Hyderabad is quite well-known for its rich, eclectic culture. We visited Hyderabad a few weeks back, and here is what we uncovered in terms of sight-seeing and food-binging. We know what you’re thinking – what does Hyderabad, a place with one of the largest non-vegetarian populations in all of India, have to offer us vegetarians? A lot, actually, a lot.
After checking into the awful Fabhotel V (the only thing going for this hotel was its excellent location in Banjara Hills), the first thing that occurred to us was the obvious – let’s have some biryani! We heard a lot about Paradise being overrated, and opted for the highly recommended Bawarchi at RTC. We ordered veg biryani, raita and khubani ka meetha. After all the hype surrounding Hyderabadi biryani, we realised the veggie biryani here wasn’t much too different from the biryani in Mumbai. Khubani ka meetha was interesting, though – the amount of sugar it contained woke us up and boosted our energy to such an extreme level that we were able to venture out to Qutub Shahi Tombs and Golconda Fort.
After an average food experience at Bawarchi, we were absolutely blown away by the delicious flavor at Chutney’s, a chain you’ll see throughout Hyderabad. The ghee karam dosa was absolutely divine. In fact, we have not had better dosa anywhere else. The epic variety of chutneys was also a dream come true. The utappam sampler was also decent, with four options. Avoid their mango lassi and opt for some good ol’ filter coffee.
After exploring Old Hyderabad’s gems, including Charminar, Makkah Masjid and Choodi Bazar, while binging on kacchi kairi, we decided to try out Andhra cuisine at Vivaha Bhojanambu – the staff was pretty unprofessional, although the owner was extremely courteous. After a 45 minute wait, we were a bit disappointed with the simplistic, generic veggie thaali. The pudina paneer vepudu and rose milkshake (which the owner recommended), were quite nice, however, compared to the thaali.
Our next stop was Conçu for some dessert. We heard tons of good things about this place – well, it lived up to all the praise. The desserts were absolutely heavenly and even the peach melba iced tea was fresh and flavorful. The ambience of this place was beautiful, and the staff was upbeat and informative. After a quick siesta, we took a ferry toward the Buddha Statue from Lumbini Park and later stayed for the laser-light show.
We had dinner, over a food review, at The Gallery Cafe, one of the very few venues in Hyderabad which is dedicated to giving budding artists a platform to showcase their talent. We tried out their hummus-pita, strawberry slush ice cream, sandwich, spaghetti, mushroom dish, pizza with mushrooms, churros, hot chocolate out of which the spaghetti and sandwiches were our favourite and the hot chocolate with marshmallows made our day. You can find a detailed review of The Gallery Cafe right here.
After a very average experience at Ramoji’s, which was quite sad compared to Imagica and even Essel World, for that matter, not to even get to Universal Studios and Disney Land and Six Flags, and let’s not even get into the sad food options there and majority of the food counters being empty, night-time was much more happening food-wise, when we decided to try out two dosa places.
The pizza dosa was quite nice at Ram’s Dosa, though not as great as the Mithibai version of the same, and the Erra Karam Dosa at House of Dosa was delightful, though we felt neither place was as extraordinary as everyone made it out to be and we couldn’t understand why people preferred these places over Chutneys. The fruit ice creams were okayish and a bit costly. Someone at House of Dosa recommended that we check the street food at DLF, and the cheese maggie was quite nice, though it wasn’t a special place to venture out to, quite frankly.
If you end up visiting Hyderabad, do comment below to let us know where all you ventured out to and what all you ate. And, if you know someone who is about to visit Hyderabad, go ahead and share this guide with them!