While growing up in a city as diverse as Bangalore, I learnt to figure out who I was as a person. A large part of this process was going out for meals with friends, acquaintances and family. Most of the quality time I’ve spent with close friends have either been in an old city establishment over chilled beer, or going out to new places to try food and snacks. I can’t speak for all my peers, but a lot of the people around me loved spending a weekend hopping through a string of bookstores, restaurants and bars.
Despite being a big part of social culture for me, I found myself gravitating towards familiar joints as I entered my late twenties. The new restaurants and pubs mushrooming all over Indiranagar and Koramangala ceased to appeal to me. Not to say that these newer pubs aren’t worth a visit. They just don’t work for me. While most of the newer establishments were trying to sell old wine in new bottles, I just wanted my old wine served in an uncharacteristic whiskey glass at my favourite Ujwal. Keeping up with trends in this fickle city is exhausting. Over the last few months, I’ve let myself fully appreciate the stunning places which assured me time and again that this city is home.
This endearing dive bar is on the top of my list for obvious reasons. It’s close to home, it serves killer onion pakoras, and has an eclectic mix of music playing all the time. They’ll suddenly switch from Dancing Queen by Abba to Kumar Sanu ballads, for instance. The menu is simple and has a delightful selection of booze and food alike. You can pair a glass of white wine with their Tender Coconut Chicken (they actually cook the marinated chicken INSIDE the coconut shell), or wash down their hot Onion Pakoda with a glass of Captain Morgan. They also offer a good selection of coastal food from Karnataka. If you ever find yourself averse to the idea of dressing up to go drinking, I highly recommend throwing on jeans and a t-shirt and making your way to this hearty establishment.
VV Puram Food Street
This has got to be one of my favourite ways to spend the evening in Bangalore. Walking through a street in search of sumptuous benne dosa, curd rings, gulkhand ice cream, chaat (yes, we add tons of grated carrots, and no, we don’t care), masala soda and rose milk is literally my idea of heaven. The carnival like atmosphere in food street begins at around 6pm on weekends. Remember to eat very quickly before you move on to the next dish. Make sure your final stop is stuffing your face with honey cake and apple cake (this is a close friend’s recommendation) at VB Bakery before making a happy beeline home.
I’m a self-proclaimed tea lover. I can drink litres of it on any given day, and not get tired of drinking it. At one point, two of my friends thought it would be a good idea to give me a large hamper full of tea for my birthday. It was a GREAT idea. I discovered Infinitea about five years ago when I was doing my internship at Time Out. It has since been my spot for warm conversations and catching up with old friends. I highly recommend trying the Afternoon Tea here (includes delicious scones) and vanilla flavoured oolong. Infinitea is perfect for spending the afternoon with tea and book.
Let’s face it – everyone loves pizza. It’s possibly one of the most popular comfort foods in the world. From authentic Neapolitan pizza to the abomination Pizza Hut calls Chhole (chickpea) Pizza, we’ve seen every variation possible. Including a fascinating $2,000 pizza I saw on YouTube recently. But what Onesta does with the pizza is pure magic. The restaurant serves unlimited pizza and dessert for anywhere between Rs 400 and Rs 800 per person. You can literally sit there and eat as many six inch thin crust pies of deliciousness as you want. My obsession with the place reached a point where I would meet friends there just so I could pig out. The biggest draw for me, however, is the giant show case of miniature dessert they let you pick from at the end (or even during!) your meal. The desserts range from not too sweet to instant diabetes. The selection of pizza is too vast for me to recommend specific ones – I’d probably recommend them all anyway. But when it comes to dessert here, don’t leave without trying their Tiramisu, White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Mousse and their Chocolate and Walnut Tart. Make sure you get someone to take you home safe after your meal, because you’ll be passing out as soon as you walk out the door. I guarantee it.
No amount of gushing about this microbrewery is enough. This is easily my favourite place to grab a beer when I’m feeling a little fancy. Their brews are always top notch and food exquisite in a weird way. Arbor has some of the best bar food I’ve ever tasted in town. Look out for the seasonal specials and remember to order a plate of Smothered Bacon Chili Fries and Fancy Potato Skins.
I love Glen’s for their value-for-money weekend breakfast. I also love their Lavelle Road location (What used to be Java City, my old college hangout) for the peaceful and quiet ambience that it offers on the morning of a hangover. I recommend choosing your breakfast spread well in advance – they take quite some time to prepare and serve the food. This giant breakfast will land in your belly with a thud.
Speaking of spreads…
Fine, I slipped in a fancy Indiranagar place. Black Rabbit’s Sunday Roast is a recent discovery, and one I can’t believe I’ve missed out for so long! To say their spread is exquisite, would be an understatement. The first time I pigged out here, I felt like Alice going down the rabbit hole. There were more items for each course than I could count. Thankfully, this is one brunch that does justice to vegetarian dishes. And if you’re of a more meaty disposition, DO try their roast turkey. The rest of the spread is a giant surprise you should experience on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Oh, and they’re even kind enough to open only at 1pm, giving you plenty of time to brush off your hangover and show up with an empty belly.