Gourmet nation: Food delivery sector recovers and grows beyond pre-Covid levels

Here we reveal which city’s food lovers ordered what as the lockdown eased.Here we reveal which city’s food lovers ordered what as the lockdown eased.

By Reya Mehrotra

As soon as the lockdown eased, the first thing many people did was order in their favourite dishes. So much so that the food delivery sector has recovered to (and even grown beyond) pre-Covid levels in large pockets of the country’s affluent residential areas, as per Zomato’s Food Delivery India–Mid Covid Report 2, published in September. Here we reveal which city’s food lovers ordered what as the lockdown eased.

Chennai
For Chennai, filter coffee, mulligatawny soup, masala dosai, biryani, Mysore pak, nethili fry, sundal, murukku sandwich, parotta, uttapam, paniyaram, idli sambhar, idiyappam are the top favourites and they can be easily found at George Town, Mount Road, Burma Bazaar, Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar, East Mada Road, Marina Beach, Monteith Road and Vepery Road. Apart from the usual south Indian cuisine, one can find a good number of north Indian and Gujarati food options in Chennai too.

Delhi
With plenty of street food options, Delhi missed bingeing the most. The most popular street foods here include momos, chowmein, golgappa, chaap, ram laddoo, choley bhature, kebabs, paranthas, matar kulcha, honey chilly potatoes, etc. Delhi’s top street food locations are Chandni Chowk, Rajouri Garden, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazaar, among others. However, the lockdown completely shut food and other businesses at these locations. But the report suggests that things have now nearly recovered, with 95% pre-Covid levels of food delivery sector business. Affluent areas such as south Delhi, central Delhi’s Connaught Place, Gurugram’s DLF Phase I and V contributed largely to the growth. North Indian cuisine and pizzas remained the top favourites.

Hyderabad
Hyderabadi biryani immediately comes to mind when one hears of the city. Sindhi Colony, Madina (near Charminar) and Pragati Gully are the best places to try the historic dish. Hyderabadi haleem, phirni, boti kebab, qubani ka meetha, mirchi ka salan, lukhmi, chaats, keema samosa, nihari, Andhra dosa are the most preferred dishes. Some prominent joints include Gokul Chaat, Maharaja Chaat, Govind’s Bandi, Ohri’s Chowpatti, Golden Point Tea & Snacks, Momos Point, Lakshman ki Bandi, etc.

Mumbai
Maharashtrian cuisine includes a melange of mild and spicy dishes. The coastal city thrives on seafood and local dishes like dry Bombay duck curry, keema pav, bheja fry, anda bhurji, etc. It is even more famous for its street food. Mumbai’s favourite street food has been pav bhaji, batata vada, vada pav, missal pav, bhel puri and more, while food joints at Vile Parle, Lokhandwala, Churchgate, Jogeshwari are the favourites. As reservations against street food intensified, online orders for north Indian cuisines and pizzas grew. Like Delhi, Mumbai, too, has reached 95% of pre-Covid levels of food delivery business. Central Mumbai and Thane have exceeded pre-Covid business.

Kolkata
The Bengali culinary tradition is heavily rooted in local flavours. Macher jhol, kosha mangsho, luchi, alur torkari, shukto, cholar dal, chomchom, momos, ghugni chaat, jhalmuri, kathi rolls, etc, are the top favourites, while places like Gariahat Road, Park Street, Bhawanipore, Arsalan, Dacre Street, Jawaharlal Nehru Road serve the best street food. The report says Kolkata residents are increasingly ordering online now. North and south Kolkata, along with Howrah, have been witnessing order growth and have surpassed the volume before Covid-19.

Ahmedabad
Gujarat’s wholesome cuisine is a treat for one and all, be it khakhra, dhokla, dhabeli, dalvada, momos, bhajia, sevpuri or bhakri. Popular street food locations include Food Truck Park, Municipal Market, Bhatiyar Gali, Manek Chowk, Law Garden, HL College Road, among others. The report suggests that ever since the food delivery sector picked up after the pandemic, Gandhinagar and west Ahmedabad have seen the best recovery in the past six months. North Indian cuisine and pizzas have remained popular here too.

Chandigarh
Chandigarh loves to binge on chaats, dahi bhalla, choley bhature, paneer tikka, kulfi, frankies, rolls, momos, Amritsari kulchas and more. The best places to find these include Garg Chaat-Sector 23, Dil Desi, New Vaishno Dhaba, The Indian Coffee House, Amritsari Kulcha Hub, Burger Point–Sector 32, Khalsa Dhaba, Babaji ke Parathe, etc. The report suggests that north Indian cuisine was the most ordered along with pizzas.

Jaipur
North Indian cuisine and pizzas remained the top ordered dishes in Jaipur, according to the report. However, the favourite street foods of Jaipur include pyaaz kachori, mutton tikka, rabri ghevar, daal bati with a dollop of ghee, kheer and sangria, gatte ki sabzi, churma, missi roti, moong thal, gajak. Traditional Rajasthani cuisine can be had in Jaipur at Chokhi Dhani, Shri Thaal Village, Spice Court, Rawat Mishthan Bhandar, Gulab Ji Chaiwala, Masala Chowk, Pandit’s, Al Bake, etc.

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