you?

Check out how you can attend the biggest food festivals of this year.


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