In a modern political map of India, Rajkot may be shown as a part of Gujarat, but essentially it is the part of the Saurashtra peninsula, which comprises a larger portion of the Gujarat state. To an outsider like us, this may not mean anything, but ask any local and they would deny being part of the Gujarat but boast being a native to the Saurashtra region or the Kathiawar.
Kathiawar region gets its nomenclature from the famed Kathi Durbar, a kshatriya clan native to the South-Western region of Gujarat. Legend has it that during the annexation of Punjab by Alexander, The Great, it was the Kathis who wounded him badly which ultimately caused his death.
Rajkot City, Gujarat: It’s Past vs Present
After Independence, several princely states were merged together to form the state of Saurashtra. And, Rajkot enjoyed the title of being the capital city of the state of Saurashtra. This region is inhabited by a large number of vegetarian population as they descend from the Sun-worshipping clan of the Kshatriyas.
As a result, almost every restaurant in the city serves only vegetarian food. Don’t be surprised if cannot find your favourite Chicken Burger at McDonald’s or Pepperoni Pizza at the Dominos, as most of the franchises of these international food chains have turned completely vegetarian in this city.
However, that does not limit the options of eating out here. So, next time if you happen to visit Rajkot city in Gujarat for any IPL Match, this list may come handy to you.
Street Food on 150ft. Ring Road.
This is the main road passing through the city of Rajkot, and this is heaven for the street-food lovers. You can access it through the BRT system of State Road transportation, which is cheap, efficient, and air-conditioned. The best time to visit would be evenings and onward when the food joints are beaming with action. Enjoy a variety of Chaats, or Fried fritters served with a variety of sauces, or you may also give a quick visit to the Bengal Sweets shop, where you can find yourself a variety of very-close-to-authentic Bengali sweets. Outside the borders of Bengal, this could be one of the best bets of relishing famed Bengali Sandesh!
The Grand Thakar Restaurant on Jawahar Road, Rajkot
Ask anyone in the city and they would suggest this place for an authentic Kathiawadi Thali. So, is a Kathiawadi Thali and a Gujarati Thali same? Absolutely, No!! Kathiawadi thali features distinct dishes which depict the local lifestyle and socio-economic status.
Since the Kathiawar region is arid to semi-arid region, this area lacks an abundance of vegetation. So, most of the original dishes hailing to this particular Saurashtra peninsula area may not include a variety of vegetables. Also, the Gujarati dishes are mostly sweet in taste, the Kathiawadi dishes are more savoury in nature.
A must-try in this thali is Sev-Tamatar, which is a tomato-based gravy topped with Sev, chickpea flour noodles, and Bharela Ringan, a gravy based dish of stuffed Aubergines.
Before you get the chance to enter this popular restaurant, be ready to stand in the waiting queue for at least 30 minutes. They are open both lunch and dinner services and offer valet parking service.
Lords Banquet Restaurant on Kasturba Road, Rajkot
Just a few blocks ahead of the Golf Course Road, which is the heart of the city, you will the Lords Banquet and restaurant standing proudly on the Kasturba Road. While this may seem like just another food outlet, but once the food is served, they stand up to their reputation for serving the best Punjabi and Multi-Cuisine food in the entire city of Rajkot.
Their range of Naans is fascinating, which includes the Kashmiri Naan, which is must-try. This all-vegetarian restaurant can easily make a hard-core non-vegetarian believe in the goodness of meatless meals. They offer complimentary welcome drinks and if lucky, you might also get a complimentary bowl of ice-cream at the end of your meal.
This restaurant is owned and run by the family of Ravindra Jadeja, the famous cricketer who happens to belong to the city of Rajkot and plays for the Gujrat Lions in the Indian Premier League Cricket Tournament.
While the food and the service might not be the biggest draw of this restaurant, most guests come to enjoy the ambience of this place and well, to have a say that they at Jaddu’s.
This restaurant is again completely vegetarian, offering Thai, Chinese, and North Indian cuisine.
Apart from these, there are several restaurants which include Yellow Chili, owned by the famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor, located right nearby to the Jaddu’s.
Those looking for non-vegetarian food may get lucky at Hot’N’More Restaurant or at the fine dining restaurant at the star hotels of the city like Marasa Sarovar Portico, etc.
Do Not Miss:
The ‘Farsan’ or the essentially Gujarati snacks, which are a must-have along with every meal. There are millions of shops selling thousands of varieties of farsan in Rajkot, like Dhokla, Khandvi, Shev, Gathiya, Mixture, which is a mix of a variety of baked items like corn flakes, puffed rice, peanuts, spices, etc.
Paan or Betel Leaves at Delux Paan Bhandar. You would find a franchise of this Betel Shop at every corner of Gujarat. It is a chain of retail shops that sell varieties of Paan to the Gujarati Bhais. People love chewing Betel leaves with Areca nuts and various other items of choice throughout the day. That probably explains the bloody stains throughout the city!