If you’re vegetarian and running out of places to eat, here are some places that serve surprisingly good vegetarian food in Hyderabad.

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Want to go out for good vegetarian food, but tired of the same old places? Rejoice, because here are a few unexpected places that serve surprisingly good vegetarian food in Hyderabad.

Just so you know, all of these places are around Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Hitech City areas—part of the recent explosion in dining options in this part of the city. If you happen to be on the other side of town, it’ll take you a while to get here. Sorry about that!

1. The Spicy Venue

Cuisine: Telugu | Format: Casual dining | Location: Road 10, Jubilee Hills | Alcohol: No | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

As its interesting name suggests, this modest place is popular for its mind-blowingly spicy Telugu food. Set up in a private bungalow on Road 10, Jubilee Hills, the restaurant is always crowded. Maybe because it counts a number of local movie stars among its more loyal guests. The setup and atmosphere is somewhat basic, without unnecessary frills—not luxurious but not uncomfortable either. One thing that they don’t hold back on is the air-conditioning. It always feels like it’s turned down to the coldest possible setting. But that’s probably to offset the generous amount of chilli in the food.

The food itself, though it’s very spicy, is also so incredibly tasty that you just can’t stop eating it! We’ve found that the first bite is always the worst, and that you get used to it after a while. If you think the fire in your mouth needs extinguishing, order yourself a bowl of their rich, creamy curd. It’s served straight out of the fridge, and is probably the best curd we’ve ever tasted.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Vegetarian thali

As vegetarians, we always order the veg thali, guaranteed to give you a whole assortment of local flavours on one plate. And the dishes on the thali change according to the chef’s menu of the day, so you never get bored.

Good restaurants for veg food - Spicy Venue thali - vegetarian food in Hyderabad
The veg thali always delivers!

Mushroom 65

We also love the fiery mushroom 65, with its Indo-Chinese flavours—soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chilli and curry leaves—all vying for attention.

Egg pulao

For ovitarians, the egg pulao is a must-try. The spicy masala gravy in which the halved boiled eggs are coated has an unmistakably South Indian flavour to it, and the rice itself is fragrant and lightly spiced.

Apricot delight

It may be a little out of place on a Telugu restaurant’s menu, but this apricot-based trifle-like dessert is to die for. It’s layers of biscuit crumbs, pureed apricot, custard and fresh cream go down surprisingly easily despite being quite rich. Probably because it’s the perfect counter to the spicy flavours of the main meal.

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

All dining areas here are airconditioned, which isn’t great in my book. Still, there’s not much plastic in use in the restaurant (though their takeaway is another matter). Also, their table mats aren’t paper ones, but rather the easy-to-wipe types that don’t need to be laundered. And their soft drinks don’t come with straws unless asked for.

How to get to The Spicy Venue

If you’re approaching Jubilee Hills from the city side, turn right at the Checkpost traffic signal and keep going for about two kilometres until you see a building in the shape of a diamond on your left. The restaurant is a little further ahead, also on your left. If you’re approaching from Hitech City, take the left arm of the fork at Shree Jewellers on Road 36. Keep going for about half a kilometre, until you see an ICICI Bank on your left. The restaurant is on the opposite side of the road.

Use this location on your GPS

2. Olive Bistro

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Format: High-end casual dining and craft brewery | Location: Durgam Cheruvu Lake Park, Jubilee Hills | Alcohol: Yes | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

This open-plan restaurant overlooks the Durgam Cheruvu (also called the ‘secret lake’) in Jubilee Hills, and has a very relaxed Greek-Mediterranean atmosphere. Supposedly inspired by the Greek island of Santorini, the layout has different open-air seating areas running down the side of the hill, and two indoor areas. One of these is its craft brewery, The Hoppery, which has a more modern hipster bar feel to it. The Hoppery is in a high, glass-walled room with lots of light and an airy feel, despite being indoors.

Olive Bistro serves Mediterranean food (meaning Italian, Greek, Lebanese etc.) with a modern twist. Most people don’t realize that, though these cuisines aren’t really known for their vegetarian food, they still have some great veggie traditions. Olive Bistro makes the most these to deliver a great range of veg options. And if you like a good glass of craft beer to go with your veggies, even better.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Linguine, tomato and burrata

Linguine—spaghetti’s thicker, flatter cousin—gets a simple but incredibly tasty treatment here. A bunch of these long noodles tossed with whole garlic, cherry tomatoes and olive oil would be flavoursome enough. But throw in some green peppercorns and light burrata cheese, and the entire thing becomes Italy on a plate!

linguine, tomato and burrata at olive bistro, jubilee hills, hyderabad, india - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The simple but extremely flavoursome linguine, tomato and burrata

Pizza caprese

If this thin-crust pizza had come with just mozzarella cheese, basil and tomatoes (yes, again), it would still have been great. But the balsamic vinegar glaze, with its sweet-sour complex flavours, gives it an entirely new dimension.

Crock pot

If you prefer spicy Indian food to pasta and pizza, this one might just be a nice introduction to Mediterranean cuisine. Saffron rice and vegetables in a rich, peppery gravy—great comfort food, especially on a cold day.

crock pot of rice and vegetables in olive bistro, jubilee hills, hyderabad, india - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The comforting (and spicy) crock pot

Nutella French toast

Dessert lovers will rejoice when they try this. Olive Bistro has taken the humble French toast and turned it into something amazing! Thick slices of custard-soaked bread filled with hazelnut and chocolate cream and topped with homemade ice cream makes this a must-try—but only if there’s more than one of you. A word to the wise: Custard usually contains egg, so check if you’re concerned about that.

Nutella French toast and homemade ice cream at olive bistro, jubilee hills, hyderabad, india - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The sinful but irresistible Nutella French toast with its two scoops of homemade ice cream

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

With lots of outdoor seating and not too much plastic in evidence, Olive Bistro would have scored high on my scale. The only downside I could see—and it’s a big one—is the design of The Hoppery. Designed like a glasshouse, the place holds in heat and needs to be airconditioned all the time, even when it’s cool outside. And it doesn’t even have any windows to open. I think that’s a pretty big missed opportunity.

Getting to Olive Bistro

Because it’s so far off the main roads of Jubilee Hills, getting here takes some doing. Use this Google Maps location to navigate.

If you’re not the navigating kind, drive from the Jubilee Hills Check Post towards Film Nagar, and turn right onto Road 45 at the first traffic signal. Then take the first left, and then just keep going until you can’t anymore. Once you enter the arched gate of the Durgam Cheruvu Lake Park, you should see the signboard in the far left corner.

Also read: 12 interesting Indian veggie dishes you should try

3. SodaBottleOpenerWala

Cuisine: Mumbai-style Irani café | Format: Mid-range casual dining | Location: Road no. 1, Jubilee Hills | Alcohol: Yes | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3.5/5

SodaBottleOpenerWala is a modern and quirky take on the Irani cafés of mid-1900s Mumbai. It deliberately tries to recreate the chaotic but cosy atmosphere of the typical Mumbai Irani café (different from the Hyderabadi Irani cafés that have their own distinctive atmosphere). The cluttered café décor, the humorous touches, and the simple street food-y menu loaded with Parsi favourites make this place a very interesting experience. If only the music wasn’t so loud. But maybe that’s part of the atmosphere.

SodaBottleOpenerWala might just be the only restaurant in Hyderabad to serve Parsi food. And though the cuisine is legendary for its focus on meat, this menu has more than enough veg options to keep you happy. When we asked a Parsi friend whether the dishes they served here were authentic, she said they were a little too spicy, but otherwise quite well done. I suppose that’s understandable, since it’s supposed to be street food-style Parsi food. And for those craving Hyderabadi Old City-style food in a restaurant atmosphere, this place has that too.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Aloo Aunty’s vegetable cutlet

The humorous title aside, this is one extremely satisfying vegetable cutlet. It’s brilliantly crunchy on the outside, with a spicy filling of minced vegetables and coconut. It’s even served with a tiny jug of sweet tamarind chutney to balance the spiciness. And unless you’re a big eater, a plate can easily be shared by two people.

Veg cutlet at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Hyderabad, India - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
Aloo Aunty’s veg cutlet, with tamarind chutney on the side, and vada pav in the background

Vada pav

Having eaten innumerable vada pavs on the streets of Pune and Mumbai, I can safely say that this is not really an authentic rendition. But I think it’s the closest you’ll get to a good vada pav in Hyderabad. So if you have a craving for a decent potato pakora sandwich with mint chutney and fried green chillies on the side, this is the place to go.

Boiled egg sandwich

This one is for you ovitarians with a serious craving for boiled egg. The sandwich is made with two huge—and I’m talking almost six inches on one side— slices of bread stuffed with segments of boiled egg and cheesy mayonnaise. Funnily, the menu also mentions green chillies, but we didn’t notice any in our sandwich. Not that we minded, because this is one serious boiled egg sandwich even without them. Be warned: at least four boiled eggs go into each sandwich, so it’s a heart-stopping meal in itself.

Veg dhansak

Many Hyderabadis will recognize dhansak as being very close to dalcha, but with a more pronounced flavour of caramelized onions. The veg dhansak here is a simple, hearty and flavourful dish of veggies in a thick chana dal gravy, with Parsi-style fried rice and a salad of onions, cucumbers and tomato. And all served in a traditional brass tiffin carrier!

veg dhansak at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Hyderabad, India - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
Veg dhansak served in a wonderfully-vintage brass lunch carrier

Jeroo Aunty’s toblerone mousse

If you’re looking for light, fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate mousse, then you’re in the wrong place. This mousse is dense, slightly chewy and completely awesome. Made with the famous honey-caramel toblerone chocolate, it even comes with one of their pyramid-shaped segments on top. Just a heads-up though: this dessert is marked as non-veg on the menu, so there’s probably some egg in there somewhere.

chocolate mousse at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Hyderabad, India - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The incredibly dense but sinful toblerone chocolate mousse. Note the spoon standing straight up in it!

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3.5/5

The great thing about SodaBottleOpenerWala is that everything is kept quite simple. This translates into glass-topped tables that don’t need table mats, simple stainless steel cutlery, and traditional plates and containers. I don’t remember seeing anything obviously plastic the last time we were there. It even has some outdoor seating. The downside is that it does, of course, have most of its seating in an indoor airconditioned area. Also, I’m a little reluctant to give a place a higher score without noticing something that’s deliberately eco-friendly.

Getting to SodaBottleOpenerWala

This place is refreshingly easy to get to, being on the main road between the Jubilee Hills Check Post and Film Nagar. If you’re approaching from the Jubilee Hills Check Post, drive towards Film Nagar, pass the first traffic signal and then take a U-turn. It’s on the left, about 50 meters up and back down the hill. If you’re approaching from Film Nagar or Banjara Hills Road no. 12, it’s between the Film Nagar traffic signal and the Road 45 traffic signal, about 100 meters past the D.E. Shaw/Arcesium building, on the left.

Use this Google Maps location for navigation.

Also read: A simple, hearty, guilt-free salad: Broccoli and crispy potato with honey-mustard vinaigrette

4. Haiku

Cuisine: Japanese and South-East Asian | Format: Casual open-air dining | Location: Road 12, Banjara Hills | Alcohol: No| IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 4/5

Arguably Hyderabad’s first real Japanese-serving restaurant, Haiku is an eye-opener in many ways. Its interesting open-plan décor combines minimalist elegance with quirky design elements to create a somewhat dream-like atmosphere. And in today’s obsession with air-conditioning, its open-to-the-wind layout is a nice touch.

The menu is heavy on Japanese cuisine (which goes far beyond just sushi, by the way), with a nice mix of other South-East Asian dishes thrown in. And while the Japanese flavours may take some getting used to, the others are a little closer to home, so first-timers may want to order a combination. A note of caution: we found the desserts a little disappointing, especially after the excellent quality of the main meal.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Singaporean Penang Laksa (veg)

This hearty dish, though listed under soups, it actually a meal in itself. The noodles and crisp veggies swimming in a rich coconut-based soup mean that you’ll need to eat it with both spoon and fork (or chopsticks, if you’re a traditionalist).

Good restaurants for veg food - Haiku Laksa - vegetarian food in Hyderabad
Haiku’s Singapore Penang laksa, meal in itself

Gado gado

This traditional Indonesian salad is a dish of lightly steamed vegetables in a sweet and spicy peanut dressing. And though it’s traditionally served with boiled egg, Haiku serves it without, making it perfect for vegetarians of all shades—and possibly vegans too, though I can’t be sure.

Ame shiitake maki

This is a great one for vegetarians who want to try the famous sushi (which is actually an umbrella term for a number of different things involving small portions of sticky vinegared rice). In this case, marinated shiitake mushrooms are wrapped in sushi rice and then covered with a layer of nori seaweed. A word to the wise: the mushrooms taste fantastic, but the seaweed has a strong fishy taste that takes some getting used to.

Good restaurants for veg food - Haiku mushroom maki and gado gado - vegetarian food in Hyderabad
The shiitake maki (left) and gado gado (right) perfectly combine Japanese flavours with those a little closer to home

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 4/5

A massive upside for Haiku is that, even though it’s dining areas are technically indoors, it’s got lots of open windows and ventilation. That’s because, instead of being air-conditioned, it’s cooled using an evaporator. There’s no plastic in evidence in its cultery or crockery either, and they provide compostable wooden chopsticks on request. The only downside is their disposable paper table mats, which I’m not very fond of. But overall, definitely a more sustainable place than usual.

How to get to Haiku

If you’re approaching from the Filmnagar side, keep going straight after the Maharaja Agrasen roundabout—that’s the one with Jagannath temple—for about half a kilometre until you see the Volvo showroom on your left. The restaurant is on the opposite side, in the same building as the Good Earth boutique. If you’re approaching from the Indo-American Cancer Hospital side, then turn left at the circle instead. And if you’re approaching from Banjara Hills Road 1, turn onto Road 12 at the Pension Office traffic signal (or, as it’s more popularly known, the Pizza Hut signal) and continue up the hill until the road levels out, and another kilometre or so from there on the left, just after the Karur Vysya Bank.

Here’s the restaurant’s location.

Also read: Turning vegetarian? Here are some tips from someone who’s done it.

5. Sarkar’s Kitchen

Cuisine: Bengali | Format: Modest casual dining | Location: Madhapur, Hitech City | Alcohol: No | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3.5/5

This modest restaurant is tucked away in a little lane off the main Madhapur-Hitech City road, and is a hidden gem if you enjoy Bengali food. The decor is pretty modest, with two rows of basic tables set up in a long space that obviously used to be a fancier restaurant. But the food more than makes up for lack of creature comforts.

The extensive menu of home-style dishes has something to warm the heart of every homesick native of West Bengal—and you know it’s good when the proprietor’s family has the leftovers for dinner at the end of the day! Even though Bengali cuisine isn’t really known for its vegetarian food, this menu has lots and lots of veg options to choose from.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Luchi Aloo Dum combo

The combos here offer great value for money, and this one—potato in thick gravy with Bengali-style puris—is a great one to start off with. Add in a side of cholar dal or begun bhaja, and you’ve got yourself a full Bengali meal. For two!

Good restaurants for veg food - Sarkars Kitchen combo - vegetarian food in Hyderabad
The luchi aloo dum combo at Sarkar’s Kitchen, with dal and rice on the side

Paayesh

This dessert is West Bengal’s answer to South India’s pal payasam—rice cooked in sweet thickened milk—and Sarkar’s Kitchen does a very nice paayesh. Made with broken rice cooked just right, it’s not too sweet, and rich enough to make you feel guilty at the end of your meal. Pro tip: Order just one serving between two people, and even that may be too much.

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3.5/5

Sarkar’s kitchen is quite basic, and that’s an advantage in terms of sustainability. It’s got easy-to wipe tables with no mats, and stainless steel cutlery and crockery. On the other hand, the whole place is air-conditioned. So a slight eco-friendliness edge, but not much.

Getting to Sarkar’s Kitchen

This place is a little difficult to find, sitting in its tiny lane off the main road. Head down the Hitech City main road from Cyber Towers towards Jubilee Hills for about one kilometre, turn left at the metro rail pillar number C1762 (you’ll see a shop called YLG Salon just before the turn) and then turn into the lane on the right. Sarkar’s kitchen is a little further down, in an apartment building on the right. If you’re approaching from Jubilee Hills, take Road 36 from the Checkpost traffic signal towards Hitech City for about three kilometres (make sure you follow the overhead metro rail line) and take a ‘U’ turn as soon as you can after pillar number C1762.

You can use this location, but be warned: the GPS might take you into the next lane for a little drive-around, instead of straight there. Also, there’s almost no parking to be had.

6. Conçu Cucina

Cuisine: Italian | Format: Cafe-style casual dining | Location: Madhapur, Hitech City | Alcohol: No | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 4/5

Conçu started out as an elegant little patisserie just off Road 36, Jubilee Hills, and has recently moved to a new location and expanded to include a nice cafe as well: Conçu Cucina. The decor is modern and minimalist, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor acoustics make the place a little noisy, but the outdoor seating is nice and airy, and allows you to admire their little herb garden while you eat.

The menu is short and focused, with a decent—if not extensive—number of vegetarian items to choose from. That’s probably a good thing, because it allows the chef to concentrate on quality instead of quantity, and quality is what’s delivered.

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Mushroom Cream Tortellini

These excellent little parcels filled with mushroom and ricotta cheese and covered with a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce were perfect as a main meal—just enough for two, and leaving space for dessert.

Good restaurants for veg food - Conçu tortellini - vegetarian food in Hyderabad
Conçu Cucina’s excellent mushroom tortellini.

Classic Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one dessert that we’ve spent quite some time sampling in various places. We can’t claim to know what the authentic item tastes like, but we firmly believe that this is the best version to be had in Hyderabad. It even comes with a dropper filled with coffee decoction to make sure the layers of biscuit stay soaked!

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 4/5

At least half of Conçu Cucina’s seating is outdoors (though it does have an indoor patisserie downstairs). They’re also quite low on plastic, serving drinking water in glass bottles and some desserts in glass jars. And whatever plastic they do use is washed and reused as far as possible. They also grow a lot of their own herbs. Lastly, when we took our own takeaway boxes along the last time we went, the owner gave us a free box of popcorn as a reward. It seems to me that this is a place that’s making some good efforts to be sustainble (and I’m not just saying that because of the popcorn)!

How to get to Conçu Cucina

This is another one that’s off the beaten path, but luckily there’s only one approach road. From the Jubilee Hills Checkpost traffic signal, head down the main road—Road 36—towards Hitech City for about two kilometres. Just before you hit the traffic signal, turn left into the lane after Croma at metro rail pillar number C1685 (there’s a Brand Factory outlet on the corner), and then right. The restaurant is about 100 meters further on the left.

Here’s the restaurant’s location.

Also read: A simple honey mustard vinaigrette recipe

7. Prego

Cuisine: Italian | Format: High-end dining | Location: Raheja Mindspace, Hitech City | Alcohol: Yes | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3.5/5

Prego is in the Westin hotel in Hitech City’s Raheja Mindspace industrial park, and is definitely one of the best—if not the best—Italian restaurants in town. Of course, being in a five-star hotel makes it expensive, but it’s worth it on special occasions. The restaurant itself has a modern but comfortable feel, with an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work. It also has outdoor seating next to the pool, which is very nice during the cooler months.

The extensive menu has lots of vegetarian options, though you might need some patience, because the descriptions aren’t that easy to understand. But once you finally figure out what to order, you’re almost guaranteed to get something great. And while you’re waiting for your food, take a bite or two of the complimentary crusty wholewheat bread with fresh tomato sauce. We always end up finishing the whole loaf, and then regret having ordered a starter!

Wholewheat bread at Prego, Hyderabad, India - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The irresistible complimentary bread, with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chilli oil

The Good Life With IQ recommends

Veg Caesar salad

This leafy salad is simple but extremely flavourful, with a tangy dressing and sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. The last time we ordered this salad, we couldn’t take any decent pictures because—to our delight—the hotel turned off most of the lights for earth hour!

Veg lasagne

The veg lasagne uses diced vegetables instead of minced meat, and sacrifices nothing in terms of flavour. Everything that makes lasagne special is still there, right from the dollops of tangy tomato sauce and the layers of pasta sheets to the flavoursome filling and—best of all—the crunchy bits of burnt Parmesan cheese on top.

Veg lasagne at at Prego, Hyderabad, India - Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The rich and satisfying vegetable lasagne. With crunchy burnt parmesan on top!

Tiramisu

For a long time, the tiramisu at Prego was by far the best in town, until it was dethroned by the one at Conçu Cucina. But that doesn’t mean that this one’s not good anymore. On the contrary, it’s still extremely awesome! With its layers of sweetened mascarpone cream cheese and Italian biscuits soaked in strong coffee, Prego’s tiramisu still one of my all-time favourites. Don’t be surprised if you can’t stop eating it, even after a big meal.

Tiramisu at at Prego, Hyderabad, India- Great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad
The tiramisu may not be much to look at, but it packs a flavour punch! A must-try if you like coffee.

IQ’s eco-score: 3.5/5

The last time we went, I was a bit miffed at the bottled water that sat on our table by default. But when our waiter asked whether we preferred regular water, I felt better. I was also happy to see that the table mats were ones that could just be wiped clean, and weren’t ‘disposable’ paper mats or cloth mats that needed washing. And we were thrilled that the entire hotel shut off all but the most essential lights for earth hour while we were there! Of course, as a five-star hotel, they couldn’t shut down the airconditioning too, though that would also have been nice.

Getting to Prego

Prego is in the ground floor of the Westin hotel in the Raheja Mindspace industrial park in Hitech City. If you’re entering from the main gate, take the first left, keep going about 200 meters, take a U-turn and take the first left. And if you’re entering from the side gate on the Inorbit Mall road, turn left at the T-junction, then turn right, keep going about 200 meters, take a U-turn and take the first left.

Here’s the Goole Maps location to help you navigate.

8. Tatva

Cuisine: Pure vegetarian Italian, continental, north Indian | Format: High-end dining | Location: Road no. 36, Jubilee Hills | Alcohol: No | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

Think of vegetarian restaurants in Hyderabad and south Indian idlidosa joints invariably come to mind. Add to that the term ‘multi-cuisine’—with the bad reputation it’s earned over the years—and your expectations sink by the second. But Tatva puts the polish back into both concepts by being an unexpectedly excellent vegetarian multi-cuisine restaurant.

The entirely vegetarian menu might come as a surprise to people who’ve not heard of this place before. Even if it does, the variety and quality will probably surprise them, too. This place serves unexpectedly good food across the board, with the starters and desserts being the standouts.

IQ recommends

Caesar salad

Yes, tons of places serve vegetarian Caesar salad, and no, hardly any of them ever get it right. But Tatva is one of the few places that does. Light, with just the right amount of Parmesan cheese and flavourful dressing, this is one salad that is worthy of the ancient Roman emperor. I can’t venture an opinion on whether the recipe is authentic (especially because it’s vegetarian), but it’s definitely good to eat!

Kamalkakdi ke galouti

Any non-vegetarians reading this will have heard about the famously soft galouti kabab of Lucknow. As a former non-vegetarian myself, I can safely say that Tatva’s kamalkakdi ke galouti comes extremely close to the original, despite being vegetarian. In fact, these flavourful pan-fried patties of minced lotus stem and fragrant spices will even lift the mood of a grumpy meat-eater being forced to eat in a vegetarian restaurant! Be careful if you have a low spice tolerance level, though. These morsels leave a long afterburn in the mouth.

Veg galouti kabab - Tatva restaurant review
The incredibly soft kamalkakdi ke galouti

Tender coconut panna cotta

This Asian spin on the classic Italian dessert is definitely worth trying. Served with pears poached in red berry liquid and a mousse of citrusy dragon fruit, this panna cotta is fusion cuisine the way it should be done. It might take you some time to get your mind around the presentation, though. Once you manage that, the flavours actually come together very well. We’re not usually big fans of panna cotta, but we really enjoyed this one.

Panna cotta - Tatva review
The presentation might be a little over-the-top, but the flavour of the tender coconut panna cotta makes up for it

Tamarind cheesecake

Another fusion of a continental dessert with Asian flavours, this cheesecake uses tamarind not so much for its sourness but for its flavour. The result makes for a very interesting end to the meal. The raw tamarind pod that comes with the dessert—no doubt just as a garnish—might catch you off-guard. But if you’re one of those that loved to chew on tamarind pods when you were a kid, then this will probably be a welcome addition.

Cheesecake - Tatva review
The cheesecake with its strangely placed tamarind pod is definitely worth trying

IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 3/5

Tatva is fully enclosed and offers no outdoor seating, which means their entire setup is air-conditioned. On the other hand, they do offer regular drinking water (unlike some places where only bottled water is available). Their formal dining area also doesn’t have paper napkins, plastic cutlery or plastic glasses, so that’s a plus point in my book.

Getting to Tatva

Tatva’s location is quite straightforward, but its signboards are not very visible because of the bright lights around. If you’re approaching from the Jubilee Hills check post, it’s about 500 meters further down on the left, at the overhead metro rail pillar number 16. Watch for when the road slopes downhill and then curves right; it’s on the left corner when the road curves, just inside a little lane and above the very-obvious Ratnadeep supermarket. If you’re approaching from the Hitech City side, it’s opposite the Opulentus visa centre just before the road starts climbing uphill, about 500 metres before the check post.

Here is the Google Maps location.

Also read: Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom

9. ‘Zza Bar

Cuisine: Italian | Format: Café-style casual dining | New location: Whitefields, HITEC City | Alcohol: No | IQ’s eco-friendliness score: 4/5

‘Zza Bar (short for ‘Pizza Bar’) may only be a little hole-in-the-wall pizzeria, but it serves up some of the best vegetarian pizza and cheesecake you’ll ever eat in Hyderabad. Or anywhere, for that matter.

Besides pizza, ‘Zza Bar serves quite a few other things, too. Pastas, salads and sandwiches are also on the menu, all fresh and all incredibly flavourful. Amazingly, the ‘puccia’ bread for each sandwich is actually baked fresh for each order! In case you’re wondering, that only takes a few minutes.

IQ recommends

Turkish pizza

This interesting-looking pizza started as an experiment and hasn’t made it to the menu yet. But ask and you shall receive, and you shall be glad to have received. Because with its crisp crust and soft base, topping of a mixture of olives, mushrooms and other secret ingredients, and loads of cheese, this is one pizza whose equal you will not find in Hyderabad.

The Turkish pizza: off-menu, but awesome

Veg ham sandwich

Despite what it sounds like, this sandwich isn’t vegetables with ham; it’s vegetarian ham. As a former carnivore, I can say this mock-ham (that owners Srini and Lien first experienced in a Buddhist monastery) mimics the real thing quite well. So if you’re a new vegetarian who’s trying to fight the craving for meat, this is a great option. Even otherwise, the salty mock-ham goes well with the crisp spinach, fresh tomato sauce, onions and cheese. Of course, all these are stuffed into your very own freshly baked bread.

Veg ham sandwich - Zza Bar
The veg ham sandwich: fresh and full of flavour

Seasonal fruit cheesecake

I think it’s safe to say that this is, by far, our most favourite unbaked cheesecake ever. It’s not dense and slightly dry like a lot of cheesecakes tend to be. Instead, it’s soft, rich and light (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but try it and you’ll see what I mean). And the seasonal fruit sauce on top contrasts perfectly with the salty biscuit-crumb base. There’s not much room for improvement on this one, if you ask me!

Seasonal fruit cheesecake - Zza Bar
This photograph doesn’t do justice to the cheesecake’s awesomeness

That’s my roundup of surprising restaurants for good vegetarian food in Hyderabad. Happy eating! And if you know any other restaurants with good vegetarian food in Hyderabad, leave a comment and let me know.

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3 thoughts on “9 surprising restaurants for good vegetarian food in Hyderabad (updated)

    1. Thanks for the invitation. I’ll definitely put it on my list for when I’m in Patna next.

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