13 best local meals of urban India


It is not uncommon to know about Bademiya in Mumbai, but how many of you know about a dosa-idli stall open till 4 in the morning at Dadar T.T. (which gets its occasional foreign visitors too)? In this photo blog, we serve you some authentic dishes cooked up at places that probably wouldn’t come to mind when you think of eating out in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Srinagar, Lucknow, Goa, Kolhapur, and Calicut.


#1 Guru da Dhaba, Mumbai

Tucked away in Mumbai’s Lokhandwala, this place serves typical home cooked Punjabi food. The food is so good that there is a line of customers waiting even before the place opens, and after you are done eating, you are left wanting for more. Contrary to popular belief, Punjabis are traditionally vegetarians.


#2 Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

The owner of this place in Gujarat has named a food item after his father’s remarks. When his father used to eat the pattice filled with potatoes, he would exclaim out loud in a typical Parsi dialect, “arey dikra I am damn full!” Hence, the dish is called ‘Damfull’. This place is also unconventional for its twist on milk, ‘Dudh Puff’, which is kept overnight to create a puff. This puff is added to the milk in which brandy and rum are ingredients.


#3 Fish Curry Rice, Pune

Even without the sea by its side, thanks to the dominant Maharashtrian folks, Pune does a fabulous job on the coastal food front. The Crab Thali and the Fish Thali at Fish Curry Rice are testaments to this.


#4 Mughal Darbar, Srinagar

With choices of meatballs served in red gravy and in yoghurt, Seekh Kebabs, Tabakh Maaz, and Yakh’n, among others in the Wazwan cuisine of Kashmir, don’t miss out on Mughal Darbar where Wazwan cuisine truly brings heaven down on earth.


#5 Fateh Kadal, Srinagar

Winters in Srinagar see the quick and efficient serving of harissa by the harissa wale. One such harissa wala serves harissa from his house in Fateh Kadal, Srinagar. The hot oil being poured on the harissa is a performance in itself.


#6 Bhojohori Manna, Kolkata

Who knew dal could be the star of this place? Luchi eaten with cholar dal is quite a hit at this place and in Kolkata in general. While Mumbai is known for its spicy food, Kolkata has the art of flavoured spicy food. Look out for the other authentic Bengali dishes when in Bhojohori Manna.


#7 Jain Temple Lane, Chandni Chowk, Delhi

A pre-breakfast for the food lovers before indulging into the parathas and chhole bhature! Sprinkled pepper on buttered bread complemented with mattha is a must try in Delhi. The mattha’s taste sits very well with tried and tested bread butter.

#8 Ashok & Ashok Meat Shop, Sadar Bazar, Delhi

The chicken korma here is served on a sigdi. The logic behind this is that during the winters in Delhi, the ghee in the korma won’t freeze after served because of the coal burning underneath. This works for other seasons as well because no one complains about hot food.


#9 Mubeens, Lucknow

The favoured destination for a flavoured breakfast in Lucknow. The nalli nahari with the sheermal and the naan is a perfect start for your palate. Here, you don’t just have to while away your time till food arrives. You can see the process unfolding in front of your eyes.


#10 Martin’s Corner, Goa

Goa is non-fussy, and so is the food. Sanas (they may look like it, but they are not a well-fed version of idlis) can be eaten with anything and everything. Tisrya clams and prawn curry is somewhere to start from. For the food lovers who especially love Goan food, a trip to Goa is incomplete without Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim.



#11 Hotel Opal, Kolhapur

Strike a balance between flavour and fear in this place. Keep the tissues in handy at Hotel Opal, one of the best non-veg restaurants in Maharashtra. The pandhra rassa is a show-stealer here. Sukha mutton, tambda rassa, and chicken kolhapuri are some of the other reasons to stop by this place in Kolhapur.


#12 Hotel Paragon Restaurant, Calicut

When in Nepal, Tibetan bread doesn’t leave your side till the end. Same way, when in Calicut, Malabari paratha is always by your side. It can be eaten with just about anything. Even by itself. Then there is appam. It is made of rice flower and is delicious here. Don’t miss the beef chilly.


#13 Zain’s Hotel, Calicut

The mutton stew (pronounced ‘isstu’ in Calicut) is highly recommended. Pair it up with malabari parathas or with rice chappatis (not bhaakri, which is quite thick).


There is always a consequence to discovering new things. When it comes to food, discovery leads to memories. Memories of the place and memories of the tastes, of the flavours, of the moment. The moment when your palate meets what it was meant to relish. The spicy, the sweet, the sour. Go on there and make some memories for yourself. We just helped you get there halfway.


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