Udaipur, a stunning city that exudes heritage, culture & royalty, is not only home to amazing palaces, buzzing streets, beautiful lakes, but is also a foodie’s dream. Nestled on the southern side of Rajasthan, Udaipur is known for its royal hospitality & cuisine. During our trip to Udaipur last month for our first wedding anniversary, we stumbled upon many such amazing restaurants across the city. We spent 4 nights & 5 days in pursuit of the ultimate Udaipur Food Trail and I must tell you that we were not disappointed during a single meal.
A trip to Udaipur is incomplete without Dal-Bati-Churma & Laal Maas
Most travelers in Udaipur opt for bed and breakfast option as not too many restaurants open up early in the morning. After breakfast, everyone usually heads out to explore the city. There are some great restaurants in the old city for lunch and dinner. Here we mention some of the best restaurants in Udaipur to eat the most authentic Rajasthani dishes and other cuisines.
1Jaiwana Haveli Rooftop Restaurant:
The Jaiwana Haveli was where we had put up for the first 3 nights of our trip as we wanted to explore the old city without having to travel much. They have a rooftop restaurant which overlooks Lake Pichola. Since we had opted for their Bed & Breakfast meal plan, we would walk up to the rooftop to be greeted by their ever smiling staff every morning. Our breakfast included cornflakes, pancakes, tea/coffee, fresh juices, cheesy mushroom omelets & a fruit platter. This would keep us going until the afternoon as we explored the city. What you see above was the view we had from our breakfast table. The sight of the Taj Lake Palace & Jag Mandir on Lake Pichola on the right & City Palace on our left was simply breathtaking early in the morning.
As the sun sets on Udaipur, The city transforms into a glittering canvas of lights
We had dinner at the rooftop restaurant on the first night of our stay. They serve some really good Mughlai dishes apart from the regular stuff. Their Chicken Mughlai curry and Laal Maas is something you should definitely try out for dinner accompanied by naan bread or tandoori roti.
One quick tip: Please book your table in advance else you won’t get any of the corner tables at the restaurant for that uninterrupted view.
2Krishna Dal Bati Restro:
Hidden in a narrow street right behind the Vintage Car Museum is this gem of a place. We went here twice. And on both occasions, we were blown away. These guys serve only one dish. The Dal Bati Churma. The simplicity of the dish and complexity of the taste amazed us. We could barely have 3 batis as they were so rich and heavy. But the savior of the day was their Chhach (buttermilk). Amazing consistency and flavor. This is arguably one of the best Dal-Bati restaurants in Udaipur. The owner and staff are very cordial. For Rs. 250 per person for the Unlimited thali, it’s a steal. This one is a must visit on the list, don’t miss this for anything.
Another great place to have some authentic Rajasthani thali is the famous Nataraj Restaurant. Located near the Railway Station, these guys have been the flag bearer of Rajasthani Thalis in Udaipur. You can choose to have A-la-cart or their Unlimited Thali. We, of course, chose the latter 🙂 Their massive thali comes with 3 different types of sabzi, dal, kadi, rajma, dhokla, mini samosas, puri, chapatis & rice along with kheer for dessert. All this is served with spiced buttermilk to wash down all the guilt 🙂
4Ambrai (Amet Haveli)
If you are looking for a ‘Date Night’ dinner with a royal view, this is the place to be. Located on the western banks of Lake Pichola, Ambrai doesn’t disappoint you with the view or the food. We tried their Tandoori Chicken & Masala Papad for appetizers & Laal Maas with Tandoori Roti & rice for the main course. Service is slow, but we were completely immersed in the surrounding view to realize that. 🙂
The food tastes much better with a view like this, doesn’t it?
5JMB (Jagdish Misthan Bhandar)
While you shop around the old city or around the Hathi Pole area, this is one place where you can go to have a quick snack. JMB is well known across the city for its Pyaz Kachori (A savory puff pastry with onion & potato stuffing) and sweets. Although we went here for the Kachori, we also ended up buying a few boxes of sweets. Their Malai Roll, Soan Papdi & Horlicks Barfi are a must try.
We went to Tribute for dinner the night before we left Udaipur. Located near the Fateh Sagar Lake on the banks of Swaroop Sagar, this turned out to be the biggest surprise of all. We had our best meal of the trip here at Tribute. The ambiance, service & food at Tribute is something that is still engraved in our memory.
Our search for the perfect Laal Maas ended here as we were overwhelmed with the richness of the gravy and the tenderness of the meat. The chef Ramji is known around the restaurant circles & many other restaurants suggested to us that we have one meal at Tribute. The Laal Maas, as the name suggests, is a red curry of chili paste (no tomatoes) and is spicy, but the one we had here doesn’t burn your insides. Do visit this for some lip-smacking food and quality service. When you talk to the waiters, prepare to be greeted by them saying “Hukum” 🙂
For those looking to take a break from the rich & heavy Rajasthani food, Grasswood cafe is one of the more well-known cafes in Udaipur. More popular with the International tourists who aren’t too keen on the local cuisine, Grasswood Cafe has something for everyone. Located near the Chandpole area, this cute little cafe serves some really good cheese omelets, fruit platter, thick shakes et al. Open from 7.30 in the morning, do visit if you are looking for a quick bite that’s easy on your pocket.
8Upre 1559 AD
This upscale restaurant is located on Lake Pichola overlooking the City Palace. Known for its fine dining setup, Upré serves some really nice Rajasthani & Indian food. They also have continental cuisine for the international tourists. A majority of the travelers come to this restaurant for its ambiance and view. Some of the must try items here are: Laal Maas, Fish Tikka and their cocktails 🙂
Food Hacks for Udaipur Food Trail:
Table Reservation: Since most restaurants are located on the banks of Lake Pichola and Lake Fateh Sagar, don’t forget to book your table in advance so that you can get the corner table, for that uninterrupted view. Ambrai takes bookings 24 Hrs prior, so does Upré & Tribute.
Laal Maas: This ‘dynamite’ curry gets its red color from red chili paste only (no tomatoes). So, in case you have a lesser tolerance for spicy food like my wife does, kindly instruct the chef accordingly. It goes best with rice, as it brings down the spice level.
Dal Bati: The Bati is made from granulated wheat flour and ghee. This isn’t a gluten-free meal. The garlic chutney served along with it is spicy, so be careful.