Harnoor Channi-Tiwary lists out the places to visit and eat while in Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad has seen a phenomenal transformation in the last few years.
Huge malls, flyovers, a new manmade lake and so much more. But the infrastructure having changed, there is one thing that hasn't changed in Ahmedabad.
Every Amdavadi remains a hardcore foodie.
They love their food, whatever the cuisine, street food or fine dining, with friends or family - you cannot separate an Amdavadi from his love for food.
As an ode to the Amdavadi Foodie, here are the top places to eat in the city as recommended by locals.
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do not forget to check them out!!
Ambika Daal Vada
If you do not know what you're looking for, you will probably miss this tiny hole-in-the-wall located near LD Arts College in Navrangpura. That would be a fatal mistake. The Daal Vadas dished out here are perfect in any weather but the monsoons just beg them to be tasted. Served with fried green chillies and chutney, you can enjoy a plate right there and then or else pack up the batter to make some at home.
Rasranjan, Havmor and Honest
These two are to Ahmedabad what Haldiram and Bikanerwala are to Delhi. Quick, hygienic and yummy Indian fastfood. Nisha Karia who grew up in Ahmedabad and recently returned to the city from London recommends "The Chole puri from Havmor (originally just known for their ice creams), Chaat at Rasranjan and the Pav Bhaaji at Honest are not to be missed!"
Cafe Upper Crust
If you need your Italian fix, head straight to Upper Crust at Vijay Char Rasta. Their menu food quality has remained the same for more than 12 years. Kanika Mittal Grover reminisces about her days in Ahmedabad when she was pursuing her MBA there, "You may want to try the value for money Sizzlers they serve or dig into the cheesy and creamy Pasta Alfredo with Mushrooms. And leave some space for their bakery items (the brownies are must-haves)".
The campus roundup
NID, IIM, CEPT and MICA have made Ahmedabad a sought-after destination for students. Each of these institutes has a must-visit foodie joint nearby. Go back in time to your college days and sip on chai at Rambhai ni chai near IIM. If you don't mind the drive, head to RK Egg Centre near NID for their omelettes.
All those who rave about Chowkidhani, move aside. Vaishala is where you should go. A lovely outdoor area recreating a Gujarati village with huts, shops, live performances...and yes the never-ending lipsmacking vegetarian food. Or if you want a unique experience, Saumya Bhatt suggests you try out Agashiye at the House of MG across the river. This terrace restaurant also serves unlimited fixed vegetarian meals.
This lane at Teen Darwaza in the old city is renowned for its non-vegetarian street food. If you dig Tandoori Chicken or kebabs then this is the place to go to. And while you are in the vicinity, you may want to try the Mutton Samosas and Hara Kebabs at Khanpur.
This name features in this list against my better judgement. It is a secret among the student crowd and runs the risk of being 'found out'. La Bella, off Nehru Bridge is run by an old Goan lady that students fondly refer to as Aunty. Aunty serves what probably is the yummiest and cheapest non-vegetarian food in the city! Just 3-4 dishes cooked everyday and one can choose between them with a plate of rice on the side. The 'extravagant' bill for two very hungry people is unlikely to cross Rs 150. Must-tries include mutton, chicken, fish... basically anything Aunty serves you.
Tomatoes and Mirch Masala
With one serving continental food and the other serving Indian food, it may seem strange to see these two clubbed together. However, what they have in common is great food. A bit pricey for the student community, Tomatoes is known for its selection of non-vegetarian platters while Mirch Masala is a great place for those looking for North-Indian style Butter Chicken.
Situated at Vijay Charrasta, RK doles out Vadapavs every minute. Hot vadas, a dash of spicy chutney and soft pavs, this is the perfect snack on-the-go!
Dairy Den CTF (Chills, Frills and Thrills)
Located at Municipal Market on CG road, this is the place to go to if you have a sweet tooth. Their range of ice-creams are as popular as their shakes and sundaes.
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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary is the founder of Journey My Way, a personalised travel advisory firm journeymyway.com
Photograph: Rohan Tiwary