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A mom-and-pop motel after your own heart.
Typically run by family concerns, dhabas look like makeshift affairs from a distance. But they double up as rest areas for long-distance drivers, with cots, bedding and other overnight supplies offered to you in the finest tradition of South Asian hospitality.
You may spend a lazy afternoon on their sturdy, comfortable cots, or even stay overnight at a nominal price. Dhabas offer great food (sometimes oily) and form a huge part of the romantic appeal of traveling on South Asian roads. The food can be particularly spicy, and a piping hot dal tadka, sabzi, roti, rice and butter chicken at a quaint dhaba on a sweltering, dusty North Indian highway has its own vicarious charm.
"The only reason I'm tolerating your nonsense is for the bloody dhaba food!"