Best places for eating chaat in Pune

Chaat, the most wonderful food invention has been one of my favorite things to eat since as long as I can remember. Crispy, crunchy, tangy, sweet, sour all in one dish! What more can you ask for? Of course there’s all kinds of varieties like bhel, pani puri, sev puri, ragada pattice, etc. Here are some places in Pune to enjoy chaat:

1.Ganesh Bhel

This place has been my go-to spot for chaat at all times of the day. They serve the most amazing ragda pattice (which is a potato tikki served with cooked chickpeas, crushed puris, sweet and spicy chutney, chopped onions and tomatoes and topped with sev).

In additon to bhel, pani puri, and other chaat items, they also serve a spicy kachi dabeli (which is a paav stuffed with a spicy potato filling garnished with pomegranate seeds and sev), some tasty grilled sandwiches, and cooling cold coffee. Do not miss a chance to visit this place!

2. Kalyan Bhel

These guys are so famous, you’ll see a crowd here every single day of the week. Try their special Kalyan bhel and super delicious dosas. I love their cut dosa the most. Besides chaat, they serve other food items as well.

3.Vaishali

Despite being famous for south Indian food, Vaishali pulls out their crowd-pleasing SPDP (Sev Potato Dahi Puri) for just 2 precious hours (5pm-7pm or there abouts). It is so mouth-watering that I cannot do it justice through the mere use of words. You’ll have to try it yourslef. I love that they make it slightly sweet, thereby making it stand out among other spicy variations at more famous ‘chaat places’.

Also, I can keep on raving about Vaishali for pages since it is the most cherished restaurant in my heart so I’ll stop here.

 

Enjoy continental cuisine at Darshan

I cannot believe that I only discovered this gem of a restaurant so recently despite calling myself a foodie and priding myself on knowing the best places in town for every kind of cuisine. As it turns out, many of my friends had no inkling about it either. In any case, I’m glad I came across this quaint little place serving delicious continental food.

I absolutely love their sandwiches (especially the one with coleslaw and green beans) and the pasta is pretty good too. But the best dish ever is their famous ‘Chocolate Bomb’ which is essentially a very gooey choco lava cake served with vanilla ice cream.

I also recommend the sizzlers and the Darshan snack dish which lets you sample a few different dishes together. I also tried a Greek dish with pita bread and hummus and although not very filling, it was very tasty and great as a starter.

You can also try a few different desserts like jelly and cream, strawberries and ice cream and the very curiously named ‘Traffic Jam’, which has no jam, but is served in a tall glass like a milkshake and topped with dry fruits and cherries. Yum!

Best places for dress shopping in Pune

Pune is a total fashion hub with places like FC road, Camp, and Koregaon Park teeming with the latest trends. With Christmas and New Year approaching, its time for dress shopping! Here are some of the best places to buy western dresses in Pune:

Koregaon Park

The Koregaon park area has lots of roadside boutiques with bright window displays showcasing their best stock. It would be best to visit this area during non-office hours (anytime other than 10-11 am and 6-8 pm)  since there are a lot of IT companies here.

You can visit the almost ‘always on sale’ store, ‘Enclothe’. Their trademark storage option is piling all their stock on huge tables where you can sift through it.

Then there’s also the triple threat- three stores side-by-side, all of which sell western party wear, glamorous sequined dresses, and pretty gowns. I think one of the stores is called ‘Cupid’, but I don’t recall the names of the other two. If you’re looking for some serious sparkle, like for a prom, farewell party, or similar occasion, this is the place to be.

On the opposite side, you’ll find ‘Cotton Village’, a store that sells more sophisticated, desi design, Indian motif style of clothes in mostly cotton and cotton-mix fabrics. But I doubt you’ll find a dress here. If you rather the long anarkali that resembles a flowy dress, you can check it out here.

If you do plan to do a great deal of shopping here, beware the lightness of purse afterwards. This is a pretty pricey area in Pune, so make sure you get quality worth the amount you spend.

P.S : You can also buy trendy footwear from the roadside vendors here.

Clover Center

Clover center is located close to MG road. One of my recent shopping excursions took me there recently, and there was a pretty large variety of dresses, bags, and accessories. You’ll have to walk into many stores to find what you’re looking for. Not many stores have changing rooms though, so make sure you buy something you know will fit.

There’s also this store that sells the most amazing earrings and ethnic jewelry. The quality is very good, but the shopkeeper does not budge from the price at all!

You can also buy ethnic wear here. Just have fun looking around in all the little shops. The newest trends are showcased on mannequins, with complementary accessories and shoes. This should also give you an idea for styling your latest buy.

Malls : Central Mall, Phoenix Market City, Pantaloons

The Central mall has branches in Deccan and Bund Garden road. The Deccan branch is new, and relatively small, but you can visit either. You’ll find a large variety of dresses from a number of well known brands.

Phoenix Market City is a huge shopping complex located in Viman Nagar where you can buy electronic devices, groceries, clothes, accessories, and everything in between. They also have a multiplex on the top floor, a lot of restaurants, and bars. It will take up most of your day if you plan on seeing everything. There are some great stores for dress shopping here : Westside, Mark & Spencers, Global Desi, Unlimited, Ethnicity, FabIndia, and many more.

Pantaloons is located on SB road, opposite the JW Mariott hotel. The mall offers a huge range of western dresses. You can find casual wear, formal wear, party wear, all in one location. They also have a great winter collection that came out recently.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Mystical

Mystical- the word itself sounds so esoteric, that it brings to mind images of an unknown beyond, a place of mystery, of magic, and of imaginative beings. If you’ve ever delved into the depths of books like Harry Potter, The Sword of Truth, The Inheritance Cycle, you’ll be all too familiar with myth. The books themselves are of a magical nature; once you’re into them, it’s near impossible to let go.

Mystical- the stuff of fiction, of fairies, and pixies, of alternate worlds, and time twists, that brings into existence, the creativity of the human mind. The amazing extension of the boundaries of thought, going beyond what is known, and bringing forth, a brand new deluge of possibilities, is what ‘mystical’ entails.

~ThatPuneChic

via Daily Prompt: Mystical
Mystical

The best places to buy accessories in Pune

Every girl loves her accessories. Be it the long, beaded necklaces, cocktail rings, or chunky bracelets. Here are the best places to go accessory shopping in Pune:

Fergusson College Road

This place is a shopaholic’s paradise! From trendy shoes, to stylish tops, to accessories by the dozen, FC Road has it all! You’ll see a lot of college girls hanging around, taking keen looks at the latest trends. Make sure you wear shoes though, you’ll have to walk around a little if you want to find the best.

The key to shopping here is to not be hasty; the same piece of jewelry may be cheaper at the next store. Take a look in all the little stalls, find what you like, and compare the prices. You’ll also need to make use of all your haggling skills- the shopkeepers have dealt with teenage girls all their lives, and won’t budge easily.

You can also buy pretty footwear, hair belts, nail polish, and clothes here. The prices are much cheaper than in malls, and the quality is decent. The most endearing thing about FC road though, is once you shop here, you sort of get attached to the place.

Tulsi Baug – Not for the faint hearted

If you’re feeling really enthusiastic and are prepared to brave an insanely crowded place where the prices are cheap, the variety is unending, and you don’t have a problem with your feet being stepped on, visit Tulsi Baug. The experience will leave you feeling thrilled, your arms full of shopping bags, and your purse not as light as it would be otherwise.

The place is full of tiny, colorful stalls, vendors selling their wares on wooden hand carts, roadside heaps of glitzy footwear, and women using the best of their haggling skills. The sheer volume of accessories in this place will make you feel like a kid at a candy store!

Although you’ll also find clothing shops here, I would not recommend it. The quality is subpar, and the best you can buy is maybe a set of towels or handkerchiefs. You will also find an array of other everyday things like cooking utensils here.

Keep an eye out for pick-pockets if you visit on weekends or in the evening.  Other than that, you’re sure to enjoy a trip to Tulsi Baug.

 

Little Italy -An Italian lover’s paradise!

Little Italy, located in Shivaji Nagar, serves authentic Italian food. They offer a wide range of pizzas, pastas, and soups. In addition, they also serve selected Mexican dishes like tortillas and enchiladas. This is a pure veg restaurant.  They also have amazing lunch buffets. You can select a duo of appetizers, a pasta, a pizza of your choice. They have an array of starters, tortillas, dips and desserts, all of which are unlimited. It’s a true Italian feast!

The last time I opted for the buffet, it featured minestrone soup, bruschetta, tortillas with tomato salsa, jalapeno and cheese dips, watermelon juice, chocolate tartlets and mini brownies with ice cream. That’s a lot! And on top of that, I had to order a separate pizza and pasta.

 

I love their Sicilian pizza, pasta al sole de sicilia, and of course, the legendary Tiramisu. If you do happen to visit, and miss the Tiramisu, you’ll regret it later. The portion size is a little small, but that may just be because I love it so much that I could eat an infinite amount.

 

Little Italy lives up to its name in all aspects. I enjoy every visit. Hope you will too!

Best places in Pune for breakfast

If you’re looking for the best places to get some breakfast in Pune, look no further! These are my top restaurants to get some great breakfast:

Vaishali

Every single Puneite will agree that Vaishali is probably the best place in town to get food at practically any hour of the day. Located on Fergusson College road, it’s a hot spot for college kids and adults alike. These guys serve the most amazing South Indian dishes. Try their idli wada sambar, mysore masala dosa, and tomato onion uttappas for an authentic taste of the south. If you pop in after 5:00 pm, you should not miss their yummy SPDP. If you have a sweet tooth, they also serve a delectable ice cream sandwich. My dad also loves their cutlets (made with beetroot and potatoes served with a green chutney and tomato ketchup) and dahi wada. So, I’m basically saying, eat everything! 🙂

Wadeshwar

Wadeshwar is located pretty close to Vaishali. I love their set dosa served with pudi chutney and butter, appe served with a tangy green chutney, and the recent addition of pani puri. You can also try their rava dosa. Besides the usual dishes, Wadeshwar also serves an array of pav bhaji, thalipeeth, and tons of other stuff.

Sharvari/Shabari

If you go ahead along FC road, all the way to the third gate of the college, you’ll find yourself at Shabari. You would do well to heed my advice, and go on a Sunday. That’s because you’ll be able to enjoy their expansive breakfast buffet. Trust me, you DO NOT want to miss this. Soft, fluffy pohe, spicy misal pav, and a wide variety of dosas, idli, wada, and lots more besides are piled high on long tables. The waiters will urge you to try everything that’s served at your table which often includes mini pudis, thalipeeth, crispy and fried pakodas. They also have juice, tea, coffee, and toast that round off your hearty meal well enough to consider skipping lunch altogether!

I hope you’re looking forward to a delicious breakfast! Bon appetit!