Vijayawada is no laggard when it comes to street food. It is famous for its spicy snacks and delicious sweets, and its streets are filled with vendors who set up shop early every morning and continue to sell their goods until late in the evening. Take a culinary journey through the market areas of the city and enliven your taste buds with the sheer variety of tasty treats taking inspirations from various cultures – local and the rest of India!
Here’s our list of street foods in Vijayawada you must try.
Best Street Foods in Vijayawada
You may know it as Tamarind Rice, but it will always be Pulihora in Vijayawada. This dish is a fan favourite. You can find it very easily at local Andhra restaurants in Vijayawada.
Garnished with fried onions and flavoured with tamarind, it’s a tangy treat. A good place to try Pulihora is at the various KOG – Kitchen of Godavari restaurants in the city.
2. Chicken 65
If there is one dish that is ubiquitous in India, mastered by roadside stalls and big restaurants alike, it is Chilli Chicken. A spicier version of this Chicken Chilli (with a decidedly South Indian twist of curry leaves and dried Kashmiri chilli), Chicken 65 is a favourite of the locals here.
In Vijayawada and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, you’ll find Chicken 65 being sold at many local eateries and Chinese food stalls. It’s also a popular starter that is served at drinking joints, from mediocre bars to five-stars.
3. Mirchi Bajji
If you love spicy food, this dish will be right up your alley. Mirchi Bajji is a super popular snack in Vijayawada. Locals just can’t get enough of the mouth-watering spiciness of these batter-fried chillies.
Each morning, you’ll see plenty of food stalls in the market and commercial areas serving this dish for breakfast. It is eaten with a mix of sweet and spicy chutney. Some even have it with their tea.
4. Rava Dosa
It is no secret that dosa is a favourite delicacy in South India. People from South India love their dosas and offer a wide variety. One of the most popular types of dosa in Vijayawada is the rava dosa, which is made from sooji or semolina.
It is served with a delicious coconut chutney and sambar. In Vijayawada, you’ll find plenty of South Indian restaurants and food stalls serving excellent, authentic rava dosas.
5. Filter Coffee
The people of Andhra Pradesh love their coffee. The locals here drink coffee that is quite different from what you get elsewhere. They love what is called the filter coffee, a frothy version of regular coffee.
Coffee vendors come to markets and popular junctions in the city to sell filter coffee in steel cups. Hotel Anand Bhavan in Balanagar is a popular restaurant in Vijayawada to get excellent filter coffee. You can also buy some coffee powder to take back home.
A popular after-meal item, killi (paan) is said to aid in digestion and is also chewed on as a mouth freshener. In Vijayawada, you’ll come across many paan stores that sell killi in and around the city. Made in a betel leaf using spices, sugar, and other ingredients, killi may be an acquired taste for non-Indian tourists but worth a try.
Some varieties are only chewed and not swallowed so spitting it out (if it’s not your cup of tea) won’t seem overly rude. Some restaurants give their patrons a complimentary killi after they serve dinner. However, you are more likely to get good killi at a local paan shop in Vijayawada, than at a restaurant.
It’s a well-known fact that the people of Vijayawada love spicy food. However, the locals balance out their love for spice with another, more soothing craving – that for sweets. A popular sweet dish served at sweet stalls around the city is Boorelu.
It is made from rice flour and is stuffed with jaggery. Usually served at festivals, this sweet can also be purchased at traditional sweet shops in Vijayawada.
A popular Indian snack, pakodas are all the rage in Vijayawada as well. In the city, restaurants and street food stalls sell a variety of these deep-fried batter balls of goodness with a mildly spiced sauce.
You get pakodas with chicken, corn, onion, potato, and even spinach. Amongst these, corn and onion pakodas are the most popular. Pakodas are eaten as an evening snack with a hot cup of tea or as an appetizer with dinner.
9. Tikkas and Kebabs
A non-vegetarian street food that is very popular in Vijayawada is tikkas. Tikkas are small chunks of meat (either chicken or mutton) marinated in masalas and grilled to produce a slightly charred, smokey-flavoured exterior and a succulent, tender interior. These are eaten with unleavened bread or rotis with a mint chutney and raw onions.
A traditional South Indian breakfast and snack, Idli is both healthy and thoroughly satisfying and Vijayawada is known for its authentic idli served with a host of chutneys and sambar at every corner in the city. If you want a spicy kick, ask for ‘podi’, a fiery powder that lends an added deliciousness to this wholesome snack.
Vijayawada is a wonderland of scrumptious treats for vegetarians and meat-lovers, sweet eaters and savoury seekers. We’ve rounded up our favourite foods from the city. Now it’s your turn to let us and other travellers know what you think is the best food to sample there.