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Home > Food & Drink > Dining > A handi guide to the best spots for flavourful mutton biryani in Hyderabad
A handi guide to the best spots for flavourful mutton biryani in Hyderabad

Hyderabad’s culinary culture is near synonymous with aromatic mutton biryani. While in the city, you’d only have to take a few steps and a quick turn on most lanes to discover renowned spots for the delicacy. And although locals prefer basmati fare that’s home-cooked or served at traditional weddings, a few spots in the city come close. We’re listing out the must-visits.

A flavourful fusion of aromatic basmati rice, tender mutton, whole spices, and saffron – biryani in Hyderabad has a cult-like following. Served alongside mirchi ka salan, gravy, and raita, each bite promises to transport you to the yesteryear kitchens of the Nizams. The beloved creation is believed to have a 400-year-long relationship with the city’s culinary culture, with anecdotes listing out as many as 100 renditions.

Today, however, a typical biryani experience would involve one of two cooking styles – pakki and kacchi gosht. The former involves a short marination period for the meat, which is then cooked in a curry and layered with almost-cooked rice. The latter, however, involves overnight marinated raw lamb being cooked with the rice. Regardless of which is on your plate, you’re bound to have a delicious dining experience. Our recommendation? A local-favourite haunt that’s steeped in nostalgia and indulgent flavours. Here are a few we stand by.

Bookmark these best mutton biryani spots in Hyderabad

Cafe Bahar

 

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Another iconic restaurant that’s been around since 1973, Cafe Bahar first began as a tea stall and provision store. Today, however, it’s known for its flavourful Hyderabadi biryani and decadent Irani chai. Loyalists often pair both, with queues that run into the streets. While here, savour the chai, Irani samosas, sugary cream buns, and kebabs. However, for the most flavourful experience, pick between the classic, double mutton, and keema mutton biryanis. Each comes with a good ratio of mutton to rice, with long fragrant grains of basmati, and delicious accompaniments. Round out a meal with one of their classic local desserts and you’re bound to enter a food coma.

Address: 3-5, 815/A, Old MLA Quarters Rd, Avanti Nagar, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad

Hotel Shadab

Nothing says old Hyderabad like a visit to this iconic vintage restaurant that’s known for its nihari, paya, munshi naan, Nizami handi, Osmania biscuits, and Irani chai. However, their Hyderabadi–style dum mutton biryani with melt-in-the mouth meat is a must try. Locals rave about the excellent meat to rice ratio, the perfect balance of spices, and the delicious mirchi ka salan and raita that come with it.

Best part? The portions are quite generous despite the prices being reasonable. That aside, what Hotel Shadab has going for it is its proximity to Charminar and the undeniable nostalgic factor that it presents to diners alongside the food. Be sure to pair your meal with a cola for the quintessential experience.

Address: Plot 21, High Court Road, Near Madina Circle, Ghansi Bazaar, Hyderabad

Bawarchi

Perhaps one of the most recommended spots when it comes to mutton biryani in Hyderabad, Bawarchi is known for its authentic fare. Every delicacy served here is a product of traditional recipes, passed down generations and executed by skilled chefs. Their most popular menu features include grilled chicken, fried prawns, and chicken biryani. However, if you’re here for some quintessential Hyderabadi delicacies, try the mutton biryani – mini or jumbo. Well spiced, with juicy meat and rice cooked to perfection – every bite here is delicious. You might even find whole masala on your plate. Head here early to get a space to sit down or order in for an interruption-free biryani experience.

Address: Door 66, Axamabad, RTC X roads, Hyderabad

Grand Hotel

First started by a group of Iranis who’d migrated to India, Grand Hotel is one of the most popular spots for biryani in town. In fact, they were reportedly the first to serve biryani in a commercial establishment – which, until then, was limited to weddings and the palaces of nawabs. On the menu are delicacies like Hyderabadi dilkhush, dilpasand, badami mutton, nihari, Irani chai and bun maska. However, it’s the mutton biryani here that’s timeless.

Choose from the classic or the house special option – each spiced with meticulous care and served in generous portions. Soft meat is complemented by mild spices. And while the classic comes with a few mutton pieces, the special rendition has a boiled egg added to it. Pair this with a Coke or Thums Up, or experiment with falooda.

Address: Address: Plot 4-1-395, Opposite Big Bazaar, Abids, Hyderabad

Jewel of Nizam

 

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Offering a fine dining break from the hole-in-the-wall establishments on this list is this Mughlai and Afghan restaurant that features yesteryear decor, authentic fare, and the most breathtaking views of Osman Sagar Lake. Located 100 feet above the ground, this space is housed within the Golkonda Hotel. The menu’s most popular options include kebabs, mutton seekh, kheer, and kadhai gosht. However, the kacchi dum biryani, slow cooked in a sealed degh and spiced to perfection is a must try. Pair this with their subz raita and end your meal on a sweet note with some khubani ka meetha or double ka meetha.

Address: 10-1-124, The Golkonda Hotel, Banjara Hills, Masab Tank, Hyderabad

Paradise

 

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No biryani roundup in Hyderabad is complete without the inclusion of this classic spot that first began as a small, 100-seater cafe and canteen in a theatre. Soon enough the quality of the food became the talk of the town, with locals flocking to the spot to savour bites of tender, melt-in-the-mouth meat and spicy, long-grain aromatic rice. Choose from the Nizami mutton biryani and supreme mutton biryani – each of which come with some dahi ki chutney. A celebrity favoured spot, round out your meal with a bite of their qubani ka meetha or double ka meetha.

Address: Door 1-7-191 To 193, SD Road, Paradise Circle, Secunderabad

Feature and hero image: Shutterstock

Eshita Srinivas

Eshita spends her days writing, rewriting, and thinking of things to write about. In the little time she has left, she daydreams about going on a solo trip across Asia.

 

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