Chef Manu Chandra's decision to locate his first solo venture - LUPA on MG Road reflects a new market dynamic in Bengaluru. The city's CBD in and around MG Road that also includes spots like Church Street is back in the mix. For the last few years upscale residential areas like Indira Nagar and Koramangala had upstaged the city's original food-and-beverage hotspot. Large format microbreweries needed more space and started moving further and further away from the city's original centre also creating new F&B zones along the way. Things seemed to have changed in a post-pandemic environment as we've moved to hybrid or work from office models. It's added to the buzz in the CBD with standout experiences like The Record Room and Boteco, all opening their doors in the past one year. We round up some of the best spots in and around MG Road:
8 Of The Best Restaurants In And Around MG Road, Bengaluru:
Bang on MG Road and in a location that is a throwback to the Bangalore (not Bengaluru) that some of us still miss. Manu Chandra's first solo restaurant venture takes its name from La Lupa (The legendary she-wolf) of Roman mythology. It's designed to recreate the warmth and casual vibe of a classic Italian trattoria. We like the gelato bar and the salumeria (the small plates bar) that dishes out cold cuts. This Italian restaurant is split into multiple spaces with distinct design and the menu is spot on.
Where: Barton Centre, MG Road
Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Japanese flavours come together in this swish dining space envisioned by the team behind popular Bengaluru restaurant brands like Lucky Chan. This rooftop restaurant and bar boasts of a chic design with white and gold accents. Located on St. Marks Road, Brassa also offers an eclectic blend of classic and new-age cocktails. Their bestsellers include tacos, grills and sushi. We'd recommend the parmesan churros and the rose tres leches cake.
Where: St Mark's Road
Chef Guto Souza's passion for his native cuisine was the starting point for the city's first authentic Brazilian bar and restaurant. Boteco captures the essence of a Brazilian watering hole with an emphasis on high quality and delicious food. It's one of the most vibrant dining spaces in the CBD with plenty of natural light and photogenic murals. Do try the deep-fried cassava and cheese croquettes, the lemon mousse and the mega meat platter.
Where: Magrath Road (Opposite Garuda Mall)
4. Bombay Borough:
It's a great setting - once a heritage bungalow and now progressive restobar that provides the perfect oasis for an impromptu office lunch or an after-hours catch up with your buddies. It's a fresh take on Indian cuisine, a modern vision with an explosion of hyper-local and regional flavours. We like the indoor section - a maze of artistic rooms with hand painted ceramic wall plates and modern art. We'd recommend the Kolhapuri Lamb Chops and the Mishti Doi Praline Cheesecake while you're here.
Where: Wood St, Ashok Nagar
5. Toast and Tonic, Bengaluru:
Chipboard walls, a grand bar with layers of pinewood and handcrafted light fittings come together to create a quintessential Manhattan vibe from the 1960s. The interiors are inspired largely by the free-thinking culture of Manhattan's East Village of the 60s. Their gin and tonics are legendary, the menu stays clear of stereotypes with an emphasis on locally sourced produce. We also approve of their Old Fashioned with a bacon-infused Bourbon. Regulars swear by their small plates like the Naga chicken wings.
Where: Wood Street, Ashok Nagar
This opulent, high-energy lounge features design elements that are woven around the Man, Medusa and Mermaid theme. The menu rounds up scrumptious dishes from Asian and South American cuisines with an innovative cooking style, highlighting gourmet seafood delicacies. Signatures include the Oriental lobster Tail, Suimai; we're also partial to their Miso Black Cod and the Miso Cheesecake with Miso Ice Cream. The cocktail menu showcases new-age mixology through a unique All Day Drinking Menu that progresses from brunch favourites to pre-dinner cocktails.
Where: 1 Sobha, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar
7. Olive Bar and Kitchen:
It's been over a decade since Olive set new benchmarks for standalone dining in Bengaluru with its authentic spin on Mediterranean cuisine in an idyllic setting. There are very few restaurants in Bengaluru that offer a distinct lunch and dinner experience. The open courtyard is perfect for a romantic dinner - flickering candles and soft lighting. There's a dedicated al-fresco bar area and a charming Tuscan-style kitchen for private chef-table dinners. The Harissa Prawn and the 8-hour lamb and the Wild Mushroom Ragu some of their bestsellers.
Where: Wood Street, Ashok Nagar
You're unlikely to find better dim-sums anywhere in Bengaluru. The Bengaluru outpost of this global chain retains the all-day Chinese dim-sum tea house positioning that has worked well for it all over the world. Located at one of the CBD's swish malls, Yautchua also offers a large selection of mains (try the Hong Kong-style rolled rice noodles) that complement popular dim-sums like the prawn har gau.
Where: 1 MG, Lido Mall, MG Road