One of the reasons India is known worldwide, among many others, is because of the prevalence of various cultures and traditions co-existing together here. Each of the 29 states boast of having marvellous diversities. And imagine the amount of variety that would be found in each of these diversities. (It's okay if you lost count, we did too). The places below will take you on a culinary tour around India. Many don't know that these state bhawan canteens even exist. Well, they do and you should head here ASAP if you're hungry and broke. 

1. Andhra Bhawan

meat, sauce, rice, pasta, vegetable
Vishesh Monga

Whether or not you've heard of the other state bhawan canteens, Andhra Bhawan will definitely sound familiar. It is probably the most known about, from this list. And for good reason. The vegetarian thali is king size, and you might have trouble finishing it alone. It is laden with servings of rice, curd, rasam, vegetables and much much more. Non-vegetarians, fret not, because authentic Hyderabadi biryani and chicken fry are also the most sought-after dishes on the menu. 

Location: 1, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place 

Cost for two: Rs. 200

2. Maharashtra Sadan

You can expect to find some authentic staple foods from the state of Maharashtra here. So if you're craving delicious vada-pavs or some stellar Parsi food, head here blindly. The variety of thalis available is so overwhelming, you'll be spoilt for choice. Puran poli (sweet flatbread), being the most famous dish from Maharashtra, should definitely be on your order. Finish up your meal with a serving or two of the sweet shrikhand

Location: Behind Baroda House, Near India Gate

Cost for two: Rs. 300 

3. Bihar Niwas

The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe, after its immense success in Shahpur Jat has opened a branch in Bihar Niwas too, and we can't thank our stars enough! The menu is as creative as it can get. And the dishes on it are very authentic. Be sure to try the litti chokha and the chicken and meat platters. Wash your food down with a glass of sattu cooler, a staple favourite in the state. The interiors here are especially amazing, probably the best of all the state bhawan canteens.

Location: Behind Yashwant Place, Chanakyapuri 

Cost for two: Rs. 800

4. Banga Bhawan

Head here for a staple Bengali dish of kosha mangsho and luchi (mutton curry and puris), which are aromatic of the city of yellow taxis. The fish and chicken kobiraji are also highly recommended. Apart from these, they have a variety of fish on the menu, which are guaranteed to be amazing. And of course, your meal would have to end with mishti doi. Since this place is run by Bijoli Grill, which are among the top caterers of Kolkata, you should not be having any second thoughts about going here. 

Location: 3, Hailey Road, Barakhamba

Cost for two: Rs. 400 

5. Goa Niwas

chili, sauce, tomato, prawn, seafood, shrimp
Elizabeth Quintero

You were waiting for this one, weren't you? Viva O Viva is the place to be, if you want your taste buds to take a short trip to Goa without burning a hole in your pocket. Needless to say, the butter garlic prawns and crab soup here have authentic Goan flavours. The hot vindaloo curry is one of the things Goa is known for, so be sure to try the pork vindaloo here. This one is pricier than the other state bhawan canteens, but make sure to visit when your wallet is #thicc. 

Location: Behind Akbar Bhawan, Chanakyapuri

Cost for two: Rs. 1000 

6. Meghalaya House

pork, beef, meat, vegetable, soup
Shun Matsuhashi

You'll tire yourself deciding what to order because there are just so many dishes on the menu, each sounding as delicious as the last. They have a variety of Khasi food- Khasi pork, Khasi pulao; try them all. Chicken and fish Khar are also highly recommended. Even if you're in the mood for some Chinese, they've got you covered. This place will leave you coming back for more. And you definitely will.  

Location: 9, Aurangzeb House

Cost for two: Rs. 350

7. Karnataka Sangha

This is the place to be, on an early morning for breakfast, to beat the blues before beginning another hectic week. Their Butter Masala Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa, upma are quite popular. Thalis are also filling and fulfilling. Coconut rice is another traditional preparation, which is loved by frequenters. And of course, did you even eat a South Indian meal if it wasn't accompanied by a cup of filter coffee?

Location: RK Puram, Rao Tula Ram Road

Cost for two: Rs. 400 

8. Jammu & Kashmir House

Make your way here on the days you're feeling lucky, because obtaining a dish of the evergreen rogan josh all depends on luck. This place doesn't have a fixed menu, and you'll have to make do with whatever they please to make on the day you visit. The wazwan is great, though. Vegetarians, this place is not for y'all because the veggie dishes are basic AF (unless of course, you like eating tinda). We suggest downing some Felix Felicis before going here.

Location: 9, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri

Cost for two: Rs. 500     

9. Kerala House

This place is almost always full, and you will have to come a bit in advance if you want a good seat (or even just a seat). Vegetarian thalis are great here too, just like all other canteens. But visit this place for its meat fry (an alias for you-know-what to avoid possible lynching) and chicken roast, accompanied by the ever-delicious Malabar parantha. Their menu consists of hardly six dishes, but they're all worth visiting this place. Run, run, run!

Location: 3, Jantar Mantar Road, Janpath

Cost for two: Rs. 350

10. Gujarat Bhawan 

You'll dine like a royal at this bhawan. The thali they serve is huge, and portions even huger. You can even ask for unlimited refills, they are very generous. The thali contains rice, dal, vegetables, thepla, farsaan (local snacks), khichdi and buttermilk. It goes without saying, but don't leave without having some dhokla too. 

Location: 11, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri 

Cost for two: Rs. 400  

Reserve your seats now!