Ever wished to escape the hustle bustle of a fast paced city life? Our extremely hectic work life these days call for a travel trip to refresh and unwind our spirits. A budget getaway – that starts with a road trip through the valleys and is filled with adventurous activities, mesmerizing hotel views and variety of food – is bound to revive and energize everyone. We present the perfect destination for an ideal weekend getaway with friends and family - The Queen of Hills in Maharashtra – Mahabaleshwar.
You think Mahabaleshwar, you think strawberries, isn’t it? Well, of course you would. On your way to Mahabaleshwar, you’ll actually see a lot of strawberry farms. These farms that belong to local villagers produce best quality strawberries in Maharashtra and are exported all over the world. There are many local vendors and farmers that set out to sell their strawberry produce on carts and vehicles. Some even put up stalls and shops to sell them in the form of milkshakes or ice creams. Plucking these strawberries straight from the field with your friends and family is an experience in itself.
An authentic Maharashtrian thali consisting of local gravy dishes, vegetable dishes, rice and roti made of local grains proves a satisfying meal at this hill station. Bharli Vangi (stuffed brinjal), a famous dish made of local goda masala and groundnuts into a lunch delicacy, is included in these thalis. These dishes are served with love by the locals in Mahabaleshwar at smaller dhabas, local farms as well as high-end restaurants and the taste of these locals dishes cannot be matched anywhere else. These thali dishes are available in vegetarian as well as non vegetarian choices. Seafood, lamb gravies and chicken dishes form a part of the non vegetarian Maharashtrian thalis.
Puran poli is an authentic Maharashtrian dish made of chapati stuffed with puran – a specially prepared mix of boiled grams, jiggery and ghee. This dish is prepared in many parts of Maharashtra as a celebration dish and in Mahabaleshwar many restaurants offer this dish during festival times. Experiencing this amazing dish cooked and served by the local women here during festivals is a celebration like no other. During peak tourist seasons, many hotels offer this famous dish prepared by the local chefs.
Famous Mediterranean style cafés with stylish interiors are known for their juicy, delicious lamb burger and come with long wine list to choose from. These cafes are known for their cute ambience and friendly staff of locals. They also serve mouthwatering dishes like turkey, soft-shell crabs, Irish coffee, wine and beer. The experience of sitting in the verandah of a restaurant relishing the Mediterranean cuisine with your loved ones will forever be etched in your memory.
Hill stations call for regional food items like fried fritters (pakodas) and a refreshing cup of tea at local stalls near all popular tourist points. These stalls are located at all tourist places at short distances for public convenience. To feast on a plate full of pakodas during a light drizzle of evening rain and a pleasant weather is a moment to cherish forever. Other snack dishes at some points of sightseeing include French toast, maggi, vadapav and coffee.
Mahabaleshwar has many Parsi locals who found residence there over the years. These locals have kept their culture alive by offering Parsi cuisine at many small and high-end restaurants across Mahabaleshwar and outskirts of Panchgani. Some famous Parsi dishes include Dhansak and Berry pulav among the others. Some restaurants also serve the famous Raspberry soda which is considered the heart and soul of an authentic Parsi Cuisine.
Chikki is a prominent sweet dish at many hill stations in Maharashtra. Mahabaleshwar offers some of the best chikkis in terms of taste and quality. This place has variety of fresh chikkis in different flavors including strawberry and their chocolate fudge is typically bought by all tourists to take back home for their friends and family. In Mahabaleshwar, hot and fresh Chocolate walnut Fudge is popular among the other dishes.
Mahabaleshwar strawberries are famous all over Maharashtra and prove a great resource for refreshing milkshakes. Many stalls spread at short distances offer milkshakes made from local strawberries and chocolate that tourists like as refreshments after a long drive across the local areas or walks to tourist spots. Mango, blueberry and Oreo milkshakes are some bestsellers among the others. Mapro garden located in Panchgani is one of the most famous tourist attractions for visitors of Mahabaleshwar. Farm fresh strawberries squeezed into refreshing milkshakes ought to be the best part of a summer trip to Mahabaleshwar.
There are many classy restaurants and bars with rooftop views that proffer a perfect dining experience. These places offer all types of cuisines along with different types of snacks and drinks. Many open-air restaurants offer barbeque and grills, seafood dishes and modern-style dishes with the fresh ingredients of the villages.
Along the NH4 highway there are many dhabas that offer multi-cuisine delicacies in Mahabaleshwar. Tourists from all regions relish on the pocket-friendly dishes at these dhabas at day and at night. These local dhabas give you village vibes with folk music, entertainment and dancing. They are usually packed to capacities during lunch and dinner hours, especially during peak seasons and weekends. They serve both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes like biryanis, butter chicken, paneer makhanwala and tandoor-cooked rotis and promises to bring out the foodie inside you.