Visakhapatnam or Vizag is one place that I absolutely love. I’ve been there so many times that I now have a decent idea about the roads. Whether you to go from Dabba Gardens to Dolphin circle or RK beach, I can probably drive you there. I always feel that Vizag is a combination of Pune and Mumbai of the yesteryears – the beach road like the marine drive and Pune because it is less crowded.
Apart from that, Vizag offers delicious Andhra food. Even during my previous visits to Vizag, I enjoyed the typical Andhra meals and have become their fan ever since. This time around I tried out another local favourite place for delicious tiffins – Venkatadri Vantillu. And this is going to be my review blog post of Venkatadri Vantillu.
Love for tiffins
I ushered in the new year on the train as I was travelling from Hyderabad to Vizag. There, I drove to Araku (my first time driving a car for that long-distance) and explored Vizag a little bit. Being the foodie that I am, I wanted to try out the local favourite and was suggested to try tiffins at Venkatadri Vantillu.
Tiffins for all of you who don’t know, Tiffin here refers to south Indian food dishes like idli, dosa, upma, bondas etc. For people in Andhra and Telangana, having tiffins for breakfast and dinner is quite common. Unlike North India, a tiffin isn’t a steel box in which you carry food. Also, there are days when people eat only tiffs for dinner. Further, even Andhra marriages will have a regular food counter and a separate tiffin counter.
So don’t be surprised, if you are in this region and your friends suggest having tiffin.
Simple and basic setup at Venkatadri Vantillu
The eatery was started by a lady named Indira Vankineni way back in 2002. Back then she used to prepare punugullu, bhajjis and vadas. The locals loved it and the news of this new eatery spread. She soon added her signature sponge dosa to the menu and there was no turning back after that.
Today Venkatadri Vantillu has become a local favourite when it comes to tiffins. If you go here during peak hours, you’ll see a lot of vehicles along with food delivery folks crowding outside the restaurant. Located on the Waltair main road in an area called Siripuram, it’s about 2 kms from the RK beach.
Once inside, the setup is extremely basic. Run mostly by women, the place is well maintained. About 10-12 tables and that’s it. The kitchen is open, so you can get a view of what’s happening inside. Nobody will come and take your order, you need to go to the cash counter, order what you want, take the token and hand it over to one of the servers.
Delicious tiffins at Venkatadri Vantillu
I was returning from Bheemili beach and decided to stop here for breakfast. The menu isn’t lavish but has a variety including meals, bhajjis and more. Most items on the menu are priced under Rs 100 and hence Vnekatadri Vantillu is a pocket-friendly place. My order consisted of Idli Sambhar, Upma, Masala Dosa and their famous Ghee Karam Sponge Dosa. The total bill was less than 300 for 3 people which is extremely cheap. The wait time varies based on the crowd so a 10-15min wait is common.
After a while, a lady with a big smile got our orders in simple steel plates that we use at home. Starting with the Upma – it was good. Perfect consistency, the way I like it. In Hyderabad, the upma is more watery but this was perfect. In terms of flavours, it was simple. There could have been more onions, ginger to suit my taste.
The idli was pretty good, soft and fluffy. Masala dosa was quite different from what we have here in Hyderabad. The karam chutney was missing – in Hyderabad, you’ll find this red paste on every Masala dosa that you order. It was crisp, yet soft, reminded me somewhat of the dose from Bengaluru.
Coming to the iconic Sponge Dosa, it was a unique take on the set dosa. Two pieces of fluffy and airy set dosa sprinkled with karam podi (spiced powder) and topped with a generous amount of ghee. The podi wasn’t spicy, rather it was flavourful. The mixture of podi with ghee elevated the taste. It’s quite a unique preparation and having it for the first time, I’ll surely recommend you to try it when you are in Vizag.
Talking about the Sambhar and Chutney, both were quite different from what we have here in Hyderabad. It wasn’t the peanut chutney, but a mix of coconut and dal. Sambhar too wasn’t sweet like I’ve found at most places here in Hyderabad. Being in Andhra Pradesh, I was surprised that the food wasn’t as spicy as I had imagined.
Have you breakfast at Venkatadri Vantillu in Vizag
One of the things that you must have on your itinerary for Vizag should be the sunrise. Being on the east coast, Vizag offers some amazing viewpoints to witness the sunrise. In fact, the beach road that connects RK Beach and Bheemili Beach is a stretch of 26kms all of it beside the sea. So plan your day such that you witness a gorgeous sunrise followed by breakfast at Venkatadri Vantillu.
The eatery is simple in terms of the setup but the food speaks for itself. Everything from idli and dosa is pretty good. Sponge Dosa is the trademark dish here which you must try. Apart from that, you can also visit the place during the evening to try their bhajjis and punugulu. What’s more, the place tickles your taste buds without burning a hole in your pocket!
That was my experience of enjoying delicious tiffins at Venkatadri Vantillu in Vizag. If you are from Vizag, let me know if there’s anything I missed. Share our thoughts about this post in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.