There's an air of familiarity, the whiff of magnolia flowers. For me this is Malleshwaram, a neighbourhood in Bengaluru filled with happy memories from my childhood. The city's old timers will tell you that most of their Bangalore has been altered beyond recognition especially since the turn of this millennium. But Malleshwaram remains one of those last slices of old Bangalore where time almost stands still. While the area might not have escaped the city's infamous traffic congestions, many of the tree-lined roads that defy the rays of the sun, take you back to another time. One of the area's most photogenic spots is the traditional flower market - one of the most vibrant in the city, where assorted flowers in bright hues compete for your attention.
Malleshwaram isn't just one of the city's cultural hubs with numerous temples, dance and music academies, it's also a gourmand's delight. Many of the area's traditional vegetarian food outlets have survived for decades even as the city transitioned from India's garden city to one of the world's Tech hubs. Menus haven't changed much, prices at these restaurants haven't quite kept up with inflation rates. Some of these nondescript restaurants that were once neighbourhood phenomena have now become destination outlets that people are willing to brave the traffic for. Blame it on Instagram, these outlets are super crowded during the weekends. But the crispy masala dose (Bengaluru speak for dosa), filter coffee and piping hot kesri bath make it worth the wait. We take you through some of the area's must-do spots.
Here Are 5 Of The Best Food Spots You Must Try In Malleshwaram:
1. CTR, Sri Sagar Hotel
If you have time to visit just one spot in Bengaluru for Dosa in Bengaluru, I'd recommend CTR. This popular eatery has been one of Malleshwaram's longest running local establishments. Originally established as Central Tiffin Room, a change of ownership many decades ago saw it add the Sri Sagar suffix. A vintage clock and rosewood furniture allow you to roll back the years. Their crispy bene dose hasn't lost its trademark crispness and golden brown lustre. Other crowd favourites here include their idli and vada, poori saagu and the fail-proof filter coffee.
Where: 7th Cross road, Malleshwaram.
2. Veena Stores
There's no seating here, the crowds spill over to the pavement. I'd strongly recommend making it here early (whether you're there for breakfast or evening tiffin). They start running out of their signature dishes in quick time especially during the weekends. Their crisp vadas and savage (vermicelli) bath are usually the first items to run out. Most diners load up on their legendary coconut chutney. If you're dropping by in the evening, do check out their bisi bele bath or my personal favourite - the flavourful puliogre.
Where: Margosa Road, Malleshwaram
3. Gopika, New Krishna Bhavan
Sampige theatre is one of Malleshwaram's iconic landmarks; New Krishna Bhavan located across the road is a landmark in its own right. The restaurant is probably best known for its green masala idli - fried idlis dunked in spinach gravy flavoured with pepper. The other crowd pleaser here is the button idli. Krishna Bhavan is also a popular stop in Malleshwaram's filter coffee trail while their crispy Masala dose never disappoints.
Where: Sampige Road, Malleshwaram
4. Raghavendra Condiment Stores
'Condiments' - you probably have to be from Bengaluru to understand this local phenomenon. You will find many stores with a Condiments suffix across town. Malleshwaram leads the pack. These are stores usually stock up on happala (Papads), a range of snacks, traditional powders and masalas. Raghavendra is one of many condiment stores in Malleshwaram and is located next to CTR. Their Vangi bath powder is a bestseller and so is their Hurule Hapala (Horse gram pappad). Malleshwaram's condiment stores are famous for their kodubale (a traditional, spicy Karnataka chakli or murukku made with rice flour) and Raghavendra Stores is no exception.
Where: 9th Cross Road, Margosa Road, Malleshwaram
5. Hotel Janatha
Tucked away amongst the busy shopping district on 8th Main road, Janatha offers a choice of self-service and table service options. Try one of Bengaluru's quintessential all-day favourites - the Chow Chow bath (that combines two semolina delicacies - a sweet kesari bath and a khara bath) at Janatha or play safe and check out their popular idli vada platter for breakfast
Where: 9th Cross Road, Malleshwaram
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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.