Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities in India. Its lakes and palaces provide an evocative backdrop for a meal, and you won't have to look far to find a restaurant with a mesmerizing vista. There are also some cute little cafes tucked away in the lanes near the Jagdish temple. The cuisine is diverse and ranges from traditional Rajasthani to contemporary global. You can expect a few surprises too! Coffee aficionados will be overjoyed to know there's no need to go without a decent brew either (as can happen in India). Here's our pick of the best restaurants in Udaipur.
Syah is the place to take your culinary experience in Udaipur to the next level. The chef's innovative tasting menu—choose from four or eight courses—is designed around traditional ingredients presented in unexpected ways. Much of the produce is locally grown or freshly foraged. The restaurant is situated atop the chic heritage-look Udai Kothi boutique hotel and provides a superb panoramic view of the City Palace to complement the food. It's open from noon to 2 p.m. for lunch, and 7 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. for dinner. You'll need to book at least 24 hours in advance.
Billowing cabanas overlooking Lake Pichola, an open-air bar, swimming pool, fountain, and the delicate glow of candlelight all combine to create an exceptional atmosphere at Uprè (meaning upstairs). The restaurant is managed by 1559 A.D. and shares a similar menu that offers a mix of Rajasthani, North Indian, and international cuisine. The Laal Maas (Rajasthani spiced lamb) is popular, but the Dungaar Mass (smoked lamb) is an alternative for those who have already sampled this famed local dish elsewhere. Adventurous eaters can try the specialty Khargosh Keema (minced rabbit). Make a booking for the 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. dining slots, or arrive at 5 p.m. for a sundown drink.
Tourists and locals alike flock to Ambrai Ghat at sunset for the spectacular panorama of Lake Pichola and the City Palace. Ambrai, located inside Hotel Amet Haveli, is perfectly positioned as the only lakeside restaurant in the area. The emphasis is on Indian cuisine, although the menu does include some Continental dishes. The food isn't exceptional—it's the view that's the main draw. Aim to book a couple of days in advance during peak season if you want a table for dinner. Otherwise, a drink from the bar may have to suffice.
Spacious and versatile Khamma Ghani gets its name from a Marwari greeting (similar to "namaste") commonly used in Rajasthan. The restaurant has a picturesque garden setting bordering Rang Sagar next to Lake Pichola. Choose from traditional-style floor seating or a table overlooking the lake, indoor or outdoor seating, and diverse cuisine. The menu offers something for everyone, including Rajasthani, North Indian, tandoori, Asian, and Continental dishes. There are plenty of options for vegetarians, too, with the food prepared in a dedicated kitchen.
The compact menu at this restaurant is centered around Rajasthan's most famous dish, Dal Baati Churma, so it's guaranteed to be good! The only item served is a vegetarian Dal Baati Thali (platter). It comes with daal (lentil soup-like preparation), baati (baked round wholemeal bread), churma (baati crushed and fried in ghee and jaggery), gatte ki saag (chickpea flour dumplings in yogurt-based curry), fried bell peppers, garlic, and mint chutneys, salad, papad, rice, and buttermilk. You can consume as much as you want for only 250 rupees ($3.50). Be prepared to eat Indian-style with your hand, though!
With a slogan of "We are what we eat," Millets of Mewar was founded in 2011 by two friends who wanted to inspire good health and popularize organic local grains, particularly millet. It's a groovy place that's renowned for its delicious classic and re-imagined Indian dishes, as well as distinctive fusion cuisine. Gluten-free, vegan, raw food, less oil, and no oil dishes are a feature.
Best for Mediterranean Cuisine: Savage Garden
Savage Garden sits above Café Edelweiss in a characterfully restored old building in the Gangaur Ghat area, a short walk from the Jagdish temple. The pasta is home-made and so authentic that even Italians praise it. However, the restaurant's rare signature dish, Chicken Wajid Ali (boneless chicken breast stuffed with spicy cottage cheese and cashew filling), comes from the royal kitchens of Awadh. Beer and wine are available. Finish off your meal with cakes from the cafe on street level.
This scenic restaurant, opened by Swedish chef Henric Carlssonon on the rooftop of Hotel Pratap Bhawan in Lal Ghat, is the only one in Udaipur to specialize in food cooked over coal. The menu caters to both foreigners and Indians and includes a range of Rajasthani and tandoori fusion dishes. Some are cooking in pots and pans over an open flame. The restaurant has also perfected the art of making traditional Mexican tacos. It's open all day, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. However, options are limited outside meal times.
Best on a Budget: Natraj Dining Hall and Restaurant
Near the railway station, Natraj Dining Hall and Restaurant is iconic for its inexpensive vegetarian Indian fare. Not surprisingly, there's always a crowd. Dining is spread over two floors, one of which is dedicated solely to serving all-you-can-eat Rajasthani and Gujarati thalis. North Indian Punjabi and Chinese dishes are available on the other floor. The menu has sandwiches, burgers, and pizza as well—but you're better off sticking to Indian cuisine unless you find the idea of paneer tikka pizza or baked beans onion pizza appealing!
Best for a Quick Bite: Jheel's
The cafe at Jheel Palace Guest House, at Gangaur Ghat, has both lakeside and rooftop seating with a view of Lake Pichola. It's a popular pit stop for fresh ground coffee, eggs, cereal, pancakes, cakes, sandwiches, soups, salads, pasta, and wood-fired pizza. The deck right by the water is a lovely place to relax for a while if you're not in a hurry.
Best for Breakfast and Coffee: Udai Art Cafe
Cozy, boho-style Udai Art Cafe could possibly serve the best breakfasts and coffee in Udaipur. The English and Greek breakfasts are hearty, and the crepes delicious. Turkish and Greek coffee is available in addition to an excellent Espresso. Or, try the dirty chai (tea)—coffee and chai combined. Vegans are well looked-after with almond and soy milk options. For lunch, there are healthy wraps, sandwiches and salads. The cafe prides itself on its unique menu items.
Best for Travelers: O'zen
O'zen will have you covered, whether you're seeking a refreshing cold beer in between sightseeing or would like to kick back and watch a movie with dinner. The restaurant is spread over three floors incorporating a chilled-out cafe, lounge, and rooftop with old city views across to the Jagdish Temple. It's a great place to meet other travelers and enjoy some timeless music. Octopussy, which was partly filmed in Udaipur, is screened nightly at 7.30 p.m. The Indian food is tasty—try the sweet and sour banana curry for something different. However, those who want a change from curries will appreciate the pizzas and wraps. What's more, O'zen is conveniently located just off the road leading to the City Palace. The staff is friendly and welcoming. There's great Wi-Fi too!
Part of an historic haveli (mansion) has been made-over with contemporary village vibes to create Oladar Village restaurant. The haveli was an early 20th-century gift from Mewar ruler Maharana Bhupal Singh to the head of his royal kitchen, highly regarded for his outstanding culinary skills. Nowadays, eclectic Indian and international dishes are delighting diners there. The restaurant's eco-friendly interior has a village theme and features decor made from reclaimed wood, metal, cloth, and repurposed scrap from bicycles and scooters. The ambiance more than makes up for the lack of view. You'll be tempted to stay all day! There's a small handicraft shop on the premises too.