#MumbaiList: Eat You Way From Mumbai To Pune At These Awesome Eateries On The Way

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Now that the monsoons are officially here, we’ve been hinting that it’s time for you to plan a weekend getaway! We’ve given you a list of top weekend destinations, and a list of private bungalows which you can rent with a group of friends or family. You’ll need to use the Expressway or the old Mumbai-Pune Highway to get to most of these hill stations & bungalows we’ve mentioned. I personally believe that no road trip is complete without a food break – a quick snack or a leisurely meal makes the journey even more enjoyable, especially when you have company. Here’s a list of awesome eateries – some iconic, some offbeat – you’ll find on the highways which connect Mumbai to Pune.

Shree Datta Snacks Corner on a busy day, image courtesy Sagar Bekal
Shree Datta Snacks Corner on a busy day, image courtesy Sagar Bekal

Shree Datta Snacks Corner, Panvel – I spoke to Ankit Bhalwankar, (proprietor of Deja View bungalow in Panvel), about where one should stop for a bite on the highway and this was his first recommendation. “Datta is a family favourite, we stop here almost every time” he says, “It’s conveniently located at the junction where the NH4 to Pune and NH17 to Goa converge.” But it isn’t its location that makes it popular. Datta Snacks serves delicious Maharashtrian nashta items like missal pao, kande pohe, thaali peeth, kothimbir vadi, sabudana khichdi and more. But what really draws the crowd in is the vada pao, best enjoyed with their signature red hot chutney. Nothing like hot vada pav and steaming cutting chai when it’s cold and rainy! You could end your meal with some kharvas, mango barfi or a glass of cold taak (buttermilk). Don’t expect solitude though, this place is always packed.
Don’t miss – Misal Pao & Vada Pav with chai
Cost – Rs. 100 – Rs.150 for a meal for two

Joshi Wadewala, Wanawari – Just like Shree Datta Snacks, Joshi Wadewala, located at the edge of Pune city is known for their Maharashtrian fare, particularly the vada pav. It’s a good idea to grab a quick bite here on your way out of Pune, especially if you’re in a rush and don’t want to stop midway. Service is extremely quick and you will most probably find a good parking spot just outside the restaurant.
Cost – Rs.100 – Rs.150 for a meal for 2

Sunny da dhaba
Sunny da dhaba interiors

Sunny da Dhaba, Lonavala – I know quite a few people who deliberately skip the expressway, and take the longer (more scenic) old highway just to stop for a meal at Sunny da Dhaba. It’s one of the oldest and most iconic culinary destinations in Lonavala. Don’t come here if want food that’s light or healthy. They serve Chinese food as well, but what you really should be eating here in the Punjabi fair. Their butter chicken is the stuff legends are made off, thick creamy buttery red gravy with succulent bits of chicken. Best enjoyed with piping hot tandoori rotis. Stick to the classic like chicken tikka, malai kebabs, chicken bhuna, palak paneer or dal tadka. If you like rice preparations you must try the dal khichdi, which is the only dish that rivals their butter chicken in popularity. The portions are humongous, and each dish comfortable feeds five. I’d say you need to starve a day or two before you can take on Sunny’s!
Most popular dish dish – Butter chicken with tandoori roti
Cost – Rs.800 – Rs.1200 for a meal for two.

Spicy mutton fry, image courtesy Kolhapur Travels
Spicy mutton fry, image courtesy Kolhapur Travels

Abhijeet, Rangoli/ Kamshet – Rangoli is a bustling market place and traffic junction on the old highway, just before Kamshet (now popular as a paragliding destination). If you’re headed this way, you must stop at Abhijeet restaurant for a taste of local Maharashtrian cuisine. This simple family run eatery doesn’t really have a menu, because they only serve a couple of dishes – mutton rassa, mutton fry, a vegetable dish and bhakris (made with rice or jowar). Each of these items is made the real rustic way, on a traditional mud choola, which is what gives them a delicious smoky flavour. Their main clientele includes local working class men, weary truck drivers and the occasional paraglider. I believe Abhijeet is one of Kamshet’s best kept secrets.
Cost – Meal for 2 – Rs.200 – Rs.250

The emu farm at Toni daa dhaba, image courtesy Shantanu Ghosh
The emu farm at Toni daa dhaba, image courtesy Shantanu Ghosh

Toni daa Dhaba, Kamshet – Like Sunny’s this is a large, open air desi dhaba, which serves indulgent Mughlai food, best enjoyed with a tall glass of chilled lassi. But what makes Toni’s stand out is the fact that they serve some very unusual and exotic poultry – like emu, ostrich, kadaknath, guinea fowl, giriraj, duck, goose etc. If you like gamey meat and are open to experimentation, you definitely should stop at this dhaba. They even have a farm attached to the restaurant. These same feathered creatures live happily on the farm, blissfully unaware that they will soon end up in someone’s plate! Unlike the other restaurants featured on the list, Toni’s isn’t cheap, even by Mumbai standards. It’s become something of a ‘boutique-dhaba’, where you get a sort of curated rustic appeal.
Cost – Meal for 2 – Rs.1200 – Rs.1500

Cafe Monza interiors, image courtesy Rhea Mitra Dalal
Cafe Monza interiors, image courtesy Rhea Mitra Dalal

Café Monza, Khargar – This place come recommended from blogger Rhea Mitra-Dalal, “Keeping in mind most people who start their journey in Mumbai take a couple of hours just to get out of the city, this is a great place to stop for a meal.” This is the only place featured on our list that doesn’t serve Indian food. They have salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas. “They have a multi-cuisine menu, some nice coffee and shakes, plus a good selection of desserts” says Rhea, “It’s right by the highway and has a clean loo!” – Which is an absolute essential when traveling!
Cost – Meal for 2 – Rs.500 – Rs.700

Any more hidden treasures we should know off. Help out our fellow travelers by leaving your recommendations in the comments below!

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

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Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.
  • Mirage

    Abhijeet, Rangoli/ Kamshet has shut down and possibly opened elsewhere.

  • Kamlesh Aiyer

    Hi Salonee,

    When does datta open?, want to plan my drive accordingly.

    Thanks