Gypsy Dining Rooms, is my top pick in Jodhpur, Rajasthan for a great traditional Rajasthani thali (a range of interesting flavours served on a large tray/plate). Waistcoated waiters buzz around refilling all the thali components, each assigned different dishes to deliver to eager diners.
Clearly it’s a very popular spot with locals.
Dishes and accompaniments included: yogurt and chickpea curry, dal bati churma, desert vegetable from the kesari tree, paneer, dal, paratha, millet roti, chapati, spinach dish, zucchini dish, special bread from Gujarat, sweets, chutneys.
Not just a great opportunity to try a wide range of traditional vegetarian foods, but a whole dining experience to more than rival the famous Maharaja Rajasthani Thali at LMB Restaurant in Jaipur. Highly recommended.
Another absolutely essential snack stop spot in Jodphur is the Mishri Lal Hotel, easy to find at the southern gate entrance of Sardar Market (with the clock tower in the middle).
It is immensely popular with locals, particularly for it’s rich delicious Makaniya lassi (about 50 cents) made from saffron, yogurt and whipped butter cream, but equally friendly and helpful to tourists.
It is also a good spot to try another famous Jodhpur snack Mawa Kachori as well as Pede and Rabdi (a dessert made from milk curds, cardamon and sugar that reminded me of cheesecake).
Menu Mawa Kachori – whole
Mawa Kachori – stuffed with crushed nuts and cinnamon Pede
Castle View Home Stay in Jodhpur is a family home that has been converted into a guesthouse, by host Amit, and it has a hard to beat roof top restaurant view over the blue city against the backdrop of Fort Mehrangarh.
Located in the old city, it is away from the busiest and most touristy clock tower area but within easy walking distance of Padamsar and Radisar lakes, amazing views from Elephanta Hill, interesting narrow lane ways and the Victory Gate entrance to the fort.
There is a good feeling of being ‘part’ of local life, much of due to Amit’s knowledgeable but relaxed, thoughtful hospitality.
Amit is also great for guidance on local foods, the best local places to eat (and where to be cautious of) and how to see the best of Jodhpur. He can also organise great value tours for his guests, including a trip to surrounding villages.
But most of all, Amit takes great care of his guests.
Rooms have air conditioning, free wifi and ensuites. At around $AUS 20 per double, the price for this exceptional hospitality and experience is hard to believe.
Close to Raas Haveli Hotel and the clock tower, Jhankar Choti Haveli Restaurant also offers an amazing sunset view of Fort Mehrangarh and good vegetarian Indian dishes (and western food) at a great value price (around $AUS 5 for a Special Thali).
The view rivals that of Indique Restaurant, at about half the price and staff are lovely.
Lal Maans & Naan
Indique is Lonely Planet’s top pick for eating in Jodhpur, and sunset here is just gorgeous. It does have an amazing view of both Fort Mehrangarh and back to Umaid Bhawan Palace. Even the street scenes below are fascinating.
Set in a lovely 150 year old haveli offering heritage accommodation, it is close to the clock tower and easy to find.
Dishes are a bit pricier than some other good spots, at around $AUS 7-8 for mains, but worth it for the setting, ambiance and style.
It gets busy, so it pays to go early.
Sardar market, around the clock tower in Jodhpur, is always buzzing with colour and activity.
And there’ s plenty of good spots close buy for snacks and meals.
Near the Nothern Gate – Omelette Shop, Mishrilal Hotel, Indique Restaurant
There’s also Spice Paradise, offering spices and cooking classes, up the road from the Northern Gate.
But it’s also pretty hectic in this part of town. I don’t think I’d ever been warned so much before about hard sell and scams as when I arrived in Jodhpur.
Outside the Southern Gate there is also Shahi Snacks, good for samosas and mirchi bada.
Down the road from the Southern Gate is Priya Restaurant, good for Thali (fresher at lunchtime than dinner (in the rainy season particularly) I’m told and Janta Sweet Home, good for Mawa Kachori and other sweet delicacies.
Exploring the narrow streets and lanes of the old parts of this ‘Blue City’ is fascinating and fun.
Trying some of the street food specialities along the way is even better.
Samosa, Kachori, Mirchi Pakora Makhaniya Lassi