There are many parts of the city, more like certain sections in a sector, which have come to be recognised for a particular thing over the years. For example, much before the sale of liquor ban near highways came into force, Sector 26 was the most popular place to head out for a meal. It was the fine-dining street of the city.
PHOTOS BY: SUMIT KUMAR
When it comes to takeaway food and the concept of ‘park and eat in the car’, especially in the evenings, the inner market of Sector 8 ranks very high on the popularity charts. Over the last decade, this once-lazy part of town has evolved into a fun market with many interesting things to pick and choose from. While we are amply sure you have your own list of likes and dislikes too for this market, here are eight things we have come to love, with a handful of not-so-lovely things too. Read on.
1. The Takeaway Destination: Ok, we love the fact that no matter what food cravings you have, you will find something sumptuous to dig into here. Sugar cravings are well satiated here with the multiple options at hand – be it at Baskin Robbins, Get Desserted, Super Donuts or at Uncle Jack’s. Those who have grown up digging into doner kebabs at Goldie’s Roost or relishing a buttery keema naan at Pik n Move, will agree that Sector 8 market can be credited for the takeaway trend and the fact that it is absolutely okay for the car to smell of food after a ‘geri’ here. While they have been new entrants here, the latest to make their presence felt is Fraiche for its healthy drink menu, Keventers for its lip-smacking shakes, Uncle Jack’s for its American meals and of course Burgrill for some unique takes on the good ol’ burger. Even though space is a squeeze here, Domino’s, Cafe Coffee Day and Subway have also found their way in.
2. Ethnic Chic: In this mix of food eateries, it comes as a bit of a surprise that some clothing labels have made Sector 8 inner market the go-to place for stylish and contemporary Indian wear. Suvasa, the block print specialists have a growing fan base in the city, along with fashion designer Sohni Makkar’s studio and of course, the fabric specialist – Kalakriti. So popular is the latter than on a work trip to Delhi some months ago, I was surprised to find a Gurgaon-based colleague make me promise to her that I would take her to Kalakriti on her next visit. ‘I believe generations have shopped there for all their salwar-suits’ my colleague had gushed. The retail space in the inner market is precious and there’s a Ritu Kumar store here as well.
3. Room for jewellery too: It maybe a small market but it has been able to etch out an identity for jewellery too. And you can get both precious and semi-precious jewellery here. For silver, Subhash Jewellers has become a popular destination while Anaha Jewellery Studio is known for their polki designs and even those studded with gemstones. There’s K & A Jewels for quick buys too in silver and fashion jewellery.
4. Baking Point: One of the first bakeries to give Sector 8 market an identity is Monica Sood when she opened her quaint bakery ‘Monica’s’ many, many years ago. The bakery is well recognised and dishes out some really good cakes and recently a selection of breads too. It has been one of the most consistent in quality. Also making a mark for itself is Sweet & Petite, housed on the corner. It’s the perfect place to catch a quick coffee while savouring a quiche or cupcake, depending what your mood might be. Right behind is Sweet Nothings that also rolls out cakes and desserts but we love their selection of dry cakes (read minus the icing) especially the banana walnut cake. The market also houses Cakes ‘n’ Stuff on the other end of the market.
5. On the geri route: This is one market that figures on the famed geri-route. Yes, that’s actually an activity here in Chandigarh, fuel prices and global warming be damned. Relatively quieter by day, this market is buzzing in the evening with most young men and women whizzing past each other in swanky cars. We are yet to hear a successful love story though that came out of this habitual gazing.
6. Daily needs: The main purpose of the inner markets is to meet the daily needs of the sector residents. So does it match up? Yes, there are few departmental and even well-stocked stationery stores, chemists, a dry cleaner and a cobbler sandwiched between the fancy eating joints.
7. The golgappa-wallah: If you haven’t eaten the gol-gappas of Sector 8, you have certainly missed something. He is quite elusive thanks to the cops on duty in the evening. You will either find him near the park or in one of the streets near the residential areas. But he does a pretty good job at the snack.
8. The Post Office, a Photo Studio and more...: Making it a complete market of sorts, Sector 8 inner market also houses a post office and one of the oldest photo studio, Shanti Studio. And right across are the community centre and the dispensary. Told you, it packs in a lot.
- Parking is an issue. Even though there’s now a more disciplined system of entry and exit, still finding a place to park in the evening is never easy
- While the cars on geri make it a happening place, it can get rowdy.
- Despite best efforts, the food zone on the front is mostly dirty with littering and people throwing away used plates and glasses on the road. Really an eyesore.