The City of Palaces has something to offer every visitor. It has magnificent palaces and heritage buildings for the history and architecture enthusiast. Shopaholics can indulge in beautifully coloured Mysore silk sarees and exquisitely carved sandalwood souvenirs. And for the foodies, the restaurants in Mysore will offer you treats that will leave you with full tummies and pleased palates.
Today, the city of Mysore has loads to offer the hungry tourist looking for good food. The usual continental fare of pizza, pasta, and burgers is available in most restaurants. And the hearty north Indian cuisine complete with kebabs and parathas have also made their way into the Mysore food scene. But the old cuisine of Mysore still lives on in a lot of restaurants in Mysore and they give those swanky restaurants and their food a run for their money.
The swanky new restaurants have great ambience and serve up a delectable fare of Indian and continental cuisine. But the old-timers of Mysore can be found in the old hotels in Mysore, munching on some dosa or idli and sipping on their “by-two” coffees. There’s no serving them pizzas or pasta or burgers. They’re happy with their Mysore mallige idlis, Mysore bondas, Mysore masala dosas and Mysore Pak. These age-old institutions will give you the authentic taste of the old Mysore.
Here Is The List Of The Best Restaurants In Mysore That No Foodie Should Miss
1. Home Of Mysore’s Best Mutton Pulao – Hotel Hanumanthu
Sure you’ve heard of zafrani pulao and Kashmiri pulao, but have you heard of Hanumanthu Pulao? The Hotel Hanumanthu Original 1930, more commonly known as Hotel Hanumanthu is unlike any other. If you’re a hardcore meat-eater, one that fancies meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then this is the place for you. Hotel Hanumanthu is one of the best-known restaurants in Mysore for non-vegetarian food. Ask anyone in Mysore for the best mutton and chicken pulao and their answer will be Hanumanthu Pulao! And why not? The restaurant in Mandi Mohalla has not changed its recipe in the past 70 years! All the food is still cooked in the open air using firewood, just like the original chef and owner Hanumanthu did.
The restaurant is packed with foodies right from the time they open at 8 A.M. The restaurant serves mutton pulao right from breakfast-time! But if that’s not your thing, they have a whole host of other incredibly delicious things you can try on their menu. No meat-loving foodie should leave Mysore without a taste of their mutton chops, kurma (mutton slow-cooked with yoghurt and spices), paya (leg soup) or liver mutton fry.
Address: Hotel Hanumanthu, #1720, Akbar Road, Mandi Mohalla, Mysore.
2. The Creators Of The Mysore Masala Dosa – Vinayaka Mylari Hotel
Who doesn’t love a good dosa for breakfast? The South Indian rice crepe is one of the most popular breakfast foods in India. Though the dosa originated in Udupi, it’s travelled all across the country. And during its travels, it’s gone through a few modifications here and there. The city of Mysore also gave its own identity to the humble dosa. While the crisp crepe, roasted with ghee and filled with potato version called the masala dosa is the most popular one, Mysore masala dosa is also quite popular.
Vinayaka Mylari Hotel, an 80-year-old establishment, is the home of the Mysore masala dosa. The restaurant has limited seating and offers only idli, dosa and masala dosa on its menu. Unlike the masala dosa, Vinayaka Mylari hotel’s masala dosa or Mysore benne masala dosa is not thin. The dosa is smaller and thicker, soft and fluffy inside and crisp outside. The Mysore masala dosa is not filled with potato either; instead the filling is a sagu (vegetable curry with coconut masala). The delicately spiced and fragrant sagu feels like a flavour bomb explosion on your tongue. The dosa is served with a dollop of unsalted butter melting on top and some coconut chutney and sagu on the side.
Address: Hotel Original Vinayaka Mylari, Shop No, 79, Nazarbad Main Road, Near Police Station, Doora, Mysore
3. A Taste Of Authentic Kannada Food – Tegu Mess
A mess is an establishment that serves home-cooked food to migrants. The food is considered to be homely and healthy by the migrants who miss their homes and home-cooked meals. Tegu Mess is a hidden gem that serves some authentic Kannada cuisine to its clients. The restaurant was opened about 50 years ago to cater to the students who lived nearby. Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance, the restaurant might look like a hole-in-the-wall, but their food is delectable.
For a meat lover, this restaurant, that is known for its local-style non-vegetarian food is paradise. The hearty meat-dishes on the menu, each with its special masala ground in-house, are sure to tickle your taste buds. The thick and spicy curries are served with generous portions of meat. Their famous ragi mudde (finger millet dumplings) and mutton curry will leave you licking your fingers and wanting more. The restaurant has several other curries on their menu along with neer dosa, idlis and ghee rice.
Address: #5, First Floor, 6th Cross, Adipampa Road, Vani Vilas Mohalla, Mysore
4. Paradise For Lovers Of Spicy Food – Hotel RRR
If you’re a lover of spicy food, a visit to Hotel RRR is a must. The old restaurant has been serving spicy Andhra-style food to Mysoreans for decades. As you enter, the first thing that’ll assault your senses is the aroma of the biryani. Their spicy mutton and chicken biryani are richly flavoured with spices, meaty and very appetising. The restaurant also has some great vegetarian dishes on their menu. Their unlimited vegetarian thali (platter of food) is quite popular.
The chicken pepper dry is another popular dish on their menu. The restaurant is eco-friendly, and all the food is served on banana leaves. If you’ve never experienced eating with your hands from a banana leaf, you should try this once. The taste of hot food off of a banana leaf is indescribable and an authentic experience to try at least once. The ever-busy eatery is busier during lunchtime and finding a table is quite difficult. But their food is definitely worth the wait.
Address: Gandhi Square, Near, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Lashkar Mohalla, Chamrajpura, Mysore
5. The Best Breakfast Joint – Ramya Mahendra Restaurant
The Ramya Mahendra Restaurant is another gem that is hidden away in the tiny streets of Mysore. For those of you who love south Indian food, especially breakfast fare, this hotel in Mysore is a must-visit. Their crispy masala dosa, which is served with a small bowl of ghee, coconut chutney and sambar (south indian vegetable curry), is one of the best you’ll ever taste. Their idlis and bonda soup are also very popular. But the dish that is the best here is their thayir vada (dahi vada, a vada dipped in spiced yoghurt). The freshly fried vadas are crunchy on the outside, yet fluffy inside, and the yoghurt that it’s dipped in is slightly sweet and sour. And the icing on the cake is the crunchy boondi (pearl-sized balls of fried chickpea flour) and peanuts that it’s topped with. All this together creates magic in your mouth and makes it an unforgettable meal.
For those with a sweet tooth, the restaurant has kesari bath (semolina pudding) and badam halwa (an almond dessert) on their menu. The badam halwa especially tastes divine. The restaurant is only open for breakfast and at tea-time.
Address: Hotel Ramya Mahendra, RTO Office, Near Double Tanker, Chamrajpura, Mysore
6. Savour The Taste Of The Best Bisi Bele Bath In Mysore – Mahesh Prasad Restaurant
If bisi bele bath is one of your favourite south Indian foods, a trip to Mahesh Prasad restaurant is a must. The tiny restaurant near Ballal circle is a house that has been converted into a restaurant. This is one of the oldest hotels in Mysore and the best place to eat vegetarian food. The hotel serves regular south Indian fare of khara bath (upma, or a savoury semolina pudding), kesari bath, idli-vada, masala dosa and poori sagu. The hotel is especially famous for its bisi bele bath (risotto-like lentil rice with vegetables). The bisi bele bath is served with a topping of crunchy boondi with coconut chutney, raita (mix of vegetables in yoghurt) and potato chips on the side. The restaurant can get very crowded during peak hours and you might have to wait for a table.
Address: Ashoka Circle, near RTO Office, Chamarajapura, Chamarajapuram Mohalla, Lakshmipuram, Mysore
7. The Original Creators Of Mysore Pak – Guru Sweet Mart
Looking for a sugar rush? The fudge-like Mysore Pak is one thing you should taste before leaving the city. The sweet that once graced the royal tables of the Wadiyars is now available everywhere in Karnataka. But the Mysore Pak at Guru Sweet Mart in Mysore is the best one you’ll ever taste.
Over 100 years ago, a chef in the royal kitchens created a concoction out of sugar, besan (chickpea flour) and ghee. This concoction, which greatly impressed the then king of Mysore, was named Mysore Pak. Today the descendants of that cook, Kakasura Madappa still make Mysore Pak using his original recipe. This Mysore Pak is then sold at their sweet shop, Guru Sweet Mart.
The Mysore Pak at Guru Sweet Mart is not like the ones you get in other stores. The fragrance of toasty ghee hits your nose when you bite into the soft Mysore Pak. The best part of Guru Sweet’s version is its lusciously melty mouth-feel. The sweet shop is packed with beautifully arranged sweets all over the store. If you’ve had your fill of Mysore Pak, try their silky pumpkin halwa or the delicious sugar-dusted peda (fudge-like sweet made from milk).
Address: Shop No: 1, Devaraja Market Building, Near K.R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Devaraja Mohalla, Mysore
Great Food At Great Prices
Food in Mysore is as beautiful as the heritage city is. These iconic restaurants in Mysore are among some of the best places to eat in Mysore. The food culture in Mysore hasn’t really changed much over the years. Vegetarian food still rules but non-vegetarian fare is not left far behind. These old hotels in Mysore have kept the city’s food culture alive. And the best part about these eateries is that you can eat your fill without worrying about your wallet. Most of these old restaurants in Mysore still charge old world prices but they don’t compromise on quality or taste.