I am beginning to notice that I enjoy putting together these quick, short and sweet guides on places that I have eaten at while I travel quite a bit. Instead of scouring through a list of a 100 places, its just easier to have a few places picked out for you and I hope you find my lists useful!
While I scour the Internet to find places to go too, I also get to a place and ask locals for suggestions and at times by doing so, have found hidden gems.
Udaipur is an extremely popular destination with both Indian and foreign tourists. We were there in the (relatively) non peak tourist season and it was still brimming with people. My sister and her family are Udaipur loyalists, visiting the city at least once a year. Her family has tried out many different restaurants on their many visits to the city and have their list of favorites. So with their suggestions, places that I had read about on the Internet and suggestions from the man who ran the boutique in our hotel, here is my round up of places to eat at while in Udaipur.
What will always stay with me about Upre is not the food but how we spotted this restaurant! On our first evening in Udaipur after watching the show at Bagore Ki Haveli we walked out onto Gangaur Ghat to take in the lovely view of the city all lit up at night. Right across us was a white building that seemed to sparkle and its rooftop looked like it housed a restaurant, that most likely offered stunning views. We had planned to go to Upre that night but made a mental note to find out the name of this hotel that seemed so inviting and go to its restaurant for a meal. Little did we know that we were looking at Upre from the other side!
Situated on the rooftop of Lake Pichola Hotel, Upre offers stunning views of the city and one that will definitely take your breadth away! We made our way up to the restaurant and from it the City Palace shone in all her glory, like a golden palace that seemed to rise from the waters of Lake Pichola.
With the bar on one side, the restaurant offers comfortable seating for both small and large groups. If we weren’t traveling with kids, we would have definitely taken one of the cosy alcoves near the bar that had a four poster bed complete with a large mattress, little cushions and a small table in the center.
One level further up has seating only for couples. Udaipur is considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world, and I can see why couples would flock there. These little touches to make it a tad more romantic were just perfect.
Tip: Make a reservation as this is one of Udaipur’s most famous restaurants. If you can, go before sunset to watch the city come alive as the sun disappears. The view and ambience over the food are definitely more compelling reasons why you should go to Upre. The food was good but nothing spectacular. Like most restaurants in Udaipur, the menu was a mix of Indian food, continental cuisine with a few Rajasthani dishes thrown in. We tried the Gobind gatta curry (dumplings made of chick pea flour), adrakicauliflower and safed maas (chicken in cooked in a white gravy) along with some dal and rotis. The gatta curry was rich but delicious.
Address: Lake Pichola Hotel, Outside Chand Pol, Udaipur, 313001
Phone: +91 294 2431197 / 2431465
Located in a circular white building dating back to the Colonial times, the Garden restaurant is every bit vintage and fabulous. Neat, simple tables and chairs make up the restaurant. The air conditioning is good which makes it a great stop while you have been out and about Udaipur on a hot sunny day. The unlimited thali meals served on gleaming steel plates, are both filling and delicious. We were served dal baati (flour ball served with lentils) a Rajasthani speciality on the day we were there, along with different subzis (vegetables), hot rotis, cold chaas (buttermilk) and nariyal ladoos (a sweet made with grated coconut).
Tip: Go on an empty stomach to be able to do justice to the meal. Before or after drop into the Vintage & Classic Car Museum located in the same complex that showcases cars that have belonged to the Maharanas (rulers of Udaipur) both past and present.
Address: Gulab Bagh Road, Opposite Sajjan Niwas Garden, Gulab Bagh, Udaipur, 313001
Set in a 95 year old bungalow, 1559 AD pays homage to the time when Udaipur was first established by Maharana Udaisinghji in 1559. The sprawling lawns come alive with subtle lightning and lilting tunes of the shenai in the evening. You can have meals out on the garden on inside the house. We chose a table inside to avoid the mosquitoes and sound of the traffic.
Full of character and a great ambiance, the food was nothing to write home about.
Tip: Go here to have a coffee or milkshake and just soak in the atmosphere of the lovely bungalow.
Address: P P Singhal Marg, Near Fateh Sagar, Udaipur, 313001
Phone: +91 294 2433559
NATRAJ DINING HALL
Most websites and blogs list Natraj as one of the best places to have a thali meal (all you can eat meal that has many different vegetables served with rotis, rice and dal) in the city. Even the man who ran the shop at our hotel suggested Natraj when I asked him for suggestions for a restaurant where we could try local food.
Located in a small lane in the chaotic market area of Udaipur, Natraj Dining Hall is a simple unassuming restaurant. We sat upstairs on separate tables as we were a fairly large group. The food is almost entirely Gujarati with no Rajasthani dishes. Simple, wholesome and great value for money, go to Natraj if that’s what you are looking for. But in Rajasthan I was hoping to have a Rajasthani meal and I would pick Garden restaurant over Natraj any day.
Address: 22-24, City Station Road, Near Railway Station, Udaipur, 313001
The old city of Udaipur at times can be chaotic and overwhelming but tucked away into its many backlanes are beautifulhavelis and quaint neighbourhoods that offer a glimpse into local life. Close to the City Palace complex and behind the Jagdish Temple is Jagat Niwas Palace, a beautiful haveli that dates back to the 17th century. Narrow winding lanes take you to this haveli akin to a well kept secret. Immaculately maintained, climb the many small staircases that take you up to their restaurant.
Beautiful jharokas make for a perfect setting to relax with a drink and catch the wind in your hair as the city of Udaipur comes alive in the evening.
If Upre offered stunning views of the City Palace, Jagat Niwas offers a different view of the city and its ghats. Go here if you are looking for some real quiet time to read or relax over a good conversation. Again, like its many counterparts the food is nothing really to write home about, but not bad either.
Tip: Its best to walk to this haveli or get here using an auto. You have several steps to climb to get to the restaurant and there’s no elevator to take you up – my mother managed to walk up slowly taking small breaks, but if someone has serious difficulty walking its best to avoid this place.
Address: 23-25, Lal Ghat, Udaipur, 313001
Phone: +91 294 2420133, +91 294 2422860
Also known as German Cafe, Edelwise is a tiny rather nondescript cafe close to Gangaur Ghat and opposite Bagore Ki Haveli. Meant to be popular for their breakfasts, I only managed to have a coffee there. My sister highly recommends their brownie which unfortunately was sold out when we were there.
The all day dining restaurant at the Trident Udaipur is a good bet to try Indian food and some local dishes. I would almost always skip eating at the hotel and try local restaurants, but Aravalli pleasantly surprised us with its great food. The Mewari egg curry was delicious. Not a Rajasthani dish, but the kadhai paneer is also one of the best I have ever had. If only they offered a full Rajasthani thali, I would have jumped at it! Lal maas, safed maas and gatta curry feature on their menu and would definitely be worth a try.
Tip: Go here for a fine dining meal that will set you back by a good amount. But I can assure you that the food will be worth it.