Belgaum delights

by Swatee Jog

Bella Vista Belagavi

While I watch Highway On My Plate or Chakhle India on NDTV GoodTimes, I always wonder how an episode on Belgaum would be.

Belgaum has its own sumptuous eateries. Back in the eighties, when Khade Bazaar would have a half-day on Tuesday, we (mum, dad n me) would invariably find ourselves at Chaya Café (now the Raymonds showroom @ Sanyukta Maharashtra chowk, Khade Bazar) or New Grand amidst many more business families!

For a change, we’d go to Prashant (Congress Road now NKGSB bank) or Sanmam/Milan. But now there are choices galore!

The new Goli Vadapav is still giving me a miss, but Belgaumites have never been so much spoilt for choice. With many eateries having branches at the North and South ends of the city, it’s a dream-come-true for foodies like me who abhor traveling through the evening traffic. If Ajanta made us wait at the Belgaum branch (Huns Talkies Road), we now have our very own Tilakwadi branch. But I still feel the cook at their Belgaum branch has golden hands who dishes out the most crispy and yummy masala dosas.

Kake Walk and CCD, like Ajanta, are serving in twos! Even Moghe Foods has two branches, one in Angol and one in the city (Huns Talkies Road just opp Huns Theater). Their special Ghee Shira and Sabudana wada reminds me of my mom’s. And not to forget the Tilakwadi staples, Nath Pav Bhaji, Ambica Bhelpuri and Balu’s Bhel (Now opposite GSS college).

Nath’s sweet talking old man invariably inquires for a glass of sugarcane juice but his portion sizes are diminishing by the day. Even the shanty opposite Hari Mandir offers great vada pav and kachori.

I loved Swamy’s Paneer Puffs while in school and they have retained the quality even now. Big Bazaar has extended the shopping experience to the culinary department as well with its mini food court that has on offer some gooey mousse and pastries, but I still would opt for the Kake Walk Chocolate Truffle any-day!

Nonetheless, there was a time when I delved into Mohanlal or Prasad bakery’s (Khade Bazar) burger and dough-nuts coupled with masala nuts on days when I’d miss my tiffin.

If Sharma’s Bhel and Ragda Patties was to die for until a few years ago, Kake Walk and Ambica have given them stiff competition. I shed a tear or two for Ganpat Bhelwala (New India Bhel House Kelkar bag) opposite Vanita Vidyalaya when his stall was demolished during the VKS. His Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav were to die for, not to forget the shev puri and bhel where he never compromised on the quantity of onion, shev and …mirchis! He once made delicious Bread Pakoda, but that somehow fizzled out. Pranaam (opposite Globe) and Prasahant(Congress Road) were our special hangouts while my brother was a kid since they served food even while we remained seated in the car! Of late, our favorite hangouts on tiring days have been Shrusti (opp. Kapileshwar) which offers great ambiance. They once offered WorldSpace radio which belted out amazing thematic songs while we gorged on luscious kulchas, paneer butter masala and chinese stuff.

Paratha Corner is a dream destination for what else..parathas, but I still prefer a take-away than sit-out at the eatery. Their mix veg and cheese parathas are a delight to dig into..a dream that should never end!. Another eatery that we tried but rarely returned was Paratha Palace, spicy stuff and thick parathas…the only dampener was the seating arrangements…on gravel with plastic garden chairs. Now a days, Atul Purohit’s street food stall has attracted me for its great shev puri and ragda patties. Some days, even Renuka Refreshments, Shanbhag (Sanyukta Maharashtra Chowk) and Satkaar(Maruti Galli) have seen me in…haplessly biting into some stuff.

Belgaum is still ages away from good Continental or Oriental food ( I’ve only tried Saffron yet), leave alone the deli or something innovative like Mumbai’s Not Just Jazz by the Bay or Delhi’s Yum Yum Tree or even Suhas and Deepa Avchat’s Goa Portuguesa. I think our city is ready for some culinary delights. The renovation spree may help some, but the real test of good food is always in the triumvirate of taste, hygiene and service. No compromise on that.

About the Author: Swatee Jog teaches at Bharatesh Global Business School, and her articles have been published in Mint, HT and DNA and she has also authored two books which are being published, one on management and one science book for kids.

 

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51 COMMENTS

  1. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as
    well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now ;
    )

  2. Wonderful site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards that
    cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to
    be a part of group where I can get advice from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!

  3. I would to get the recipe of alipak bhel. i would also like to make a request to post more and more about our north karnataka dishes and also mention that they are originated and authentic kannada dish. We have to have good propaganda about our dishes and let the world know that ours is the best and delicious food items

  4. Hi Swati,
    I was already missin bgm alot and after reading this article I’m missin it more. Yes, I totaly agree with you..all the above mentioned places are the ones to die for. I miss my belgaum’s food alott right now. Among the restaurants, Zaika is the best place.. They serve great food there. Do try it out guys, its worth it..

  5. God bless you for bringing back my childhood memories…I still remember Purohit’s Kundah and the stuff from Swamy bakery….

  6. Being basically from Belgaum , but now residing in Hubli ,Swati indeed put me on a nostalgic trip.Oh! how can I forget Puri bhaaji at paranjape pharalachid dukhaan, bread bhaaji at mitra samaj, gangubai chi bajji, etc. etc. those were the seventies my friend. Thanks Swati for reviving sweet memories.

  7. swati u have missed on tumkur tatte idlis which is an absolute delight with its wonderful dosas and idlies. also the stalls which are put up in evening in front of Axis bank ATM near Ramdev.

  8. Nice Article Swati,
    you missed the Camp Purohit’s Famous Kunda (Kirloskar Road). The “Jazz By the Way” in Mumbai is now “Pizza by the Way”, and The Goa Portugese here in mumbai is not at all good now serving the stale Buffet with the same menu all year…
    I am missing those Food Joints of Belgaum….

  9. I am taking you all back to 1950’s. You walk on the traffic free Congress Road and both sides you find sugar cane juice freshly squeezed in OX driven mills, served with alipak-bhel. We used to walk all the way to Shahpur to get kunda from Gajanan sweets. Ofcourse, Mitra Samaj, New Grand and Ajanta were the landmarks. Then came up Hotel Milan, Sanman …etc.
    However, the sad part is that most of the restaurants have not retained the quality and whenever I visit Belgaum, I dont find any good place for a good meal. The standards are missing. Most of the eateries are midiocre and seem to be after making money without due regard to the quality and service.

    • If anyone can give the recipe for alipak bhel and please give more and more north karnataka recipes and please mention them as our kannada recipes.

  10. hi, can ne1 recommend a decent place in belgaum to have fish. Only fish, above IDBI Bank at Samadevi Galli, was good, but it has closed down now

    • Nothing like it but u could try Adinarayan next hotel kamat on kirloskar road. Just next to the then only fish there is a sea rock which also serves sea food

  11. Hi does anyone remember the famous Shetti pav-bhaji??? we always make it madatory when we are in belgaum… I used to live in Ansurkar galli so it was quite a tempting invite whenever we passed infront of Shetti to go to Krloskar road or Bogarves to catch a bus!!! golden old days.. I love you belgaum… totally:)

  12. Swati this is a very nice article ……brought back a lot of old memories
    Miss the small eateries which no longer exist like Mitra Samaj ,the Cafe at Globe Talkies .Ganpats etc
    U have missed out on quite a few Good places which serve good food and it is a delight to go there like
    Zaika in Camp,Sun and Sand at Club Road ,Niyaz near the Bus Stand etc which ofcourse were not there
    during our school or college days But we still have to go a long way to progress further
    Anyway It was very interesting reading yr Article
    Wish U all the best and hope to read some more articles from U ….THANKS!

  13. I feel each and every food prepared in Belgaum has unique taste take it for Ajanta to Niyaaz or pranam to New Grand or be it with Green to Adarsha for sweets we have Purohit's (Atul, Camp) each one is so special thats why Belgaum is the best for each and every kind of food without putting hole in the pocket….. as some one said "Aminasto, Aminasto, Aminast" If there is Hevan on earth its there in Belgaum I love Belgum and proud to be a belgamist!

  14. Hi ! Swati,
    When I started to read the article I was hungry and missing my home town.It is a yummy article from a wonderful writer.
    Thanks for this.
    Altaf Shaikh -Abudhabi

  15. This article is very good and brings back all old sweet memories. I miss Tilakwadi eat outs (Balu, Nath, GSS Canteen, ) where I spend most of my college time and enjoyed lot with my friends.
    I am missing Belgaum lot and planning to move back to Belgaum.

  16. most of the item mentioned like ragada patis,Pav Bhaji , Vada Pav,masala dosas,parathas etc.. are availbale in other part of country.I have tasted in bangalore,pune,mumbai , kolhapur after some time they all taste same.

    The two items that is indigenous to Belgaum is Alipak Bhel which you may still get near shivaji garden and Purohit’s Kunda.

    I think uday had done an article on both of these which not only brought back my childhood memories but made me mouth watering and hungry.

    OK now i m rely feeling hungry, no option to get bgm food here have to eat bread butter jam in mumbai.

    Take care belgaumites
    Kapil.Chikalikar

  17. yummmyyy……dahi and paiysum at Ram dhaba. and its tandoori items…..foodie! i have never missed a single chance of having dinner in yargatti on the way to bijapur……..really missing belgaum lot n lot
    Irshad bhai missing all your new receips in niyaz….and ajanta idli really unforgettable
    Swatee saffron is awesome in punjabi dishes, you can try out Greens for continental
    MISSING ALL MY BELGAUM ALOT ……coming back dear

  18. Nice article. Not a die-hard foody myself, and yet I was hooked 🙂

    For desi snacks, I love gobbling at Pachavati (part of Ramdeo hotel). The pizza served at US Pizza (beside Sanman) is also very nice, unlike their branches in other cities.

    And oh, I too miss good continental and Asian food here 🙁

  19. hey swati, its great to know that you have been a hardcore foodie that you have eaten at places like moghe and yes moghe is one great place where i dint miss mum's breakfast. Having said that there are plenty many places that i am sure you would have tried and to top the list "hand to mouth" comes to my palet, sorry mind. And yes someone mentioned about non-vegi places. Course there are many and belgaum serves some great lamb, narvekars is the place for biryani, yes home made again. As you have rightly said about belgaum being ready for greater culunery expreinces and heart of the matter is that we have lost some exclusive places esp. for fish. Only fish was the only fish place that served some authenitc goan fish dishes but now i am lost as to where to find a place to eat good fish. Readers, help on this would be greatly appreciated. Follow me on twitter @psychadelian

  20. Good initiative… The author has made a excellent attempt on the foodie joint's but she has missed out the delcacies of some excellent food joints for non veg. starting from niyaz to Khyber and many smaller ones around khadebazar. some joints near AM shaikh / ramdev hotel. Any way, some body else can add up!! Good attempt.

    Some one try these two for veg – Ram Dhaba at Hattargi – beside IBP bunk on NH-4 and non-veg – desi chicken curry rassa and fry at Moulana's GEETA delux at Yargatti circle, on Bijapur Hyderabad highway. You will love thise desi style good old joints!!!!

    • I am a die-hard veggie, Foodie! But yes, I have been to Ram Dhaba many times and quite like their Akkha Masur! The semolina kheer is overhyped …I feel!

    • Echoes of the Grey Hills – Exactly reflects the recipes of Belgaum & it is very nicely written. The one by Swatee gives a picture especially to a visitor that there are no non vegetarian outlets in Belgaum. Would say that for fish dishes Adinarayan is the best one & the sol kadi after the meals really soothes your stomach.

  21. Ah….. Yummy article…. I think the USSAL PAV OF HIMALAYA CAN BE addes to the list… N yes for SURE… the icecrems which are made by 'HANDE' (KILOSKAR RD) OR say Royal ICECREAM (KHADE BAZAR SHAPUR) will make it more Sweeter

  22. Kachhi-Dabeli @ Kirloskar road beside Nucleus mall is also missing which is amazing !!!

    I think no one is noticed this….

  23. Nice thoughtful feelings by Swati…
    If you remember, we had restaurant called "Mitra Samaj" use to serve "Missal" and the taste was 2 b awesome!!. Purohit's kachories, NewGrand's uppittu, Prasad Product's Tea were mind blowing
    It's very sad that the famous restaurants like Brindavan, Renuka(Near Nartaki talkies) Pranaam (opp globe), are not doing good now a days..

  24. I have miss niaz all type of biryani, kirloskar road summy pav bhaji & good test of ajanth hotel all food and miss all blg frds

  25. Dear All,

    I strongly believe Swati has missed out on adding the mouth watering Mutton prepared in Savaji style in Belgaum…Patil Galli and Nathpai circle are the best places for thse….The yummy Paya Soup, Mutton Chops, The Kheema, The rassa, etc….In addition to this you could also add the Biryani joints in bgm..

    Regards
    Amar

  26. Are you a vegetarian as there is no mention of non vegetarian outlets like Adinarayan, Niyaz. The fish dishes at Adinarayan are too good & easy on your stomach as well as healthier than the junk food.

  27. Swati nice article. But oriental and continental may not be required in a place for belgaum. We belgaumites who stay out of belgaum miss the taste of age old puribhaaji, balus bhel , paratha corner and my view is it should remain like that and should not change

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