Dhabas To Stop At Along The Mumbai-Pune Route
Image Credit: Instagram/kokan_khadya_safar. Vada pav at Shree Datta Snacks.

Road trips can prove to be some of the best opportunities to sample local food, especially in India. Many dhabas along highways cater to hungry drivers and their companions. Dhabas are so deeply rooted in the culinary culture of the country that they are inextricable from conversations around local food. We recommend some pit stops along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway for you to refuel at:

Sheetal Da Dhaba

Most drivers stop at Sheetal Da Dhaba for the chicken biryani, which is very popular. Over the past few years, the place has become a go-to for live music and other entertainment like magic shows over the weekends. The atmosphere here  is laidback and the staff is courteous. After a generous helping of the biryani, indulge your sweet tooth with the gajar ka halwa. The dhaba is located on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway that passes through Lonavala, before the turn to Ekvira-Karla caves.

Location: Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, Maval, Lonavala.

Timings: Daily, 11am-2am.

Cost for two: ₹1,200

Babbi Da Punjabi Dhaba

Image credit: Instagram/babbi_da_punjabi_dhaba


Babbi Da Punjabi Dhaba opens 24x7 and is known for being one of the few dhabas along the route that serves alcohol (please don’t drink and drive). The menu features North Indian and Marathi dishes. The crispy aloo chaat and paneer pakora make good starters. For mains try the signature veg bhuna, special bhuna chicken, kaju curry, mushroom masala and Kolhapuri mixed vegetables. The drinks menu is expensive, with a variety of beers, whiskeys, rums and vodkas.

Location: Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, Khadkale.

Timings: Daily, 6.30am-1am.

Cost for two: ₹1,200

Shree Datta Snacks

The regulars on the Mumbai-Pune route swear by Shree Datta Snacks and make sure to stop by for the vada pav and misal. The place is known for its Marathi snacks. Try a classic batata vada, which comes with a tangy chutney, or the sabudana vada and kothimbir vada. While most customers order the vada pav, the poha here is especially good. Try the kharvas for dessert and wash your meal down with some kokum sharbat or buttermilk.

Location: Opposite HP Petrol Pump, Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Palaspe Phata, Panvel, Navi Mumbai.

Timings: Daily, 7am-11.30pm.

Cost for two: ₹200

The Kinara Village Dhaba

Situated near Lonavala, The Kinara Village Dhaba is vibrant and well decorated with pleasant outdoor seating. The menu features chicken Kolhapuri chicken, malwani handi, veg kasturi masala, chicken gavran, paneer noorani kebab and chicken do pyaaza. The place also makes some refreshing non-alcoholic concoctions to drink. For dessert, don’t miss the gajar ka halwa and cow kharwas.

Location: Toll Plaza Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, Vaksai Naka, Varsoli, Lonavala.

Timings: Daily, 11am-11.30pm.

Cost for two: ₹1,200