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 Food. A 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.
Homely food has a daily menu with pretty good options for non-vegetarians and vegetarians too. Here’s what I ate..
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.
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.
And while you are there why skip the amazing chocolate walnut fudge from Cooper’s!!
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.
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.
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.
Our 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. 🙂