Feb 10, 2016  0 Comments

Why is Manek Chowk the paradise for foodies in Ahmedabad?

When you think about Ahmedabad, the first thing that strikes in your mind is the stupendous food. Yes, an “Aamdavadi” (a true Ahmedabad resident pronounces it in that way only) lives to eat, not eats to live. The city has all varieties of platters to delight you. Right from the cheap and delicious street food to expensive but incomparable Rajwadi Thali; you have a full range of foods to enjoy. Every moment is the right moment for eating when you are in Ahmedabad.

Manek Chowk, the place with a glorious history

If you go to Ahmedabad and come back without visiting Manek Chowk, then the trip is incomplete. The legendry place offers such a wide range of choices that you can’t cover everything in one night. You have to go there for at least twice. Yes, the market is always flooded with people, but it shines with the real glory in the night.

There are historical references to the place called Manek Chowk. During the old times, it was the center of the city; well protected from intruders. Therefore, it was the best place for selling precious metals (Gold and Silver) and precious stones. The city of Ahmedabad was developed in a circular fashion outside Manek Chowk. Since the market was surrounded by typical houses called “Pol”, it was not possible to enter Manek Chowk easily. Hence, the threat of intrusion or robbery was limited.

With the course of time, things changed and Ahmedabad developed into a huge city with multiple commercial areas scattered across the city. Though Manek Chowk still has a few outstanding “Pols” and jewelry shops, it is more prominently known for the unmatched food market.

The days and the nights are totally different there!

It is astonishing to see the transformation of Manek Chowk during different parts of the day. The place is always buzzing with flocks of locals and outsiders who come to grab the best shopping opportunities.

If you go there early in the morning, then it is a good time to pick fresh vegetables and fruits. As the sun rises high, the business hours begin, and jewelry shops open with their full charm and glory. There is a cloth market adjacent to it where you find exclusive Gujarati fabrics. The world-famous Bandhani print and Batik print mesmerize people by their widespread variety of colors and patterns.

As the sun sets, Manek Chowk gets ready to transform once again. The preparations start around 7 PM and the tables start serving people around 8 PM. The bonanza continues till late night (typically 1 AM) where the crowd of thousands enjoys unbelievably tasty platters at affordable rates. Since the food is prepared then and there, it is fresh, tasty and sizzling hot!

You name it; they have it

Boundless variety and mind-blowing taste are the peculiarities of Manek Chowk. Though it is known for the traditional delicacies of Gujarat, nowadays you have continental dishes served with the same galore. The ultimate hospitality and warmth of Gujju culture make you feel like the native of Ahmedabad. One thing is for sure; you must go there empty stomach so that at least half of the varieties you can taste.

  • Pavbhaji: Spelled and pronounced “Paoon Bhaji” in Manek Chowk, the Mumbai originated dish takes a total Gujarati Avatar here. You have several versions of it, including Chinese Pavbhaji and Jain Pavbhaji (which does not contain onion, garlic, and even potatoes). Mahalaxmi Pavbhaji Center has got worldwide fame. The taste is awesome everywhere, though.
  • Sandwich: Who says it is a breakfast item? For Manek Chowk, it is a dish which can be relished at any hour. You will get puzzled with the numerous choices there, but don’t forget to taste “Chocolate Sandwich”, the unforgettable combination of bread and hot chocolate. Many people hesitate to taste it first and order just one piece. However, the immediate next order is; one for everyone in the group!
  • Chat: No Indian street food market is complete without Chat. Originated at Delhi, the food category is one of the beloved ones across the country. It is the fiesta of taste, color and style. Manek Chowk brings some of the best Chat items that will make you crazy. Get submerged into the showers of the tang of Pani patashe, chhole tikiya, papdi chat and dahi bada. Amdavadi chat has a different flavor and style. You will remember it forever.
  • South Indian food: In spite of the central foodie market of Ahmedabad, you get superb South Indian food there. Idli, Masala Dosa, Vada Sambar and Upama, all are there with the special Gujju touch. Yes, the sambar is a little bit sweet there. Regardless of it, the taste is splendid. Balan Dosa Centre has been acclaimed by celebrities and legends for great taste and quality.
  • Chinese Food: Like any other city in India, you find stalls of Chinese food serving steaming hot Noodles, Manchurian, Chiili Paneer and Veg 65. Certainly, the taste of Chinese food in Manek Chown is distinctly different. It will linger for quite some time. The unique combination of sauces and spices make it special.
  • Gujarati Farsan: How can you miss Gujarati Farsan while enjoying food platters in the central place of the city of Ahmedabad? Sev Khamni, sandwich Dhokala, Amiri Khaman, Khandvi and Patra. Each one is distinct and so special. Order a plate of Gujarati Gote with a handful of fried chilies. Don’t worry, they are moderately hot. It is guaranteed that you will plan another visit to Ahmedabad, just for Farsaan!
  • Kulfi: So far you starved the Sweet Tooth. Now, satisfy it with the lingering taste of Asharfi Kulfi, the king of kulfi. The shop is more than four decades old, and it retains the same taste and richness of the old times. Even if you are on a weight loss program, do not miss Asharfi Kulfi. Schedule an extra workout when you go back to the hometown.

This is Manek Chowk. The place offers a panorama of food platters where everyone has something of his or her choice. Nobody returns from here disappointed!