You haven’t tasted a region’s cuisine until you have sampled its street food. This holds true for Pune, the seventh largest metropolis in India and the country’s first high-tech city. The street food culture of Delhi has fast spread to different parts of the country, and Pune isn’t far behind. Spicy lipsmacking street food can be found everywhere, when vendors and street food stalls appear as the sun sets. There are high-end restaurants all right, but to get a real feel of the city you must taste the tempting dishes at the small eateries by the roadside.
JJ Garden Vada Pav
There’s always been a strong debate over whose vada pav is better: Mumbai or Pune? Those who have enjoyed vada pav at JJ Garden Vada Pav will claim it’s not only the best vada pav in the city but also in the whole of Maharashtra. Situated on MG Road, this sought-after place is a hit with vada pav lovers, particularly because you get piping hot varieties of the dish here such as masala vada pav, cheese vada pav, and Mumbai vada pav.
If you want to taste the best keema pav in Pune, head to Goodluck Cafe. One of the busiest and oldest eateries in the city, it is located close to the Film Institute and has been frequented by stars like Dev Anand in the past. Goodluck Cafe opens at 7 in the morning and gets hundreds of customers a day. Generations of people have been eating at the cafe for years, and the popularity shows no signs of dwindling.
If you see an overcrowded joint on Fergusson College (FC) Road it’ll be Vaishali, the Sev Puri Dahi Puri center, colloquially known as the SPDP center among the locals. For some of the best street food in Pune, Vaishali is a must visit. The Pav Bhajis are top notch, so are the Sabudana Vadas (especially because they come with the delicious coconut chutney). Another lipsmacking dish are the buttery, aromatic dosas. It’s no wonder that people from all over the city come to Vaishali for some finger-licking, drool-worthy street food.
Make no mistake, this isn’t the American food joint, but an equally popular local eatery on MG Road. This pocket-friendly place is a huge favorite with everyone, and people from all over the city flock to Burger King for a taste of the lip-smacking food. Some of the dishes worth mentioning are the salami sandwich, made of sausage and a generous egg bhurji, a filling and wholesome dish; beef burger, with a delicious blend of cheese, meat patty, soft bun and an abundance of mayonnaise. Clean and hygienic, this place makes some of the best street food in the whole of Pune.
What’s a mastani? It’s a seriously wholesome and delicious blend of milk and ice-cream with a satisfying amount of dry fruits and kesar. A lot like kulfi, the Pune special mastani at Sujata Mastani can be tried with the different flavors including cherry, nuts, chocolate, whipped cream, Kesar and many more. The speciality of this drink is that just one glass makes you feel so full, you don’t feel hungry anymore. This place opened over 50 years, and now has branches in various parts of the city. If you visit Pune, find the closest to you and definitely try this mind-blowing drink.
This Iranian café on Sassoon Road makes the best breakfast ever – fried eggs, cheese omelets or spicy egg bhurji, scrumptious malai plate served with in-house buns, and the special morning tea. Since this place serves mostly breakfast items, you need to be a morning person in order to soak in the ambience. The food is best enjoyed after an early morning walk, when there’s a nip in the air.
If you have a sweet tooth and want to take back some amazing cakes for home, definitely head to Kayani Bakery, probably the most famous bakery in Pune. From the shrew berry biscuits to the mawa cake, there’s so many lip smacking desserts to pick up from this iconic place.