If you’re looking for a Kanha restaurant, check out the dhabas next to Khatiya Gate.
While lodgings in the buffer zone enjoy a wonderfully natural forest location, there are none of the facilities that tourists can enjoy in the village outside Khatiya Gate. If you’re staying at one of the hotels near Khatiya Gate, your dining choices are limited. All hotels in the area around Khatiya Gate have attached restaurants that can whip up a meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In addition, there is a row of small dhabas just before Khatiya Gate that serve decent vegetarian food and hot chai. If you’re on a morning safari, you can either get breakfast, tea and coffee at one of these dhabas or when you stop at the visitor centre inside the park midway through the safari.
The most popular of the dhabas infront of Khatiya Gate is Kamlesh Dhaba. Open from sunrise to late, this Kanha restaurant is always busy preparing dishes and cooking chapattis over their wood fire. This place is busy before morning safaris when tourists order hot chai or after safaris in the afternoon (for lunch) and late evenings (for dinner). Their vegetarian dishes are quite delicious and cheap making for a great value meal. The place, however, is rather rustic with basic plastic tables and chairs.
On the left-hand side of the main road, 200 metres before Khatiya Gate is Motel Chandan. Whether you’re staying here or not, this is a great place to dine and meet other travellers; the manager is quite friendly and hospitable too. They have an extensive menu including some non-vegetarian dishes which are quite good. If you order in advance, they can also cook you breakfast before you head out on a morning safari. The décor and setting is a bit nicer than the neighbouring dhabas.
There are also a couple of grocery shops next to the dhabas that sell snacks, biscuits and chocolates.