Renowned for its rich and spicy cuisine, the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh offers diners an array of not only native flavors, but international tastes too. From beachside dining in Visakhapatnam to gourmet meals in Vijayawada, here’s our guide to the best of Andhra Pradesh’s dining scene.
Flying Spaghetti Monster is often cited as the best Italian restaurant in the city. A stylish, understated interior welcomes guests and the menu features dishes made from top grade Italian and European ingredients. You’ll find refreshing, light appetizers like antipasto del maiale – fresh mozzarella wrapped in smoked bacon and topped with spicy tabasco sauce – and hearty, rustic mains like panna e pesci (fresh fish in a creamy mushroom sauce served with fresh Italian bread). Classic pizzas, risottos and pasta dishes are also available.
Based at Visakhapatnam’s Gateway Hotel, Ming Garden brings the authentic, fiery tastes of China’s Szechwan province to Andhra Pradesh diners. Many previous diners at Ming Garden have hailed the restaurant as the best place to sample genuine Chinese food. The menu boasts impressive dishes such as lobster with mushroom and bamboo shoots in a chili oyster sauce; and gansu yong yook (tender lamb in a soya sauce with onions and capsicum). A good range of Thai dishes is also served. Ming Garden’s dining room – a chic space decorated with Eastern inspired artworks and live music – is brimming with Oriental culture.
Bamboo Bay is one of three restaurants located at The Park Hotel on Visakhapatnam’s scenic Beach Road. Situated right on the beach, Bamboo Bay’s enviable location is perfect for enjoying spectacular sunsets and picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal. Its tribal chic motif and candlelit ambiance go well with its menu of spice-laden Indian specialty dishes. Relax in Bamboo Bay’s gorgeous dining room or on its beachside patio while sampling delicious, authentic dishes like Kerala-style prawn curry, appam, biryani and tandoori prawns.
Sweet Magic is part sweet shop and part restaurant specializing in biryani, thali and other authentic Indian dishes. It’s the perfect destination for diners looking for a tasty meal while indulging a sweet tooth. Standout menu items include malai paneer vegetable biryani, butter roti, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka. Sweet Magic’s many sweet treats include kajjikayalu – sweet, crispy dough filled with dry coconut, sugar and cardamom powder – and the popular Bengali dessert rasagulla.
Located a short distance from the Chitravati River, Hanuman’s Hillrock Cafe and Restaurant is a chic, tranquil venue offering guests healthy European fare and a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Puttaparthi. Guests can begin their meal with a light starter like the carrot and orange soup or the spinach, blue cheese, walnut and poached pear salad before trying an entrée such as grilled polenta with mushroom sauce or the Hanuman’s Special: pizza topped with mozzarella, tomato, mushroom, olives, pineapple and onion. A Sunday brunch menu featuring items like croissants and fruit platters is also offered.
Perched on the top floor of Visakhapatnam’s upscale Hotel Novotel on Varun Beach is Infinity – a classy, modern rooftop restaurant. Somewhere between a lounge bar and upscale gastropub, Infinity specializes in grilled dishes and sizzlers presented piping hot on iron plates and complemented by a range of cocktails and other drinks. Guests can dine inside Infinity’s stylish dining room with its dramatic sea-facing windows, or take a seat on its balcony and enjoy al fresco dining under the stars.
A food court situated on a busy highway just outside of the city of Suryapet may not be a discerning diner’s first choice for first-rate fare. However, Highway Food Court 7 – a hip, highway eatery offering healthy and flavorsome Indian cuisine – is set to challenge assumptions about roadside dining. A stylish, minimalist dining room accented by vibrant splashes of orange beckons diners. Highway Food Court 7’s extensive menu features many small South Indian snacks like dosa and pesarattu for diners looking for a quick refill on their journey, alongside larger plates such as mutton dum biryani and paneer butter masala.
Offering gourmet dining in the heart of Vijayawada, Aromas is based within the Quality Hotel DV Manor and specializes in delicious Oriental and Punjabi dishes. Aromas has a smart and chic design full of colonial-inspired charm and beautiful wooden floors and furnishings. The menu features dishes like spicy Xinjiang lamb with peppers; hearty Mongolian chicken hot pot; and succulent Mughlai-style kebabs. Aromas’ signature dish, the ulava charu biryani, comes highly recommended.
Cafe, Restaurant, Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Indian
Sevendays Cafe and Restaurant offers a cafe, restaurant, banquet halls and a hotel. The menu includes savory items like pizzas, burgers and kebabs alongside sweet treats. The cafe is an ideal place for casual daytime dining or a quick snack, while the restaurant offers a veritable feast of richly flavored, delicious dishes that encompass the delicious cuisines of South India, North India, China and Mughlai.
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Rasoie is one of the most raved about restaurants in Vijayawada and offers guests an extensive menu based on the flavors of Hyderabadi and Mughlai-style cuisine. Located on the busy M.G. Road, Rasoie’s interior is a stylish affair with grey stone walls and understated, earthy colored furnishings complemented by bright splashes of colorful floral arrangements. Guests will be spoiled for choice with the restaurant’s many dishes: try the Andhra-style fish masala curry or whole tandoori chicken. There are also vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali, a meal made up of a selection of various small dishes.