America Is Getting A Taste Of Dhaba Culture As Record No. Of Punjabi Dhabas Open On Highways 

by Sanjana Shenoy

For truck drivers and travellers on road trips, dhabas are a place for rest, hot meals and washroom breaks. Dhaba culture is not new to India. Open 24 hours, dhabas are roadside restaurants on highways that offer a pitstop to travellers. Not just India, even America is getting a taste of our desi dhaba culture as a record number of Punjabi dhabas have opened on popular American highways.

America Witnesses Dhabas On Its Popular Highways

As per a report by NewsNation, a record number of  Indian eateries are popping up across the country’s biggest trucking routes. The USA is home to many truck drivers hailing from India. While Indian truck drivers have many fast-food restaurant options on the highway, there weren’t other food options on the road. Here’s where things are slowly changing for travellers on road trips in the USA and truck drivers.

america dhabas

Picture Credits: Canva

Indian restaurants, particularly Punjabi dhabas, serving hot home-cooked Indian meals are remaining the food culture on US highways. Hundreds of truck drivers have found solace at Truck Stop 40 and Exit 26 on Western Oklahoma’s Route 66. The restaurant’s owner, Amar Singh revealed to NewsNation that his eatery is located right in the middle of the country. It’s famous for serving homemade Indian dishes like saag, rajma, rajma, paratha and more.

Hundreds Of Truck Drivers Flock To These Indian Eateries

Amar Singh calls his place, “Little Punjab” or “Little India” as everything is Indian— the language they speak, the food they serve and even the TV channels they play. Amar Singh’s dhaba is just one of the dozens of dhabas popping up on America’s most travelled highways. Despite no advertising, not even a signboard, Amar’s truck stop welcomes hundreds of hungry customers everyday, solely by word of mouth.

america dhabas

Picture Credits: Canva

The restaurateur said that he serves food that his mom makes at home. Raman Dhillon, part of the North American Punjabi Trucking Association spoke to NewsNation about the reason why dhabas are becoming a hit on America’s highways. He reveals that Punjabi truck drivers like him, don’t eat meat on some days. So, from 2009 to 2012 people like him faced challenges in finding eateries on highways. This was one of the biggest issues for his community.

With Punjabi dhabas opening on America’s most travelled routes, looks like India exported its dhaba culture to the USA!

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva