By Aditi Datta

Oh hey, Sohna Road! The distant cousin of Golf Course Road, who has only grown closer through time. Not physically, of course, but what once seemed like a faraway relative that you had to visit once in a while has indeed come into its own. We used to only drop by when we were younger and en route elsewhere. But in the last few years, the gap has been bridged and we’ve found that we actually have a lot more in common than we knew. Some of it might have to do with good old ‘cousinly’ adulation – whatever Golf Course Road did 5 years ago, Sohna Road went out and got itself the same. Now that that awkward age has passed, Sohna Road has outgrown some characteristic traits we knew it by {like Moets} and has its own slew of independent restaurants, cafes and microbreweries which make the rest of Gurgaon wonder what this little youngster knows, who seems to know all the cool things in town.

Like the most popular reason for family bonding, we’ll start with food and drink. Here’s our handy guide on where to go and what to do, if you’re looking for Sohna.

Things you need to know:

  1. Traffic is brutal. Bombay-style. Especially during office hours.
  2. Most restaurants and bars are located inside malls. Yes, we know. But that’s how Gurgaon started with MG Road, and look how that’s turned out!

NOTES ON ORIENTATION: We’ll start at the base of Sohna Road, where Uniworld Towers is located. This is the road you hit at a perpendicular when you go straight down from HUDA City Centre, leaving Vivanta by Taj behind on your left. We end at the point where Sohna Road intersects Golf Course Road extension.

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Pizza Vito

ILD Trade Centre 

Brewer Street | If you’d like to break away from the lager and ale, and move towards the sour or stout, you’d like Brewer Street for its love of beer that might just match yours as well as for the ample outdoor space. Psst… Ladies Night on Thursdays and Starters +Unlimited Beer on Tuesdays means our week’s plans are filling up quicker than a pint in a pint glass.

Contact: +91-124-438-2222

For more information: Click here

Dana Choga’s Kitchen | For days when you want standard North Indian staples which ‘eating out’ meant when you were a kid, this is it. Ideal for a quick stop, takeaway or delivery, stick to classics like Yellow Dal, Punjabi Chicken Curry and/or Damdaar Aloo.

Contact: +91-124-6622333 / +91-9213848484

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Pizza Vito | In a land where New York style thin-crust wood-oven-fired NASA-returned pizza is all the rage, it’s tough to defend an establishment that serves Paneer Tikka pizza. Yet, we’re really really liked their Mulberry Street {with mozzarella, spinach, feta and garlic}, their Hudson River {with bell peppers, ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes} and all of the pepperoni pizzas.

Contact: +91-124-4027111

For more information: Click here

Bikanervala | You know, because there’s just that kind of day sometimes. Hygienic and consistent aren’t top of our list when it comes to chaat, but hey, it never hurts!

Contact: +91-124-4687777

For more information: Click here

Raheja Mall

Torgauer Brewpub | We’ve been pleasantly surprised with this microbrewery’s standards of beer before – all masterminded by a fine gentlemen from Germany, who we’re sure takes his brew as seriously as we’d like him to. Their global menu covers pretty much all corners of the world. Nachos, again? Alright!

Contact: +91-8826894448 / +91-8826894460

For more information: Click here

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Sagar Ratna

Galleria Mall

Sagar Ratna | The lone ranger in a mall that looks and feels nothing like its Phase IV namesake, Sagar Ratna can really and truly hold its own. The champion of idli, dosa, uthapam and vada is a gem that we’re happy to see this side of town.

Contact: +91-124-4301400 / 01

For more information: Click here

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The Cupcake Factory

Ninex City Mart Mall

The Cupcake Factory | We don’t really care if cronuts are the new cupcakes, but as far as we’re concerned, tiny cakes with their own share of icing can never go out of style. This bakery does the usual as well as the celebrity cupcake, like Nutty Nutella, Pumpkin Spice and generally speaking, all thins nice.

Contact: +91-9910877955 / +91-9910877355

For more information: Click here

Flavours of Arabia | We’re not sure when our conversion to Hummus started, but if you say ‘yes please’ to chickpeas, then this is where you go for a ready bowl as well as its famous accompaniments like Falafel and the promising sounding Leg of Lamb, Arabian style.

Contact: +91-9999500301 / +91-124-4088115

For more information: Click here

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The Oriental Pavilion

Fortune Select Excalibur

Zodiac | This is what you’d expect from an all-day café at a hotel – a Cajun Grilled Salmon that’s only a page away from a Wild Mushroom & Sage Butter Risotto or a Thai red Curry. And a club sandwich, of course.

Contact: +91-124-3988444 / +91-9818600786

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Earthen Oven | If all the world’s too open a stage, you might want to narrow down to specialty cuisine. Earthen Oven does solid Mughlai, spearheaded by menu titles such as Shahi Handi Se, Tandoori Hamsafar and Basmati Khazana. That’s all anyone needs to know.

Contact: +91-9818600786 / +91-8527294400

For more information: Click here

The Oriental Pavilion | Or go the other type of Asian, with this restaurant’s selection of Chinese, Japanese and Thai favourites. We’ve heard only good things about the Roast Duck, although we can’t stop thinking we should go for the Pla Rad Prik, otherwise known as crispy fish with a so spicy, so tangy Thai sauce!

Contact: +91-9818600786 / +91-8527294400

For more information: Click here

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Pabrai’s Fresh & Naturelle Ice-Cream

The Sapphire Mall

Bohemia | You don’t really expect this sort of ambling terrace on the outside and whitewashed walls on the inside when you’re in a mall. But Bohemia has always been a bit, well, Bohemian. Even though it covers different countries and continents when it comes to cuisine, what it does best is its classic European fare.

Contact: +91-124-4378999

For more information: Click here

Andhra Biryani House | Yay for people who acknowledge that not all biryanis are equal, and sometimes, only an Andhra one will do! We’re pretty excited about the Nellore Chepala Pulusu {fish stew in tamarind juice} and will gladly rush through it to get to Mirchi Bhaji and Filter Coffee.

Contact: +91-9650508883

For more information: Click here

Rasnabakes | Oh no no, this isn’t the type of Rasna for which you forced yourself to grow up, so you wouldn’t have to have any more at classmates’ parties. Full of tea time cakes, cupcakes and fillings like Vanilla Buttercream and Strawberry Mousse, we’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I love you, Rasnabakes!’

Contact: +91-9999900901

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Chef’s Kitchen | Best for takeaway, we’re given to believe that there’s a busy man behind the stove who’d rather whip up quick dishes than have diners linger. The menu features kababs, biryanis, handi curries and the like, but come from the hands of a chef, not a cook. Because there’s a fine difference.

Contact: +91-9958311333 / +91-9958399333

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Pabrai’s Fresh & Naturelle Ice-Cream | Hello, friend from CP! The lovingly churned ice-cream retains a home-made feel but flirts with flavours of all shades of exoticism, like Black Sesame, Lemon Grass, Strawberry Balsamic and closer to home, Paan, Masala Tea, Kesari Rabari Malai and their rather famous, Nalen Gur.

Contact: +91-124-4087272 / +91-7042129933

For more information: Click here

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Caffe Madhouse

Vatika Business Park

Open Tap | You might remember this friendly neighbourhood microbrewery from its days of screening the FIFA World Cup matches live. We remember it for its perfectly pleasant in-house brewed beer, as well as Roomali Roti Rolls, Chilly Prawns, Pita Crisps with Mediterranean Garlic Dips and of course, Butter Popcorn.

Contact: +91-8800669652

For more information: Click here

Coriander Leaf | Say no more – this restaurant alone makes us love Sohna Road. Have we ever been disappointed with their Haleem? Never. Nalli Nihari? Never. Sheermal? Never ever.

Contact: +9108470040140

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Doughlicious | Grab a spot by the generous French doors overlooking the green part of the building, and pay some serious attention to what you’d like from among the tarts, tea cakes, donuts and pastries. Decisions must be made.

Contact: +91-124-4245502

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Caffe Madhouse | Not that we’re ones to forgive misspellings in nomenclature, but we got to love the Mad comic book covers dotted around the place. The assortment of the menu, from Indian curries to sizzlers to grilled meat to pizzas to burgers and even a Raw Papaya Salad in between might be what makes it all so mad. But with something for everybody, nobody’s complaining.

Contact: +91-9650019141 / +91-9650019241

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Pino’s Bistro & Bar | If the name’s anything to hang your hat on, it sounds suitably Italian bistro-like and the menu lives up to the name. Pastas and pizzas as you’d expect, as well as unexpected flavours like Chipotle Lime Chicken Skewers and Shrimps Diavola Chilli & Garlic.

Contact: +91-124-4207833 / +91-124-4206833

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The Nook | This one’s new, so expect us to say something else in the near future! But for now, from what we’ve heard, it’s mixed cuisine formal dining and covers Continental, oriental and Indian. What’s best? The jury’s still out.

Contact: +91-124-4253111 / +91-7042323115 / 16

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The Spice Room | The set lunches and dinners have won working folk on Sohna Road over not just for the prices, {and no, not just for the spices}, but for the fact that the meal combinations are comprehensive, not confusing and consistently good. If you start with Aam Panna, end with Phirni and have the pick of salads, starters, mains and desserts, there’s always room for Spice Room.

Contact: +91-124-4222966/+91-9015470109

For more information: Click here

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Naivedyam

Vatika City Market

Naivedyam | Hurrah for old favourites in new spaces! Naivedyam has long been on our list of happy South Indian meals, with rasam to die for. Welcome to Sohna Road!

Contact: +91-124-4109810 / +91-124-4309810

For more information: Click here