While Bangalore may have transformed into a bustling IT hub, the city is still full of wonderful South Indian restaurants. In some cases, they have become famous not just for their food, but the entire experience. Here are some of the best traditional South Indian restaurants in Bangalore that you must visit.
This iconic restaurant in Gandhi Bazaar is flanked by colourful flower stalls. Started as a cheap canteen for the young student community, it has become an iconic food destination in Bangalore. The restaurant is most famous for its masala dosa, dripping with butter and ghee. Other must-tries are the khara bhath and the wonderfully frothy filter coffee.
The restaurant is open between 6:30 to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 8 pm; it remains closed on Fridays. Remember that it gets extremely crowded, so go in early to get a table.
32 Gandhi Bazaar Main Road, Gandhi Bazaar, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, 560004
2Brahmin’s Coffee Bar
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar was set up in the 1960s and was initially famous for its coffee. Slowly, they added crispy vadas, soft idlis, delicious khara bhath, and sweet kesari bhath, all served with excellent coconut chutney. Though the menu here is small, the amazing and consistent quality of the food available definitely makes up for it.
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar is open from Monday through Saturday, from 6 am to 12 pm and is closed on Sundays.
Ranga Rao Road, Near Shankar Mutt, Shankarapuram Bengaluru, 560004
3Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, or MTR, is an iconic Bangalore institution. Opened in 1924, it moved to its present location on Lalbagh Road in 1960. All their dishes, from the idli to the dosa and even the sweets like chandrahara and halwas are served with a generous helping of ghee. You must also try the gulab jamuns and the filter coffee, which is still served piping hot in sterling silver cups.
Head here for the South Indian thali served at lunch-time and you’ll get hot pooris, served with a vegetable sagu (or curry), a dry vegetable palya, followed by mini-masala dosas, sweet pongal, vangi bhath, rice, sambar, curd rice, and fruit salad.
MTR is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 6:30 to 11 am and from 12:30 to 9 pm.
At the no-nonsense Veena Stores in Malleshwaram, it’s the food that does the talking. This iconic place is known for its limited menu, as they only serve idlis, vada, khara bhath, kesari bhath, khara pongal, sweet pongal, shavige bhath, bisibele bhath, and puliyogare. However, each of these is almost perfect.
Veena Stores is open, Monday through Saturday, from 6:30 am to 12 pm and again from 3:30 to 9:00 pm. On Sundays, it closes at noon.
187, Margosa Rd, Malleshwaram, Malleshwaram, Bengaluru, 560003
Located in VV Puram, Thindi Beedi (or “Food Street”) is the place to try Bangalore’s best vegetarian street food. There are kiosks, carts, and small hole-in-the-wall shops selling everything from masala dosas to potato twisters, bajjis, bondas, holigae and badam milk. And it’s not just South Indian fare, you can also find dabelis, chaats, pav bhaji, and even pasta.
Don’t miss the famous VB Bakery, where you must try the sweet and khara buns, the potato buns, vegetable puffs, rusk and dumrot.
The shops here are usually open around 7 pm and close at 12 am (though on Thursdays the timings are 12 am to 5 pm
Old Market Road, Vishweshwarapuram, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru
6Shri Sagar (formerly Central Tiffin Room)
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Previously known as Central Tiffin Room (or CTR) Shri Sagar is another old-Bangalore institution. Located in Malleshwaram it was opened in the 1920s and became a favourite meeting point for writers and poets in the 1940s and 50s. It is famous for its benne masala dosa, which is both thick and crispy, and for its Maddur vada, kesari bhath and poori-sagu.
Shri Sagar opens at 7:30 am and closes at 12:30 pm before reopening between 4 to 9 pm.
7Indian Coffee House
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Indian Coffee House is part of a historic restaurant chain run by a co-operative society (which includes the famous Coffee House at College Street in Kolkata). This coffee shop has become an iconic and nostalgic Bangalore institution, known for its simple vintage decor and its laid-back atmosphere.
The restaurant is open from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm.
19, Ground Floor, Unit No. 37-38, Brigade Garden, Church Street, Ashok Nagar Bengaluru, 560001
Have you been to any of these legendary South Indian restaurants in Bangalore? Or do you think we’ve missed any of your favourites? If so do share your thoughts in the comments below