In the season
While we are known as the ‘Oxford of the East’, we Punekars think we are one of the top contenders for being called the ‘Foodie Capital of India’. The sheer amount of ‘eating-out’ in the city will put even the big-time eaters – the Americans, to shame. We list five of the seasoned or old-time restaurants which still rule our stomachs.
Shop No 29, Graficon Arcade, Opposite Jahangir Hospital, Next To Black Cadillac, Sasoon Road
Reasonably cheap Chinese food does exist in proper fine dining places. Go to Ahling’s for it. Price is seriously cheap as compared to many known places. And the range of food items (as authentic as possible) will have you salivating for more. The earlier outlet at the same place was a small hole but thanks to the huge influx of Punekars who loved their food, they have renovated the place to accommodate more customers. The best part of this though, is that the taste and prices are just the same.
759/75, Goodluck Chowk, Deccan Gymkhana
Aren’t you glad that some things do not change? Goodluck Cafe is amongst the few where at least three generation of one family must have gone to eat, once in their lifetime. This quaint cafe serves one of the best Irani style food, ranging from the simple kheema pav, egg varieties to proper food like biryani. By now, the place has become a landmark for Parsi-Irani cuisine. By the way, we forgot to mention their lip-smacking caramel pudding, bread pudding and fruit funny. Also, their bun-maska-chai is one of the best in Pune, and you could even try their bun omlette if you’re looking for a quick bite.
Survey No 1218/1, Fergusson College Road
Talking about a place like Vaishali is like trying to talk about Mickey Mouse to say…anyone. Another landmark eatery serving authentic Udipi food, it is always a struggle to find a seat at any time of day, there is always a waiting. Despite the price hike, you are addicted to the dosas, idlis, sambar, SPDP, chats and so on. Their filter coffee still has no competition. Like Goodluck, this eatery has seen generations coming to dig into their favourite South Indian food.
Bakthiar Plaza, 6, M G Road
People and governments change but Marz-O-Rin is one of those rare things that has stayed the same for decades. The taste of all their products have been retained despite the changing environment on the now extremely crowded street outside. Their sandwiches, rolls, burgers, fruit drinks, milkshakes and ice-creams has the same simple taste to it as long as one can remember. The best part is that you can find the range from baked to grilled to whole-wheat. Affordable, reliable and lip-smacking tasty are words most would connect with their food.
1242 B, Apte Road, Deccan Gymkhana
A true Puneri might take offence to find no Maharashtrian food being part of the list, and thus Shreyas comes at No 5. Eat a scrumptious Maharashtrian vegetarian thali here and you’ll be reminded of “aaichhya hatacha khana”. On festive occasions, you can find special thalis on their list. Right from the koshimbir to the amtis, bhajis to sweet dishes like amrakhand and shrikhand, the taste has families coming here in hordes. On weekends, it is packed with people decked up as if attending a wedding. Simplicity is the keyword here. This is the place to be if you want to experience the ‘taste of Marathi khaana’ in Pune.
Photo Credit: Sapna Sarfare, Wikipedia, tripadvisor.com, pune.burrp.com