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Feeding Frenzy: Where And What To Eat In Hyderabad’s Old City


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Martynne Meier



Welcome to Hyderabad’s Old City, a culinary haven for food lovers. Nestled in the heart of the city, this vibrant area is a melting pot of history, culture, and of course, mouthwatering delicacies. As you step into the narrow, bustling lanes of Hyderabad’s Old City, you are instantly transported to a bygone era, where rich aromas waft through the air and the sounds of sizzling tawas and clinking cups fill your ears.


Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is renowned for its delectable cuisine, which is a perfect blend of Mughlai, Persian, and Andhra influences. The Old City, in particular, offers an authentic experience of traditional Hyderabadi flavors that have been preserved for generations. From fragrant biryanis to succulent kebabs, from flavorful curries to mouthwatering sweets, this culinary paradise has something to satisfy every palate.


Prepare yourself for a gastronomic adventure as we take you on a journey through the must-visit eateries and iconic food spots in Hyderabad’s Old City. Whether you are a food enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone looking to indulge in a flavorful experience, this article will serve as your ultimate guide to navigating and enjoying the diverse food scene in this vibrant neighborhood.


So loosen your belt, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on a food-filled expedition where you will discover the hidden gems and iconic culinary landmarks that make Hyderabad’s Old City a truly unforgettable destination for food lovers.


History and Culture of Hyderabad’s Old City

The history of Hyderabad’s Old City is rooted in the rich legacy of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, who established the city in the late 16th century. The Old City, also known as the Charminar area, is famous for its iconic landmark, the Charminar, which was constructed in 1591. This magnificent structure with its four minarets not only serves as a symbol of Hyderabad but also represents the city’s cultural and historical significance.


Stepping into the Old City is like stepping back in time. The narrow streets and bustling bazaars are reminiscent of the ancient hustle and bustle of the city. As you explore the area, you will come across ancient architecture, including intricately designed mosques, palaces, and tombs, showcasing the fusion of Persian, Mughal, and Indian architectural styles.


The culture of Hyderabad’s Old City is as vibrant as its history. The predominantly Muslim neighborhood celebrates its diversity through festivals, traditional art forms, and of course, through its food. The area is known for its warm hospitality, where locals welcome visitors to experience their rich traditions firsthand.


One of the highlights of the Old City’s culture is the annual Ramzan (Ramadan) festivities. During this holy month, the streets come alive with fervor as the community prepares for iftar, the evening meal to break the fast. The aroma of delicacies fills the air, and families gather to share in the joy of breaking bread together.


Another significant aspect of the Old City’s culture is its thriving marketplaces, known as bazaars. Here, you can find a plethora of traditional goods, from textiles and jewelry to handicrafts and spices. These vibrant bazaars reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of the region and provide a captivating shopping experience.


The history and culture of Hyderabad’s Old City are intertwined with its culinary heritage. The flavors and techniques passed down through generations have shaped the unique food culture that exists today. So, get ready to delve into the gastronomic delights that await you in this captivating neighborhood.


Where to Eat in Hyderabad’s Old City

When it comes to finding delicious food in Hyderabad’s Old City, you are spoiled for choice. The streets are lined with hidden gems and iconic restaurants that offer a wide range of flavors and culinary experiences. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Hyderabadi biryani, mouthwatering kebabs, or delectable sweets, this neighborhood has it all. Here are some top recommendations for where to eat in Hyderabad’s Old City:

  1. Iconic Restaurants and Kebab Joints: Start your culinary adventure by visiting some of the iconic restaurants and kebab joints in the area. These establishments have been serving up delectable dishes for years and have become a part of Hyderabad’s food legacy. From tender boti kebabs to flavorful tandoori chicken, you’ll find a variety of grilled and barbecued delicacies to tantalize your taste buds.
  2. Authentic Hyderabadi Biryani Spots: No visit to Hyderabad’s Old City is complete without indulging in the world-famous Hyderabadi biryani. This fragrant and flavorful rice dish, cooked with tender meat and aromatic spices, is a true culinary masterpiece. Explore the local biryani spots that have perfected the art of this iconic dish and savor every bite of the rich flavors.
  3. Street Food Stalls and Chaat Corners: For a taste of the local street food scene, head to the bustling street food stalls and chaat corners in the Old City. Here, you can feast on a variety of savory snacks, such as pani puri, samosas, and dahi vadas. The combination of tangy chutneys, crispy textures, and bold flavors will leave you craving for more.
  4. Traditional Sweets and Dessert Shops: Treat your sweet tooth at the traditional sweets and dessert shops that dot the Old City. Indulge in mouthwatering treats like double ka meetha, a rich bread pudding, or qubani ka meetha, a dessert made from apricots. These sweet delicacies showcase the true essence of Hyderabadi desserts and are a must-try for any food lover.
  5. Irani Cafes and Bakery Hubs: Experience the charm of the old-world Irani cafes and bakery hubs that have been serving the community for decades. Sip on a hot cup of Irani chai, accompanied by crispy Osmania biscuits or flavorful Irani samosas. These establishments offer a glimpse into the city’s history while also satisfying your cravings for delectable treats.

These are just a few examples of the vibrant food scene in Hyderabad’s Old City. Whether you choose to explore the iconic restaurants, indulge in street food, or embark on a dessert tasting spree, your taste buds are guaranteed to be delighted by the flavors of this culturally rich neighborhood.


Iconic Restaurants and Kebab Joints

When it comes to iconic restaurants and kebab joints in Hyderabad’s Old City, you’ll find a treasure trove of culinary delights. These establishments have stood the test of time and continue to serve up mouthwatering dishes that have become synonymous with Hyderabad’s food culture. Here are a few must-visit places to satisfy your cravings for delectable kebabs and more:


1.1 Shadab Restaurant: Shadab Restaurant is an iconic eatery that has been serving delectable Mughlai cuisine since 1969. Famous for its succulent kebabs, flavorful biryanis, and traditional curries, this restaurant offers an authentic taste of Hyderabad. Don’t miss their signature dish, the Shadab Special Chicken Biryani, which is an explosion of aromatic spices and tender meat.


1.2 Pista House: Pista House is a legendary name in Hyderabad’s food scene, known for its melt-in-your-mouth kebabs and delectable Haleem. Visit during the month of Ramadan to experience the frenzy of people flocking to Pista House for their famous Haleem, a popular dish made with tender meat, lentils, and aromatic spices. Their kebabs, including the juicy Pista Kebabs, are not to be missed.


1.3 Paradise Restaurant: Paradise Restaurant is synonymous with Hyderabadi biryani. Established in 1953, this iconic eatery has perfected the art of making flavorful biryanis that are loved by locals and tourists alike. From the classic chicken biryani to the indulgent mutton biryani, every bite is a burst of flavors that will leave you craving for more.


1.4 Sarvi Restaurant: Sarvi Restaurant is a hidden gem that has been serving the Old City since 1961. Known for its delectable kebabs, this place offers a wide range of options, from the tender Seekh Kebabs to the flavorful Boti Kebabs. The melt-in-your-mouth texture and perfectly balanced spices make each bite a delightful experience.


1.5 Taj Mahal Hotel: Taj Mahal Hotel is an institution in Hyderabad’s Old City, known for its lip-smacking biryanis and unique range of kebabs. The menu boasts a variety of kebabs, including the tangy Kareli Boti Kebab and the spicy Reshmi Kebab. The ambience of the hotel takes you back in time, adding to the overall dining experience.


These iconic restaurants and kebab joints in Hyderabad’s Old City are just a taste of the culinary wonders that await you. Whether you’re a fan of tender kebabs, flavorful biryanis, or traditional curries, these places will take your taste buds on a journey through the rich flavors of Hyderabad’s food heritage.


Authentic Hyderabadi Biryani Spots

Hyderabad’s Old City is renowned for its authentic Hyderabadi biryani, a mouthwatering rice dish that has gained international recognition. Prepared with fragrant basmati rice, tender meat, and a blend of exotic spices, Hyderabadi biryani is a culinary masterpiece that must be savored when visiting this part of the city. Here are some of the top spots in the Old City to indulge in this iconic dish:


2.1 Paradise Biryani: Paradise Biryani is a household name in Hyderabad and is often considered the benchmark for authentic Hyderabadi biryani. Established in 1953, this iconic restaurant has perfected the art of cooking biryani, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that leave a lasting impression. Their chicken and mutton biryanis are a must-try for any biryani enthusiast.


2.2 Nizam’s Club Biryani: Tucked away within the premises of the Nizam’s Club, this secret gem is known for serving one of the best biryanis in Hyderabad. The Nizam’s Club Biryani is prepared in traditional Dum style, where the marinated meat and partially cooked rice are layered and slow-cooked together, allowing the flavors to meld harmoniously. The result is a biryani that is rich in taste and aroma.


2.3 Shah Ghouse Café: Shah Ghouse Café is a popular haunt for biryani lovers in the Old City. Their biryanis are known for their generous chunks of succulent meat, fragrant rice, and the perfect balance of spices. Whether you choose the mutton or chicken biryani, each mouthful is a burst of flavors that will transport you to culinary bliss.


2.4 Café Bahar: Café Bahar is a favorite among locals for its flavorful biryanis. Their biryanis are known for their distinct taste, achieved by using high-quality ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The mutton biryani, in particular, is highly recommended, as it features tender meat that is infused with the aromatic spices.


2.5 Rumaan Restaurant: Rumaan Restaurant is a hidden gem that serves authentic Hyderabadi biryani with a touch of home-cooked goodness. The biryanis here have a unique flavor profile, blending the spice-laden Hyderabad style with the subtle sweetness of Andhra biryani. The result is a biryani that is both fragrant and satisfying.


These authentic Hyderabadi biryani spots in Hyderabad’s Old City are renowned for their culinary excellence and are a must-visit for any biryani enthusiast. Whether you prefer the classic chicken biryani or the indulgent mutton biryani, these establishments will take your taste buds on a flavor-packed journey through the rich heritage of Hyderabadi cuisine.


Street Food Stalls and Chaat Corner

Hyderabad’s Old City is a haven for street food lovers, with its vibrant and bustling streets offering a wide array of tantalizing flavors. The street food stalls and chaat corners in this neighborhood serve up a variety of savory and tangy dishes that will leave your taste buds craving for more. Here are some must-try street food options in Hyderabad’s Old City:


3.1 Pani Puri: Pani Puri, also known as Golgappa or Puchka, is a popular street food snack that consists of hollow puris filled with a sweet and tangy tamarind chutney, spiced water, and a mixture of flavored potato and chickpeas. The burst of flavors with every bite is a delightful experience that you shouldn’t miss.


3.2 Samosa Chaat: Samosa Chaat is a delectable dish that combines crispy samosas (deep-fried savory pastries filled with spiced potatoes and peas) with a medley of chutneys, yogurt, and sev (crunchy chickpea flour noodles). The contrasting textures and flavors create a delightful mouthful of savory goodness.


3.3 Dahi Vada: Dahi Vada is a popular street food item that features soft vadas (lentil fritters) soaked in creamy yogurt and generously topped with a tangy tamarind chutney, mint chutney, and spices. The combination of refreshing yogurt and tangy chutneys makes this dish a perfect choice to beat the heat.


3.4 Mirchi Bajji: Mirchi Bajji is a spicy and crispy street food snack that features large green chili peppers coated in a flavorful gram flour batter and deep-fried to perfection. The heat of the chili combined with the crunch of the batter creates a tantalizing taste experience that will leave you wanting more.


3.5 Aloo Tikki: Aloo Tikki is a popular street food snack made with mashed potatoes mixed with spices, formed into patties, and shallow-fried until golden and crispy. Served with various chutneys and topped with yogurt and sev, this savory treat is a burst of flavors and textures.


Exploring the street food stalls and chaat corners in Hyderabad’s Old City is like embarking on a flavor-filled adventure. Each dish is crafted with care and skill, showcasing the culinary expertise of the local vendors. So, don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in the vibrant street food culture of this neighborhood and indulge in these delicious and affordable culinary delights.


Traditional Sweets and Dessert Shops

The Old City of Hyderabad is not just known for its savory delights but also for its rich and indulgent array of traditional sweets and desserts. The dessert shops and sweet stalls in this neighborhood offer a glimpse into the region’s sweet tooth and culinary heritage. From creamy desserts to syrup-soaked delights, here are some must-visit traditional sweet shops in Hyderabad’s Old City:


4.1 Badam ki Jali: Badam ki Jali is a sweet delicacy unique to Hyderabad, known for its intricate lattice-like design made from ground almonds and sugar. This sweet treat melts in your mouth, leaving behind a rich and nutty flavor. It’s the perfect choice for those with a penchant for artisanal sweets.


4.2 Double ka Meetha: Double ka Meetha is a beloved Hyderabadi dessert made with bread, milk, and sugar syrup. The bread slices are fried in ghee until golden and crispy and then soaked in a fragrant and sweet syrup. This decadent dessert is often garnished with nuts and raisins, adding a delightful crunch to each bite.


4.3 Qubani ka Meetha: Qubani ka Meetha is another classic dessert from Hyderabad that showcases the region’s love for apricots. It is made by cooking dried apricots until tender and then sweetening them with sugar and serving them with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. The combination of the soft and sweet fruit with the creamy accompaniment is a match made in heaven.


4.4 Khubani ka Meetha with Ice Cream: A variation of Qubani ka Meetha, this dessert takes it up a notch by serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast between the warm and gooey apricots and the cold and creamy ice cream creates a heavenly treat that will satisfy your sweet cravings.


4.5 Baklava: While not native to Hyderabad, Baklava has made its mark in the Old City. This sweet pastry is made with layers of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with honey or syrup. The flaky texture combined with the nutty and sweet flavors make Baklava an irresistible indulgence.


4.6 Sheer Khurma: Sheer Khurma is a traditional dessert that is typically enjoyed during Eid or other festive occasions. It is a rich and creamy vermicelli pudding made with milk, dates, nuts, and flavored with cardamom and saffron. The fragrant aroma and the velvety texture make this dessert a true delight.


These traditional sweet and dessert shops in Hyderabad’s Old City are a treasure trove of delectable treats. Whether you’re craving something rich and creamy or something syrupy and sweet, these establishments have something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Don’t forget to indulge in the rich flavors of these traditional sweets while immersing yourself in the culinary heritage of this vibrant neighborhood.


Irani Cafes and Bakery Hubs

Hyderabad’s Old City is known for its charming Irani cafes and bakery hubs, which have become an integral part of the city’s culinary landscape. These establishments have stood the test of time, offering delicious treats and a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage. From aromatic chai to freshly baked goodies, here are some must-visit Irani cafes and bakery hubs in Hyderabad’s Old City:


5.1 Nimrah Café and Bakery: Nimrah Café and Bakery, located near the iconic Charminar, is a beloved spot for a traditional Irani chai experience. Sip on a steaming cup of chai, perfectly brewed with a blend of spices, as you savor their freshly baked Osmania biscuits or the buttery puff pastries. The cozy ambience and the old-world charm of Nimrah Café make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


5.2 Café Niloufer: Café Niloufer is a nostalgic establishment that has been serving delectable Irani chai and baked goods since 1976. From the iconic Irani tea to the mouthwatering Osmania biscuits and dilkush pastry, every item at Café Niloufer showcases the rich flavors and craftsmanship of traditional Irani bakeries.


5.3 Shah Ghouse Bakery: Shah Ghouse Bakery is renowned for its delectable Irani fare, including fragrant biscuits, cookies, and bread. Their Irani khara biscuits, butter cookies, and fruit cakes are popular choices among those seeking a taste of authentic Irani bakery treats. Pair them with a cup of Irani chai for a truly delightful experience.


5.4 Makta Café and Bakery: Makta Café and Bakery is a hidden gem tucked away in the bustling streets of the Old City. This charming establishment offers a variety of Irani chai and freshly baked bread, rolls, and pastries. You can enjoy their signature bun maska, a toasted bun slathered with butter, along with a steaming cup of Irani tea.


5.5 Café Ramser: Café Ramser is a quaint café that captures the essence of Hyderabad’s old-world charm. Known for its mouthwatering bakery items, such as bread, biscuits, and cakes, this café offers a delightful experience for those seeking a taste of a bygone era. Don’t miss their soft and buttery Irani samosas that perfectly complement a hot cup of tea.


Visiting the Irani cafes and bakery hubs in Hyderabad’s Old City is like stepping into a time machine. From the aroma of freshly brewed tea to the delectable baked goods, these establishments preserve the nostalgia and traditions of the Irani community. Take a moment to enjoy a cup of chai and savor the flavors that have been cherished for generations.


What to Eat in Hyderabad’s Old City

When it comes to exploring the culinary delights of Hyderabad’s Old City, there are several must-try dishes that showcase the unique flavors and traditions of this vibrant neighborhood. From iconic Hyderabadi biryani to flavorful kebabs, here are some of the top dishes you should indulge in:

  1. Hyderabadi Biryani: A trip to Hyderabad’s Old City would be incomplete without savoring Hyderabadi biryani. This fragrant rice dish, cooked with tender meat and a blend of aromatic spices, has captivated food lovers worldwide. The rich flavors, tender meat, and perfectly cooked rice make each bite a heavenly experience.
  2. Haleem: Haleem, a slow-cooked meat and lentil stew, is a delicacy that is beloved by locals and visitors alike. This hearty dish is prepared during the holy month of Ramadan and is packed with flavors and textures. The combination of tender meat, lentils, wheat, and spices creates a savory and comforting meal.
  3. Kebabs: Hyderabad’s Old City is a paradise for kebab lovers. From succulent boti kebabs to flavorful seekh kebabs, these grilled meat delights are marinated in a blend of spices and cooked to perfection. Each bite offers a burst of flavors and a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  4. Osmania Biscuits: Osmania biscuits are a quintessential part of Hyderabad’s tea culture. These mildly sweet and buttery biscuits are named after Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad. Pair them with a hot cup of Irani chai for a delightful tea-time experience.
  5. Irani Chai: Irani chai is an integral part of Hyderabad’s food scene, and sipping on a cup of this milky, fragrant tea is a must-do in the Old City. The tea, brewed with a blend of Indian and Iranian black teas, is rich and flavorful. It is often served with a slice of lemon or a side of Osmania biscuits.
  6. Pathar Ka Gosht: Pathar Ka Gosht, which translates to “meat on stone,” is a unique and delicious dish in which marinated meat is grilled on a hot stone. This method of cooking gives the meat a smoky flavor and a juicy texture that is truly irresistible.
  7. Falooda: To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the famous Hyderabadi falooda. This chilled dessert is made with vermicelli, rose syrup, sweet basil seeds, and topped with a scoop of ice cream. It’s the perfect treat to cool down on a hot day.

These are just a few of the culinary delights that await you in Hyderabad’s Old City. Whether you’re a fan of aromatic biryanis, flavorful kebabs, or indulgent desserts, this neighborhood will take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey through the unique flavors of Hyderabad’s rich culinary heritage.


Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi biryani is the crown jewel of Hyderabad’s culinary scene and one of India’s most iconic dishes. This aromatic and flavorful rice dish is a masterpiece that perfectly embodies the fusion of Mughlai, Persian, and South Indian culinary influences. Every bite of Hyderabadi biryani is a harmonious symphony of flavors and textures.


The key to the exquisite taste of Hyderabadi biryani lies in its preparation. Tender meat, whether chicken, mutton, or even fish, is layered with fragrant basmati rice and a melange of aromatic spices. The meat is first marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and sometimes saffron to ensure maximum tenderness and flavor infusion. The rice, too, is parboiled before being layered with the meat to ensure even cooking and an ideal texture.


There are two primary methods of preparing Hyderabadi biryani – the Kacchi Biryani and the Pakki Biryani. The Kacchi Biryani involves layering raw marinated meat with partially cooked rice and allowing them to cook together, while the Pakki Biryani involves cooking the meat separately and then layering it with fully cooked rice. Both methods result in a distinct and delectable flavor profile.


The flavors of Hyderabadi biryani are further enhanced by the aromatic spices used, including cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise. Fragrant herbs such as mint and coriander are also added to impart a fresh and vibrant taste. The slow cooking process, whether in a sealed pot or dum, ensures that the flavors meld together and create a luxurious and captivating taste experience.


What sets Hyderabadi biryani apart is the balance of flavors – the delicate saffron-infused rice, the tender meat cooked to perfection, and the robust blend of spices that create a symphony of taste. The dish is often garnished with fried onions, freshly chopped coriander, and mint leaves to add texture and a refreshing aroma.


Hyderabadi biryani is not just a dish; it is a celebration of the culinary heritage of the region. Savoring this iconic dish in Hyderabad’s Old City is an experience that takes you on a journey through history and culture, as you savor each flavorful bite and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into creating this culinary masterpiece.



Haleem is a beloved dish that holds a special place in the hearts of Hyderabadis, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. This hearty and flavorful meat and lentil stew is a culinary masterpiece that exemplifies the melting pot of flavors in Hyderabad’s cuisine.


Preparation of haleem requires a combination of meat (typically mutton or chicken), lentils, wheat, and a blend of aromatic spices. The dish is slow-cooked for several hours until the meat is tender and perfectly melded with the lentils and wheat, resulting in a thick and creamy consistency.


As the mixture cooks, the lentils and meat break down, creating a smooth and velvety texture. The slow cooking process enhances the flavors, allowing the spices to infuse and the ingredients to develop a rich and complex taste profile.


Haleem is not only known for its satisfying texture but also for its distinctive blend of spices. A combination of ginger, garlic, turmeric, red chili powder, and a melange of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom adds depth and warmth to the dish. The result is a flavorful and comforting stew that warms the soul.


The dish is traditionally garnished with fried onions, freshly chopped coriander, mint leaves, and a squeeze of lemon juice, further enhancing the taste and providing a burst of freshness. It is often enjoyed with naan bread or roti, allowing you to savor every spoonful of this hearty and delicious dish.


What sets Hyderabadi haleem apart is its unique blend of South Asian and Persian flavors. The influence of Persian cuisine can be seen in the generous use of aromatic spices and the slow-cooking method, while the addition of lentils and wheat reflects the Indian influence. The result is a dish that exemplifies the diverse cultural heritage of Hyderabad.


Haleem is not just a culinary delight; it is also a dish that brings people together. During Ramadan, especially in Hyderabad’s Old City, haleem stalls become a hub of culinary activity, with people flocking to taste the delicious flavors and enjoy the communal spirit. Sharing a bowl of haleem with friends and family is a cherished tradition that adds to the joy of the dining experience.


Whether you’re visiting during Ramadan or any other time of the year, experiencing the rich and comforting flavors of haleem in Hyderabad’s Old City is an unforgettable culinary experience that will leave you yearning for more.



Hyderabad’s Old City is a paradise for kebab lovers, offering a wide range of succulent and flavorful kebabs that will delight your taste buds. From juicy boti kebabs to tender seekh kebabs, this neighborhood is a haven for meat enthusiasts in search of a delicious and satisfying meal.


Kebabs are a quintessential part of Hyderabad’s culinary heritage, influenced by Mughlai and Persian cuisines. Prepared by marinating meat in a blend of aromatic spices, kebabs are traditionally cooked over charcoal or in a tandoor, resulting in a unique smoky flavor and a tender texture.


One of the most popular kebabs in Hyderabad is the Boti Kebab. Made with chunks of marinated meat, typically mutton or chicken, the boti kebab is grilled to perfection, imparting a smoky flavor and a juicy interior. The marinade, often made with yogurt, ginger, garlic, and a blend of spices, infuses the meat with a burst of flavors.


Seekh Kebabs are another crowd favorite. Minced meat, usually lamb or beef, is mixed with spices, herbs, and sometimes a binding agent like gram flour, molded onto skewers, and grilled until beautifully charred. The result is a succulent and juicy kebab that will leave you craving more.


Kalmi Kebabs, made from marinated chicken drumsticks, are another popular choice. The chicken is typically marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and ginger-garlic paste, and then grilled to perfection. The kalmi kebab is known for its tangy and flavorful taste.


Hyderabad’s Old City is also known for its delectable sheekampur kebabs, shami kebabs, and tandoori chicken kebabs, among others. Each variety showcases its own unique blend of spices and flavors, making the exploration of kebabs in this neighborhood a delightful adventure for meat lovers.


Accompanying the kebabs are often a range of aromatic chutneys, such as mint chutney and tamarind chutney, and freshly baked naan or roti bread. The combination of the juicy kebabs, the robust flavors from the spices, and the soft and tender bread creates a harmonious feast.


Whether you’re sampling the classic boti kebabs or indulging in the flavorful seekh kebabs, the kebab joints in Hyderabad’s Old City are a must-visit for anyone seeking succulent and aromatic dishes. So, take a stroll through the bustling streets and immerse yourself in the tantalizing world of kebabs that await you.


Osmania Biscuits

When it comes to iconic and delectable treats in Hyderabad’s Old City, Osmania biscuits take center stage. Named after Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, these melt-in-your-mouth biscuits have become synonymous with the city’s culinary scene. Crisp on the outside and buttery soft on the inside, Osmania biscuits are a delightful accompaniment to a hot cup of tea and an integral part of the city’s tea culture.


Osmania biscuits are known for their distinct flavor and texture. Made with a simple combination of flour, sugar, butter, cardamom, and a touch of salt, these biscuits showcase the perfect balance of sweetness and subtle savory notes. The unique texture can be attributed to the use of custard powder, which adds a delicate layer of crumbliness.


The biscuits are usually round, with a slightly cracked surface, and are often stamped with the insignia of the Nizam’s crown. This iconic design serves as a testament to the rich history and heritage of Hyderabad’s culinary traditions.


Osmania biscuits are typically enjoyed with a steaming cup of Irani chai, a strong and spiced tea. The warm and fragrant flavors of the tea complement the buttery texture and slightly sweet taste of the biscuits, creating a perfect blend of flavors with every bite.


These biscuits can be found in numerous bakeries and tea stalls throughout Hyderabad’s Old City, each offering their own unique twist on the classic recipe. Some places even offer variations such as chocolate-dipped or almond-studded Osmania biscuits, adding another layer of indulgence.


Not only are Osmania biscuits a favorite among the locals, but they have also gained popularity outside of Hyderabad, becoming a sought-after souvenir for visitors. Whether enjoyed as a tea-time snack or taken home as a special treat, Osmania biscuits are a delicious and iconic symbol of Hyderabad’s culinary heritage.


So, make sure to grab a packet of Osmania biscuits when exploring Hyderabad’s Old City. Whether you savor them on the go or leisurely enjoy them with a cup of tea, these delicate biscuits will leave a lasting impression and a lingering craving for their unique flavor.


Irani Chai

Irani Chai is a beloved beverage that has become an integral part of Hyderabad’s culinary fabric. Originating from Iran, this milky and fragrant tea has evolved into a unique and cherished drink in Hyderabad’s Old City. Sipping on a cup of Irani Chai is not just about the taste; it’s a cultural experience that brings people together.


Irani Chai is prepared using a blend of Indian and Iranian black tea leaves, which are brewed together to create a strong and robust flavor. The tea is boiled with water and infused with a blend of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and sometimes, rosewater. This infusion adds a distinct fragrance and depth of flavor to the tea.


What sets Irani Chai apart is its unique brewing method. Traditionally, the tea is prepared in large copper kettles with long spouts called “samovars.” These samovars are heated with charcoal, creating a slow and controlled steeping process. The tea is then poured into small cups from a considerable height, resulting in a bubbly and frothy texture.


Irani Chai is served in small, translucent glasses, allowing the rich amber color of the tea to be appreciated. The tea is often accompanied by a rusk or, more famously, the Osmania biscuits. These buttery and crisp biscuits perfectly complement the flavors of the tea.


Drinking Irani Chai is not merely about satisfying a caffeine craving; it’s about slowing down, socializing, and enjoying the moment. The Irani cafes in Hyderabad’s Old City provide a cozy, comforting ambiance that encourages conversation and connection over a cup of tea.


Irani Chai serves as a catalyst for social gatherings and fosters a sense of community. It is common to see friends, families, and even strangers sitting together, sharing stories and enjoying the warmth of their tea. The simple act of sipping on Irani Chai can bring people together and create lasting memories.


Whether enjoyed in a bustling Irani cafe or a small tea stall on the streets of Hyderabad’s Old City, drinking Irani Chai is as much about the experience as it is about the taste. It’s an invitation to slow down, immerse yourself in the rich culture and hospitality of Hyderabad, and savor the flavors that have become a part of the city’s identity.


So, when in Hyderabad’s Old City, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a cup of Irani Chai. Allow the aroma and flavors to transport you to a world of warmth, community, and the rich cultural tapestry of this vibrant neighborhood.


Pathar Ka Gosht

Pathar Ka Gosht, which literally translates to “meat on stone,” is a unique and flavorful dish that is a must-try when visiting Hyderabad’s Old City. This traditional Hyderabadi specialty is known for its distinctive cooking method and the infusion of smoky flavors.


The star of Pathar Ka Gosht is the meat, usually mutton or beef, which is marinated in a combination of yogurt, spices, and tenderizing agents like raw papaya or raw pineapple. The marinated meat is then placed on a hot stone slab, typically made of granite or marble, and cooked over a low flame.


The stone slab acts as a hot griddle, searing the meat while imparting a delightful smoky flavor. As the meat cooks on the hot surface, it develops a delicious crust, sealing in the juices and creating a tender and succulent texture.


Pathar Ka Gosht is not just about the unique cooking method, but also the combination of spices and flavors that elevate the dish. A blend of aromatic spices, including ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric, and a touch of lemon juice, infuses the meat with a burst of bold and savory taste.


The dish is often garnished with freshly chopped coriander leaves, ginger, and green chilies, adding a refreshing note to the rich flavors. Pathar Ka Gosht is typically served with naan or roti bread, allowing you to relish every morsel of the tender and flavorful meat.


The experience of enjoying Pathar Ka Gosht goes beyond the palate. The spectacle of the meat sizzling on the hot stone creates a tactile and visual delight, adding to the overall sensory experience of this unique dish.


Pathar Ka Gosht is not only a culinary delight but also an embodiment of Hyderabad’s rich cultural heritage. It represents the region’s love for smoky flavors and unique cooking techniques that have been passed down through generations. It is a dish that encapsulates the deep-rooted traditions of the Hyderabadi food culture.


So, if you want to embark on a gastronomic adventure in Hyderabad’s Old City, make sure to try Pathar Ka Gosht. Let the smoky aroma and tantalizing flavors transport you to a world of culinary bliss, where tradition and innovation come together to create an unforgettable dining experience.



Falooda is a refreshing and indulgent dessert that is beloved by locals and visitors in Hyderabad’s Old City. This chilled treat is a delightful combination of rose-flavored syrup, vermicelli noodles, sweet basil seeds, and a variety of toppings. It’s a dessert that provides a cooling respite on hot summer days and a burst of flavors to tantalize your taste buds.


The base of a Falooda is a thick, sweetened rose syrup, which gives it a distinct floral aroma and a hint of sweetness. The rose syrup is mixed with a generous portion of chilled milk and soaked vermicelli noodles, also known as falooda sev. The combination of the creamy milk and the soft, jelly-like texture of the vermicelli creates a luxurious and satisfying mouthfeel.


Sweet basil seeds, also known as sabja seeds, are added to the Falooda for their unique texture and health benefits. These tiny black seeds swell up and form a gel-like coating when soaked in water, adding a fun and chewy element to the dessert.


Falooda can be customized with a variety of toppings, enhancing the flavors and creating a delightful medley of textures. Common toppings include vibrant and flavorful fruit jellies, such as mango or strawberry, giving the dessert a burst of fruity freshness. Chopped nuts, such as pistachios or almonds, are often sprinkled on top, adding a delightful crunch. A dollop of refreshing ice cream, usually vanilla or kulfi, complements the sweetness and adds a creamy richness.


Falooda is typically served in tall glasses, allowing the colorful layers and various ingredients to be showcased. The dessert is best enjoyed with a long spoon, slowly savoring each layer as the flavors harmonize and meld together.


Exploring the streets of Hyderabad’s Old City unveils a multitude of stalls and shops offering their own unique variations of Falooda. Some places might add additional ingredients like rose petal jam or saffron strands, adding a touch of luxury to the already delightful dessert.


Whether you’re strolling through the bustling lanes or sitting at a cozy dessert parlor, indulging in a Falooda is a treat that will invigorate your senses and provide a moment of pure bliss. So, don’t miss out on this refreshing dessert when exploring the vibrant food scene of Hyderabad’s Old City.


Tips for Exploring Food in Hyderabad’s Old City

Exploring the food scene in Hyderabad’s Old City can be an exciting and immersive experience. To make the most of your culinary adventure, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Embrace the local cuisine: Hyderabad’s Old City is known for its rich traditional cuisine, so be sure to try the local specialties like Hyderabadi biryani, kebabs, haleem, and Irani chai. Embrace the unique flavors and indulge in the authentic dishes that have made the city famous.
  2. Explore the street food: Don’t miss out on the vibrant street food scene in the Old City. Sample the chaat stalls, savor the flavors of pani puri, samosas, and falooda, and let your taste buds explore the diverse range of street food delights that line the streets.
  3. Try different eateries: Don’t limit yourself to one or two establishments. Hyderabad’s Old City is home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and food stalls, each offering their own unique culinary offerings. Venture out and try different eateries to discover hidden gems and expand your gastronomic horizons.
  4. Ask the locals: The best way to uncover the true food treasures of the Old City is to interact with the locals. Strike up conversations, ask for recommendations, and engage with the friendly residents. They can provide valuable insights into the best spots for authentic and delicious meals.
  5. Timing is everything: Some popular food items, like haleem or iftar specialties during Ramadan, may have specific timings or limited availability. Plan your visits accordingly to ensure you don’t miss out on these seasonal treats or time-sensitive dishes.
  6. Stay hydrated: Hyderabad’s Old City can get quite hot, especially during the summer months. Remember to stay hydrated while exploring the food scene. Enjoy a refreshing glass of sugarcane juice or try the local sherbets to beat the heat and stay refreshed.
  7. Be open to new experiences: Hyderabad’s Old City is filled with culinary surprises, so be open to trying new flavors and dishes that you may not be familiar with. Let go of any preconceived notions and embrace the unfamiliar. You might just discover your new favorite dish!

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate and fully immerse yourself in the food culture of Hyderabad’s Old City. So, get ready to embark on a delicious journey, savoring the rich flavors and enjoying the vibrant culinary traditions that make this neighborhood a true food lover’s paradise.



Hyderabad’s Old City is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse and vibrant culinary scene that celebrates the city’s rich heritage. From the iconic Hyderabadi biryani to the flavorful kebabs, from the refreshing Irani chai to the indulgent desserts, this neighborhood is a haven for food lovers looking to indulge in an unforgettable gastronomic experience.


Exploring the food in Hyderabad’s Old City is not just about satisfying your taste buds; it’s an immersive journey through the region’s history, culture, and traditions. The flavors, techniques, and ingredients used in the local cuisine are a testament to the city’s multicultural influences, resulting in a fusion of flavors that is truly unique and captivating.


Whether you’re savoring the aromatic spices of a steaming plate of Hyderabadi biryani, relishing the melt-in-your-mouth kebabs, or enjoying the communal spirit of an Irani chai with friends and strangers alike, each culinary experience in the Old City tells a story and creates lasting memories.


As you navigate the narrow streets and bustling markets, be open to new flavors, seek out local recommendations, and immerse yourself in the culinary tapestry that surrounds you. Interact with the locals, indulge in street food, and don’t be afraid to try unique dishes that embody the essence of Hyderabad’s food culture.


Hyderabad’s Old City provides a unique blend of tradition and innovation, where age-old recipes are passed down through generations and new culinary trends emerge. It’s a place where old-world charm meets modern flavors, creating a dynamic and vibrant food scene that reflects the city’s multifaceted identity.


So, whether you’re a food enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone looking for an extraordinary culinary experience, Hyderabad’s Old City is sure to captivate and delight you. Indulge in the flavors, savor the moments, and let the gastronomic wonders of this neighborhood leave a lasting impression on your palate and in your heart.