Kerala is often referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, and once you visit the South Indian state for yourself, it can be quite difficult to argue against the reference. Kerala has it all. Beautiful beaches, tranquil backwaters, scenic hill-stations, modern cities; a truly spectacular combination for the tourist who wants a bit of everything!
But it’s not just the places that make Kerala what it is. Kerala’s local food may often find itself overshadowed by the million ‘places to visit’ posts on the internet, but don’t let that fool you! Thanks to the local availability of a wide variety of ingredients, Kerala’s cuisine is diverse, and anyone who tries some is bound to cherish it for a long time to come.
Here are some of the eateries you simply must visit on a Kerala tour package!
Bait Restaurant, Kovalam
Kovalam has emerged as a tourist hotspot for its scenic beaches, and if you are in the mood for some good food, head over to the Vivanta by Taj hotel. The Bait Restaurant is housed within the hotel, and is famed for its seafood offerings such as prawn pepper stew and wood-fired baby fish. What makes Bait’s seafood special is the fact that the restaurant sources all the required ingredients, including the seafood, from nearby backwater jungles and the Arabian Sea. Sometimes, they are sourced on the same day they would be prepared, which makes the Bait Restaurant your best bet for enjoying authentic Kerala seafood preparations! Also, don’t forget to enjoy the stunning views on offer!
Price for two: Rs. 1250
Shala happens to be one of Kochi’s most iconic restaurants. It’s easy to be unimpressed by the small stature of the restaurant at first glance. But once you taste the food, you would understand what the hype is about. Shala does not boast of a huge menu, as all the food is prepared by housewives who live nearby. The home-cooked delicacies taste amazing, and ensure that you don’t end up with an upset stomach the next day. Expect long queues if you go during peak hours! Must-try dishes include the kingfish steak and the Malabar prawn curry.
Price for two: Upwards of Rs. 300
Ginger House, Kochi
Regarded as Kochi’s finest waterfront eatery, the Ginger House is not just a restaurant, it’s an experience. The restaurant specializes in ginger based dishes. Butbefore you can actually take a seat in the restaurant and eat to your heart’s content, you would have to pass through the Heritage Arts showroom, which boasts of an incredible collection of antiques and sculptures. The giant wooden snake boat is the highlight as far as visual spectacles go. As for the food, you can expect nothing but the best quality. Recommended dishes include cashew paneer and ginger prawns.
Price for two: Upwards of Rs. 500
SN Restaurant, Munnar
While the hill-station of Munnar attracts thousands of tourists annually, it is not really known for its restaurants. However, the SN Restaurant, with its vast variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian dishes, is definitely an exception to the rule. The restaurant stays packed almost all the time, but its cheerful staff ensures that the crowded environment doesn’t become a problem for tourists. You should definitely try the masala dosas and thalis here. Expect really reasonable prices too!
Price for two: Upwards of Rs. 100
Paragon Restaurant, Kozhikode
The Paragon restaurant dates back to 1939, and is one of Kerala’s most iconic eateries. The restaurant is noted for serving some of the best seafood preparations in Kerala. While it can be hard for you to get a place here as it stays packed full of people almost all the time, once you do manage to secure a seat, expect quality coastal cuisine to come your way. The restaurant has a branch in Dubai as well, which is as highly rated as the one in Kerala. The seafood curries are highly recommended. In case you don’t fancy Malabar cuisine, you could opt for the restaurant’s Chinese, continental, or Thai offerings.
Price for two: Upwards of Rs. 400
Villa Maya, Trivandrum
Located in Kerala’s capital city of Trivandrum, Villa Maya is simply spectacular. Before you can get to the sumptuous food on offer, get ready to be bowled over by the brilliantly restored 18th Century Dutch Manor, which houses the restaurant. Apart from its incredible Kerala cuisine, expect international cuisines from Italy and Morocco as well. No matter what you choose to eat, don’t forget to order the seafood specialties. The staff is quite friendly as well, and would be happy to show you around the manor for a free tour if you are interested.
Price for two: Upwards of Rs. 1000
Once you taste Kerala’s food, you would know why it’s not just the places and people that fascinate Kerala lovers. Book a Kerala tour package, and treat your taste buds to some of the best South Indian food!