All the hotels reviewed above have dining halls or restaurants that usually serve buffets or a la Carte featuring mediocre to good North Indian food and mediocre to inedible international ("Continental") options. If you're spending more than 1 night or looking for somewhere local to lunch, check out the following, but our advice is to eat at your hotel as the food in Jaipur is known not to be worth travelling for. Note that you'll find the largest concentration of restaurants along M.I. Road, which is also the main shopping drag outside the Old City. Two popular choices with tourists here, both close to the very famous Niro's, are the glass-fronted, air-conditioned, reliable Copper Chimney and on its left is the tandoor Handi. Also on M.I. Road is the famous Dasaprakash (tel. 0141/237-1313), which serves fresh pomegranate juice with which to enjoy excellent dosas (filled South Indian pancakes). When the heat gets to you, and you still have dozens more shops to visit, you may want to forgo a large lunch and opt for something healthy and light; for this, your prayers have been answered in the form of Anokhi's organic deli. With daily specials and great, healthful salads, this is arguably the freshest fare in town.
Widely considered one of Jaipur's best, Indiana (J2-34, Mahaveer Marg, behind Jai Club; tel. 0141/236-2061 or -2062) is a bit of a tourist trap, owned by a local graduate of Purdue University who harbors considerable fondness for his alma mater and has a keen eye for kitsch (watch how a tacky fountain issues an upward spray from the head of a stone god). Although locals are hardly ever seen here, the Indian fare is reasonable, and prices are only marginally inflated to cover the nightly "complimentary" open-air folk dance show (which can be a lot of fun, although it's very inauthentic -- more like a floor show -- and tellingly pitched at a dumbed-down foreign audience). Although service is abysmal, you can watch some of the kitchen action and appreciate the spectacle of naan and roti being prepared before making its way to your table. Although there's not much serious focus on Rajasthani cuisine, you can feast on thali (multicourse platter), or ask for regional specialties like ker sangri (spicy capers and desert beans) and laal maas (spicy meat curry), which aren't on the menu; main courses start at Rs 150, and a nonvegetarian thali is Rs 400. Another tourist-oriented place, with a firmer focus on food and a more stylish ambience, is Spice Court (Hari Bhawan, Achrol House, Jacob Rd., Civil Lines; tel. 0141/222-0202; www.spicecourtindia.com), which has a pretty all-encompassing menu but also offers regional Rajasthani specialties, served at tables designed like large display cabinets for spices and other dry food ingredients. It's also well located for shoppers, being right near Cottons, a great little place to pick up cool, summery garments.
If it's atmosphere you're after, not to mention a highly memorable visual experience, grab a late lunch and linger for a sundowner at the Rambagh Palace's Verandah overlooking the Rambagh's lawns where Rajasthani musicians and dancers serve as predinner entertainment. Or get there early evening, having reserved dinner at Rambagh Palace's swanky Suvarna Mahal.
Across the road from Niros is Lassiwalla, favored by locals as the place to experience a lassi (cold yogurt drink). Not only is the lassi (salty or sweet; sadly, no banana) exquisitely creamy, but the price (just Rs 20-Rs 30 for a large) includes the handmade terra-cotta mug it's served in -- to be kept as a memento or (as the locals do) thrown away after use. You need to buy a token at the front and then join a second thronging mass at the side to exchange it for your rewarding drink. Imitators have sprung up next door, so make sure you go to the right one; the original lassi-walla is always busy, and a sign above the stall reads OLDEST SHOP IN JAIPUR and features an image of baby Krishna. The current owner is Ashok Agarwal (tel. 0141/237-6892), grandson of Govind Narain, who started the stall decades ago. He serves nothing but lassis and is usually sold out by 4pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.