Situated on the Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad is the second largest metropolitan region in India, with a population of over 9 million. With this vast amount of local and international inhabitants, the rich Hyderabadi cuisine has evolved as an interesting combination of local flavours and international recipes. The entire city is dotted with food enterprises – big and small, formal and informal, modern and traditional, and this vernacular style of development has led to an uncountable number of food outlets. While there are over 2,200 formal registered restaurants, it is estimated that the informal market to have about a hundred thousand outlets. An estimated 12% of the city's working population, namely about 300,000 people, is directly or indirectly employed by this sector.
Within the city, Ramzan, and festivals such as Bathukamma, are widely celebrated while keeping the food culture at the centre of the celebration. These festivals are vital to hold and promote the rich gastronomic culture that the city has organically curated over centuries. The feast of Ramzan witnesses thousands of people on the streets eager to taste recipes brought out by traditional families, consuming 2000 tons of meat daily, while Bathukamma, brings dishes straight out of the domestic kitchens of the region. The Food Oscars, one of the most sought after events in the city's cosmopolitan culture, is brought to life by Times media group to commemorate Hyderabad's most prominent gastronomical hotspots. These conferences are instrumental in maintaining the association that food has had historically.
The city administration along with the community has created avenues for the establishment of prominent physical and social infrastructure. Free vending zones have been created to enhance local food culture, and self-help groups for women have been established to support gastronomical enterprises.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Hyderabad envisages:
- preserving and documenting the rich cuisine of the city in order to promote knowledge sharing across the city and within the Network;
- retrofitting of the urban infrastructure around the prominent eating hotspots to enable more enjoyable eating experiences;
- placing gastronomy as a key creative category alongside other cultural events, to bridge the gap between the old and the newer parts of the city;
- promoting interdisciplinary research studies in the cities of 'Global South' which are struggling with hunger; and
- fostering relationships between creators, professionals and amateurs in the field of gastronomy by providing technology platforms.