A road trip or a bus journey is all about little pleasures on the way. Be it the panoramic view or the food that you get to sample en route. Talking of food, reminds us of dhabas or eating joints along the roadside. These joints found all along the highways in the North, South, East and West were mere stopovers for truck drivers earlier. But today, they not only feed hungry travellers, but also satiate the taste palate of many, and have turned into sought-after halting points, mostly through sheer word of mouth. These dhabas across India have also been popularised by Rocky and Mayur’s show, Highway on my Plate.
Here’s a lowdown of the top 10 food joints that you should not miss while you are travelling:
10. Satara Highway Dhaba:
The Pune-Bangalore Highway (National Highway 4) has innumerable eating joints to offer its travelers. But the Satara Dhaba at Kyadigere, Maharashtra, stands out not because it is run by eunuchs, but because of the kadak chai and the unsurpassed hospitality it provides its customers. The all-vegetarian fare from North to South Indian cuisine is a big hit in the locality as well as with the passersby.
9. Manipuzha Vysali Family Restaurant:
This joint in Kottayam, Kerala, is popular for its Kerala Naadan cuisine. When you are at Manipuzha Vysali Family Restaurant, try out the crab curry cooked in the authentic Naadan style. Other must-try dishes include konju or tiger prawns, naimeen molee (seer fish) with a glass of moru or buttermilk. This place offers Chinese and continental dishes as well, but they are a strict no-no if you want to sample the local cuisine here.
8. Hotel Kamat Lokaruchi:
Hotel Kamat dots the entire Bangalore-Mysore Highway. If you want to enjoy a piping hot dosa or want to try kadubu, cylindrical idli wrapped in coconut leaves at one of the Kamat restaurants, you will not be disappointed. Popular as a breakfast joint, this place also serves good lunch and dinner items. Try out the North Karnataka meal here.
7. Samaroh En Dees Dhaba:
Situated on the National Highway 37 A (en route to Tezpur in Assam) among the lush green paddy fields is the Samaroh En Dees Dhaba. From its roasted fish to pigeon curry, the menu has over 150 items. Try out the duck curry with the joha rice (a variety of rice found in Assam, which is equivalent to the basmati rice). If you want to sample Assamese cuisine, you will get the taste of the state at this joint.
6. Ummiya Annapurna Kathiyawad:
On National Highway 8 lies the popular Hotel Ummiya Annapurna Kathiyawad in Anand, Gujarat. If you are not fond of the sweet Gujarati cuisine, then this is the place where you can tickle your taste bud with the spicy sev tamatar, lassan aloo or besan gatta. Try them out with some bhakris (a type of roti). You can enjoy these dishes with a dash of jaggery and ghee.
5. Sharma Dhaba:
Sharma Dhaba on National Highway 11 (Jaipur-Sikar route), serves all vegetarian delectable Rajasthani fare. Mawa naan, paneer butter masala, dal tadka, malai matar and dal makhani offered here will make you want to go back time and again. The place may be small, but the food served here will not disappoint you.
4. Puran Singh Da Dhaba:
Another eatery along National Highway 1 in Ambala Cantt, Haryana, is the Puran Singh Da Dhaba. If you are in a mood to try out some lip-smacking mutton or chicken curry, stopping over at this joint will be worth your money. Keema kaleji with tandoori roti are some of the popular dishes. For vegetarians, kadhi chawal, sukhi dal and palak paneer are some of the best options. Don’t go by the ambience if you are here or else you will miss out on the good food.
3. Azad Hind Dhaba:
Azad Hind Dhaba on National Highway 6 (Kolkata-Mumbai route) serves the best tandoori chicken that I have ever had. A personal favourite, from office goers to tired travelers you will find them all here, as it is open 24×7. The dal makhani and chiken tikka masala are also must try at this joint.
2. Sukhdev Vaishnoo Dhaba:
Located on National Highway 1 (Delhi-Amritsar route), Sukhdev Dhaba in Murthal, Haryana, is a favourite jaunt among the travelers for its delectable cuisine from North to South Indian and Chinese to continental. If you are visiting this 54-year-old joint, try out the alu paratha served with white butter and curd. The Amritsari kulcha is also a must-taste. You will be disappointed if you are looking out for non-vegetarian items in the menu.
1. Chilika Dhaba:
For the seafood aficionados, this place is a must-visit if you are travelling along the National Highway 5. The eatery, located very close to the Chilka Lake in Barkul, Odisha, offers the most lip-smacking prawn and crab dishes. The paneer preparations for vegetarians are a must try. This place has earned a name for itself as Rocky of Highway on my Plate fame considers it to be his favourite eating joint.
So, next time you take on the wheels through the winding highways, be sure to stop by, relax, and enjoy the food served at these roadside eateries.