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Where to Eat in Ooty – a food and dining guide

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Much of Ooty’s best value food is found on the street and in the markets. Plenty of cheap eats are served up by street vendors – especially chaat, or snack food – and the local road-side eateries called dhabas. If your constitution isn’t quite used to street food just yet, Ooty has a selection of dining locations offering Westernised menus, smart restaurants often linked to a hotel, and a handful of good Chinese pig-out spots.
Typical dishes

 

 

Residents in Ooty are known for their sweet tooth, with local bakeries selling sweet buns, cakes and chocolate. For breakfast you can try vada – a doughnut made from lentil flour.

Charing Cross

 

Ooty’s main commercial area is packed with restaurants, cafés, and snack stalls. For an Indian take on Italian-American food try Sidewalk Café. With booths, bright décor, and a real pizza oven, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure, and a popular one at that. For something more authentic, head to the Garden Café. Tucked behind the Nahar Hotel, this clean and friendly restaurant serves traditional south Indian food, including delicious dosas and thalis served on banana leaf, with views over the pleasant garden – a welcome bit of calm in central Ooty.

 

• Sidewalk Café, Charing Cross, Ooty; Tel: +91 423 244 2173

The Garden Café, Nahar Hotel, Charing Cross, Ooty; Tel: +91 423 244 2173

 

Commercial Road

 

Linked to Charing Cross, Commercial Road is a major Ooty thoroughfare. As a result it’s brimming with good value dhabas, snack vendors, and restaurants. It’s also home to some Western chains, if you’re really craving that taste of home. Meat eaters will particularly love Kabab Corner. It serves up perfectly tender spicy chicken, lamb or – if you’ve got a veggie friend with you – paneer kebabs. At the bottom of Commercial Road towards the lake, Hotel Maneck is home to Jain Restaurant - a simple good value eatery serving veg and non-veg food.

 

• Kabab Corner, Commercial Road, Ooty

Jain Restaurant, Hotel Maneck, Main Bazaar Road, Ooty; Tel: +91 944 234 8741

 

Walsham Road

 

Just off Commercial Road, Walsham Road is still right in the heart of central Ooty. For biriyani lovers – and those looking for good value food in a clean restaurant – Hyderabad Biriyani House serves up this subtly spiced, nut-strewn, and regal Indian favourite to rave reviews. Meanwhile, Willy’s Coffee Pub is a popular hangout spot, brimming with books and games. It’s a great place for chatting with fellow travellers or international students over a coffee and cake, or a slice of pizza.

 

• Hyderabad Biriyani House, Walsham Road, Ooty; Tel: +91 423 329 5632

Willy’s Coffee Pub, KCR Arcade, Walsham Road, Ooty

 

Hospital Road

 

Still in central Ooty, but tucked away from the hubbub of Commercial Road, you’ll find a handful of good eating spots around Hospital Road. One of them – Shinkow’s – is a must-visit spot when in Ooty. A traditional Far Eastern ambience awaits you in the dining room of this Chinese restaurant, and the tasty rice or noodle dishes have made this place one of Ooty’s most reliable eateries. If you’re craving a good coffee while in Ooty, one of India’s prime coffee chains – Café Coffee Day – can be found just off Hospital Road. Quick snacks and proper coffees make it an ever popular spot.

 

• Shinkow’s Chinese Restaurant, 38/83 Commissioner’s Road, Ooty; Tel: +91 423 244 2811

Café Coffee Day, Old Coronation Theatre Building, Church Hill Road, Ooty; Tel: +91 423 244 9240