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A Hood Guide to Vasanthnagar: Old Bangalore's New Neighbourhood

    Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore

    Not quite the great CBD, nor the fancy Indiranagar, Vasanthnagar is old school and holds its own among the new areas of the city. You may not have always called it by its name but start to explore and you'll find that Palace Road, Cunningham Road, Millers Road all come under this fine district. So we took it upon ourselves to rediscover 560052. From palaces and art galleries to dessert parlours, wedding boutiques and fitness houses, there's plenty that this post code has to offer. And boy, are you in for a treat.

    [cbtabs][cbtab title="Food&Drinks"]

    No fuss, no show. Just good food, which ranges from tartes and quiches to kebabs and steaks, this little zone will make you a very happy camper. Oh, and dessert to turn on even those without a sweet tooth.

    Dolci

    Source: Dolci

    Their Six-Layered Chocolate Cake, Burnt Lemon Tart and Oreo Cheesecake are divine as are their freshly-baked artisanal breads. Plus point: Vegetarians need not feel left out. Everything is eggless here. Read more here.

    Where: Ali Asker Road, off Cunningham Road

    When: 10am-10pm

    Contact: 080 40977132

    Price: INR 40 upwards

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Pizza Stop

    Source: Pizza Express

    Dolci's sister-concern Pizza Stop {right next door} is a one-stop-shop for vegetarian, thin crust pizzas. Our favourite: their Mediterranean pizza.

    Where: Ali Asker Road, off Cunningham Road

    When: 10am-10pm

    Contact: 080 40977132

    Price: INR 40 upwards

    Infinitea

    Source: Infinitea

    We have already raved about their 'jeeling tea and scones here. Momos, Samosas and tea cakes, everything here is geared towards being complimentary to hot cups of tea.

    Where: 17/1, Ali Askar Road, Shah Sultan Complex, Cunningham Road

    When: 11am-11pm

    Contact: 080 41148810

    Price: INR 800 for two {approx.}

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Ujwal Restaurant and Bar

    Their pocket-friendly alcohol prices, spicy Mangalorean fare {Neer dosa, Crab Masala, Chicken Ghee Roast}, and their house-special: the Tender Coconut Chicken, spicy chicken kababs served inside a coconut shell.

    Where: 204/A, 4/2 Cross, Near Jain Hospital, Millers Road, Vasanth Nagar

    When: 11.30am-11.30pm

    Contact: 080 22350728

    Price: INR 800 with alcohol for two

    Miller's 46

    Source: Miller's 46

    A happy place for those who know the importance of good steaks, sauces and beer that goes with it, Miller's 46 has it all. From Beef Bourguignon and a simple fillet mignon, to Cheesy Chicken steak or even fish and tofu, you'll be spoiled for choice here. And don't get us even started on the starters and other offerings!

    Where: 46, Millers Road, Vasanth Nagar

    When: Noon-11.30pm

    Contact: 080 41131746

    Price: INR 1,200 for two

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Cafe at NGMA

    Source: Salini (Pick,Pack,Go)

    Hazelnut and Chocolate Sandwich {good old Nutella}, Aloo Paratha, Vada Pao, Kheema Pao, Omelettes and Akki rotis, you will be spoilt for choice at this tiny cafe that works out of the National Gallery of Modern Arts. Bonus points for the pretty ambience and lots of leg space {the seating is spread over a large area}.

    Where: Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road

    When: 10am-5pm (closed on Mondays and national holidays)

    Contact: 080 22342338

    Price: INR 20 per person

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Cafe at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore

    Banana bread, chocolate cake {by the slice}, samosas and endless cups of coffee form the regular, budget fare for students at this French cultural institute. Look out for live cooking demos by French chefs and cheese pops ups here.

    Where: Post Box 108, Thimmiah Road, Vasanthnagar

    When: Monday to Friday 9am-7pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday closed.

    Contact: 080 40808181

    Price: INR 50 upwards

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Desserted

    Source: Desserted

    Tucked away near Mount Carmel College, you’ll have to fight off young {and very feisty} college girls to get your share of piping hot cocoa, Lemon Tart or Red Velvet cake – their specials. We may kill for their Brownie Éclair, or Oreo Cream Cake or even their tea cakes, especially the Salted Caramel and Walnut Coffee ones.

    Where: No 42, 8th Main Road, Vasanth Nagar

    When: 9am-10pm

    Contact: 080 32567384

    Price: INR 50 upwards {approx}

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Pasta Street

    Source: Pasta Street

    Salads, bruschetta, and starters lead to pastas and thin crust pizzas here. Finish your meal with their range of iced and hot coffees or their inventory of New World wines.

    Where: 37/2, Chicago Avenue, opposite Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road

    When: 11am-11pm

    Contact: 080 40976578

    Price: INR 1,500 for two

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Maratha Darshan

    Source: Nirlek Dhulla

    Pick the Mutton Kaima Thali or the Mutton Fry Thali here, with a side of Mutton Liver. Apart from the meat dishes, the thalis are served with a bowl of rice, Ragi Mudde {a dough made of ragi flour and water}, and a bowl of Soppina Saaru {a thin spiced gravy with ground greens, onion, and tomato}. Read more here.

    Where: 4, Queens Road Cross

    When: Tuesday-Sunday, 12.30 pm-4 pm. Monday closed.

    Contact: +91 9902021970

    Price: INR 400 {approx.} for two

    Coffee Board Canteen

    This canteen is as old school as it gets. During week-day lunch hours you will have to fight for a seat with the rush of office goers in the Queens Road area. Idli, masala dosa, veg cutlets, and bread omelettes are stander issue orders here, just like other coffee houses. Finish off your meal with tumblers of filter coffee {sugar-free versions available too}.

    Where: 1 Coffee Board, Dr Ambedkar Veedi, off Queens Road

    Contact: 080 22201936

    Price: INR 150 for two

    Secret Garden Cafe

    Photo by: Tansha Vohra

    Home-style continental fare offered by two dear old ladies in a secret location off Cunningham Road. What more do you want? Read all about our adventure to reach the Secret Garden Cafe here.

    Where: 7/1, Edward Road, off Queen’s Road

    When: 12.30-4pm

    Contact: 080 49652917

    Price: INR 1,200 for two

    Image credit: Tansha Vohra

    Fat Buddha

    Source: Fat Buddha

    This restaurant is set in the driveway of a pretty house. Do choose the al fresco seating rather than indoors and tuck into a Seafood Winter Melon Soup or a Spicy Crabmeat Soup, followed by a Gado Gado salad, Indonesian Chicken Satay, Thai Chilli Chicken, or Garlic Steamed Prawns with their signature Nasi Goreng {an Indonesian spicy fried rice topped with a fried egg}. Specials include Okonomi Yaki, a Japanese thin crust, seafood pizza served with Japanese mayo.

    Where: 70, near Accenture Building, Vasanthnagar

    When: Noon-3.30pm & 6.30pm-11pm

    Contact: 080 41235139

    Price: INR 1,000 for two

    Shezan

    Greasy Chinese, Mughlai and Tandoor specials, competent steaks and wholesome, old fashioned burgers, Shezan has been doing this menu rather well for years {our parents could have been found here in their youth, sinking their teeth into beefy steaks}.

    Where: Shah Sultan Complex, Cunningham Road

    When: noon-3.30pm and 7-11pm

    Contact: 080 22287895

    Price: INR 1,200 for two

    Ta'aam

    Known for their Mutton Chops and their selection of kababs and tandoori dishes, Ta'aam also specialises in Arabic food. Don't bother looking at their Chinese menu, and instead dig into Laham Mandi {a fragrant rice and mutton dish}, Pepper Laham {mutton cooked with pepper and spices}, and Mutton Shalimar with a cashew-thickened gravy and Arabian spices.

    Where: 19/1, Queen's Road Cross, Munniswamy Road, Cunningham Road

    When: noon-4pm and 7-11pm

    Contact: +91 9845538234

    Price: INR 800 for two

    Windsor Pub

    Photo by: Tansha Vohra

    One of the city's favourite watering holes, Windsor Pub is known as much for its old world charm as it is for its fiery meat specials, seafood dishes and budget alcohol prices. And their Pandi Curry is stuff made of legends.

    Where: 7, Kodava Samaja Building, Vasanth Nagar

    When: noon-3pm and 6.30-11pm

    Contact: 080 41148006

    Price: INR 1,500 for two {approx.}

    Watson

    Old-school rock, proper pub grub {yes, curry with rice, fish and chips, pizzas and masala papad} and beer by the barrel, just throw on some jeans and chill out here. If you are expecting highfalutin, then please make a quick exit.

    Where:  7, 1st Floor, Kodava Samaj Building, 1st Main, Vasanth Nagar

    When: Sunday to Thursday, 11am-11pm and Friday to Saturday, 11am-1am

    Contact: +91 8861433661

    Price: INR 1,200 for two

    Find them on Facebook here.

    [/cbtab][cbtab title="Things to do"]

    Hardly the main attraction in the city, you may not find the greatest of sightseeing opportunities here, but sure as anything you'll be entertained. So go on, give them a chance, you'll find some hidden gems.

    NGMA

    We've already raved about this beautiful colonial mansion here, but obviously we cannot get enough of it. The art gallery houses painting by greats such as Raja Ravi Varma and Rabindranath Tagore while plenty of contemporary artists also find their way here. Plus, a few interesting film screenings at regular intervals or just drop by for the serene ambience and a cup of tea.

    Where: Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road

    When: 10am-5pm (closed on Mondays and national holidays)

    Contact: 080 22342338

    Price: INR 20 per person

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    The Nehru Planetarium

    Stargazing was never more fun in the city, because outside of the planetarium you rarely get to see the stars any more! Apart from galactic musings, art and displays, they have shows twice a day in varied languages to keep the astronomer in you happy. Read more about it here.

    Where: Bangalore Association for Science Education, T. Chowdiah Road, High Grounds, opposite Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain.

    When: 12.30pm and 4.30 pm {English shows}; 2.30pm and 3.30pm {Kannada}; additional shows on Sundays at 11.30am {Kannada} and 1.30pm {English}. Closed on Mondays.

    Prices: INR 35 for people above 16; INR 20 for students and children.

    Contact: 080 22266084

    Check out their website here.

    Parsi Temple

    Source: FrontLine

    While you really must not go traipsing into this place like a proper tourist, with reverence do appreciate the architecture of the Fire Temple, also called the Agiary. It's great to talk to those visiting the temple to learn of the intricacies of their faith. Skip across the street to The Lady Jehangir Kothari Memorial Hall for exhibitions or just to peer into the Navjote or wedding ceremonies of Parsi community.

    Where: 15, Queens Road

    When: 7am-8pm

    Contact: 080 22867488

    Indira Gandhi Dancing Fountain

    Commissioned in 1996 to beautify the city, this one dances and sings in synchrony all on its own! Scheduled shows are organised daily and last about half an hour each.

    Where: Raj Bhavan Road, opposite The Nehru Planetarium

    When: Daily at 7 pm and 8 pm. Mondays and second Tuesdays of the month are holidays.

    Check out their website here.

    [/cbtab][cbtab title="Lifestyle"]

    Fitness and rejuvenation: you will have access to both in and around Vasanthnagar.

    Spa.Ce The Spa

    Source: Spa.Ce the Spa

    Be it an actual treatment or a soothing massage, here's where tranquility meets luxury. Set in an old bungalow with marble flooring and old-school pillars, Balinese and Swedish massages are specialties here. Oh! We love that they organise Spa Parties for ladies too. The best kind of party, we say!

    Where: #70, Cunningham Road, opposite Embassy Woods

    When: 10am-8pm

    Contact: 080 41327526

    Price: INR 1,000 upwards

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Footworks

    Check in here for a foot, back or shoulder massage. Ideal if you don't have the time for a full-scale massage, you'll feel far more rejuvenated once you leave this lounge.

    Where: The Hatworks Boulevard, Opp.Cafe Coffee Day Lounge, 32, Cunningham Road

    When: 11am to 8pm.

    Contact: 080 41532266

    Price: INR 350 upwards

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    Namma Crossfit

    Source: Namma Crossfit

    Pump up the jam and then some iron, at this fitness space with a difference. Jumping onto the global phenomenon of CrossFit, this is the first centre in South India and eliminates machines in your workout. So build strength and power all on your own here with a different workout everyday {surely, you know WOD by now?}.

    Where: 35/2, 5th Floor, Cunningham Road

    When: Monday to Saturday, 6.30am-8.30pm

    Contact: +91 8884200984

    Price: INR 14,000 for three months

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here.

    [/cbtab][cbtab title="Shopping"]

    When it comes to shopping, Vasanthnagar may not offer much choice, but a few good boutiques will help you find everything from Kashmiri emporium goods to designer dresses and baby gear to wedding services.

    Taurus

    For some snazzy casual wear and a hint of party thrown in, this one is great for students both in terms of style and budget. While it favours women a bit more with shoes, dresses, tops, tees, and other accessories, men can find plenty of tees, trousers, belts, hats here too.

    Where: #37 , 8th Main Road , Vasanth Nagar

    When: Monday-Saturday, 10am-8.30pm

    Contact: +91 9845100311

    Price: INR 100 upwards

    Bombay Attic

    Source: Bombay Attic

    From classic to the outre, this boutique has something for every kind of lovely lady. We particularly love the blend of Indo-Western style and cuts in apparel as well as quirky jewellery which will turn heads for sure, no doubt.

    Where: The Hatworks Boulevard, Cunningham Road

    When: Monday-Saturday, 11am to 9.30pm

    Contact: +91 9620156797

    Price: INR 700 upwards

    Find them on Facebook here

    Asian Arts Emporium

    Source: Asian Arts Emporium

    You’ll get your share and more of art and handicraft form Kashmir here and we love that it is all traditional in terms of technique, design and colours. Think everything from Pashmina shawls and paper mache artefacts to massive statues and jewel carpets.

    Where: # 8, Cunningham Road

    When: 8.30am-9.15pm

    Contact: 080 22208963

    Check out their website here

    Blue Nile Stationery

    Tucked away inside West Minister Building, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store if you like Post-Its, coloured paper, pens and other fresh smelling diaries and note books.

    Where: G-204, West Minister Building, 13, Cunningham Road

    When: Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-7pm

    Contact: 080 22203270

    Price: INR 20 upwards

    La’kiru

    Source: La'kiru

    An exclusive lounge for all things wedding, this one creates, designs and crafts weddings: from the invitations to your outfits. Ladies, they’ll even sort out your trousseau in-house so you can just tag along for the fun!

    Where: Shop Number 32, The Hatworks Boulevard, Cunningham Road, Vasanthnagar

    When: 11am-8pm

    Contact: +91 9945000485

    Price: Price on request

    Find them on Facebook here.

    Check out their website here

    Just Born

    As the name suggests, babies take centrestage at this cutesy store. Filled with all kinds of necessities like feeding bottles, cribs, blankets and diapers, you’ll also get trendy outfits for the little bundles of joy and toys that’ll make you want to pretend you’re an infant!

    Where: # 9, Millers Road, Off Cunningham Road

    When: 10am-9pm

    Contact: 080 22258294

    Price: INR 100 upwards

    Check out their website here

    [/cbtab][/cbtabs]

    With inputs from Amrita Bose

    Featured image via: Gitika Saksena for Neralu

      Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore