When an outsider questions you about some of the most popular places to eat in Pune, what’s your response? I bet the regulars – High Spirits, Tertullia and Malaka Spice figure in your recommendations. But, let’s see and experience beyond the usual and open up a wider window of taste and flavours! We draw up a list of some eateries in town that serve great tasting fare with or without the ambiance.
Chai and Bun-Maska
The city’s favourite tea snack is the Bun-Muska. Over time, we have been conditioned to associate Chai with Vohuman Café. Yes, it is a buzzing little place popular for its owner’s eccentricities and double omelet. But, have you visited Café Yezdan yet? Born in 1964, this Irani café is an important fragment of Pune’s food heritage. A tiny open kitchen doles out Omelet, Bhurji, Chai and a lot more. And yes, they slather as much fat on bread as their other counterparts in the city do.
Café Yezdan: Sachapir Street, opposite Dorajbee Restaurant, Camp.
Feel like donning chopsticks and eating some Oriental fare? No, don’t go to Chinese Room or Mainland China for the umpteenth time! Try out Soy. This restaurant serves some great Chinese and Japanese food. Yes, Japanese as well. Soy works brilliantly if you are craving for Sushi but are tight on the pocket. Some dishes we recommend are Sui Mai, Man Tao, Fried Asparagus Sushi and Corn Curd Salt and Pepper.
Soy: Le Royce Hotel, Bund Garden Road.
Chow in the Calm
The next time you meet a friend for a meal in Koregaon Park, make Yogi Tree your venue. It is one of those few spots in this bustling area where you can dine in the quiet. This secluded indoor-cum-alfresco restaurant is frill-free decor wise, but its lip-smacking food attracts foreigners from the Osho Ashram. Try their Butter Crepes, Risotto, Aglio-e-Olio Pasta and Brown Bread Sandwiches. You’ll thank us later!
Yogi Tree: Lane A, Off North Main Road, Koregaon Park.
We know we have some Mahesh Lunch Home fans here, but for some hot Appams and delectable Stew, visit Coconut Grove. Spicy, some items are not for the faint-hearted. You must also sample their Malwani curries, Fish preparations and dainty Neer Dosas!
Coconut Grove: Ambedkar Bhavan, Mangalwar Peth, Camp.
Where do most Chaat-lovers in the city flock to? The chaatwala in their local neighborhood of course! Once in a while, leave your comfort zone and drive to a very busy street next to Shivaji Market in Camp to visit Jai Shankar Pani-puri Wala. Business started off four decades ago on a simple cart on the very same road; today they have a small space with seating, albeit cramped. Servers in uniforms treat guests to Pani Puri with their gloved hands. Their SPDP and Dahi Wadas are a must-try!
Jai Shankar: Babajaan Chowk, Camp.