Brahmins Coffee Bar – Single Idly, Unlimited Chutney

16 Jun

The place must be about 20 feet long and less than 10 feet wide. The fare, Idly, Vade, Kharabhath, Kesaribhath, and Coffee. That is it !!

Brahmins as it is known among locals has been around for ages. In fact Radhakrishna Adiga who runs the place now has been behind the counter ever since he grew taller than the counter. What hits you at Brahmins is the simplicity of their menu. Over the years restaurants have sprung up all around offering all kinds of alternatives. Brahmins has stuck to its traditional “5 item” offering.

The idly comes with watery chutney all over it. There is no sambar. The Kharabhath has just the right amount of “stickiness” (if thats the term that can be used)… and for those of us who want to ignore diet restrictions there is benne (butter) that he will put on the idlies for a small extra charge. Coffee is still served piping hot in a glass tumbler. You have to have Kharabhath and cofee together (makes a great combination).

For me Brahmins is a throwback to the old times, starting with when we were in high school, through college and of course the present. Only the prices have changed. Used to be 10 paisa for an idly in 1976… unlimited chutney of course.

Its only recently that Brahmins introduced a token system. Until then Radhi would look at you and tell you exactly what you ate and how much you owed… regardless of how crowded the place was he could reel off what each party had. Sources tell me that they introduced the token system when a few enterprising souls started disappearing without paying their bills.


43 Responses to “Brahmins Coffee Bar – Single Idly, Unlimited Chutney”

  1. Ambar Hegde June 16, 2006 at 6:07 am #

    where is this place?

  2. Vijay June 16, 2006 at 6:11 am #

    Sorry.. should have made that clear…

    Brahmins is on Ranga Rao Road near Shankar Mutt (Basavangudi). If you are coming from Lal Bagh West Gate… take the National College Flyover and take a right on Ranga Rao Road. Ask anyone there…

  3. Aditya June 16, 2006 at 3:10 pm #

    We used to go as a group of anywhere from 4-15 people from college in the 90s. As you say the owner always got the bill exactly right, and he did all the arithmetic in his head. None of this token business. Too bad that this tiny and charming idiosyncrasy of Brahmins is no more.

  4. BNB June 18, 2006 at 12:39 pm #

    Hey, it’s closed on Sundays. I will try my luck some other time.

  5. rk June 20, 2006 at 8:57 am #

    was yummy reading this post. have visited the place quite a few times with my friends and relatives. love the chutney. infact, i eat chutney with idli. u might know veena stores in malleswaram. he too had this problem of clients disappearing after eating and not paying the bills. introduced the token system. didn’t work out. back to oral calculations.
    have written about the place in my blog. do visit :

    also written about CTR doses. you can read it here.

  6. Desi June 28, 2006 at 5:45 am #

    Yeah, nobody can beat Brahmin’s coffee bar, now I that live far from that place, I visit it’s replica in JP nagar, shankaranarayana refreshments, popularly known as ‘bhattra hotlu’.

    If you live in and around, there is no way you would go to other hotels to eat idli-vade/dose/uppittu.

  7. BNB July 1, 2006 at 4:18 am #

    Hey, I wanted to thank you for the tip about Brahmin’s Cafe. I went there today and last week as well. I kind of got emotional – for me, it’s a throw back to a different world altogether, a gentler civilised time where great cooking is a passion. The very politically incorrect ‘Brahmin’s Coffee Bar’ name, the refusal to get involved in any non-south indian food, and as you mentioned the correct level of stickiness in the chow-chow bath all point to a great insitution.

  8. Vijay July 1, 2006 at 4:24 am #


    Glad you enjoyed it. It can get addictive 🙂 . Try out CTR in Malleshwaram as well.. RK whose comments you see just above yours has written about it. In fact he hosted me at CTR last weekend (I had posted a comment on his blog). Good benne masale.. and yes great South Indian caapi

  9. BNB July 3, 2006 at 2:01 pm #

    Done. Went to that hotel opposite to the playground in Malleswaram. There was a big board in Kannada and it said CTR in smaller letters. Hope that’s the one – otherwise I have made a new discovery ;-). The Dosa and Coffee were spectacular. I literally drank the Chutney. Not sure if I can make it there frequently – it’s quite far from Koramangala. thx.

  10. rk July 5, 2006 at 11:49 am #

    Dear BNB, As I have written in my post, CTR chutney is obviously the fruit of years of experience! And like you, even I drink it and waste not a drop!

  11. mouna October 31, 2006 at 3:27 pm #

    oh! shankar mutt, for their unlimited chutney, idlies with a pat of butter. Kharabath yummy! Should visit the place sometime, it’s been pretty long, my mouth has started watering already!!

  12. Vijay October 31, 2006 at 4:24 pm #

    Definitely worth a visit … go for it… if not we will have to “parcel” stuff to you 🙂

  13. nalini rao September 17, 2007 at 5:47 pm #


    It sounds mouth watering-this place near Shankar Mutt – I must try it when i’m there next. My regular is of course Vidyarthi Bhavan although the quality of his masala dosa has dropped considerably. But for people like me in Delhi where getting 1 plate idli and a masala dosa costs about 100 bucks and that too thinno hage irolla, its OK.
    Shall definitely visit – hopefully in 2008

  14. Vijay September 18, 2007 at 3:31 am #

    @nalini… VB is my favorite as well… a full breakfast for 2 still costs Rs. 50+ (including kaapi)…. 100 bucks is criminal for idly and dose’

    • My3 November 16, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      VB is a favorite of my children especially the younger one. The older one is a die-hard MTR fan.

  15. raja b s September 29, 2007 at 11:10 am #

    taste is the same since from several years quality and quntity when compared to rate what a cheap early morning along with a cup of coffee a day starts a well after walking

  16. Seshagiri Sondur October 23, 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    Guys, I am literally in tears…Being outside India, I am missing all this so much…Especially Brahmins….the way they say “Ondhu doubbal barli, douballu”…I bet no1 can beat their chutny as well…Surprised no one mentioned about Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Prasanna (SLV)! Equally good I would say – although the ones at Ramkrishna Ashrama & opp BMS College have gone down in quality, but the one in BSK II Stage, near BDA complex is a carbon copy of Brahmins…Dont miss it guys!

  17. Vijay October 23, 2007 at 2:31 pm #

    Seshagiri: I live very close to the SLV in BSK and eat there at least 2-3 times a week … You are right the Idly there is great as well.. I hope I bought more tears 😉 …

    By the way the same SLV guy has one in Padmanabhanagar and another one in BSK 2nd stage (with seating etc)… Unfortunately the BMS one has gone down…

  18. Seshagiri October 25, 2007 at 11:05 am #

    Vijay – Yes, u have managed to that! And you are one lucky fellow. In fact when I am in Bangalore, I keep roaming around there..Bcos, my “athe mane” is closeby…

    Yes, the BMS one has gone down after they tried to “modernise” it…

  19. Reemas May 31, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    Guys! Nothing like lunch in Chalukya, of course a long time back – missing it sooo much.


  20. Bala June 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    I went there today (7-Jun-2008) expecting great food. Had 1 Idli and 1 Vada along with the chutney. I didn’t find it special and it was really very average.
    Also the price was very high (Rs. 10 for Vada and Rs 5 for one idli). The owners are minting a lot of money just by providing average food. Please don’t get deceived there. Its not worth it.

  21. Vijay June 12, 2008 at 4:26 am #

    @Bala: Its been a while since I went there… disappointed to hear that.. will go check it out.. I know the owner well so I WILL give him a feedback

  22. MY3 July 18, 2008 at 4:42 am #

    Vijay: Please increase food posts ;-). I will be in Bangalore for another few days. The idlis and vades are just awesome in Brahmins!!!!

    We also tried the akki roti at Anand Adyar Bhavan at the beginning of GB Main Road. Was not too impressed, though I must say their holiges were pretty good. Can you please post a list of places in that area.

    Also, visited Cane-O-La. The sugarcane juice is sweet and looks so clean coming right out of the refrigerators on their Bull Temple location.

    Also attended a music program with dinner at the Kamat Jolad Roti. WOW!! What thin rotis and finger licking yummy brinjal sabji. I am running out of synonyms for awesome 🙂

  23. Vijay July 18, 2008 at 4:45 am #

    @My3: GO TO FOOD STREET VV Puram

  24. Vijay July 18, 2008 at 4:57 am #

    @My3: Your email ID bounces.. or I can send you email with a list of places….

    • Ajay December 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

      dear vijay be kind enuf to send me the list of best south indian fare. it will come handy when i visit b’luru next………….

      which will be soon enuf.

      • My3 December 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

        Ajay: Your best bet is to continue reading this blog. If you do a search for Vidyarthi Bhavan you will come up with a list of favorite places of the blog readers! You can be in any part of Bangalore and I trust that you can come up with a good place to eat.

  25. MY3 July 18, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    Hmmm… comcast giving trouble again I guess. try this new one

  26. SANayak April 16, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Vijay : “Where is CTR?”.

  27. Vijay April 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    @SANayak: 7th Cross Malleswaram..near Malleswaram field and Mall Club..ask anyone there

  28. prajjwal rao October 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    i know one replica of bcb-that is -shankarnarayana refreshment.this hotel is in j.p.nagar 2nd phase near rangashankara.not many know this hotel,but once you visit it i bet you would wnt to visit a hundred more times…..

    • Vijay October 24, 2009 at 3:15 am #

      @Prajwal..yes I have been there..its very good. Last time I went there was on a sunday and was very crowded..dose got over..need to go on a weekday perhaps when theres relatively less crowd..

  29. Ajay December 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I fully agree, I happend to visit B’luru last week & visited BCB. no words can describe the taste.
    must visit for south indian food lovers.

  30. Abhishek May 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    This has been a very special place for me since childhood and now also whenever i get a chance or go through this location i make it a point to tank it up at this station… moreover the commitment they have to their service is just wow howmuchever the crowd may be they wont make us wait plus steaming hot and never to forget unlimited chutney which is the best part of it.

  31. Anand Vaikar May 27, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Friends,

    I stay in Marathahalli and would like to visit “Brahmins”. I know how to get to Ashrama, in Basavanagudi. Could anyone please guide me how to reach “Brahmins” from there?


    • Vijay May 27, 2012 at 5:59 am #

      Anand, I presume you mean Ramakrishna Ashram..just proceed along that road towards Uma theater…you will then see Maratha hostel on your right, take a right immediately will see Brahmins on your right hand side, its less than a 100 meters..if you see Jnanodaya school on your right or Uma theater, you’ve gone too far…

      • Anand Vaikar May 27, 2012 at 6:10 am #

        Vijay, really appreciate your quick response. Yes, I meant the Ramakrishna Ashrama. I have also been to Uma theatre there and looks like it would be easy to find. Thanks for the info.

      • Vijay May 27, 2012 at 6:12 am #

        You are welcome…also check out a group on FB called GaadiGourmet…

  32. Anand Vaikar May 27, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Vijay, just one more info. Will it be open on Sundays? Thanks in advance.

    • Vijay May 27, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Its closed on Sundays…also closed everyday between noon and 3 pm…opens pretty early @ 6.30 am..

      Sent from my Nokia phone

  33. nikhil July 16, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    I love the chutney the watery one….i wonder how they make it I have never tasted such a chutney….anyone any idea how its made…please share the recipie with me…..😊


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    […] Competition – Brahmins Coffee Bar Tops In a Idly-Coffee competition held by Times of India, Brahmins Coffee Bar came out on top followed by Veena Stores in […]

  2. Explore Bangalore -1 « Vantage Point - September 14, 2008

    […] wonder this place is crowded! When I gave a search online, I found out about another place that is similar to this one. This one doesn’t seem to be too far away from SLV coffee […]

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