From Coffee Cup to E'woke, here are the must-visit cafes in and around Sanikpuri, Hyderabad
Drive around lush green Sainikpuri and you will find over 20 cafes and restaurants bustling with activity on just a single stretch of 1.9 km
Drive around lush green Sainikpuri and you will find over 20 cafes and restaurants bustling with activity on just a single stretch of 1.9 km. Food joints with different themes and beautiful ambiances have been attracting crowds from across Hyderabad. The question is how Sainikpuri, which is at the other end of the city, has all of a sudden turned into a foodie’s paradise?
It all started with the Fifth Avenue Bakery, which is bang opposite the plush Fifth Avenue road. Established by Ismail 25 years ago and later bought over by Moiz Wasaya, the bakery was the first of its kind in Sainikpuri and is an important landmark. “The people and the greenery of this place made the previous owners set up this bakery here. We are proud to be called as Sainikpuri’s first and largest bakery. Even today, despite there being so many other eateries, our bakery is still making brisk business,” says a staff member.
Sainikpuri is known for its concept cafes — there’s E’woke - The Vegan Cafe, Coco Cafe which has a macaw that greets guests, and Cafe Bunker which has a military theme, to name a few. The area’s cafe culture dates back to 2010, when Varun Sharma, a merchant navy officer, started Coffee Cup. Using all the ideas he picked up during his travels, he set up this cozy joint where people can hang out over some freshly brewed coffee and scrumptious snacks. Coffee Cup also has a library of novels, thrillers and comics. The cafe shot to fame when a scene from Vijay Deverakonda and Ritu Varma’s Pelli Chupulu was shot there.
“The cafe culture has grown quite slowly in Sainikpuri. But there has been an overall boom in the food business here in the last two-three years. The main reason behind this is lower rentals as compared to other parts of Hyderabad,” says Venkat, who has been the manager of Coffee Cup since 2011. The cafe serves a wide range of cuisines -- English, Italian and Indian. The best part about this place is that it lets you customise your food.
Adding concept to the cafe culture, three friends, who had no access to vegan food or products in and around Hyderabad, decided to start a vegan cafe-cum-store. Mohan Chowdhary, Anil Chowdhary and Ved Mohan, who were earlier in the construction industry, established E’Woke to cater to the vegans in the city.
“People have a misconception that vegan food is expensive. To break this, we decided to set up our store at a place where people do not prefer too expensive food or products. Sainikpuri is the perfect place as there are a lot of new cafes and restaurants coming up here. The area is peaceful too. We have good crowd and the response it great,” says Mohan.
The cafe-store lives by the zero waste concept. “Products such as cashew, muskmelon seeds, almond and other dry fruits and seeds are stored in a dispenser. Customers can fill these up either in a paper bag or a container which they bring from home. This minimises wastage as customers can buy exactly how much they need. We want people to adapt to a healthier environment where they get access to vegan foods and products. We want them to live a life where there’s no food wastage,” says Mohan. E’woke is famous for its Vegan Burger and Pizza, apart from the seasonal Vegan Haleem.
Kebabwala & Co. is another food joint in the area which sees a full house almost weekend. Gautam Kaura, a die-hard foodie, used to travel a lot to try different cuisines. He is also fond of plating. One fine day, he and his friend Sunil Kopisetty decided to start a food venture and that’s how Kebabwala & Co was born.
Gautam’s idea was to set up a small outlet so that everybody knows what they do. With a few original in-house recipes, the eatery has carved a niche for itself. “In a place like Sainikpuri, where the number of food joints are crazy, we find it advantageous for our business. As the number of cafes and restaurants grow in this area, the scope of expecting more customers increases. It’s good that this place is developing so much when it comes to the food industry. It is a plus point for us,” he says.
Kebabwala & Co. not only serves melt-in-your-mouth varieties of kebabs, but also marination gravies which would have to be ordered in advance. “I like the way customers give reviews, which is usually not the case with outlets at Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. Sainikpuri is an amazing place for a food business,” says Gautam.
This is not all. Sainikpuri is also home to a drive-in. A place like this needed a hub where people could meet and eat till late at night. Sai Kiran Reddy, the owner of Hyjack Drive-in, came up with the idea because he simply wanted to do something different.
“I never had a plan to set up a drive-in here. But, seeing the crowd, I thought why not? People from here need not go all the way to Madhapur or Gachibowli just to hang out at a drive-in,” he says. Hyjack has two themes -- Greek and rustic. One will find nearly every cuisine here — from Italian to Indian and Chinese.
From being a quiet and underrated residential locality, Sainikpuri has emerged into a foodie’s paradise. Concept cafes, vegan stores and wacky eateries dot its main road, leaving many spoilt for choice. We take a look at how the food industry has developed in the area.