Filter coffee still reigns supreme in Bengaluru despite the advent of hipster cafes and large coffee chains. Bengaluru's traditional restaurants almost always get their filter coffee right. It's not too thick, the milk in the coffee doesn't usually coat your tongue, and the freshly brewed coffee with a generous chicory infusion always lifts your mood. While new-age roasteries and cafes have taken Bengaluru's coffee snobbery to new heights, old-school restaurants and eateries continue to be the popular spots for good old filter coffee that you can sniff from a distance.
Here Are 10 Best Spots For Filter Coffee In Bengaluru:
1. India Coffee House: Church Street
This iconic institution might be driven by nostalgia but it still works. The odd cup might be chipped and the staff uniforms haven't evolved to keep up with the city's transition from Garden City to IT hub. Not a lot has changed since the 1950s, thankfully that includes the coffee. Set up by the India Coffee Board (the state produces more than 70% of India's coffee), this is India's first coffee chain and it shows no signs of slowing down.
2. CTR, Sri Sagar Hotel: 7th Cross Road, Malleswaram
If I have to pick one place for a crispy bene (butter) masala dose, it would be this emblematic establishment in Malleswaram. But that's not the only reason you should make a stop here for breakfast or for an anytime snack, the filter coffee is spot on too.
3. Brahmin's Coffee Bar: Shankarapura, Basuvangudi
In many ways, this is a precursor to the 2010s style Food Truck. There are no seats here, the crowd of standing customers always spills over to the pavement around the restaurant. Brahmin's was set up in the 1960s; it was the Coffee that first brought customers here. After a couple of decades, the family also nailed their now trademark coconut chutney. The menu hasn't changed in over four decades - Idli, Vade, Kara Bath, and the sweet Kesri Bath. But it's the coffee that's the glue that binds the menu, it's fun to watch their coffee 'masters' churn out never-ending tumblers of coffee with assembly-line precision.
4. Filter Coffee: HRBR Layout, Kalyan Nagar
The name is a giveaway. This restaurant has built its reputation almost entirely around its perfectly brewed tumbler of filter coffee. It's not just the coffee (the restaurant also offers healthy coffee options like a karupatti coffee) that brings regulars back, the restaurant's Chennai-style dosas (try their murunga elai / drumstick leaves) are a big draw too.
5. MTR 1924: St Marks Road
Mavalli Tiffin Room has been an integral part of Bengaluru's dining culture for almost a century. From a single restaurant where diners had to wait days for a reservation, MTR is now one of the city's most successful chain restaurants. The filter coffee is fail-proof here and so is their bene (butter) dose.
6. Vidyarthi Bhavan: Gandhi Bazaar Main Road, Basavangudi
A Bengaluru dining icon since the 1940s. It's impossible to snag a table on a Sunday morning with long lines that stretch to the busy Gandhi Bazaar. I always enjoy watching the juggling skills of the waitstaff who tiptoe through the cramped dining area with stacks of masala dosas and tumblers of freshly brewed filter coffee.
7. Airlines Hotel: SBI Road, Ashok Nagar
Another iconic spot that's high on nostalgia, this open air spot continues to stay relevant even after decades. You'll find old-timers rub shoulders with young bikers on a weekend morning. Bengaluru's balmy weather makes sure this spot is in the mix during any time of the day. Savour a cup of invigorating coffee with bisi (hot) idlis under a banyan tree or just go next door for a tall glass of Hot Chocolate Fudge sundae at Corner House, one of Bengaluru's favourite homegrown ice-cream destinations.
8. Veena Stores: Margosa Road, Malleswaram
You can grab and go or grab and linger on the pavement. That's what most regulars do at one of Malleswaram's most popular eateries. They will also tell you to get here early - whether it's breakfast or evening tiffin. Their crisp vadas and savage (vermicelli) bath are usually the first items to run out. Most diners load up on their legendary coconut chutney. But the filter coffee is the one thing that's usually available all day.
(Also Read: The Best Places For Filter Coffee In Chennai)
9. ITC Windsor: Golf Course Road
Most luxury hotels in Bengaluru struggle to get their filter coffee right. ITC Windsor is one of those rare exceptions. Dakshin, their specialty South Indian restaurant always serves a great tumbler of frothy filter coffee. It's the same with their all-day diner and in-room dining.
10. Cothas coffee: Sampige Road, Malleswaram
Cothas has been one of the city's oldest established filter coffee brands. This small café serves quite a few varieties of cold coffee but it's the filter coffee that is the mainstay. You can also buy their filter coffee at this outlet, their range includes different blends of coffee: chicory, including restaurant-style coffee blends where the chicory content goes all the way to 40%
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.