Posted 30 May 2023 in Food Tripping

Where and what to eat on a trip to Surat 

Surat is a city located in Gujarat, India. It is situated at the mouth of the river Tapi and used to be a popular and very important seaport city. Today, Surat is one of the largest urban centres of western India and a rapidly growing commercial and economic centre. Surat is famous for its diamond industry, with over 90% of the global diamond supply being cut and polished here. It also hosts a large textile industry and specialises in silk and cotton work. The Surat Zari craft of textiles is well known all over the world. These industries have earned it the epithets “Diamond City” and “Silk City”. Surat is a large shopping centre today for clothes and jewellery. It is also being developed as a Smart City under the PM SMart City Mission scheme. Besides, it is known for its amazing food culture. Read on to know more.

Surat - A Gastronome’s Delight

Apart from its diamond and textile industries, Surat is also popular all over the world for another reason, its street food! There is a popular Gujarati saying that goes: “Surat Nu Jaman Ane Kashi Nu Maran”, which means eat in Surat and die in Kashi for your soul to have a complete experience of this existence! 

Surat used to be a very popular seaport which was frequented by traders of all kinds from all over the world, turning it into a melting pot of different cultures. These traders brought in their own cuisines which slowly got integrated into the local food habits. The various types of delightful dishes that can be had in Surat today are a perfect showcase of this cultural integration.

Tourists today are encouraged to try a variety of these food items during the course of their stay, not just in the large restaurants and similar establishments, but also down in the streets in places frequented by the locals. If you are looking for places to tickle your taste buds in Surat, then look no further. Let us take a short tour of a few of the culinary delights that you can sample from some of these local eateries over the course of an entire day.


The first meal of the day should be filling and even a bit heavy to sustain you throughout the day. Here, you have multiple options available:


A relatively recent phenomenon, locho has fast become one of the breakfast favourites of the locals. It is a byproduct of Khaman, and is a thick yellow slab made of powdered chickpeas and cut out straight from the steamer. It is served with finely chopped onions and green chutney. You can pick your own condiments. Oil and butter used to be the traditional options, but nowadays exotic toppings like cheese, mayonnaise, and Schezwan chutney have become popular. Two of the most popular locho junctions are Jani Farsan House and Shreeji Locho House, both of which are located next to each other at Parle Point. To taste this delightful dish, visit one. Or maybe both!


If you want something a bit meatier for breakfast, then you can sample some delicious nihari. Our choice of eatery for this dish is Chaand Bhai's at Zampa Bazar, where you can taste a bara handi nihari steeped in as much heritage as it is in flavours. This restaurant is over 120 years old and opens at 4 am for breakfast, with stocks getting over around 7 am! In this dish, cuts of meat like tongue and rump are cooked slowly in a mixture of grains, lentils and spices in 12 large vessels (bara handi). Patrons specifically seek out the thin paya soup and the marrow-infused nihari. This cooking tradition is said to have originated in Iran, from where it reached Surat and then spread to other parts of the country.

Aloo puri

Now if you are still out looking for more breakfast options, then you can visit Rander to sample some delicious aloo puri. These small puris are made of maida or refined wheat flour and are served with boiled potato and black gram (chana) garnished with finely chopped onions, green coriander chutney, and tangy kokum chutney. There are many small carts serving aloo puri in the locality, but one of the most popular ones is Khalid Bhai's aloo puri stall that has delighted the young and old of the locality for more than 30 years.


After your heavy breakfast, you would not need further sustenance till lunch. We advise keeping this a light affair and try any of the following:


One of the most popular food options in Surat is farsan or bhajiayas, which are simply fried snacks. What elevates these simple snacks to a foodie’s delight is the sheer variety available, with everything from potato fries to flour based fries, to chilli fries and spinach fries! There are an innumerable number of small and large eateries serving various kinds of bhajiyas. We had our pick at Harishankar Dhanjibhai Bhajiawala, renamed in the 1900s to Joshi Jeshanker Dhanjibhai Bhajiawala. This is a century-old shop located right at the heart of the Chauta Bazaar area. Try the puri batata shaak here, a delicious affair where the puris are served with a potato bhaji infused with mustard seeds, coriander leaves and green chillies. Do not be afraid of the oil on your plate, just embrace the flavours in it. Sweets like jalebi are also available here, which you can have like a true blood Gujarati local by combining it with a besan-based salty snack called fafda, a match made in gourmet heaven!


Here’s another Gujarati dish whose origins lie outside the country. Khausa is the Gujarati adaptation of khow suey, the Burmese traditional dish made of coconut milk with a peanut-based curry, and topped with roasted garlic, spring onions, and red chilli oil. How did it get here, you ask? There used to be a global market of teak wood from Burma, the traders of which would widely use the commercial port at Surat. They brought the dish with them and the people here made it their own. You can have khausa at any of the numerous small and humble food carts all around Surat. 


The last meal of the day again calls for something light, yet fulfilling. Try out the following dishes for your dinner:

Rangooni Paratha

This is a dish which is almost ubiquitously popular all over the city. Rangooni paratha is a paratha made of maida that is stuffed with minced meat of your choice, which is then coated in egg and deep fried. Stylistically, it is very similar to other very popular dishes like the Mughlai Paratha of Kolkata, the Baida Roti of Mumbai, the Martabak of Malaysia, and the Palata of Burma, from where it is thought to have originated. This dish is very filling, and the best place to have it is at Mama Paratha, a restaurant started nearly 50 years ago by a person named Yusuf Bham. 

Shahi Kofta

Surtis love their eggs and this dish is an open testament to this fact. Shahi kofta is made of sliced soft boiled eggs cooked in butter and cheese with various spices. Perhaps the best place to have it according to us is the Bhai Bhai Omelette Centre. This eatery stays open late into the night and sees a huge footfall daily, with crowds of people lining up for their turn! The egg shahi kofta here is tossed with special spices and fresh green garlic in winters. We recommend having it with their egg kachi Lahori, which are boiled eggs with half-set yolks, sliced and smothered in a special ‘Mughlai' curry. Pair these with hot rotis (chapatis in Gujarat) that are soaked in ghee for the best culinary effects. 


After a hearty meal, it is mandatory to treat yourself to some desserts. Even on this count, Surat does not disappoint. Check out the following options for those with a sweet tooth:

Cold Cocoa

Ask any local person nearby and they will advise you to try cold cocoa for dessert. To experience it, there’s an over 70-year-old establishment at Lal Gate called Badri Falooda. Run by a Bohri family, the eatery makes up for its simple surroundings with the most delicious cold cocoa drink. 

Surti Baked Biscuits

If baked sweets are your thing, then visit Dotivala bakery, a family run establishment built in the late 19th century, currently run by the 6th generation of the family. Locals crowd here for the baked biscuits and other sweetmeats. Take your pick from the bestsellers at this shop, including the ghee-based surti batasa biscuits, cardamom- and nutmeg-flavoured nankhatai, layered pastry puff khari biscuits, or jam puffs. 


Another ubiquitous local favourite is a sweet with a soft fudge-like texture called ghari. A good place to try this is Babubhai Sweets, a legacy sweetmeat shop with a number of branches across the city. Other sweet dishes to end your meal with include gajar ka halwa, when in season, and the bottle gourd or doodhi halwa.

Travelling Tips

Now you are almost ready to head out to Surat and joy the local delicacies while sightseeing and making memories, here are a few handy tips that you should keep in mind to make your trip all the more enjoyable:

  • Book your accommodation in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the tourist season.
  • Explore the city yourself before settling on a place to eat. The eateries mentioned here are just suggestive, so you may find even better options.
  • There are a large number of other street food items on offer. Ask the locals there for guidance.
  • Some eateries also offer take-away services.
  • Carry basic medicines and first-aid for safety.
  • Don’t forget to visit the markets and gather some memorabilia.

How to reach?

Surat is very well connected with the rest of the country by roadways, railways, and airways. Read on to know how you can reach here:

  • By air: Surat International Airport is located about 11 km from the city in Magdalla, and is the second busiest airport in Gujarat in terms of traffic and passenger count. Multiple airlines operate services from here to the rest of the country. IndiGo operate regular direct and connecting flights to major cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Goa, Jaipur, and Visakhapatnam. International flights are also available.
  • By rail: Surat Railway Station is the major station serving the city. There are a large number of short distance and express trains running through here that connect it to Mumbai and other cities of the south, as well as to Ahmedabad, Vadodara, New Delhi, and other major cities of the north. Surat Railway Station falls under Western Railways with a high frequency of trains running to Mumbai, and is connected to the Central Railways through the Tapti line and Udhna Junction station.
  • By road: Surat is connected by the National Highways 8 and 6, connecting it to almost all the major cities of the country. Sitilink or Surat BTS is a bus rapid transit system operated by Surat Municipal Corporation that connects various localities within and on the outskirts of the city.

Weather and climate 

Surat is a coastal city that features a tropical savanna type of climate, moderated due to the proximity to the sea. It has three distinct seasons:

  • Winters in Surat are mild with very little rainfall. Temperatures average around 20 to 25 °C. The season starts from the end of November and lasts upto February.
  • Summers follow winters, beginning early March and lasting till May. April and May are the hottest months. Temperatures reach over 35°C on average with the moderating influence of the sea.
  • Monsoons in Surat are wet and extend from around the end of June to September. The city experiences about 1200 mm rainfall during this time, with maximum temperatures averaging at around 32 °C.

Best time to visit

Surat is a developing commercial city that receives visitors all year round. Read on to understand when you should plan your Surat trip: 

  • Winters: The winter months starting from November to February are possibly the best time to visit Surat. The weather remains mild and there is negligible rainfall with very little humidity. You can spend the entire day sampling all the various delicacies that Surat has to offer without even breaking a sweat.
  • Summers: The summer months from around February to May are hot and humid. Temperatures remain rather high. Though it is usually not recommended to visit Surat during summers, the beaches are a saving grace.
  • Monsoons: Surat monsoons are humid and wet. The climate remains warm, but there is always a pleasant breeze due to its proximity to the sea. Avoid the months with the heaviest rainfall and plan your visit around October-November.


Surat has an old legacy of being one of the oldest seaports of the country. It also has the unique distinction of being the Diamond City and Silk City. On top of that, the street food options available are a delight for any foodie. Take all of this together, and it is not difficult to see why it has become such a popular tourist destination, and why it should be next on your travel bucket list. Do not wait any further, go and make plans to visit Surat soon!

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