Sindhi Colony: A Food Walk Through Hyderabad's Mini India
Image Credit: © Vinay Kumar

This article is part of Slurrp's Friday Food Walks. Catch up with our previous tours, through Chennai's SowcarpetKolkata's Simla Mishti ParaChandigarh's Punjab University precinctJaipur's MI RoadAhmedabad's university-centric trail, and Srinagar's Dargah Hazratbal.


IN the early-to-mid ‘90s, we used to visit Sindhi Colony, primarily for Frisbee, a video rental store — the only one in the area. In the late ‘90s, the area became popular for small bandis which served killer pani puri and bhel. In the early 2000s, when most college-goers went to the street to shop at Show Off — then the coolest store for boys to pick up shiny shirts and eight-pocketed trousers, the street started showing signs of hosting some of Hyderabad’s best known bandis. 

Today, Sindhi Colony has transformed into a street food lover’s paradise where there are so many options, it’s impossible to sample everything at one go. From Indian to Chinese, from kiosks and carts to franchisees of Dominos and KFC, we counted 83 eateries (big and small) along this one-kilometre stretch! Everyone has their own favourites in this eat-street — which means, picking favourites is playing with fire!

We started with Chat Wala that’s become a crowd-puller in just the three years since it opened for business. The items to sample here include the Ragada Pattice, which is spicy and tangy — a winning combo akin to Shami and Siraj on the cricket field! Topped with fresh onions and sev, the owner says that their pattice is the best in the city because it uses pure ghee! Another firm favourite here is the Jamun shot, which is deliciously rich and reminds one of the summer fruit long after the season is over. The trick is to store the pulp in the refrigerator, and serve it with just a pinch of black salt! Round it off with the good old ice gola (or “pepsi” as us ‘90s kids might call it) and you get nostalgia and great food in one go!

Already half-full, we trudged to a personal favourite: Chachaji’s, which has served the best dhabeli and vada pav in the city (this writer swears by them) for over a decade. The dhabeli — with its smorgasbord of peanuts, pomegranate seeds, masala potato, chili, onion and served with lip-smacking home-made chutneys — is unmatched in the city of Hyderabad. Long a local institution (with patrons eagerly waiting for them to set up shop at 4 pm), its vada pav is also the stuff of Maharashtrian love-fests, with a soft bun sandwiching a spicy concoction of vada and a careless smattering of chutneys.  

As I savoured the many flavours of this treat, the pani puri next door at Shivaling Chat Bhandar was already beckoning. With the crisp puris, the searing hot chana and absolutely tangy paani functioning as a holy trinity, how could the foodie in me resist? 

A plate later, as my stomach begged for a respite, I stopped to take in the sights and sounds around me. The entire street is a food lover’s paradise. Just from my panoramic view I saw sugarcane stalls, kulfi bandis and a paratha kiosk. Surprisingly, given Hyderabad’s love for non-vegetarian dishes, this street is mostly vegetarian!

The next stop in this non-stop food-athon is Hyderabad’s beloved Pizza Den. For more than a decade-and-a-half (before international food chains came calling), this was the adda for the Italian dish. Pineapple? Yes. Special Spicy? They serve it. Deluxe Veggie? Coming your way. Their desi pizza has a crispy base but is baked with love. Little wonder then, that this tiny joint (with no sitting space) is where a million love stories have blossomed! To end on a sweet note, try the softy (Death by Chocolate is the crowd favourite) which is all about simple, undiluted pleasures.

With a heavy heart and a happy (a little too happy?) tummy, I surveyed the scene around me. Dosas? Nah, too spicy. Indian Chinese? Tempting, but too heavy. In the mood for something sweet, I wandered over to the Mamta Sweet House which has been operational since 1979 and is famous for  its Gujarati farsan including chavana, gathiya, sev, dhokla and khakra as good as the ones in Amdavad. This was strictly a takeaway as I couldn’t subject my stomach to more food, however delicious!

Prachi’s Kulfi is a pit-stop for most on Sindhi Colony stretch. Selling around 100 varieties of the sweet, milky desserts, their offerings vary from the traditional malai and pista to the seasonal sithaphal and anjeer. We opted for malai and its deliciously crumbling chunk is what good things are made of! There is also some excellent soda, which this writer opted for, in the hope of digesting all the good food that was had!

Can any Hyderabadi meal end without paan? Call it our Nawabi influence or inherited tastes, our proclivity towards paan is an emotion that cannot be described in words. Like any respectable food street, Sindhi Colony offers multiple options including the famous Mayur Pan House. Our stop, however, was at the little known Bahar Pan Palace where Abdul-al-muddin is rumored to whip up paans that were unparalleled. We tried the Sardi Waali Paan, which is high on optics (and makes for a great Instagram reel) — with cloves dramatically lit with a lighter and treated lovingly with mint paste. It is said to remove all traces of a lingering cold and is one of the specials available here. The taste doesn’t leave your mouth for a while so keep this in mind before you sample it!

Buffeted by three colleges which provide the street with ample clientele, Sindhi Colony is the ultimate paradise for food lovers. It is at its peak post-4 pm and families, friends and foodies descend on it once the stars come out.  From every standpoint — be it pricing, quality or taste — it is a mini India in the middle of Hyderabad.

All photos by Vinay Kumar