I have been travelling to Ahmedabad since I was a little child and every trip has their own special memories. Any holiday is incomplete without food and on my many trips to the city, we would often go out to eat. I have seen Ahmedabad grow from a medium tier city to the bustling metropolis that it is today. It has become a lot more cosmopolitan and this is reflected in the options available to diners across the city. The old favorites remain but new restaurants and eateries have made an entry and have found loyalists.
So here is my guide to help you eat your way around the city. I can’t claim to have eaten in all the places across the city but I can give you a good overview of what’s available out there across different cuisines.
1) Athithi Dining Hall – a family favorite, this restaurant is literally just a large hall with air conditioning and tables and chairs. Gleaming steel thalis (circular plates made of steel) and wadkis (bowls) are a trademark of this place that serves good food at a very reasonable price. There is a unlimited set meal which varies everyday. Lunch and dinner on any particular day also have different menus. Come summer season and aam raas (mango pulp) is a regular feature on their menu. Their farsans (snacks that are often served as part of a meal, and that may be steamed of fried) and khichdi (a dish made of lentils and rice, that is available only as part of their dinner menu) are the highlights of the meal.
Address: “Mohini”, Nr. Shraddha Petrol Pump, Judges Bunglow Road, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad – 380054
Price: AduIt – INR 260 and Children – INR 130
Timings: 11 am to 3 pm; 7 pm to 10 pm
2) Vishalla – Dine here to enjoy a traditional Gujarati meal served in a classic village set up, complete with oil lamps and floor seating. This iconic restaurant was set up in 1978 by designer Surendra Patel as he aimed to recreate a space that mirrored his village and cherished memories of the time that he spent there as a child.
Vishalla is all about enjoying a meal in a relaxed, calming environment. There are no doors or windows in this restaurant. Low tables are placed under thatched roof sheds creating a communal dining area. The food is served on leaf plates and little cups and glasses made of clay. All the staff are dressed in local attire and are very courteous and polite.
As kids we looked forward to going to Vishalla to watch traditional folks dances and magic shows under a star lit sky as we waited for our table or relaxed after a delicious meal.
Do walk around Vechaar – a unique utensil museum located in the same premises.
For their address, menu, timings and to find out more, visit their website here.
3) Rajwadu – Located in a busy neighborhood of Ahmedabad, Rajwadu is like a secret garden waiting to be discovered. A winding pathway flanked by rock walls and lush plants brings you to the reception area, where you have to choose your meal and pay beforehand (if you opt for their unlimited thali meal). Besides the reception is a beautiful courtyard temple.
On the same premises, there’s an al fresco dining option called Madhurya that serves Gujarati, Rajasthani, Punjabi and Chinese dishes.
Like Vishalla, Rajwadu also aims to recreate a village atmosphere complete with lantern lit pathways, charpoys (beds), abundant greenery and an open plan, low seating. The many water bodies found around the restaurant are a visual delight and the sound of running water creates a sense of calm.
Their award winning thali (available only for dinner) is a mix of Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine and is served in gorgeous brass ware.
Rustic yet opulent, Rajwadu is a popular venue for weddings and parties. Before you head there for a meal, call and check if they have availability. The restaurant does not take reservations on the phone, however you can make a reservation online.
4) Agashiye – Housed in a beautiful bungalow dating back to 1924, Agashiye is a restaurant that deftly mixes the old with the new. The name means terrace in Gujarati, and true to this, the restaurant serves unlimited thali meals on two large terraces that are joined by a third smaller one. In true Gujarati style, the menu changes everyday and seasonally too. Food is served in kansa thalis adding to the charm, but don’t go expecting a village atmosphere, because Agashiye’s aims to recreate the experience of enjoying a meal in a contemporary Gujarati household. For timings, details of the menu, location and prices, check their website here.
Little Italy – A tastefully done alfresco restaurant, Little Italy serves some delicious Italian cuisine. Present across many cities in India, the restaurant specializes only in vegetarian Italian cuisine. Don’t go there hoping to enjoy your meal with a glass of wine. The cuisine maybe Italian, but its served in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where there is a prohibition on the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Address: Block – N, Safal Mondeal Retail Park, Near Rajpat Club, S.G Road, Ahmedabad – 380056
Phone: 079 69400011 / 22 / 33
M.A.D. By Tomatoes – the Modern American Diner (MAD) complete with neon lights, red upholstery, brick walls filled with posters of iconic American sportspersons and entertainers, serves some lip smacking food. The menu features a wide variety of dishes and offers a mix of Italian, American, Pan Asian, Mexican, Parsi and Goan cuisine.
If you are having carnivorous pangs, then head here to satisfy your craving. The pan grilled fish is a popular dish as are their skillets and fish and chips.
Address: Ground Floor, Sumel Complex, Near Tej Motors, S.G.Highway, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad 380015
Phone: 079 30641656
Timings: 12 noon to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm
Cafes & Bakeries
1) Upper Crust – a personal favorite, this small cafe cum bakery serves some really delicious food. The casual cafe style restaurants offer both dining facilities as well as take outs. Choose from Italian, Indian and Chinese dishes. Their sizzlers (a variation of a steak that is served on a hot plate and that usually comes sizzling, hence the name) are a must try.
A good bet if you are looking for a non vegetarian restaurant in the city.
For more details check their website here.
2) The Green House – Part of The House of MG, The Green House is located in the ground floor of the bungalow that houses Agashiye. The cafe serves a variety of Indian snacks, fruit juices and ice creams. The air-conditioned section of the cafe was earlier a buggy room of the bungalow – horse drawn buggies were parked here till the early forties.
For more details click here.
Are there any places you that you think should feature here?