If it’s one thing that unites Puneites from all walks of life, it’s food. Savoury or sweet, spicy or sour, crispy or soft; here are some of Pune’s most favourite foods.
How Many Of These 12 Popular Dishes Have You Tried?
Bhakerwadi is a crunchy Maharashtrian snack, which perfectly balances spicy-sweet-savoury flavours in the perfect bite. The most famous bhakerwadi in Pune comes from Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale (more about them here), but we also love the mini-version of this snack that’s available at Karachi Sweet Mart. Bonus points: bhakerwadi also makes for great chakna with your drinks!
Touted as the ‘desi burger’, vada pav is a deep-fried potato fritters tucked into the middle of a super-soft ‘ladi pav’ (sometimes lined with spicy chutney, or charred green chillies). Vada pav in Pune is an iconic street food, and the most popular joint for it (by far) is the JJ Garden Vada Pav stall in Camp. Read more about them, here.
Dabeli is a dish originating from the Kutch-region of Gujarat, and has become a widely popular snack. This tava-toasted ‘sandwich’ of sorts is also made with the aforementioned ‘ladi pav’, stuffed with a potato-masala mixture containing chopped onions, spicy peanuts, doused generously with sweet and spicy chutneys, and topped with sev. Our favourite version comes from Raj Dabeli center on the corner of Lane 6 and North Main Road in Koregaon Park – and their cheese dabeli is a scrumptious alternative, too. Read more about Raj Dabeli here.
The ultimate street food has got to be ‘chaat’ – i.e. various savoury snacks like sev-batata puri, bhelpuri, and pani-puri (to name a few). Our favourite chaat spots in Pune include Kalyan Bhel (which has multiple outlets across town), Ram Krishna in Camp, and Classic Pani Puri on North Main Road in Koregaon Park.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a complete dish as comforting as a plate of piping-hot, buttery pav bhaji. A thick, vegetable-masala stew served with cloud-like bread buns, generously smothered in oodles of melted butter – is worth all of the calories, seriously. Our favourite version of this dish is the ‘Bombay pav bhaji’ by Cream Craver (formerly known as Cream Corner), which is silky-smooth and utterly buttery and comforting. Cream Craver serves around 15 different variations of pav bhaji, and they have restaurants in Camp and Kalyani Nagar.
In our opinion, nothing can beat a succulent, smokey, meaty kebab fresh off the grill. Though the seekh kebabs, jujeh kebabs, and chicken tikkas at George in Camp (more on them here), the kathi kebab rolls at Kapila Kathi Kebab remain old favourites, we also recommend the beef kebabs at Radio Hotel (and the kebab cart opposite it), galouti kebabs from Lucknow Meri Jaan, and the tender chicken, mutton, and beef kebabs from Garden Seekh Kebabs (right next to the JJ Garden Vada Pav Stall).
Ice Cream Shakes
Last but not least – biscuits are certainly one of Pune’s most popular items. From Shrewsbury to ginger-snap, kharis, batasis, nankhatais, and more – they’re a melt-in-your-mouth treat! Looking beyond Kayani, we love Khodayar Bakery (on Pune-Sholapur Road), City Bakery, and Royal Bakery (the latter two are located on MG Road in Camp) – and you can read more about them here.