Long weekends mean long drives and what better destination than an easy-on-the-pocket and rich-on-taste highway dhaba? We did some digging to find out where you can go for some lip-smacking grub within a couple hours’ drive from major cities in India.
Be aware though, that dhabas these days are no longer the humble eateries they used to be. Still, it beats making a reservation to dine at a five-star restaurant when you’re in the mood for something more earthy and accessible.
You don’t even have to leave the borders of New Delhi to make it to this dhaba. The ambience is no-frills but the dhaba serves and delivers superb tandoori chicken, shahi paneer and kheema kaleji. Be prepared for large quantities and soft and tender meat when you come here!
Address: Shop 29-30, Opposite Metro Pillar 427, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi
Pahalwan Veg Dhaba
This one’s a must-visit for all you vegetarians out there. A dhaba sans chicken might seem like a misnomer but this dhaba on NH 1 prides itself on its vegetarian parathas and Punjabi delicacies like rajma chawal, kadhi chawal, Amritsari khulcha and chatte ki lassi.
This dhaba on the Delhi-Chandigarh has earned cult status after years of impressing customers with a variety of parathas topped with huge blobs of white butter. Loyalists say it has become more commercialised now but we still think it’s worth a visit.
Address: 52. 250 Km. Stone, G.T. Road, Murthal, Haryana
The Kinara Village Dhaba
If you live in Mumbai or Pune, you should definitely visit this upscale dhaba in Lonavala, known for its ambience that is reminiscent of a village. The dhaba serves scrumptious Punjabi food and classics include khulcha, butter chicken, paneer makhani and sweet lassi.
Address: Vaksai Naka, near Lonavala, Pune
Sunny da Dhaba
If you’ve been to Kinara one too many times, why not pay a visit to the nearby Sunny da Dhaba? The seating and décor are dhaba-style but sadly, the prices are not! But the mouth-watering chicken handi, rumali roti, dal makhani and mango lassi make it worth it.
Address: Mundhavara Phata, Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, Pune
Gyani Da Punjab
Ask a Punjabi in Bangalore where they love to eat and chances are, Gyani Da Punjab would be the response. Right from the ambiance to the flavourful egg parathas, murgh makhani and dal makhani, everything here is a throwback to authentic Punjabi highway dhabas.
Have you been wondering if there’s a dhaba where you can enjoy a Patiala peg with your Punjabi meal? Look no further than 9th Mile Dhaba, known for its excellent lunch buffet and choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Also try their halwa and vegetable biryani.
Address: Royal Orchid Resort, Bellary Road, Yelahanka New Town, Yelahanka, Bangalore
When the denizens of Kolkata want a change from Bengali food, they head to Hindusthan Dhaba on Theatre Road. The outlet promises to captivate your taste buds with great kebabs and biryanis, sweet and creamy Chicken Banjara and an interesting masala coke mocktail.
Chicken is the star of this low-cost eatery in Ballygunge. Have a chicken feast of sorts with their chicken dopiyaaza, chicken bharta, tandoori chicken and butter chicken. It’s the perfect place to head to, when you’re hungry after a round of post-work drinks as it stays open until late.
Did you think dhabas wouldn’t have made inroads this far down south? Think again. Tucked away near a supermarket, this dhaba doesn’t boast of fancy service or ambiance. But you can rely on their rara chicken, fluffy rotis, dal tadka, kheer and parathas to liven up your mood.
Address: 60, 2nd Floor, Pantheon Road, Opposite Egmore Museum