Spicy rassa, teekha sev, a healthy helping of freshly cut onions and potatoes and some warm pav– music to my ears. The eternal Misal Pav has and always will be the icon of the perfect Maharashtrian dish. If I could publish my own version of a food dictionary, right next to the word “salivate”, there would be a picture of a plate of steaming Misal Pav. And, Pune is Misal paradise. Here are the top eight spots in Pune that should be on your radar for this flavorful snack.
Shree Kala Snacks Centre
Tucked away in the corner from the regular hustle bustle, a small hotel serves up garlicky spicy-ness in every mouthful. Costing a mere 45 Rupees, this Misal is perfectly seasoned and comes with a more-than-generous helping of extra rassa on the side. The sev, dried pohe chiwda, onions and oily brown rassa make this a hit with the locals at lunch- you won’t find any place to sit inside at most times! Get a cup of chai or a cola and you are set. Plus an added bonus- they serve some pretty sweet motichoor ladoos too!
A slightly more upbeatish place, this one has seating inside the hotel and a separate takeaway window too. Choose between light, medium and spicy versions of the Misal here. I chose the medium version and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of spice (I am glad I didn’t try the spicy version!). It’s not as oily and there is also chaas available as an accompaniment.
Shree Upahar Gruh
Do not trust Google maps to guide you correctly; this one takes a bit of patience to find. Smack at the end of a gali filled with silk sari shops and animal drug stores, the Misal here is not for the faint hearted. The gravy is thinner than most places and really, really spicy! Also no pav served here, it’s bread slices instead. This will get your juices going after a hard day’s work!
Bedekar Tea Stall
The legendary Misal Pav joint, you cannot leave Pune without eating here at least once. Extremely tasty, the Misal is a bit sweet here. But fear not, ask for a helping of spicy rassa “sample” and voila- you will know why this place is legendary. No pav here either, only bread along with some sol kadi and nimbu pani as side buddies!
Shree Krishna Bhuvan
It’s shiny and renovated, but the Misal still tastes the same. Ask any Punekar and this spot will feature on their list. An authentic breakfast place, Shree Krishna serves the Brahmin style of Misal; its slightly less spicy, but tasteful nonetheless. Wash it down with some taak and end it on a sweet note with some sheera!
Claimed to be the oldest Misal house in Pune, Ramnath Misal is where the Misal gets super oily. But hey, that’s not a bad thing at all, as it tastes super awesome with an added topping of fried poha! The only downside is that they charge you for almost ANYTHING extra- including onions and lemon. Go here willing to let go of all dietary restrictions and enter oil heaven.
Vaidya Uphar Gruh
Started by the great grandfather of the current owner, Deepak Joshi, this Misal house is over a 100 years old and till date stands to be the best Misal place in all of Raviwar Peth, hands down. Open specifically for breakfast/snacks from 7-11 am and 3-7 pm, the Misal here doesn’t use red chilly, but instead is simmered in green chillies and garlic paste.
Wah Marathi Food Xpress
If you can’t find enough time to get into the small lanes or are too afraid to park your car in the narrow spots, then Wah Marathi Express is a good option for the suburbanites. Located on the 3rd floor of Seasons Mall right next to the their restaurant of the same name, the Misal is plain and simple with the right amount of spice. They use a combination of the traditional sev and farsan, and it’s open all through the day!
Happy eating, folks! May the force of the spicy rassa be with you!