On the Road in North India? Check out these 7 awesome dhabas for finger-licking food
India is one of the very few destinations where food is not just savored to enjoy flavors but it is considered as a journey in itself. And what better than highway dhabas that prove to be a testimony to how far one can go to get a bite into generously stuffed paranthas or a sip of hot ginger tea with soft buns.
Unlike some of the fancy restaurants we see at every nook and corner these days, dhabas, in earlier times were mostly modest roadside shacks, typically serving homelike food to fatigued travelers. Now, most of the dhabas are modern and well-designed and cater to all kinds of visitors who crave for simple, traditional flavours.
I’ve picked out my top 9 dhabas in North India that are certain to feed your hungry wandering soul!
It’s just impossible to talk about highway dhabas in India and not mention the legendary Amrik Sukhdev. What started out as a small, roadside eatery to cater to truck drivers has now become a popular destination for travellers, youngsters, and couples. Although the open-air ambience and traditional charpais have been replaced by swanky chairs and air-conditioned halls, the flavour of the food is still intact. The Paranthas served here with heaps of soft white butter. And when paired with a big tumbler of Lassi, one goes into food coma. Other popular items are Chole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, and Amritsari Kulcha.
Old Rao Hotel
If you happen to take the Delhi-Jaipur highway, do not forget to stop by the Old Rao Dhaba. Don’t allow the name to confuse you. This dhaba is popularly-known for its North Indian cuisine and serves both vegetarian as well as nonvegetarian food. When here, be ready to pamper your appetite without actually digging a deep hole in your pocket. While everything served at the Old Rao is delicious, but what tops the charts is the Stuffed Nan, Dal Makhani, Channa Masala, and Dal Fry.
Enroute Chandigarh, you’ll stumble upon a homely dhaba known as Pahalwan. If you happen to be at Pahalwan, there’s no way you should miss trying out their Stuffed Paranthas, Achaars, Lassi, and Chaas. I’m sure, if you try it once, you’ll never get over it. This is probably one of the most comfortable and humble eateries that not only satisfied customers with its food but also the ambience. The best part? The magic of gallop of butter on every dish!
Famous for its delightful food, the original dhaba rose to fame so much that new and small eateries in and around the area began putting up abbreviations on their establishments. Founded and owned by Puran Singh, the possession has now been transferred to somebody else, all whilst ensuring the quality of food. Located in Karnal, Haryana, this restaurant serves Mutton Curry, Chicken Tikka, Laccha Paratha, and Shahi Paneer like no other. When it comes to desserts, do not forget to try their Gulab Jamun.
Giani Da Dhaba
A 2-hour drive from Delhi towards the Kalka-Shimla highway will make you reach this delightful destination – Giani Da Dhaba, Dharampur. Most of the travelers who head to Shimla or Kasauli stop by this joint to relish the home-like food, ambiance, and hospitality. Lemon Chicken, Butter Chicken, Chole, Kheer, and Halwa are some of their best-sellers.
Located on the Delhi-Dehradun highway, Cheetal Grand is quite popular among travellers. The dhaba has the look of a swanky restaurant with homely food. Enjoy a delicious meal here with Butter Naan, Dal Fry, Aloo Jeera, or Paneer Pasanda. If you prefer a western breakfast, go for Omelettes, Sandwiches, or Cutlets.
On the way to Sikar from Jaipur, this dhaba is a popular stopover for anyone looking to savour authentic Rajasthani food, prepared with the freshest of ingredients. Along with Dal-Bati-Churma, do try out the famous Mawa Naan or the Mawa Roti here which is made with fresh cow milk. What makes customers loyal to this place is their heart-warming hospitality.
So, the next time you feel like fueling up your soul with authentic and tasty food, stop by any of these dhabas and satiate your cravings!