Rich and redolent with the flavour of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and saffron, Kashmiri food is suitable for all palates. Predominantly non-vegetarian, "Wazwaan" as it is called is the royal cuisine of Kashmir. Described by the author Salman Rushdie in his book, Shalimar the Clown, Wazwaan is a "banquet of thirty-six courses minimum and sixty courses maximum." It's a preparation of a number of spicy meat dishes served with traditional rice by professional chefs called "Wazas". Kashmiri wazwaan has its origin in Persia and is almost always served in Kashmiri marriage parties. It also has some interesting vegetarian options like dum-aloo and 'chaman' cooked cheese. Among the popular non-vegetarian delicacies are curd yogurt based Gushtaba, chilli-flavoured Rishta and Roganjosh.
Tibetan/Chinese: Lhasa restaurant on the boulevard around Dal-lake area serves some delectable tibetan cuisine but beware- the food is a bit on the spicier side which goes to show how food actually changes taste as it gets culturally evolved in a different place. This is a very old and reputable family-owned restaurant popular with locals and tourists alike.
Yin-Yang restaurant: A very small restaurant located 250 meters from Hotel Jehangeer, just after crossing Budshah Bridge if you are coming from Hotel Jehangeer towards Lal Chowk. serves an excellent Tibetan dish called "Thokpa" which essentially is Noodle soup served very hot with a generous topping of mutton or chicken. Go for the mutton topping. A must have in winter. However, be careful: crowds are a bit rowdy and you may feel uncomfortable especially if in female company.
Shamiyana restaurant: Located on the boulevard opposite Dal lake, serves Indian/Continental food. Food tastes average but the main problem is hygiene. Complaints of belly trouble high with this one.
Don't even think about: "Mughal Darbar" near Polo View, Hat-trick a local chain of fast food joints: If you want to view the scenery more than your hotel toilet seat- avoid them.
Krishna Dhaba is an excellent choice for pure vegetarian food. It is located near Sonwar near Burn Hall School and has a cult following of tourists especially those who come from the Indian plains.