By : Juhi Bansal There are two faces of Udaipur, two seasons, two characters. If you visit Udaipur between April and October its a thoroughly laid back Indian town where you can relax, shop, eat all at your own pace. Thanks to the amazing off season offers by the three stalwarts of luxury (Taj Lake Palace, Oberoi Udai Vilas and Leela Palace Kempinski) you can even have a royal holiday on a reasonable budget. Udaipur in peak season (November to March) turns into a small European city. You see foreigners everywhere you look, almost all places are crowded and staying in a small-ish Haveli is fun too. Both seasons have there own charm and if you were to ask me I wouldn’t be able to suggest which one is a better time to visit but depending on whether you want a quiet getaway or a wholesome holiday you can pick your season. Not many know that I’ve grown up in Udaipur. Spent almost all my teenage years there. Even after moving out years ago, it is one city that calls out to me more than my own home and I’ve been happy to oblige every few months with a weekend visit atleast. We (K and I) have done our bit of travel across some of the most romantic cities ( but somehow nothing tugs at our heart-strings more than Udaipur. Whether it’s the dreamy narrow lanes and romantic gondolas like Venice, cobbled streets and outdoor cafes like Bruges, exquisite spas and the feeling of being the only two in the world like the Maldives, magical lights and gastronomical delights like Paris-Udaipur has all of this and much more to offer! If you’ve never been to Udaipur, there might be a long list of “must visit” historical sites that you or your travel agent will help you make but I’ve never run into someone who’s been to Udaipur only once. Yeah, the lakes are almost as magical as the Trevi Fountain in Rome and I firmly believe that if you’ve been there once, you’ll go there again! (not least because the beauty of your last visit will never stop mesmerizing you). So, this to do list is mostly for your second or third or progressive visits because the first one may not afford you enough time to sit back and enjoy these places. (Note: The list is in no particular order) 1. Ambrai: (Best for:Dinner)Located on Lake Pichola, Ambrai probably has the most breathtaking view you would ever experience in your life. The menu has both Indian and International cuisines to offer but if you are a stickler as far as “genuineness” of the dish goes, my suggestion would be to try their Indian or more specifically their Mewari Menu. Khichdi, Govind gatte ki sabzi are some of the must trys. Just looking at the brightly lit lake and sipping on a glass of wine (again the menu is anything but elaborate there but it’s the thought that counts-isn’t it?) is an unforgettable experience in itself. It’s better to call them ahead and reserve a lakeside table because they are always busy. Dinner bill for two with drinks Rs.1000-1500/- P.S.: We normally carry only our phones to Udaipur so our pics may not do justice to the words on this blog. I have tried to pick up pictures from the internet and even though they are not the best, you still may get a fair idea about the places.
2. 1559 A.D.: (Best for: Lunch) This surprisingly is the only indoor place on my list. Ideal for lunches or desserts. It’s located inside a 16th century decor bungalow and the ambience is beyond description. Again won’t rate it very high on non-Indian food but their Indian non-veg dishes are a must try. The interiors are minimal but very tasteful. Bill for two- Rs.800-1000
3. Upre: (Best for:Dinner) Upre literally means “up” or “upstairs” in Mewari. Located on the terrace of Hotel Lake Pichola, it gives you an amazing overhead view of the lake. You can see the beautiful calm lake, the brightly lit City Palace and listen to some live music (the mewari kind with dholak and shehnai). The individual tables are done up royally like tents and gives you a nice and romantic feel. The mewari food served here is to die for! Definitely try the Mewari egg curry or kadhi pakoda. If you are in the mood for some “Indian Chinese”, this is your place! Bill for two: less than Rs. 1000/-
4. Palki Khana: (Best for: Snacks & Drinks) Situated inside the City Palace, Palki Khana is the best place to unwind after your long walks inside the Palace and the museum. With the lake on one side and the beautiful facade of the City Palace on the other, it offers an amazing view. In case you would just like to relax with a book and a bottle of wine…I cannot think of a better place to go to. What’s more-the beautiful Anokhi store right next to the cafe! It has the most amazing jewelry & apparel collection! Bill for two: (drinks and snacks) Rs. 1000-1500/-
5. Savage Garden: (Best for: Lunch) UPDATE: (Savage Garden is now closed for business). Savage Garden is situated in a Godforsaken lane and you may want to ditch your car for an autorickshaw to get there scratch-free. This sent us off to Venice instantly-the same meandering narrow lanes to get to your favorite eateries. It’s completely safe otherwise! Run by a German couple who fell in love with Udaipur- SG is the one place in Udaipur where you can get authentic “videshi food” for desi prices. It’s a charming little cafe with idyllic interiors. Must trys include their home made gnocchi and pastas. Also give their desserts a go. Their liquor license is awaiting renewal but don’t miss their awesome coffee! You may want to give them a call before you turn up unannounced as they are sometimes closed without notice. Bill for two: Rs.1000-1200/-
So these are our absolute favorite places in Udaipur! It’s takes us less than two days to visit them all each time. Needless to say, you leave your calorie charts at home when you travel! Also, they are so easy on the pocket! Each place is quite reasonably priced for the amount of food you will end up eating there. I have one more favorite place for times when we want to splurge and feel like the royalty. Chandni Restaurant at Oberoi Udai Vilas Palace (Best for: Dinner) It’s by the lake and the view is mesmerizing! Live music and dance (mewari and kalbeliya), an awesome selection of wines, staff that treats you like the Queen and an absolutely amazing ambience! Also, did I mention its a gastronomical delight! So, when you want to take your better half on that amazing date or celebrate something special with a friend-this is the PLACE! It may be very difficult to get a table if you are not staying there but it’s definitely worth trying and pulling a few strings for, if you can. Dinner for two- Rs. 3000-5000/- (depending on how much you end up drinking).
Hope you liked the post. Please write in to me if you have any queries about Udaipur be it eating out, finding a place to stay as per your budget or even shopping! I like to believe I know the place too well 🙂 Stay Gorgeous xx Pic Courtesy: www.amethaveliudaipur.com www.tripadvisor.in www.1559ad.com www.rolsu.com www.flickr.com Sapna Jain
Awesome! Your #1 pick is my most fav too! Fell in love with this place in my first visit and any visit to Udaipur is incomplete w/o an evening at Ambrai!
I agree! Ambrai calls for one evening atleast every single time!
Very informative write up am myself in love with udaipur
Thanks Aditi 🙂
Pratibha Aanchal, isn’t this the place we visited while returning from Kumbhalgarh? Haathi dekh kar yaad aaya!
yes, 1559 A.D.
I have visited all place in Udaipur mentioned above. I was staying in budget hotel http://www.hotelgrandesita.com/ where they got all good facility which where pocket friendly.
We are looking for food and photo young enthusiast who want to build up their career and /or want to be a part of the industry. He/ She can be a food blogger, content writer, food reviewer, food lover, amateur photographer, one who is keen to see his/her work, city and world with a different perspective. A person who is actively present on social media platforms. Should have excellent command over English. Should know the city well. No certificate of qualification required as far as a person can prove his/her work.
About us: India Food Tour provides custom made India tour packages with Indian food tours, sightseeing tours, cooking classes and adventure activities in India. Started in 2009 by two founders a Chef & a photographer, now heads many food & photo tour companies across cities. We have cater to many master chefs from across the world and many photographers have won famous and prestigious awards from pictures clicked on our photo tours. For more details please visit: http://www.indiafoodtour.com
For more details, you can mail us at email@example.com. Or you may directly reach us at +91 7042278866, +91 9810645418. You can also share your blogs, pictures and resume for an immediate consideration.
I loved the way you have described Udaipur, pictures are amazing. Well, I was in udaipur too a month ago and trust me it was a beautiful and romantic journey. Thank you for sharing such amazing pictures which refreshed the memories. special thanks to padharo udaipur app from which i was able to book hotels and restaurants much quicker.
Thanks for writing in Flora. I am so glad you enjoyed Udaipur. The city will always have my heart no matter where I travel.
thanks for sharing such an informative blog! I love scrolling through it. I too had visited udaipur few months ago and discovered alot. the place is indeed a great and it has amazing architecture. thanks for sharing again, It refreshed memories of the trip. I’m grateful to padharo udaipur App for bookings and recommendations.
Your article seems to describe the very essence of Udaipur. It was indeed a great read.
We have recently come up with a new restaurant called Oladar Village Cafe on Lake Palace Road. Please do check it out on your next visit to the city.
Nice Blog .
Informative Blog Post.
Information shared here is very useful.
Very Informative Blog.
Last year I visited the city and I loved this city so much. Specially the hotels are so nice and in budget.
Nice and informative blog.
thanks for sharing such an informative blog.
Update: Savage Garden is Open. Writing this sitting there and watching the sunset 🙂
really! Thank you so much for the info Pankaj. Is it still run by the same management?
Thanks for such an informative blog article… would love to visit here.
I just Love My City.
Nice and Informative Post.
Great Post, Useful information.
Angeera Dal Bati Restaurant is popular known as famous vegetarian Rajasthani delicacy of Udaipur.
This is One of the best vegetarian restaurant in Udaipur it delights dinners with the out-worldly taste of its Rajasthani dishes.
Best Restaurants in Udaipur. Everyone should visit.
The food they serve…Oh my god!! too amazing. No one can compete Udaipur in every way.
I agree with you!