Veena Stores in Malleshwaram may be only a hole in the wall, but you simply haven’t eaten Bangalore’s very best idlis unless you’ve made a tiffin stop here. This stand-and-eat outlet with no other frills, is a landmark in these parts, even if its offerings are limited to idli-chutney, kharabhath and superb crisp-soft medu vadas. The coffee is excellent and a great pick-me-up, too. Veena Stores opens early and the stock is gone before you can say coconut chutney. It sees another round of activity in the evenings when locals gather here for their daily fix of tiffin. Just goes to show, you don’t need to be fancy when you’ve got your food just right.
Mavalli tiffin room (MTR)
Mavalli Tiffin Room, or MTR as everyone knows it, is a venerable institution on the culinary landscape of Bangalore. If it’s traditional Karnataka fare you’re looking for, then this is the place to start. Located a stone’s throw from Lalbagh, MTR is a relic from the past, an eatery that has remained unchanged for decades. And why change when the masala dosa is legendary and draws people from near and far. The rava idli is another must-try here. Get in early, for the food disappears fast and the place is shut and washed clean without so much as an apology to those who may have missed out. At lunch, MTR serves a sumptuous, fully-loaded vegetarian thali.
Even in a city where modernisation is everywhere, somethings never change. And how reassuring is that! Vidyarthi Bhavan, nearing 70 years, is one of those little corners from the past, which gives you a glimpse into the Bangalore of yore. It is a clean, efficient, no-frills eatery where you go for some superlative tiffin. The plump, crisp masala dosa is the signature dish here and has a huge fan following. This Basavanagudi eatery is a must-stop if you want to tuck into a great masala dosa and also get a taste of old and gracious Bangalore. The coffee is a winner, too.
Brahmins Coffee Bar
Don’t let the unpretentious facade fool you. Brahmin’s Coffee Bar in Sankarapuram has quite a reputation and is spoken of with reverence and affection. In fact, so good is the tiffin here, that those who live around here, find it better to pick up from here rather than bother to make idlis or kharabhath at home. As is the case with eateries of this sort, Brahmin’s sticks to doing a few things and well – super-soft idlies, kharabhath and vada, all served with chutney (no sambar) make up the menu here. The coffee is also a big hit, which is what makes this such a draw in this part of Bangalore.
Central Tiffin Room
In Lalbagh there’s MTR and in Malleshwaram it’s CTR, which is how Central Tiffin Room is known. In the tradition of the tiffin eateries in the older parts of the city, this is a clean, no-frills space with a solid reputation for its vegetarian fare. Amenities are so basic, you get a square of newspaper in place of tissue! But that is of no consequence when the dosa is as good as CTR turns out. The masala dosa, redolent with ghee and crisp, is the popular order here. Stop by at CTR and order one and you’ll know what all the fuss is about.
Newer, swankier restaurants may surround it, but Koshy’s holds its own and how! This downtown landmark, with oodles of history, is restaurant, watering hole, cafe and meeting place all rolled into one. Here, artists, writers, lawyers, the young, the old, all meet to eat the famous fish curry rice, served with fried papads or to tuck into fish cutlets. No one makes ham sandwiches the way Koshy’s does either. Its interiors, including the old, whirring fans, have remained unchanged for years. The waiters are all veterans, too. And if you’re somebody in Bangalore, then you’ll be recognized and be shown to a table even when Koshy’s is crowded to the corners.
The Egg Factory
The Egg Factory cashes in on the universal popularity of its core ingredient. Imagine all the stuff you can turn out with eggs – and pretty much all of it is there in some form or the other at this neat-looking restaurant off St Mark’s Road. It’s also popular because it’s one of the few good breakfast places downtown. So have your eggs scrambled, fried sunny side up or turned into omelettes to start your day. The Egg Factory menu also includes regional specialities such as the Mangalore-style Bun Masala, keshto and Anda Paratha. Or, tuck into a pasta with egg. The Egg Factory also serves French Toast and Egg Curry combo meals which are filling and not too hard on the wallet either.
by Priya Bala
Culinary travel is the coolest thing now. And what better than visiting places that are so closely associated with certain dishes they’ve lent their names to...
by Priya Bala
Blessed with pine-covered slopes, snow-topped mountains, still fjords, impossibly high waterfalls and gushing rivers, Norway is one of the most scenic countr...
by Priya Bala
The Leela hotels are a uniquely Indian concept, born from the vision and industry of the late Captain Krishnan Nair, a legend in the hospitality business of ...
by Neha Gupta Kapoor
A plethora of restaurants in Tokyo pander to any foodie. Here is a list of eateries whose tastes resonate traditional Japan closely.
by Priya Bala
The second largest city in Tamil Nadu has a unique South Indian vibe and culture. Here’s how to experience this ancient city even on a short visit:
by Shilpa Bansal
Wayanad Tourism Organisation along with Kerala Tourism is back, to add some Splash, into your monsoon spirits.