Bhopal is a unique and extremely beautiful city at the heart of India. The city is straddled by two large lakes, one of them built by the legendary Raja Bhoj. Due to several different aspects to have affected the city, the cuisine too has been shaped by the movements. Raja Bhoj is considered the founder but subsequent rulers like the Begums during the Princely State era have added further colour. In recent times, the establishment of the BHEL factory and settlement as well as creation of Bhopal as the state capital has attracted people from all over the country. To add further to this Bhopal boasts of some of the finest educational institutes in the country such as IIFM, MANIT, NLIU and NIFT which have ensured the city has a youthful and vibrant look about it.
Following is a list of 7 of the city’s best restaurants which must not be missed if one is in Bhopal:
In spite of Bhopal not boasting of any Chinese / East Asian heritage worth the name, this gem surprises us all. This restaurant tops the charts in all the items prepared here. The lamb is sometimes a bit hard, but every other item is top class. Please try the coriander soup, laksa kai soup, American chopsuey, the prawn items and the Thai curries.
This place serves excellent Mughlai food but also does a smattering of other dishes. The mutton dishes are especially full of flavour. Proportions are extremely generous. The chili chicken especially can literally feed an army.
Not strictly speaking a restaurant, instead this is an area in old Bhopal. It is part of the Muslim quarters and serves food typically associated traditionally with this city. The kebabs and paya soup are among the best tasted anywhere. The Bhopal biryani has its own unique flavour distinct to its Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi or Lucknow cousins. Best part however are the bun kebabs which are basically meat preparations stuffed inside sweet buns. The sweet and spicy combination goes together extremely well.
A relatively unknown restaurant, Lake Princess is part of a hotel located in one of the up-market areas of the town. Ambience and service are amongst the best in a city which otherwise does not care much for such frills. Best items here are the palak paneer and mutton korma.
More than the food, this restaurant tops the bill due to its sheer location. It gives customers a panoramic view of the beautiful Bada Talab or Bhopal Lake. Live background music is also played, usually comprising of Sufi music. The food is eclectic and quite good. Especially worth trying are the sizzlers which are of genuine quality.
One of the two top hotels of Bhopal, this has been created inside a palace. The food is eclectic and different cuisines of food can be ordered. Each item is cooked with finesse. The Hungarian Goulash for example is as good as the gajar ka halwa. Just do not go for the gulab jamun as it has been described as jamun-e-gul and the description can fool some ignorant customers like it did me. The interiors and service are possibly the best in Bhopal.
This restaurant belongs to the most expensive hotel in the city, built inside the erstwhile royal palace. The interiors are equally gorgeous and the place reeks of genuine fine dining. Due to the Nawabi heritage, kebabs and biryanis are famous here. The sweets are also particularly well known. Best part however is the Haleem, which is a must try.
This list includes the very best although numerous other outlets have opened up which will soon provide healthy competition to the established lot.