Pune is the cultural capital of the Maratha region and unsurprisingly, food is therapy for most Punekars. Right from food carts to Khao Gallis, the city has it all to allure gastronomic connoisseurs and hungry souls alike. Street food in Pune is more like comfort food, and fresh ingredients and authentic flavors are concocted right in front of your eyes – something you cannot expect even in an exorbitantly priced five-star restaurant! While you are in the city, do not miss out on the signature street grubs like Misal Pav and Bhakarwadi and many others. Excited to take a gastronomic tour through the city’s streets? Let us take a quick look at the street food specialties of Pune and the famous venues that serve these delectable quick bites at affordable prices.
Street Food in Pune (List):
While the restaurants in Pune offer great ambiances and scrumptious food, the thrills of eating on-the-go can be experienced first-hand only at street food hubs. When it comes to street food, Pune might baffle you with a pretty long spread and variants. Here are some of the must-try items:
1. Vada Pav, Pune
Topping the list is this Maharashtrian street delicacy that is famous across India and perhaps, outside too. You just can’t get enough of this amazing desi burger that would put its American counterparts to shame. Consisting of a vegetarian (mostly potato) deep-fried patty (the vada) that is tucked cozily between two soft slices of bun (the pav), this delicacy has green mint chutney and sweet dates chutney spread on the insides of the bun slices. Adding to the spice factor is a fried chili, a classic accompaniment with the main event. Be sure to carry some water along. A cup of hot chai would add the crowning glory to this street-eat masterpiece. Other variations of Vada Pav include Cheese Vada Pav, Schezwan Vada Pav, etc. but the classic is always irreplaceable.
Where to Try: J.J Garden Vada Pav Camp (Bootee Street), Priyadarshan Snacks (Deccan Gymkhana), Shivshakti Vada Pav Stall (Baif Road), Joshi Wadewale (Congress House Road), Shri Sainath Vadapav Centre (Chakrapani Vasahat)
2. Sabudana Vada, Pune
The next famous desi treat is Sabudana Vada, a hand-patted and deep-fried tea-time snack served at the best street food places in Pune. The pearl-shaped ingredient sago is blended with mashed potatoes, coriander, peanuts, and chilies to give you a rich-textured batter that is deep-fried in oil. This delicacy is crispy on the outside and chewy inside. Even though the ingredients are simple, the joy of eating this snack is sensational. Be warned that this crispy treat is super addictive with a cup of steaming hot chai. It is usually served with mint chutney, date chutney or simply with ketchup. Get ready for gupshup with friends and some lip-smacking Sabudana Vada on the streets of Pune!
Where to Try: Hotel Vaishali (FC Road), Stalls at JM Road, Shrinathji Sabudana Vada (Rameshwar Chouk), Wadeshwar FC (FC Road)
3. Pav Bhaji, Pune
This deeply soulful dish has a rich history that goes back beyond 150 years. Pav Bhaji is a signature Maharashtrian dish that is loved by Indians worldwide and mimicked at Indian households. A thick spicy gravy made of various vegetables and primarily with mashed potatoes is served with a generous topping of butter, finely chopped raw onions, a slice of lemon, and lavishly buttered soft buns or bread rolls. Elevating your senses is this street grub that is considered by many as the best street food in Pune. The street vendors would frown at you if you ask them to go easy on the butter. This texture-rich dish is enjoyed in its variants too, like Cheese Pav Bhaji, Paneer Pav Bhaji, Schezwan Pav Bhaji, and more.
Where to Try: Siddharth Pav Bhaji (Ambedkar Road), Mayur Pav Bhaji and Juice Bar (Karve Nagar), Rajendra Pav Bhaji (Rasta Pet), Supreme Corner (Jangali Maharaj Rd), Sapna Pav Bhaji (Bibvewadi)
4. Dabeli, Pune
This typical street delicacy of Pune is an overdose of flavors, textures, and taste. It has sweet, spice, and sourness, all put into one complex dish. With its origin in Kutch, Gujarat, Dabeli speaks volumes about the traditions of both Gujarat and Maharashtra. With a tangy potato-based filling inside a bun, a generous drizzle of sweet and spicy chutney, plus some grapes, pomegranate, onions, coriander leaves, peanuts, and crispy sev finish up the delicacy in local style. One Dabeli is enough to fuel you up for the entire day. Savored by hundreds of street food lovers, this dish gets sold out within minutes at food stalls around Pune. So be an early bird and catch a plate of Dableli!
Where to Try: Yashwant Dabeli (Pulachi Wadi), Jai Jalaram Kacchi Dabeli (Rasta Peth), Umiya Kacchi Dabeli (Karve Nagar), Shri Swami Samarth Kachchi Dabeli (Shivaji Nagar)
5. Poha, Pune
In Pune, Poha is usually served as a street food delicacy for breakfast. Many working professionals binge on this decadent staple food before they head to work. It is made of rice flakes, turmeric, peanuts, mustard seeds, onions, coriander leaves, and other ingredients. A twist of lime will add in a tinge of sourness to the savory dish, enhancing its flavors by several notches. It is served as a hot meal in Indore style with the tempering made with saunf. Low on calories and high on taste, Poha is the perfect street food dish for those weight watchers. It can be prepared with or without veggies and it also has Chinese and Italian variations.
Where to Try: Amruteshwar Bhuwan (Erandwane), Indore Foods (Erandwane), Poha Shop (Gokhalenagar)
6. Street Dosa, Pune
If you thought dosas are the prime obsession of people down the South, think again! They are dished out at many street food places in Pune and would remind you of the amazing ones at Saravana Bhavan, the globally famous South Indian food chain. Served with coconut, mint or tomato chutney, and sambar, this thin and crispy rice crepe is bound to make foodies drool. Some filter coffee with your dosa can really make your day, that too in the typical South Indian style!
The best part is that you can eat dosas any time of the day! The major varieties include Plain Butter Dosa, Masala Dosa, Ghee Dosa, Maggi Dosa, Pizza-style Dosa, Chinese-style Dosa, Onion Dosa, Rava Dosa, Millet Dosa, and the list goes on. You could also try sandwich dosas with veggies and cheese. Pune, no doubt, gives street food fanatics innovative variations of this South Indian delicacy to indulge in.
Where to Try: Mankar Dosa Center (Many branches), Vaishali Hotel (Utkarsh Nagar), Savya Rasa (Koregaon Par), Jai Ganesh Dosa Center (Gokhalenagar), Ravi Famous Dosa Center (Viman Nagar)
7. Meat Kebabs, Pune
Carnivores too can gorge on Pune’s indulgent street food! The best non-veg street food in Pune can be found in the Camp area. Mutton Seekh Kebabs, Beef Kebab Rolls, and Tikkas near the High Spirits pub are melt-in-the-mouth and can get you high on protein. These meat treats are more sumptuous than the ones you get at any of the fine-dining restaurants or pubs in Pune. The kebabs available at hawk carts, food stalls, and street shops are well-prepared and great to go with chilled beer or any other beverage of your choice. So when you want to indulge in some meaty delights, you should be opting for the street food in Pune Camp.
Where to Try: Garden Seekh Kebab (Camp), Radio Hotel (Camp), Al Hifazat Kababs and Caterers (Shastrinagar), East Street Café (Camp)
8. Momo, Pune
While taking wholesome bites of street-style steamed or deep-fried momos in Pune, you cannot help recalling your college days, we bet! Momos are best eaten hot and fresh right out of the steamer/fryer. They make for great evening time snacks or late-night munchies after an exhausting day around the fun places to visit in Pune with friends. This Tibetan delicacy comes with veggie, soy, meat, chicken, and cheese fillings. The conventional momos have also been twisted to give you its tandoor-style alternative. This is one dish that you can conduct unlimited culinary experiments on by altering the cooking style to suit the palates of calorie-conscious foodies, fried food lovers, and desi delight fanatics. And in Pune, you find it all!
Where to Try: Momo’s Corner (Koregaon Park), Peter Momos Centre (Bavdhan), Hot Momos (Shivajinagar), Fuapullo Chinese & Momos (Vadgaon Bk)
9. Egg Rolls, Pune
Pune offers its indigenous twist to the famous Kolkata egg rolls! By keeping the eggs fluffier and adding in caramelized onion, sautéed veggies, and a dash of lemon juice, the Kolkata rolls have been given a worthy makeover in Pune. Some outlets even serve this appetizing dish with cheese, chicken, and meat fillings. The wholesome outer part is made of either wheat or all-purpose flour dough. The same is rolled using a pin and heated on a pan to perfection. The filling is prepared separately and generously stuffed into the rolled bread. Take one bite, and ah, that’s the beginning of an eternal love affair between you and the egg rolls!
Where to Try: Flavors of Bengal (Wanowrie), Kolkata Rolls (Kharadi), Rolls Mania (Multiple locations), Roll Club (Ideal Colony)
10. Parantha, Pune
This Punjabi specialty is a favorite breakfast delicacy in many places. The same has been adapted to the food palates of Punekars at Pune’s best street food joints. And the varieties served here will blow your mind. Aloo, Gobi, Mooli, Paneer, Palak, Onion, and mixed veg paranthas are served along with the Pizza version of this Indie delight at the best street food places in Pune. A dollop of the finest desi ghee melting on the hot parantha with the twist of achar is enough to make you fall in love. So, while in the city, don’t miss the golden opportunity of savoring this epicurean enigma in all its splendid versions.
Where to Try: Chaitanya Paranthas (Multiple locations), Nandu’s Paranthas (Baner), Shahji Parantha House (Raviwarpeth and Deccan Gymkhana), House of Parathas (Shivajinagar)
11. Chaats, Pune
Any hardcore desi foodie would naturally associate street food with chaat and who can blame them! Like many other cities in the North, Pune too has several chaat stalls lining its streets. In fact, the joy of having street food in Pune at night is given a new dimension by these stalls and food carts serving the delicacy until late at night. Usually consumed in the evening, the top-selling chaat items in Pune include:
- Pani Puri: A set of deep-fried crispy Puris stuffed with a mixture of mashed potatoes, chaat masala, onions, chopped coriander leaves and topped with tangy jaljeera and sweet tamarind chutney.
- Bhel Puri: A healthy mixture of puffed rice, onions, tomatoes, green chilies, sev, groundnuts, coriander leaves, mint leaves, chaat masala, red chili powder, mint chutney, and sweet tamarind/date chutney.
- Kachori: A deep-fried savory item with a crispy outer cover made of flour and stuffed with a mixture of lentils, raisins, and other exotic ingredients.
- Dahi Papdi Chaat: The crisp wafers made of gram flour and maida are topped with mashed potatoes, onions, dry peas, spicy mint chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, plain yogurt, and sev.
- Aloo Tikki Chaat: Potato Patties are topped with chickpeas masala gravy and garnished with coriander leaves and sev.
- Samosa Chaat: It is the same as Aloo Tikki Chaat, but with Crispy Punjabi Samosa used instead of Aloo Tikki.
Where to Try: Shegaon Kachori Center (Deccan Gymkhana), Dilli Chaat Darbar (Salunkhe Vihar Society), Om Jai Shankar Pani Puri (Jaan Mohammed Street), Natraj Bhel and Chaat House (Viman Nagar)
12. Gola, Pune
Every soul in Pune loves this sweet treat that is made of a crushed ice cone in a glass and topped with flavored syrups (strawberry, fruit, cola, Mango, Pineapple, and more). Slurping the juice out of the ice cone gives the sweetest pleasure like none other. Many people associate Golas with their childhood memories, which make this street item all the more special. This summer-favorite is sold at many tourist places in Pune on mobile carts and is a great way of bonding between children and adults. The variants of Gola come with dry fruits, mawa, malai, and nuts. Some of the Gola centers in Pune serve it with ice cream, making it a rich affair.
Where to Try: Mansi Malai Gola (Shukrawar Peth), Mahalaxmi Soda and Gola Centre (Multiple Locations), Go Gola (Moladina Road Camp), Gola Hut (Shriram Nagar)
13. Bhakarwadi, Pune
These yummy little savories are tea-time crispy delights and are dearly loved by Punekars. The dough is made of all-purpose flour and blended with spices into a coarse powder. The same is rolled and deep fried to give you golden brown bites. Usually relished during the winters, Bhakarwadi has many variants, with a twist of sweetness and spice added to the basic recipe using dates and dry fruits. Don’t let yourself feel guilty if you had to leave the city without tasting it. You can take some back home! You will get Bhakarwadi in any specialty Mithai store in Pune.
Where to Try: Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale (Deccan Gymkhana and Sadashiv Peth)
14. Jalebi, Pune
A national sweet phenomenon, Jalebis have been adapted to the local culinary culture of Pune as well. Special dough made of refined flour is swirled into a spiral-shaped, deep-fried delicacy which is then dipped in rich sugar syrup. This post-meal dessert is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with pure divinity oozing from every inch. We believe that no one can eat just one and limit the sugar overload. So walk around the streets, have loads of it, and get happily high on sugar. Total indulgence, once in a while, is no crime!
Where to Try: Jalebi Junction (Multiple Locations), Indore Jalebi (Agarwal Colony), the Taste JalebI (Baner), Jai Maharashtra Special Jalebi (Warje Malwadi)
15. Bajri Vada, Pune
Bajri Vada is a Gujarati street delicacy that has been welcomed into the Pune street food scene recently and for all the right reasons too. These crispy and soft patties made of pearl millet flour infused with herbs and spices are magical in the mouth, to say the least. They go well with hot masala or ginger tea and are great stress busters. These healthy eats have a substantial nutritional value that gives you guilt-free indulgence.
Where to Try: Shri Mahila Griha Udyog (Erandwane), Sukanta (Deccan Gymkhana), Khandani Rajdhani (Viman Nagar), Namo Thali (Shivane)
16. Misal Pav, Pune
We always save the best for the last. This hardcore Maharashtrian delicacy is loved by many foodies in Pune. Punekars take a lot of pride in this dish that has many flavors. Misal is a spicy curry made of lentils and peas, then garnished with a savory item called Farsan and topped with finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. A dash of lime is squeezed to enhance its flavors. Soft and fluffy bread called pav is toasted on a tawa with a generous dollop of butter and served with Misal completing the dish tastefully. Leaving Pune without having gorged on this divine dish is a punishable offense.
Where to Try: Bedekar Tea Stall (Narayan Peth), Katakirr Misal (Karve Nagar), Shree Misal (Sadashiv Peth), Masti Misal (Kothrud)
There are lots of things to do in Pune whether you are on a short or long trip. Indulging in the street food is something you cannot afford to miss on your itinerary, especially if you are a foodie. The city has a lot to offer its guests when it comes to cultural and culinary surprises and street food binging tops the list.