Last Updated: May 24, 2019 Nidhi Singh
Obviously, I don’t need to brag about the importance of Dhabas (Roadside Eating Joints) stationed on almost all highways in India. Whether it is about feeding our gurgling stomachs or reflecting the authentic taste of any region or the hospitality with which the food is served, these roadside eateries certainly know the way to win one’s heart. It is amazing to see how some of these Dhabas, which were once merely stopovers for travellers, have become destinations unto themselves. It can be safely said that Dhabas are serious business. Ok, enough of talking! Let me also get back to my business and present to you a list of Dhabas that you must stop by if you are travelling on Indian highways:
Mr Sanjay Dhaba, Srinagar-Leh Highway
Stop by this lone Dhaba situated 50kms from Leh on the Srinagar-Leh Highway. With nothing more than a roughly maintained concrete shack, this place is still a paradise for travellers. You will see many foreign travellers basking and having black tea here. However, as an Indian you will love to savour the freshly prepared aaloo parantha and gobhi ki sabzi along with a refreshing cup of tea.
Giani Da Dhaba, Kalka-Shimla Road, NH 22
More of a restaurant and less of a Dhaba… call it by any name; Giani is certainly a great food haunt in Dharampur, situated on Shimla-Kalka Road NH 22. A well maintain eatery with nice ambiance and great food, Giani is nothing short of treat on the way to awe-inspiring Shimla!
Sukhdev Dhaba, G.T Road, Murthal NH 1
You just cannot ignore this classy place situated on GT Road, Murthal NH 1. Once a small shack catering to the appetite of truck drivers who ply on these roads, Sukhdev Dhaba or the Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba is now a serious affair. A tall, well-maintained AC building is what stands instead of the thatched-hay shack, serving sumptuous Indian as well as Chinese cuisine to the starving travellers who make sure to stop nowhere else but here. Amritsari Kulcha and aloo paratha with tongue slurping white butter is the delight of Sukhdev… The taste and the feel are just unforgettable!
Karnal Haveli, G.T Road, Karnal, NH 1
No, I am not disoriented on my topic of this blog but when it comes to highway and food, you ought to include Karnal Haveli in the list. I would call it a ‘Dhaba Redefined’, Karnal Haveli has every reason to make it to the list of popular highway Dhabas that you must stop by. Situated on the GT Road, Karnal NH 1, this place serves authentic Punjabi cuisine. The rustic influence on the exterior and interior décor of the restaurant adds to the fame of the place and an amusement park for kids is yet another asset here.
Grand Lassi Shop, Zirakpur-Patiala Road, NH 21
You are going to love this place! Situated on the Zirakpur–Patiala Road, NH 21, Grand Lassi Shop offers some lipsmacking Lassi and heavenly Aaloo Parantha topped with semi-melting butter, chana (Chick peas) and homemade yogurt. This place is 25kms away from Chandigarh and is quiet easy to find!
Puran Singh Da Dhaba, Near Ambala City, NH 1
Get ready for some Punjabi Treat at Puran Singh Da Dhaba. Located on NH 1, somewhere near Ambala City, this place is an absolute delight. Don’t think about the ambiance once you are here or else you will miss out on a great place to eat in Punjab! Try Keema Kaleji, Kabab, Chicken Curry and Mutton curry with ‘Kadak’ Tandoori Roti or you can even try the sumptuous Kadhi Chawal that attracts many vegetarians here.
Cheetal Grand, Delhi-Dehradun Highway, Near Khatauli
It may be a restaurant, but Cheetal Grand on the Delhi-Dehradun Highway is one place that you must visit if you are on the highway. From the traditional dal, sabzi, roti, chawal to grilled sandwiches and cold coffee with ice cream, you name it and you get it! A neat restaurant with nice ambiance and surroundings, Cheetal, situated at as short distance from Khatauli, Muzzafarnagar can be a great food haunt. Try the tubular omellette and also the paneer pakodas here.
Bhajan Tadka Dhaba, Gajraula, NH 24
This is one of the most picturesque Dhaba that I have seen. Neat and clean area with a thatched-hay shacks and delectable food, if you are by any chance travelling on NH 24 and you are anywhere near Gajraula, then you have to visit this place. This highway Dhaba offers great food at reasonable prices; try paneer butter masala, kadhi pakora along with garlic lachchha here and believe me you shall never forget the taste!
Sharma Dhaba, Jaipur-Sikar Road
Sharma Dhaba brings you Rajasthan on a platter! Situated on Jaipur-Sikar Road, Sharma Dhaba is one of its kinds. They serve authentic veg Rajasthani delicacy and their Mawa Naan is to die for! There are two dining areas that you can choose from, one is just off the road and other is in the backside and is known as Sharma Garden. Try Paneer Butter Masala, Malai Matar, Missi Roti and Dal Tadka here.
Rao Dhaba, Delhi-Jaipur Highway, NH 8
You are about to get fed with some of the best Dhaba food ever! At Rao’s Dhaba, you are likely to lick your fingers after finishing your delectable meal. Situated on National Highway 8 on Delhi-Jaipur Road, this Dhaba is known for its yummilicious veg Indian cuisine; one thing you must try here is paneer butter masala with tandoori naan.
Ummiya Annapurna, Anand District Gujarat, NH 8
This eatery is near the bypass that connects the new expressway in Gujarat; well technically it is still on NH 8 in Anand district. However, you don’t need a reason to visit this incredible place! Serving you the right taste of Kathiyawad (precisely beckons SPICE AND CHILLI, unlike Gujarati cuisine). The food here is prepared over wood fire, thus expect rustic flavour in everything that you eat. You must try lassan aaloo, besan gatta and sev tamatar with rotla (local bread) here.
Ramdev Dhaba, Mumbai-Pune Highway, Near Nigdi
Go vegan at Ramdev Dhaba and enjoy some of the most delectable Rajasthani food. Situated on the Mumbai-Pune Highway at Nigdi, this place is great to fill your stomach right! Must-try items here are Dal Baati and Rabdi.
Sunny Da Dhaba, Old Mumbai-Pune Highway
If you are travelling from Pune to Lonavala through Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, then you ought to pay Sunny Da Dhaba a visit. The tin-shed Dhaba with long decorated tables and some out of the box food will leave you awestruck. You are going to love Rajoli Kabab, Tandoori Pomfret, Dal Bati and Jalebi here.
Jai Hind Deluxe Dhaba, Kaneriwadi, NH 4
With a patriotic banner, Jai Hind Deluxe Dhaba is your savior if you are on National Highway 4, somewhere around Kaneriwadi. The Dhaba has good seating arrangements and it offers authentic taste of local food. You can halt here and relax while munching on some tasty food.
Shree Sai Ashirwad Dhaba, Muskura, NH 7
The rainbow DO inside the Dhaba is fantastic and the food is just the kind you need on a highway. Shree Sai Ashirwad Dhaba is situated on National Highway 7 near Muskura, Madhya Pradesh. The Dhaba offers delicious local food and a must try here would be Dal Bafla.
Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba, Kolkata-Digha Road, NH 6
Sher-e-Punjab is situated on the National Highway between Kolkata and Digha and is known for hoisting the Punjabi flag high in West Bengal. It is one of those well-maintained highway restaurants-cum-Dhabas that serve some really lip smacking food. You would like to try the mixed platter and chicken tikka masala here.
Azad Hind Dhaba, Kolkata, NH 1
24hrs food service in Kolkata and yummilicious food is what keeps Azad Hind Dhaba a personal favourite of travellers. The Dhaba is situated on National Highway 1, Kolkata and offers authentic Punjabi cuisine. There are two sections, one AC and the other Non AC, so you can decide where you want to sit, although the service in both the sections is outstanding. Order Chicken Tikka Masala and Dal Makhani here.
Samaroh En Dees Dhaba, Bhomoraguri to Sonitpur, 37A Highway Connector
You will certainly fall for this place – its extensive menu, location and design. Situated on the road to Tezpur (37A highway connector) between Bhomoraguri and Sonitpur, it is a great place to relish the taste of authentic Assamese cuisine. The Pigeon curry is the highlight of the place, although you can try Aaloo pitika in case you are a vegetarian.
Chilika Dhaba,Barkul, NH 5
You have every reason to like this place, delicious seafood, neat and clean ambiance and great surroundings. Bask on the manji and savour the taste of Odisha; you may not want to miss out on Chilli Prawns and Giant Crabs here. Also, the Dhaba serves some great vegetarian items that you may like to munch upon. Situated on NH 5 in Barkul, this Dhaba is at a short distance from the famous Chilika Lake, so after filling your stomach you can head to capture the beauty of the same.
Satara Highway Dhaba, Satara, NH 4
A one of its kind highway Dhaba that you would come across on National Highway 4, Satara Dhaba is probably the only Dhaba in India that is run by transgenders AND there is no way that you can miss out on visiting this place! Unmatched hospitality, Kadak Chai and Capsicum Masala are the highlight of this amazing highway eatery. Well, here you go! You actually got Highway on Your Platter! Next time when you are whizzing you wheels through the meandering highways, do not forget to grab a quick meal at one of these roadside galleys. Happy Journey!!
Published: 30 May, 2014
From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.