Eating through Lonavala

Most of us from Mumbai head to Lonavala for our weekend breaks, but atleast in my experience the food in Lonavala has many times just lead to disappointments. I always look for something new and good to eat and then I see the same old McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s and Cream Center and the excitement is all out of the window. So this time I decided to try out some new and also some tried and tested places for good food in Lonavala. Here’s a little about the places I ate at.

The perfect place to have homely Maharashtrian fare in Lonavala is Shaila Phase’s Homely FoodA humble eatery with no fuss interiors serves up steaming hot Maharashtrian food from 9 am to 3 pm everyday. It’s located in a tiny lane between two huge hotels – Maharaja Inn and Hari International. There is no big board on display so keep your eyes open to locate a red gate in the tiny lane.

Shaila Phase's Homely Food, Lonavala
Shaila Phase’s Homely Food, Lonavala

Homely food has a daily menu with pretty good options for non-vegetarians and vegetarians too. Here’s what I ate..

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Dishes that are not the picture are masala vangi (brinjal), rice and delicious yellow dal. Prawns were juicy, chicken was just falling off the bone, ussal was packed with flavor and the aloo gobi..I couldn’t stop eating it!! The food is simple, low on spice and really fresh. I’d say it’s a must visit in Lonavala!!

The perfect place to grab piping hot batata vadas and samosas are these two shops near Hotel Lonavala in the main market. I can’t recollect their names but they are pretty noticeable with hot snacks being fried in huge kadais right outside the shop.

SamosasBatata vadas

Another way to spend your evening in Lonavala is by sipping on delicious cold coffee, hot chocolate or simple hot coffee from a tiny store – Pragati near the super famous Cooper’s.

Cold coffee at Pragati
Cold coffee at Pragati

And while you are there why skip the amazing chocolate walnut fudge from Cooper’s!!

Cooper's, Lonavala
Cooper’s, Lonavala

In the same lane there is National Chikki and the crushed peanut chikki they make is my favorite. I’m so not a “chikki person” but can’t resist eating this crushed peanut chikki!!

The dhabas around Lonavala have become really famous and I’m guessing that most of us are aware of the fact that Sunny’s dhaba/ Toni daa dhaba are so not “dhaba like”. Same applies to The Kinara Village dhaba which is located on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway and it’s not too far from Lonavala.

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It serves good North Indian fare. We enjoyed the succulent tandoori chicken, paneer kebabs which had a mild marinate, piping hot dal makhani, garlic naan and crisp tandoori rotis with ghazals in the background. And yes, do not forget to try the freshly made hot, crisp and not too sweet or coloured jalebis with rabdi. They were perfect for the cold night.

Our last meal in Lonavala was at a vegetarian canteen in a society behind Narayani Temple. 

Narayani Temple, Lonavala
Narayani Temple, Lonavala

It was another homely meal which was a mix of Marwari and Gujarati food. The canteen serves a fixed meal for lunch and dinner and also has a few breakfast options.

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DSC_4114Our lunch included fresh salad, mirchi pakoda, amazing garlic chutney, masala bhindi, paneer in yogurt gravy, papad, dal, rice, chaas, phulkas and puranpoli. Except for the paneer everything was great.

Also a good place for breakfast is Rama Krishna which is again in the main market and it serves pretty good idli and dosas. Sorry I don’t have a picture of the breakfast as my morning cuppa coffee was pending.

My weekend in Lonavala ended with a fully fed tummy. I’ve tried my level best to showcase the food that Lonavala has to offer which is generally sidelined by the booze flow that’s seen during the weekends. Do leave your suggestions as comments below and share your foodie experiences in Lonavala with others.

Special thanks to everyone on Twitter who gave suggestions as to where to eat in Lonavala. 🙂

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24 thoughts on “Eating through Lonavala

  1. thanks for this post… i have been to lonavla many a times but never thought it can b such interesting looking food! love such posts! just a thought .. would you like to post this in chatkhor? even otherwise.. lovely.. i remember a rava upma from lonavla.. awesome lots of onions .. can nevr forget that…

  2. great post. Nice detailing, exactly what i wanted. Will try most of the places… hope it turn out blessful…Thanks

  3. Thanks mate 🙂 your provided info turned out to be an aid in making our trip a very well spent weekend.
    Hope u make some more of these for some more parts of Maharashtra
    Cheers

  4. Excellent post! I’m always hunting down places where they sever authentic local food and ow I have a few more in my bucket list when I visit Lonavala. You have a very informative blog. Keep it up 🙂

  5. Wonderful tips for travellers..
    Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Would like to know how to locate the canteen near Narayani Temple

    1. Thanks Suraj..glad you liked the blog post!
      For the canteen just go to the lane behind Narayani Temple and you’ll see loads of bungalows. Just ask the watchmen there for the canteen with the thali/fixed meal.

  6. Thank you for the excellent post! We found this place easily and the food was awesome! We had non veg Thalis and the prawns n chicken were succelent and tasty.. Even the buttermilk was fresh and no masalas in it but like homemade..brilliant place and so cost effective too!

  7. U have not mentioned Lohana Sanatorium and Patel Sanatorium they both serve unlimited Gujarati thali. It behind HDFC training centre

  8. Can you mention the costs of dishes you tried there. Cost-effective is a relative term and the scale could be different for different people. so it would be good if you could mention the rates at Phase’s

  9. Hello! I must say the Homely Inn was a great find, thank you for sharing the information.
    I would also like to suggest that the Manshakti restaurant on the Old Mumbai Pune highway as a great snack food place. You should try it and provide your recommendation on your blog.

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