Cheesy burgers, delicious patties, soft croissants, crunchy fries, iced milkshakes, savoury sandwiches, tasty tacos, gooey pizzas-the list could go on and on, making us drool and creating an irresistible urge to flout all the diets and gorge all day on scrumptious savouries. For us foodies, they are heaven on earth and spending a couple of hundred bucks on finger-licking stuff seems harmless enough when loaded with pocket money at the beginning of the month. But after a few days into the month, we face the inevitable terrifying situation of having to ration wisely standing in front of the counter filled with enticing savouries that seem to beckon us with ever increasing intensity. So the next time you are mulling over the alternatives, try some of these local Indian food chains that will provide you delicious, filling and foodgasmic stuff without burning a deep hole in your pocket.
1. Amul Restaurants
This ‘utterly, butterly delicious’ brand has been around from the time of India’s independence and has been providing to us delicious milky treats and savories that are delicious and affordable. The FMCG company derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘amulya’ meaning invaluable. Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative that is recognized all over the world and is one of the most trusted food brands. A major proportion of its members are farmers, landless laborers, members of the scheduled castes and tribal people. The success of Amul spurred the ‘White Revolution’ in India and made India the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products. Its huge range of products include milk, milk powders, flavored milk, butter, ghee, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, chocolate, cream, paneer, shrikhand, health drinks and last and most importantly(for us foodies) real ice-cream made from milk fats. It has many outlets and numerous kiosks all over India that makes it easier for us to grab a quick, healthy and milky bite at an affordable price whenever the mood seizes us.
Haldiram Prabhuji’s Moong Dal Fries have been our constant companion since childhood in our different sojourns and train journeys across India-the golden yellow fried pulses are synonymous to trips and happiness and once we tear open the packet of this delicious treat, we just can’t stop gorging on this delicious salty snack which is freakishly addictive and can make our diet plans go awry any time of any day. Haldiram’s products are hugely popular and well known all over the country and even abroad. Haldiram’s started way back in 1937 as a retail sweets and namkeen shop in Rajasthan and has grown tremendously over the years to become a household name in a vast country like India. All the numerous outlets across India are entirely vegetarian and offer top quality traditional Indian sweets and snacks in a healthy and hygienic manner. Their huge range of products include a variety of scrumptious bhujias, pickles, soan papdis, papad, syrups, sweets, chips, cookies and other traditional snacks.
A sweet and well known favorite during the long, hot and sultry Indian summer, Vadilal ice creams from the roadside stalls soothe our tongues and appetites without burning a hole in our pockets. Established long before India’s independence in 1907, Vadilal has emerged as the second largest ice-cream seller in India over the years. A hit with kids and adults, their ice-creams are delicious and mouthwatering with toppings of chocolates and dry fruits. Vadilal aims to be an Indian MNC specializing in ice-creams and frozen foods and plans to provide products and services at affordable prices while maintaining standard and quality.
4. Cafe Coffee Day
Cafe Coffee Day has become the ‘adda zone’ or a popular hangout place for the young generation. With its trendy and catching tagline ‘A lot can happen over coffee’ it has successfully managed to tap into the huge economic potential of youth spending. Owned by Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company, the franchise has over 1530 outlets all over India and even abroad. It has grown rapidly since its opening in 1996 and has been termed as the most popular hangout joint among youths. No visit to any CCD is ever complete without snapping a dozen or more pictures and posting them on Facebook. It has become synonymous with fashion or being trendy. Besides serving a variety of coffees and beverages, it also sells drool-worthy cakes, brownies, croissants and wraps.
5. Wow! Momo
Specializing in momos-one of Calcutta’s favourite street foods- Wow! Momo was started by two B.Com graduates of St. Xaviers College, Kolkata in 2008. With a number of outlets in Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kochi and Coimbatore, the young franchise has grown tremendously over 18 months with its economic pricing policy and delicious treats. With each plate of five momos priced between Rs40 and Rs70, it’s a huge draw among youngsters and college students. Some of their best dishes include chicken steamed momo, vegetable steamed momo, Mushroom steamed momo, Fish steamed momo, Paneer Steamed momo and Prawn fried momo. Other treats include Thukpa, chicken pakora and fish fingers.
6. Goli Vada Pav
An Indian ethnic snack chain with an economic pricing policy, Goli Vada Pav offers the staple street food of Mumbai-Vada Pav-in a hygienic and yummy manner that makes it a safer alternative to traditional unhygienic fast food. It serves a variety of the usual roadside snacks like Vadapavs, Tikkis, Bhajjis and Samosas which are prepared within 6 minutes each-making service quick and excellent.
With a wacky full form of ‘Fanatic Activism Against Substandard Occidental Shit’, Faaso’s was started by two IIM Lucknow alumni Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee, who were inspired by the Kati rolls sold by roadside vendors in their home town Calcutta. Faaso’s aims to provide ‘wraps on the run’ that are versatile and can be loaded with fillings of one’s choice. Faaso’s operates out of 52 outlets across the three cities of Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore and provides quick and efficient service to its customers-but without any pretty waitresseses-if that’s what you are wondering.
With a logo of ‘Eat more, pay less’ you can hardly go wrong with the young crowd who are ever hungry but short of pocket money. Specializing in Kati rolls, the Bangalore based Indian fast food chain has 17 outlets in Bangalore and 12 outlets Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Thane and Mumbai. Mixed veg rolls are a hit with vegetarians as they get fillings of their own choice. The chicken tikka roll and delicious cheeseria– parathas loaded with cheese and fillings and grilled to perfection-are a must have. You can also enjoy the take away option-the good Food Box-loaded with a mix of dishes like ‘laccha paratha’ and ‘jeera rice’.
The oldest fast food restaurant chain in India, Nirula’s opened its doors in 1977 in Connaught Place in Delhi with the aim of providing ‘desilicious’ food to its guests. It has over 70 outlets today all over India with a majority of them in North India. Nirula’s specializes in family style restaurants which provide a ‘desi’ version of Western fast food as well as Indian fare. Over the years it has also added two hotels, ice cream parlours, take-away spots, pastry shops, Pegasus bars and casual dining Potpourri restaurants to its chain of outlets.
10. Barbeque Nation
With a hip and lively ambience, Barbeque nation has been making foodies happy since they opened their first outlet in Mumbai in 2006. Operating out of 36 outlets across India, in cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, it has been listed as one of the top 20 restaurants in India by Miele Guide. It is owned by Indore-based hotel SAYAJI. The outlets are spacious and can get you in a happy, relaxed mood in a jiffy with their peppy music and a casual wood and open brick-wall decor. Each Barbeque Nation outlet has an embedded live-grille on it with the unique idea of letting customers enjoy the warmth and fun of a barbeque right at their tables. Customers can try out their culinary skills with three-fourth cooked meats and vegetables along with different marinades and sauces and have unlimited helpings of some of the best dishes like Chermoula Prawns, Shish Kebabs and Cajun Spiced Potatoes. The main course is a blend of Mediterranean, Pan-Asian, Oriental, American and Continental cuisine consisting of an array of soups, salads, main dishes and desserts. Run by a dynamic and young team of 3000 professionals, Barbeque Nation aspires to be a major Indian restaurant chain and is very much appreciated by their guests for keeping in mind changing food needs and organising lavish food events.