In a city like Pune, which is packed to the gills with students and IT professionals, breakfast becomes the most important meal of the day. Whether you’re just getting off a night shift or trying to nurse a hangover before that first morning class, you need a meal that is filling, delicious and won’t break the bank. We have tracked down the best of the best, from every category of cuisine this mini-metro has to offer so you never have to start the day hungry again.
It seems fitting that this list should begin with a breakfast option that is so typically Puneri - Misal Pav. But don’t be fooled by the name, Bedekar is so much more than just a tea stall. Started in 1948, they have been serving up their signature misal to hundreds of devoted customers every day. Boasting of a recipe unlike any other, their homemade masala gives it a sweetness that is offset by the heat of the fresh chillies. Unlike other places, the misal here is served with plain sliced bread rather than pavs as the owner doesn’t want anything overshadow the quality of his dish - we know who the star is here.
What you’re getting: A hot crunchy misal will take you through the day with a smile at Rs. 60.
This Parsi-Irani cafe is a throwback to a simpler time, standing strong since 1964 this little nook has weathered modernisation and evolving generations to be a landmark of the old city. Although it recently went through a full makeover the cafe retains its old world charm. With wood furniture and simple decor it may not be the flashiest place to be seen but their food and traditional Irani chai make it all worth it.
What you’re getting: A steaming hot glass of chai with a stout and buttery bun-maska. If you feel adventurous you can try their fluffy cheese omelette. All three together would cost you under Rs. 100 so it’s definitely value for money.
Another old favourite, they are famous for their colonial feel and outstanding service. For locals this is a regular breakfast haunt and from the minute their doors open to closing time they are always packed with customers. They opened up a new restaurant on the first floor but the cafe on the ground floor has remained unchanged for decades. It’s also quite close to the station so if you have an early start and don’t want to travel on an empty stomach, this is where you should be heading.
What you’re getting: The fan favourite is the spicy beef kheema (Rs. 75), pair it with soft soft buttered pavs and your stomach will thank you.
Possibly one of Pune’s most famous destinations the German Bakery has recovered from its bombing in 2010 with panache and the renovated and redesigned space in Koregaon Park is drawing more crowds than ever. They aim to serve healthy, organic meals without compromising on flavour. Their traditional breakfast spread is a must-try but they also serve an exciting range of fresh juices that will leave you refreshed and happy.
What you’re getting: The Japanese omelette is a popular choice at Rs. 160. Add a side of their multigrain bread fresh from the bakery and a glass of the aloe vera and coconut juice (Rs. 110) and you’ll be powered up for the day.
The oldest of all the Iranian cafes in Pune Goodluck has been running since 1935 and is now if the hands of Hussain Ali Yakshi the grandson of the original founder. It may be a bit of a cliché but the dish that gets the most attention here is the bun-maska and chai. This classic combination is what draws crowds in the wee hours of the morning, especially in the monsoon season when it becomes a haunt for college students trying to mentally prepare for their morning classes.
What you’re getting: A hot Irani chai and bun maska is a must at Rs. 50 for both. Another dish worth testing is the mutton kheema (Rs. 170) which is often deemed the best in the city.
People may swear by J.J Garden vada pav but that’s only because they’ve never been to Prabha. For 75 years this tiny Puneri eatery has been serving up the quintessential breakfast food and they’ve clearly spent that time honing their recipe. The potato is spiced to perfection and served without bread because they believe that their vadas are delicious enough not to need any companions. They also prepare a limited number of these huge vadas every day so be sure to go on time or risk missing out!
What you’re getting: At Rs. 30 you will definitely be buying as many vadas as you can carry.
Known by people across the city as the bet destination for South Indian fare Vaishali is always among the top recommendations for first time visitors to Pune. Their recipes are traditional but their achieved their legendary status because of the small adjustments they make to appease the local palate, for example their sambhar is noticeably sweeter than a typical version. Although they specialise in South Indian cuisine they also excel at Maharashtrian dishes so those are well worth a try too.
What you’re getting: Nothing will kick off your day better than a Vaishali special masala dosa (Rs. 140), a plate of crunchy sabudana vadas (Rs. 70) all topped off with a steaming glass of strong South Indian filter coffee (Rs. 45)
Yet another Irani cafe to make the list this small joint is a favourite with people looking for a great start to the day. Clean but unadorned this no nonsense restaurant opens at the crack of dawn and is usually packed from the get-go with early risers or late night revellers looking to prolong the party. It goes without saying that their chai is spectacular but Vohuman is known for one thing in particular, the double egg cheese omelette which is the epitome of low cost indulgence.
What you’re getting: The cheesy goodness of the two egg cheese omelette (Rs. 80) with a side of bun maska and chai (Rs. 50 for both)
The granddaddy of all the branches opening across the city this restaurant has stood the test of time to become one of the most trusted destinations for South Indian food. They have little by way of ambience but the good food and efficient service will soon make you forget that. Their authentic Udipi food has been delighting generations of Punekars and another favourite is the Thalipeeth, a Maharashtrian roti made with a variety of dals. Whatever region you decide to sample, Wadeshwar Bhuvan is sure to be a delight.
What you’re getting: The ghee idlis (Rs. 40) are absolutely mouthwatering and try out their Thalipeeth (Rs. 60) if you want something more substantial.
This innovative new venture is Pune’s only restaurant devoted entirely to eggs. So if you’re indecisive about your signature dish you don’t have to worry, they have it all! Fried, poached, boiled, scrambled and even devilled you can have it all. They also have a range of omelettes, sandwiches and burgers if you want to really binge. For those of you with a sweet tooth they also have a line of crepes and waffles that will brighten up even the earliest start. With seemingly limitless choices the only problem you’ll be wishing for a second stomach.
What you’re getting: People can be particular about their eggs but an interesting choice is the Kaeng Phet omelette which features basil rice, folded into an omelette and topped with thai red curry. (Rs. 130). If that sounds like a bit much for first thing in the morning you could try the eggs Florentine which comes on a toasted English muffin with a sinful hollandaise sauce. (Rs. 100)