Compiled by Priyam Dave Gupta

What is 25 degrees most of the year, high on life, chilled out, and surrounded by food in and out? Hello Bengaluru!

The city speaks for itself- It has a distinct spark, a high level of enthusiasm. It’s not fast paced like Delhi, yet super lively.

One can never get bored in Bangalore. Even if there’s nothing to do on a weekend, sitting on the balcony and reading a book can be pure bliss, as this city is gifted with the most brilliant weather – it can be hot here, but the wind will always be your friend. After spending years in the extreme climate of Delhi, Bangalore’s consistent relationship with pleasant weather makes this city special.

FOOD & DRINKS

food

Sunny’s | What we especially love about Sunny’s is their super hit desserts, but even in terms of other food, this classic Bangalore restaurant doesn’t disappoint. It provides a tasteful and homely dining experience. A perfect Sunday lunch place.

Where | 34, Embassy Diamante, Vittal Mallya Road, Lavelle Road

Price | INR 1800 for two {approx.}

Toscano’s | If you’re looking for some divine Italian, Toscano’s is where you need to be. Their Whitefield restaurant has a European cafe style decor, with a luxurious wine collection which has the most exotic assorted wines. To top it off, their efficient and courteous staff will leave you super satisfied.

Where | Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Bangalore and UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, Lavelle Road

Price | INR 2000 for two {approx.}

100 Ft | Bangalore’s first boutique restaurant, 100 Ft is set in a white cottage and has an undoubtedly serene ambience. We hear the hummus and pita bread, and their tian of vegetables are to die for!

Where | 777/ I, 100 Feet Road, Opposite New Horizon School, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx.}

Chianti | Another haven for those seeking Italian gastronomical pleasure, Chianti is named after a small town in Italy which is famous for its wine. The restaurant definitely lives up to its namesake, and provides the quintessential Italian fine dining experience. P.s. we love the DIY bruschetta!

Where | 12, 5th A Block, Koramangala {multiple locations – Residency Road & Koramangala}

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx.}

Nagarjuna | Among the oldest chains in Bangalore, Nagarjuna is an out-and-out Andhra restaurant, with food served on banana leaves, and for all those seeking this cuisine, this restaurant will tick all your checkboxes. Their Andhra meal is the most sought after dish on their menu, but we have also heard great things about the chilly chicken and chicken 65.

Where | 195, Double Road, Indiranagar

Price | INR 350 for two {approx.}

Mavalli Tiffin Room {MTR} | The quintessence of good, affordable and authentic South Indian food, MTR’s idlis, dosas, sambhar, chutneys and filter coffee are a hit with people all over Bangalore, which explains why this joint is always packed. Visit Mavalli Tiffin Room for a delicious and mostly fattening South Indian meal.

Where | 100 Feet Road, Namma Metro Pillar 62, Opposite South Indies, Indiranagar {original outlet is the one on Lalbagh Road, started in 1924 – also multi location}

Price | INR 300 for two {approx}

Meghana Foods | Arguably the best biryani we’ve had in a while, Meghana Foods might not be top-notch on ambience, but their food makes them worth a visit. For the love of biryaniput this one on your list!

Where | 124, Near Jyothi Nivas College, 1st Cross, KHB Colony, 5th Block, Koramangala

Price | INR 350 for two {approx.}

Vidyarthi Bhavan | One of the oldest places {established in 1943} in Bangalore, Vidyarthi Bhavan was also frequented by our parents’ generation in their golden years. Stuck in time, they still have the best masala dosas in town.

Where | 32, Gandhi Bazaar, Near Gandhi Bazaar Circle, Basavanagudi

Price | INR 120 for two {approx}

Samarkand | Once a fan of North Indian food, always a fan. Luckily for all those who love their Mughlai, Samarkand offers just what you need, and while the prices are on the steep side, it is well worth it in our opinion.

Where | Gem Plaza, Infantry Road

Price | INR 1600 for two {approx.}

Banjara Melting Pot | The tasteful decor and warm lighting, along with the courteous staff at BMP, makes it an all-time favorite. They’ve been around for long, and  their menu is mostly North Indian, with a great seafood offering, but also features some South Indian dishes.

Where | G 117-118, Prestige Centre Point, Cunningham Road

Price | INR 1500 for two {approx.}

PAN ASIAN CUISINE |

Phobidden Fruit | With all the Vietnamese regulars like Pho, Kho and Cho on their menu, Phobidden Fruit makes for a nice break from the usual Chinese, and what we love about this tucked-away restaurant is their generous servings!

Where | 965, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx}

Benjaorong | Everyone needs their red curry and Khao Suey fix from time to time, and in Bangalore, Benjaorong gives you just the fix you need. While it’s a little steep, the excellent food, efficient service, and lovely interiors more than make up for it. Just a heads up – when they say a dish is spicy, it really is!

Where | 12/1, Ulsoor Road, Ulsoor

Price | INR 2000 for two {approx}

Yauatcha | This Michelin Star restaurant is known the world over for its dim sums {although they only serve 3 dim sums per serving}, and it’s essentially a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese teahouse. That said, they also have an extensive vegetarian menu, and the other Chinese dishes are delectable – definitely a must try!

Where | 1, MG Road Mall, MG Road

Price | INR 2000 for two {approx.}

Harima | Definitely among the top Japanese restaurants in Bangalore, Harima serves great and authentic cuisine. The soothing oriental music, wooden flooring and paper lanterns, along with an option to dine like the Japanese – all add to a great overall experience. We love their Sushi, and aside from the convential dishes, they have an excellent Roast Beef as well.

Where | 131, 4th Floor, Devatha Plaza, Residency Road

Price | INR 1800 for two {Approx.}

PARSI CUISINE |

Daddy’s Deli | The Parsis might be a small community, but the folks at Daddy’s Deli try their best to make sure they spread the Parsi love far and wide. The best Parsi food in Bangalore, the usual options are the Dhansak, Patra Ni Machchi, and Sali Boti. The owner, Zarine, is lovely, and has many interesting facts about her culture and cuisine!

Where | 594, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar

Price | INR 1000 for two {approx.}

PUBS AND BARS

bars

Monkey Bar | A gastropub that they claim is “anything but the usual”, it serves as a cozy and happy place to grab a few drinks and catch up, with good music in keeping with the ambience – all in all, a quintessential around-the-corner bar. They’ve recently started a spectacular weekend English breakfast as well.

Where | 14/1, Krishna Manare, Wood Street, Ashoknagar, Off Richmond Road

Price | INR 1500 for two {approx.}

Fenny’s Lounge and Kitchen | Divided into 4 sections – the bar with high chairs, tables near the DJ console, a terrace with a lovely view, and a relatively silent top floor with throw pillows for seating – Fenny’s caters to all kinds of moods, and their curious cocktails {with names like Vicky Donor} are sure to give you the buzz you’re looking for.

Where | 115, 3rd Floor, 7th Block, Opposte Raheja Arcade, Koramangala

Price | INR 1400 for two {approx.}

Toit | Another microbrewery in Bangalore, Toit has a great selection of home brewed beers to choose from. In addition to an electric atmosphere, some really great appetizers, delectable wood-fired pizzas, and a generally good crowd, they are also pet-friendly – 10/10! It’s super crowded on weekends, so we suggest you book in advance.

Where | 298, 100 Feet Road, Namma Metro Pillar 62, Indiranagar

Price | INR 1800 for two {approx.}

The 13th Floor | Go here for a breathtaking view of UB city, good food and cocktails, without putting a dent in your pocket. Albeit a limited menu, they have some pretty heavy discounts between 5 and 7:30 pm.

Where | 84, Barton Centre, MG Road

Price | INR 1400 for two {approx.}

Windsor Pub | If you’re looking at savouring the delicious combination that is South Indian food and alcohol, Windsor is where you need to be. Their prompt service, value for money, food and drinks and relaxed ambience make it a good place for a casual night out.

Where | 7, Kodava Samaja Building, 1st Main Road, Vasanthnagar, Near Cunningham Road

Price | INR 1000 for two {approx.}

CLUBS

Clubs

Skyye | Whatever part of India you live in, odds are you’ve heard of Skyye from someone or the other. Probably Bangalore’s most famous club, Skyye undoubtedly has an ambience second to none, with spectacular views of the entire city, contemporary music and white, lit floors. It’s definitely pricey, but provides an experience ungettable elsewhere.

Where | Uber Level, 16th Floor, UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, Lavelle Road

Price | INR 2000 for two {approx.}

I-Bar | Keeping it simple, I-Bar has great cocktails and good music, but the space is cozy at its best and cramped at its worst, and the dance floor can get quite packed over the weekend.

Where | The Park, 14/7, MG Road

Price | INR 2000 for two {approx.}

Ice | What makes this different from all the other clubs is its poolside setting, complete with beach chairs – when the dance floor gets too crowded, kicking your heels up and sipping on one of their particularly delicious cocktails {they claim they’re all given a secret twist} definitely makes for a good night.

Where | Vivanta by Taj, Lobby Level, MG Road

Price | INR 2500 for two {approx.}

CAFES

cafes

Koshy’s | The quaint and unique Koshy’s is one of those places that displays Bangalore’s character in all its glory – one of the oldest cafes in the city, it has stood the test of time, retaining its defining traits, while embracing the Gen Y. We love this cafe for its tea and ‘koffee’, finger food and Fish Fry.

Where | 39, St. Marks Road, MG Road Area

Price | INR 700 for two {approx.}

Rasta Cafe | Located at a considerable distance from Bangalore, Rasta is pretty much always full, owing to the lovely ambience {seating under trees}, wooden decor, sheesha {which isn’t available in the city}, and yum American breakfast.

Where | Beside HP Petrol Bunk, Mayaganahalli, Mysore Road {40 km from MG Road}

Price | INR 400 for two {approx.}

Cafe Noir | This cozy bistro has a super ambience, like most places in UB city, offers some nice French dishes, and it’s been brought to our notice that their hot chocolate is the best in town. That said, their service isn’t the most prompt.

Where | 2nd Floor, UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, Near Lavelle Road

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx.}

Truffles {Ice and Spice} | If you’ve been craving an American Cheeseburger, Truffles is where you need to be. Their entire menu is very affordable, making it the perfect combination – light on your pocket, and yummy in your tummy!

Where | 28, 4th ‘B’ Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala and St. Mark’s Road, Sanjay Nagar

Price | INR 600 for two {approx.}

Coffee On Canvas | We love free wi-fi, and this cozy, artsy rooftop cafe offers just that, along with a host of other fun things to do – including board games and vintage comics. The food – oh so delicious, yet reasonable.

Where | 84, ST Bed Layout, 4th Main, 4th Block, Koramangala

Price | INR 400 for two {approx.}

DESSERTS

desserts

Corner House | Read: ice cream haven. They have a diverse variety of sundaes, shakes, and icecreams, and if you’re planning on making a trip, try their ever so famous Death by Chocolate.

Where | 1st A Main, 7th Block, Koramangala

Price | INR 250 for two {approx.}

Berry’d Alive | For anyone who ever said they don’t fancy desserts, Berry’d Alive can change their mind in seconds. Dedicated completely to desserts, this adorable little cafe has something for everyone, and provides the ultimate dessert experience.

Where | 1079, 12th Main Road, HAL II Stage, Indiranagar

Price | INR 300 for two {approx.}

Krispy Kreme | We at LBBD love Krispy Kreme and have been dying for it to open in Delhi! Lucky for Bangalore folks, these heavenly donuts have found their way to this city.

Where | Church Street, Off Brigade

Price | INR 200 for two {approx.}

BREAKFAST

Hole in the Wall Cafe | Perfect for those infamous hungover binges {and otherwise}, this cafe looks like a house turned into an eatery, with small picture frames hanging on the walls and books stacked on racks. They have an extensive breakfast menu, but we hear their pancakes are the best in the city!

Where | 4, 8th Main Road, 4th Block, Koramangala

Price | INR 400 for two {approx.}

Cafe Terra | Omelettes, hash browns, waffles, lasagnas… Cafe Terra has a wonderful menu that’ll satiate all your morning cravings, but the only downside is their lack of space {only about 6-7 closely placed tables}. If you’re thinking of visiting on a weekend, ensure you make reservations.

Where | V3 Trinity, 1020, 1st Floor, 80 Feet Road, 1st Block, Koramangala

Price | INR 400 for two {approx.}

The Egg Factory | For all egg lovers out there, this is a dream come true – The Egg Factory is based on a unique concept, which entails that every dish that comes out of their kitchen is egg based! Should definitely match up to your egg-spectations!

Where | Ground Floor, Whitehouse, St. Mark’s Road, MG Road Area

Price | INR 500 for two {approx.}

STREET FOOD

No trip to anywhere is complete without a taste of its local street food. Here are the few things that you absolutely must try while in Bangalore |

ART & CULTURE

culture

GALLERIES

Tasveer Art Gallery

Where | 26, Kasturba Cross Rd, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar

National Gallery of Modern Art

Where | Manikyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road, Bangalore, KA, 560052,  Palace Rd, Vasanth Nagar

Kynykyny

Where | 104 Embassy Square, 148 Infantry Road, Above Ganjam Jewellers, Shivajinagar

Gallery Ske

Where | 2 Berlie Street, Langford Town

Time and Space

Where | 55 Lavelle Road

CULTURAL HUBS

Ranga Shankara | Arguably the best, and definitely the oldest theatre experience in Bangalore, Ranga Shankara is dedicated to showcasing theatrical performances from India and abroad, to producing and commissioning new theatre forms and productions, and facilitating outreach programmes to build audiences for theatre and to impart theatre skills.

Where | 36/2, 8th Cross, II Phase, JP Nagar

Jaaga | This extremely new age and contemporary venture seeks to nurture innovative endeavors by providing space, core infrastructure, and a diverse social environment. It was born in August 2009 from a desire to bring the arts and technology communities closer together.

Where | 68, Kengal Hanumantiah Road

Alliance Francaise | The much-loved Alliance Francaise extends its roots to Bangalore as well Acting like a veritable bridge between French, francophone and Indian cultures, it is also one of the largest cultural hubs owing to the plethora of exhibitions, festivals, movie screenings and talks hosted here.

Where | Thimmaiah Road, Opp.UNI Building, Vasanthnagar

MUSIC 

music

Counter Culture | Counter Culture is somewhat of a breath of fresh air from the usual resto-bars – they have a massive garden, and some of the best live gigs in town. For all the pet owners, this is one of the few places that will allow your furry friend in! Ideal for a relaxed night out.

Where | 2D2, 4th Cross, Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield Road

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx.}

The Humming Tree | The place to be if you’re a music enthusiast. The Humming Tree has a very cool and artsy decor, and hosts some great live performances. They have a DJ on Saturdays, and we recommend you make reservations as it tends to fill up quite fast.

Where | 3rd Floor, 12th Main, Indiranagar

Price | INR 1200 for two {approx.}

The Hard Rock Cafe | Just like pretty much every other HRC, the one in Bangalore doesn’t disappoint… it checks all our boxes – great music, a lovely ambience, delectable food, superb cocktails, and importantly, a good crowd!

Where | 40, St. Marks Road, Near Koshy’s, MG Road

Price | INR 1800 for two {approx.}

Windmills Craftworks | This quaint and serene jazz bar is located away from all the hustle-bustle that Bangalore can be, and provides for a soothing experience by virtue of the soft music, picturesque views, aesthetic interiors and very efficient service.

Where | 331, Road No. 5 B, EPIP, Next to KTPO, Whitefield

Price | INR 2500 for two {approx.}

SHOPPING

shopping

Blossoms | This incredible book store is spread over 3 floors, and houses old as well as new books – definitely a book lover’s paradise, it sums up the ultimate book shopping experience.

Where | 84/6, Opp. Amoeba Church Street

Raintree | This early 20th century house has been turned into a hip gift shop, fashion store and cafe, and is charming. It also includes a branch of the ubiquitous Anokhi!

Where | 4 Sankey Road

Shivaji Nagar | The Sarojini Nagar of Bangalore, walking around this street’s shopping venues will guarantee the discovery of the most unexpected things.

Commercial Street | The lanes and bylanes here have just about everything you want, from running fabrics, to laces and hats, crockery, chai glasss, cane furniture, antique shops, silver jewelry, stationery shops, flowers – you name it!

Plantation House | Located in the shopping complex at the Leela, Plantation House has great designs on cotton and airy fabric, and is one of the best looking stores in town.

Where | 23, Kodihalli, Old Airport Road

EXPLORE BANGALORE

It’s a garden city, after all.

explore

Cubbon Park | This 192 acre expanse is touted to be the most awesome Bangalore experience. Cubbon Park is a green belt in the heart of the city and hosts a library, museums, a tennis academy, an aquarium, a toy train and many statues and pavilions.

Where | Near High Court

Timings | 10am to 5pm; Entry | INR 15

Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens | Completed by Tipu Sultan, Lal Bagh has a famous glass house which hosts an annual flower show. It also houses India’s largest collection of tropical plants, has an aquarium and a lake, and is one of the main tourist attractions in Bangalore.

Where | Lal Bagh Road, Lalbagh, Mavalli

Timings | 6am to 7pm

Bannerghatta National Park | This 104.27 sq km national park consists mostly of dense forest, and provides a home to tigers, lions, bisons, leopards, wild boars, and acts as an important corridor for elephants migrating between the eastern and western ghats. It is also home to a crocodile farm, serpentarium and a butterfly park.

Where | Bannerghattta

Timings | 9am to 5pm except Tuesday; Entry | Depends on the package chosen

Manchanabele Dam | This lovely spot is about 60 km from the city, towards Mysore. About 10 km before the Dam is the famous big Banyan tree, which is 400 years old, and a single tree covers 3 acres! The Dam itself is a very picturesque spot, with a serene lake surrounded by hillocks – ideal for a morning visit.

Where | Magad, Ramanagara Road

DO

Bheemeshwari & Galibore Camps | Both of these beautiful camps are set by the Cauvery river, amidst mountains, and make for fantastic getaways. Apart from the natural abundance that exists here, you can also go rafting, fishing, trekking, angling, and the like.

Contact no.| 08022111401

Wonderla | Water slides, roller coasters, ferris wheels, the mighty Columbus – amusement parks are always so much fun, age irrespective, and Wonderla is among the most exciting water theme and amusement parks in the country.

Where | 28th K.M., Mysore Road, Hejjala

Timings | Weekdays: 11am to 6pm; Weekends: 11am to 7pm

*

About the author | A designer by profession and a keen observer at heart, Priyam Dave Gupta could spend her life sitting at the intersections of culture and being amused. She discovered Bangalore as a young design student & is rediscovering its magic as a newly married professional… She loves history, patterns, birds, and bangalore trees. Has a new found love for squirrels.

{Image courtesy: www.aioug.org}