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Eat, Shop, Explore: Here’s Everything You Can Do At Abids!

2232 Interested |

Very few localities in a city manage to catch the fancy of every person in a group. Whether you're a foodie, a shopaholic, a book lover or a history enthusiast - Abids is one such locality that manages to satisfy everyone's needs. It's fondly called the 'Heart of Hyderabad' as most Hyderabadis have at least one memory attached to this place. From school uniforms, wedding jewellery, apparels, to luggage, Abids has it all in a tiny radius. What's more - the area is full of rich history and legendary eateries. While each store and corner is noteworthy here, we've put together some highlights of what the area offers.

Pro-Tip: We highly recommend you explore Abids on foot, or use rickshaws to get around, since parking is hard to come by. 

Places to Shop

Hollywood Footwear

No trip to Abids is complete without a visit to the iconic Hollywood Footwear. Shopping at this store is a unique experience in itself. Because the store hosts a sea of customers everyday, a shopper is required to go through the items on display first, come into the store, secure a spot and let the shopping assistant know which styles you've liked best. It makes the process smooth; the store workers are known for their fast service among a huge influx of customers. While the place can be crowded, snag yourself a pair of footwear here, you won't be disappointed! 

Meena Bazar

Abids is a shopping haven and hosts some of the best stores like Gianey's, Andhra Hosiery, Fair Price, Kusum and a host of jewellery stores. While some stores have branches in the newer parts of town, the range of apparels found in Abids is unparalleled. Meena Bazar is one such iconic store that stocks dress materials, ready to wear Anarkali suits, sarees and fabrics. The entire stretch of stores on this road is much loved for their party and wedding wear. 

Kamal Watch Co.

Kamal Watch Co. was set up in 1969 and stocks watches from leading international brands like Rolex and Balmain among others. Customers love visiting their Abids store, both for nostalgia and for discovering rare watches. With both Indian and International brands available, expect to find a watch at any budget here. 

Restaurants We Love

Santosh Dhaba Exclusive

 You'd probably witness your vegetarian buddies in their element at the Santosh Dhaba Exclusive, what with their melt-in-your-mouth food options among Italian, Indian-Chinese and North Indian cuisines. This place however, takes the prize for serving some flavourful Butter Naans and Paneer Butter Masala among other curries. Their reliable food quality, prompt service and value for money make this place a must visit. 

Palace Heights

Palace Heights is one of the first multi-cuisine restaurants in Hyderabad. What's amazing about this bar and restaurant is that it offers a stunning view of the city, letting you spot the iconic landmarks like Charminar and Birla Mandir among others. With a multi-cuisine menu offering Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes and drinks to go with them, Palace Heights has been a family favourite for many Hyderabadis for decades. Head here to fill your tummy and your penchant for history.

Softy Den

A haven for students on a budget, Softy Den has remained a favourite for patrons who have been visiting the ice cream parlour for decades. The place offers a variety of ice creams and other snacks like pizzas and garlic bread. Regulars here, however, stick to their 'Softy' orders, and swear that the taste is different from run-of-the-mill store bought ice creams. Head here to cool off with a cone of swirled ice cream over banter with your buddies.

Mayur Pan House

As the name suggests, Mayur Pan House is famous in Abids for their unique collection of pans. Expect to find some offbeat and unusual flavoured pans here. Loyal customers love Mayur Pan House's snack options as well. A visit here is incomplete without a plate of Pani Puri and Cheese Pav Bhaji. You could also check out their yummy grilled sandwiches and freshly squeezed fruit juices while you're here!

Grand Hotel

If you're craving Hyderabadi biryani in Abids, there's no better place than the Grand Hotel. A legacy establishment set up in 1935, Grand Hotel is known for their biryani. You'd also find that the focus here is on the food and fast service over the ambience, which runs true for most old establishments in town that serve great biryani. Don't forget to finish your meal with a cup of sweet Irani chai!

Iconic Places You Must Visit

Taj Mahal Hotel

Ask any Hyderabadi about their favourite restaurants in Abids, and they'll promptly point you to Taj Mahal Hotel. The iconic restaurant, over seven decades old, is known for their all-day South Indian breakfast and meals. It has hosted several iconic leaders and artists, from the Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, M.F. Hussain, the state's Chief Ministers to several legendary Telugu actors. While every dish is a favourite here, don't miss their heavenly Masala Dosas and Cutlets when you visit!

Hameedi Confectioners

A visit to Hameedi Confectioners is a lesson in history and culture itself, as the one hundred year-old establishment has served loyal patrons from the royal family. It is known that the last Nizam loved the Turkish dessert Jouzi Halwa here and regularly got it catered for important occasions. You'll also find sweets local to Hyderabad like Badam ki Jaali here. 

Things to Do in Abids

Attend a History Walk

Amid the hustle and bustle of Abids is its rich history that doesn't make itself obvious. One look at any old building in Abids and you can guess that the place has seen some memorable times over the decades. City-based historians usually conduct History Walks around Abids talking about its historic relevance over the years. The walks usually include a visit to the Theosophical Society and nearby churches like the St. Joseph's Cathedral at Gunfoundry. Some interesting anecdotes attached to these places are sure to make you look at Abids in a completely new light.

Sunday Book Bazaar

No matter how much we read digitally, the satisfaction of reading a physical book is exceptional. If you're a book lover, or are just looking to discover some uncommon yet interesting titles, the Sunday Book Bazaar is for you. You'll find a sea of books neatly lined up on pavements opposite Cherma's on any Sunday morning here. Whether you're looking for current titles or old magazines to collect as keepsakes, this Bazaar is a haven. We recommend carrying some cash while you snag great deals here.

Hidden Gems in Abids

Bhagawathi Pani Puri Shop

This 60 year old hole-in-the-wall Pani Puri stall has been serving up some amazing Pani Puri and Ragada Puri for decades now. Locals love it as their taste is consistent and super tasty. Because they stock out so fast, their dishes are only available for two hours everyday, from 5-7 PM. At twenty bucks a plate, their Ragada Puri is an absolute steal!

Chicken Bandi

Locals claim that the Chicken 65 at Chicken Bandi outside Ramakrishna Theater is one of the best in the city. While the vendor sells other chicken dishes like Tandoori Chicken, Ginger Chicken and other fried chicken items, their Chicken 65 at INR 160 a plate is a hot favourite. Like most recommendations on this guide, this stall too, has been in business for over a few decades!