Top 10 Street Foods You Must Try In Vadodara, India

street food in vadodara
| 5 min read

Among Gujarat’s most popular cities, and also known as Baroda, is Vadodara, perched along the banks of the Vishwamitri River. The city is home to brilliant architecture and multiple religious sites, ancient palaces, and temples, which attract thousands its way each year. Plus, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner and Pavagadh, which is also nearby. However, not just typical sightseeing, Vadodara is also famous for its banging food scene. Here are some of the top street foods you must try in Vadodara, Gujarat, for an exquisite gastronomical experience. They’re easy on the pocket, are readily available, and are a burst of flavours for the palate.

1. Vada pav (potato patty burger)

Vada Pav-Indian street food
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rutvi Mistry used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Although native to the state of Maharastra, vada pav found its way to be liked by the neighbouring state Gujarat as well. It is pretty much like a potato patty burger, except that the sauces used inside and the accompaniments it is usually had with make it a unique snack. Pav is a bread bun (slightly smaller than a usual burger bun), which has a deep-fried potato dumpling-like patty placed inside. Spicy coriander chutney and ketchup are most often smeared inside the burger to amplify flavours, but vendors may choose to go with other sauces as well. Vada pav is super filling!

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2. Dabeli (spiced potato burger)

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kanikatwl used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pretty much like vada pav, dabeli is also a burger-like street food, except it’s native to Gujarat and has a slightly sweet taste to it. A special (dabeli) paste is mixed with boiled (thereafter mashed) potatoes and then stuffed into a burger. The filling is then garnished with pomegranate pearls, chopped coriander, onions, and/or crushed roasted peanuts. Dabeli is most often served with chutneys and sev (crunchy noodle-like thin fries) for a bit of crunch. Pre-prepared dabeli paste is readily available in stores across Vadodara, so if you happen to like the snack, you can buy the powder and try making one at home for yourself! Dabeli is just about the most exquisite combo of sweet-tangy and wholly fulfilling – yum!

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3. Poha (savoury flattened rice)

Poha, a snack made of flattened rice
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user rovingI used under CC BY 2.0

The ultimate breakfast dish, Poha also makes for a quick-fix solution to hunger pangs. It can be prepared in minutes and once done, tastes every bit yum and is super-healthy too. It is prepared by throwing flattened rice, turmeric, chillies, cumin, curry leaves, and some veggies (usually green peas, potatoes, and onions) together in a wok and cooking until the rice becomes soft and the dish takes on a brilliant yellow from the turmeric. Once done, sprinkle some chopped coriander and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top to relish this lip-smacking snack. Top the poha with a bit of bhujia (crunchy noodle-like thin fries) to add some crunch to the bite.

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4. Kachori (fried puff pastry)

Kachori Ludhiana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ankur Partap Singh used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Kachori has the right amount of crunch, tang, and spice you’d be looking for in an Indian street snack. These are prepared by filling balls of flour dough with stuffing of several kinds and then deep-frying until a brilliant light brown. It is best enjoyed crisp, right out of the wok, with a side of tamarind chutney, ketchup, and/or coriander chutney. Newer variants of the kachori with curry have entered the market, but a plain kachori with a stuffing remains the most popular.

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5. Omelette

FreshFarm Omlette with Parathas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sar8b used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Vadodara’s street food scene is big when it comes to interesting egg specialities. Street vendors prepare omelettes with the quirkiest of ingredients, making a simple omelette almost a gourmet dish! Doused in dollops of butter, the omelettes dished out range from the simple cheese-filled kind to a masala one – which combines the goodness of green chillies, tomatoes, spices, and sauces as well – and sometimes even in a sandwich style. Or, you can pair a simple omelette with a parantha (flattened bread).

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6. Samosa (pastry pockets with filling)

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user kspoddar used under CC BY-SA 2.0

There’s nothing more comforting and quite a bit filling than the humble samosa, which consists of two parts mainly. One, the dough pastry part, which is made of seasoned flour dough, and second, the filling part. While the former remains the same, the latter can be played around with a bit. Most often samosa’s filling consists of seasoned mashed potatoes, but vendors sometimes add their two bits by bringing in variety with the ingredients. The filling is stuffed inside the flour dough and is then shaped into its quintessential triangular shape – this is truly a work of art, the nimble movement of fingers. The stuffed pocket is then deep-fried until perfect brown and served with tamarind or mint chutneys. You may choose to have it with ketchup as well.

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7. Sev usal (noodle-like fries topped pea curry with bread)

Sev usal.

Posted by Surat nu jaman ane kashi nu maran. on Monday, 20 February 2017

Hailing from Vadodara itself is one the state’s most-loved street foods, sev usal, which is a curry made of peas and sweet and tangy chutneys, generously garnished with sev (or, bhujia, crunchy noodle-like thin fries), onions, chopped coriander, green chillies, and lemon juice. The most popular way of relishing sev usal is with pav (bread). Bite into this much-loved Gujarati street snack and you’ll experience a smashing burst of flavours, leading you to polish off the dish in a snap. While newer variants of sev usal have come into the market, the original favourite remains the butter sev usal.

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8. Pav bhaji (vegetable curry with bread)

Pav bhaji from Mumbai
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SwingingUvula used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pav bhaji is also a bit like sev usal, except the bhaji (vegetable curry) does not consist of just peas and is instead a bunch of veggies cooked and mashed together (and of course, seasoned) to bring out a nuanced flavour. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice and throw in some chopped onions on top and you make quite a curry for yourself. Vendors very often garnish the curry with a generous dollop of butter, which adds another layer of indulgence and when has it not tasted heavenly? This is paired with a butter-grilled pav (bread), which adds a good bite to the dish. Local understanding funnily has it that a street stall vendor in India may finish an entire brick of butter while preparing one dish of pav bhaji – beat that!

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9. Fafda and jalebi (savoury chips with Indian funnel cake)

Gujrati Special "fafda" and "jalebi" Who like this..??

Posted by અમે ગુજરાતી Ame Gujrati on Saturday, 1 August 2015

Try fafda and jalebi and you’ll be split whether this is a dessert or a savoury snack! The two are eaten in tandem to balance the flavour of the soft, saccharine-sweet jalebis with the crunchy, savoury fafda. While jalebi is essentially ringlets made of flour batter – soaked in sugar syrup after being deep-fried – fafda is crispy strips of gram flour, seasoned with cardamom and deep-fried to perfection. You’ll find plenty of stalls across the city selling these like hotcakes, so remember to stop by and enjoy.

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10. Gol gappa (puffed balls filled with flavoured water)

Panipuri, Golgappa, Phuchka
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rupamdas75 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Gol gappa is an India-wide favourite and goes by different names across states. It is basically a crunchy, spherical (gol) puffed ball (gappa), which is cracked open to be stuffed with flavoured water (available in tangy, spicy, and sweet variations) and a filling of boiled chickpeas, pieces of boiled potatoes, and several others. If you’re worried about the purity of the water, fancier vendors even serve them made in mineral water, so do ask. Each gol gappa needs to be popped into the mouth and eaten at one go, so remember to keep some tissues handy in case it gets messy. All said, there’s no polite way of enjoying a gol gappa, so chuck aside the poise and gorge on!! Although, if you do find a way to eat it without struggling a bit, let us know too!

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The ultimate Gujarati sojourn

No trip to Gujarat can be complete if you haven’t tried the many sumptuous dishes the state is famous for. They range from a mildly spiced taste to thermonuclear flavours, catering to all kinds of palates. Here we’ve listed some of the top street foods you must try in Vadodara, Gujarat, that’ll not only send you into a food coma, but also leave you craving for more. Chomp along, now!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Priyanjali, a writer and traveler, identifies as a self-proclaimed aesthete dedicated to achieving fulfillment in her personal and professional life. Her skill lies in transforming intangible...Read more

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