The great thing about dining out in Bangalore is that delicious food is available from regions all over India. From regional Karnataka cuisine to nostalgic dishes served in unique settings, these restaurants feature the best the city has to offer when it comes from its native cuisine. Tantalize your taste buds at these top iconic Bangalore restaurants during your trip.
Oota is the result of two chefs traveling 20,000 kilometers over 100 days across 10 regions in Karnataka to research the state's culinary heritage. The restaurant—whose name is derived from the customary Kannada greeting "Oota aita?" ("Have you eaten?")—serves up Karnataka on a platter.
On the vast menu, you'll find both little-known and popular dishes from South Karnataka, the Canara coast, the Western Ghats, the Deccan tract of North Karnataka, and the borderlands of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. Many recipes come from local communities and have been handed down over generations.
Oota is open daily from noon to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and from 7 to 11:30 p.m. for dinner. The signature menus feature a bit of everything from the Karnataka region, and since each dish is thoroughly researched for authenticity, you can't really go wrong with any selection.
Seafood lovers make it a point to come to Karavalli, where the specialty is coastal Indian cuisine served on a banana leaf. Located inside the Gateway Hotel in Bangalore, the restaurant is decorated in the style of a traditional local house with high wooden ceilings and a variety of antique furniture and seafarers maps. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed inside, and outdoor dining is also a treat in the open-air courtyard and garden.
Karavalli is open from 12:30 to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 7 to 11:30 for dinner daily. The menu has been curated from more than 20 years of extensive research into the coastal regions of southwest India by the resident chefs and features both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies from across the country.
Elegant Dakshin is the ITC Hotel chain's signature south Indian fine dining restaurant. Its menu consists of a diverse array of home-style dishes sourced from traditional communities in each south Indian state. Dakshin is also renowned for its Iyer's Trolley, filled with an appetizing assortment of adais, banana dosais, and kunni paniyaram, and the fresh chutneys are a highlight as well.
Dakshin serves lunch from 12:30 to 2:45 p.m. and dinner from 7 to 11:45 daily. Diners are serenaded by soulful live classical Indian music to complete the experience, but children below 12 years of age are not permitted. Guests generally recommend ordering the thali dish, which has a mouthwatering mix of food from all the southern states.
Commonly referred to as MTR, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms has been dishing up fuss-free vegetarian south Indian cuisine since 1924. It's the oldest idli dosa place in Bangalore, and this legendary restaurant's main claim to fame is that it invented the rava idli during World War II when rice was scarce. History, not ambiance, is what's important there.
MTR is open from Tuesdays through Sundays year-round. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 11 a.m. and the restaurant reopens from 12:30 to 9 p.m. to serve snacks and dinner. No matter what time you visit, expect to wait to be seated since this popular vegetarian restaurant usually fills up with diners as soon as it opens.
Vidyarthi Bhavan originally opened as a canteen for the young student community of Basavanagudi, Bengaluru in 1943 but became a cultural center of the neighborhood, attracting a regular clientele of writers, artists, and film stars from around the world. These days, foodies of all ages flock there to try nostalgic dishes like the masala dosa, which has a unique flavor you won't find anywhere else in town.
Vidyarthi Bhavan is open Monday through Thursday from 6:30. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from 6:30 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 8 p.m. This family-owned restaurant gets quite crowded during the week, so you may have to share a table with a stranger.
Located in central Bangalore, Tandoor Restaurant has been in business for decades. While it may be nondescript on the outside, it has the grand ambiance of an old haveli (mansion) on the inside—complete with chandeliers and beautiful murals painted on its walls. The kitchen has large glass windows, providing an interesting view of the tandoor and chefs at work.
Tandoor Restaurant is open daily from noon to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and from 7 to 11:30 for dinner. For some of the best Punjabi flavors around, try the tandoori platter, which features an assortment of kebabs and classic tandoori chicken.
For a fully authentic Indian dining experience, step inside Samarkand on Infantry Road in Central Bangalore. This unique restaurant offers sumptuous cuisine from the Afghani frontier, served by waiters dressed in traditional garb. Diners make their selection from menu cards in the form of a local newspaper and can watch the food being cooked in the open kitchen.
Samarkan is open for lunch from noon to 3:30 p.m. and for dinner from 7 to 11 daily. Reservations are recommended—especially during the weekends—since this restaurant is centrally located and extremely popular for both lunch and dinner. Guests generally recommend ordering the dum-style biryani, particularly the Gosht Ki Dum Biryani.
If you like spicy food, you'll love Nagarjuna. Located on Residency Road in Central Bangalore, this restaurant was started in 1984 by a humble man from the "rice bowl" of Andhra Pradesh with a passion for food. The menu is basic yet delectable, featuring treats like the unlimited veg meal as well as fiery chicken Sholay kebabs and mutton biryani. Nagarjuna is open daily from noon to 3:45 p.m. for lunch and for dinner from 7 to 10:45 p.
Koshy's is another much-loved Bangalore dining institution that's withstood the test of time. It's a simple place with consistently good food that has been open since before the British left the country. Head for the newer, air-conditioned "Jewel Box" if you're after a fancier menu with a few exclusive options; however, the more laidback section is what attracts the diverse crowd.
Koshy's is open for breakfast, leisurely Sunday brunches, high teas, and drinking from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. While you're there, be sure to try the fish Pakauda and Koshy's special chicken curries.
The opulent Jamavar opened in 2001 and has been voted by Forbes as one of the top 10 power dining restaurants in the world. Step into a lavish interior of chandeliers, silk, silver cutlery, and elegant handcrafted wooden furniture and sit down for a meal unlike any other on this list. The restaurant offers a culinary voyage spanning the length of India—such as the signature Spiced Lobster Neeruli dish—accompanied by the finest choice in single malts, liqueurs, and Cognac. Outdoor seating is also available, along with romantic candlelit dinners, which are served daily from 7 to 11:45 p.m.