Heading to Pune for the NH7 Weekender? These handpicked eateries and watering holes are great alternatives to the festival food stalls, and are all a short ride from the venue
One of Pune’s top-trending student hangouts with a typically warm-toned English pub ambience and retro music from the ’80s and ’90s. Its growing list of house brews includes cider, stout, ale, and Belgian and Bavarian wheat beers, all of which go well with the spicy, crowd-pleasing starters like jalapeno cheese crackers and chicken piri piri. Located in the upmarket Koregaon Park, this place is always bursting with energy. And though it’s sometimes a challenge to find a table, nobody’s complaining.
Where: Lane no. 6, Seren Bay, North Main Road, Koregaon Park, Pune
Call: 020 3018 9858
Where Else Café
There’s nothing like a nice, solid breakfast to survive the morning after. The colourfully done up Where Else Café dishes out stuffed omelettes and syrupy pancakes with your choice of bacon, hash brown or fruits, all day long. If one can look past their alluring breakfast options, there’s also an intriguing section of the menu titled Bawa Belly, available only on weekends. The delicacies on offer — like dhansak, kheema patties, sali margi and tamota per eeda — can give Mumbai’s Parsi restaurants a run for their money.
Where: Lunkad Sky Max, Viman Nagar, Pune
Call: 020 4121 0613
Independence Brewing Company
An equally excellent brewpub but a little more understated, and meant for people who want to have long conversations. Its pale golden Belgian Wit beer is hugely popular. Independence has a loyal following of beer-lovers who appreciate a twist on the usual — be it the Ethiopian samboosa (a mini-samosa with an addictive lentil, mint and onion filling) or Scotch eggs (crumb-fried and cocooned in chicken paste and salad). Hungrier folks will enjoy the fresh hot veggie/meaty pies.
Where: Zero One, Pingle Vasti, Mundhwa Road, Mundhwa, Pune
Call :020 6644 8308
The Flour Works
This place has become a local favourite for casual continental dining, desserts, and exotic teas and coffee. Screened by tall trees in a quiet residential area, it always has a tempting array of freshly baked breads and for-sale cookies on display. The seating is simple but airy — perfect for sipping some aromatic Bora Bora tea or Spiced Café Latte, while nibbling on decadent tarts and pastries. And if you want something stronger with your meal, they do serve a few wines and beer.
Where: Nirvana, Commercial 3, Kalyani Nagar, Pune
Call: 020 2668 0474
Sin Envy Pride
It’s a bummer that the NH7 Weekender gigs wind up by 10pm, but Sin Envy Pride has you covered. Pune’s newest and coolest lounge bar, it’s known for its rooftop view of the city lights and a nightlife that keeps pumping till at least 12.30am. Locals come here for the happening crowd and music (house and hip-hop), and to experiment with a range of signature cocktails while shaking a leg. But don’t worry if you can only make it here in the daytime; their boozy Sunday brunches are quite inviting in this pleasant winter weather.
Where: Kapila Matrix, Koregaon Park Annex, Mundhwa, Pune
Call: 077700 10897
This 24-hour restaurant at Oakwood Premier is not where weekend trippers from Mumbai might usually head. They should, because this is one of the few places where you can get a hearty meal after midnight, and is a stone’s throw away from Koregaon Park’s bars and pubs. The late-night buffet is surprisingly affordable. It lets you gorge on soups, starters, mains and desserts in a classy ambience away from the mayhem, and there’s a bar menu too. For those who don’t want to stop partying, Oak Lounge in the same hotel stays open till 2.30am.
Where: Oakwood Premier, Koregaon Park Annexe, Mundhwa, Pune
Call: 020 26747474
Couples looking for a bit of romance can head to Dario’s, an authentic Italian restaurant with serene al fresco seating and food inspired by the Sicilian countryside, where its owner grew up. It’s Pune’s most popular eatery for vegetarian European cuisine, thanks to the stellar wood-fired pizzas, ‘homemade’ pastas and exotic salads that can be washed down with a long list of wines. Meat lovers won’t miss a thing.
Where: Hotel Sunderban, 1st Lane, Koregaon Park, Pune
Call: 020 2605 3597
Nadig is a Pune-based writer