Good old eateries of NAMMA BENGALOORU

5 Feb

Mukund Writes on VHS Chronicles: 

When two Bangaloreans settle down for snacks (favourite dosa, idli, vada or ambode) and by-two coffee, they don’t just share what is served. They share a cultural outlook. These hotels gave birth to many literary and cultural movements in the state.

Who doesn’t know Vidyarthi Bhavan in Gandhi Bazar, its crisp rava vade, masala dosa and by-two capi?
It was a great centre of intellectual debates, literary discussions, and a meeting place for the Who’s Who of Kannada literature and culture till recently. Giants like D.V. Gundappa to Masti, Girish Karnad to U.R. Ananthamurthy, Raj Kumar(Annavaru) to Shankar Nag, cricket legends E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S. Chandrashekhar to G.R. Vishwanath and IT czars like NRN, B V Jagadeesh were regular visitors to this small, low roofed, Mangalore-tiled hotel.

Brahmins Coffee Bar in Chamarajpet is the best place for idli and vada.
Dwaraka Hotel on Bull Temple Road was once synonymous with the finest khali dosa.
The magnificent ‘Victoria Hotel’ opposite Mayo hall made way for an ugly, multi-storey mall, five years back. The prime minister of England and a celebrated Bangalorean Winston Churchill was its regular visitor between 1890-1910. It was one of the most beautiful buildings in Bangalore.

If you live around Sajjan Rao circle and Minerva Circle, you are sure to be familiar with New Modern Hotel (NMH) famous for its dosa and plate oota (or what the northerners call a thali meal).NMH was once a meeting place for Kannada cinema stalwarts.

Janatha Hotel, which is just a few feet from NMH, is equally popular for its Idly vade.

VB Bakery at Sajjan Rao Circle is no longer a hot favourite of old Bangalore. Today’s yuppie crowd has no time or taste for old-fashioned bakery stuff! It was the cricketer Anil Kumble’s favourite haunt during his National College days.

Fort Lunch Home opposite the Bangalore Fort has now become a part of history.

Where do you go, if you want to taste an authentic Mysore meal on MG Road? Brindavana Hotel next to Sympony cinema is the obvious choice. This hotel, too, is on the way out.

Another old hotel serving an Udupi menu in neighbouring Ulsoor downed its shutters a month ago. Komal Hotel at the junction of Wheelers Road and Assaye road may live at best for another two or three years.

Big names like MTR, Janardhana Hotel, Udupi Krishna Bhavan, Sri Sagar (Malleswaram), Krishna Bhavan, Airlines Hotel, nearly 200-year-old Dewars Bar (known as Bangalore’s first bar !), road side eateries at Sajjan Rao circle and idli, dosa night hotels on Ibrahim Sahib street, many old hotels on the three-century-old Avenue road and historic India Coffee House on M.G. road also look like they are past their glory days, and are waiting to shut down.

Shall we now move to Cafe Coffee days, Darshinis, Pizza huts, Dominos, Chinese restaurants folks ?

[UPDATE]: Praneshachar points out some glaring omissions:  CTR, Veena Stores, Janata Hotel , all in Malleswaram. Acknowledged and updated.

See Also:

What the Hell Happened to Dwarka Hotel

Dwaraka Discovered

Vidyarthi Bhavan

Brahmins Coffee Bar


23 Responses to “Good old eateries of NAMMA BENGALOORU”

  1. Bnagalore Builders February 5, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    All this is a result of a major retail revolution which is taking place in India. A number of foreign retail brands have entered the Indian market with intention of taking over all the smaller brands who have been sustaining themselves in the market.

  2. | Balu | February 5, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Vijay, do I have permission to use this post for Blog Talk section in Bangalore Mirror ?

  3. Vijay February 5, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    @Balu: Sure thing… We are honored

  4. nalini rao February 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    mukund : yaakri hotte uristheera?!!! These are possibly the only only only things I still miss of Bengaluru. And ofcourse the weather. Esp this year Delhi winter has been and still is a nightmare.

    I am just hoping that many of these small eateries mentioned by you will last atleast my lifetime. Yaakendere, these days kids are anyway not too enamoured by these eats( although mine swears by the benne biscuit of VBB). As I write this I am sitting with an uglylooking truly tasteless samosa(for sheer lack of choice – illi yella 14 nimisha yenne vaasadinda marali banda thindigale sigodu like samosas, kachoris and those sick bread pakodas which I had not not even heard of when I lived in B’lore.

    Vidyarthi Bhavan was and still is my fav even though the quality of the dosas has declined slightly. AHA, aa rubbogundu hattira bench mele koothkondu thinnodu was a fab experience.

  5. | Balu | February 5, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    By the way the post was an eye – opener or should I say mouth opener! I stay around (in) Sajjan Rao circle and never heard of New Modern Hotel…. now I can prepare a food itinerary! 😀

  6. Vijay February 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm #

    @Nalini: Unfortunately some of the places are disappearing… There was a rumor about Vidyarthi Bhavan as well.. but fortunately one of the sons has apparently now taken over (returned from USA)… One of these days I intend to take a walk along Avenue road and check out some of the old eateries there…

    @Balu: Try it… Hopefully you have tried VV Puram food street and Shivanna’s Masale Soda…

  7. Ravi February 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    Vijay Sir, nim post nodi bayalli neeru bantu. Sajjan Rao circle was my regular jaunt when studying in BIT.

    I am eating a Subway burger even as I am reading your post 😦

  8. Harsha February 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Nice compilation!

    As you said, some are really at their edge of extinction or already have become glory of past. There is a need of awareness. Many still don’t know, there are good old eateries in Bangalore!

  9. Vijay February 6, 2008 at 1:16 am #

    @Ravi: lol.. by the way if it is of any consolation we now have Subway here as well and people flocking to it… (well not quite)… My brother studied at BIT as well and he spent a significant amount of his time exploring places like Brahmins Coffee Bar etc…

    @Harsha: Its tough to get to know this if you are new to Bengalooru… unless you are with a “Thindi Potha” local…

  10. BNB February 6, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    Why are you writing off Brindavan Hotel, M.G.Road ? Is it because of the metro rail activity close by ? I don’t think they are close enough – the hotel itself is set farther from the road. If the crowds that come there for lunch are any indication, then it’s a thriving business.

  11. Vijay February 6, 2008 at 4:38 am #

    @BNB: There have been rumors (which is why Mukund brings it up) that the owners of the place are considering lucrative offers to convert their land into “corporate” space… I hope this is not true…

  12. | Balu | February 6, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Food street yes.. i eat there atleast three times a week! 😛 masala soda hmmm thats next in the list!

  13. praneshachar February 6, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    all old eateries listed but CTR, Veena Stores, Janata Hotel in malleshwaram missing
    yella tindi potharige kudlikke bidalla nivu odistaidira nice post vijay and mukund
    have a nice day

  14. spandana February 7, 2008 at 5:11 am #

    in my brief stay in bangalore, i enjoyed the following places around the mg road area.
    – spandana

  15. Vijay February 7, 2008 at 5:14 am #

    @Spandana: Good ones.. most of them are Andhra style.. quite new as well..

  16. praneshachar February 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    thanks vijay for update and acknowledgement
    yen madodu i hesargalllide list apoorna anistu

  17. Which Main? What Cross? June 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Reared on home cooked meals and kababs and meats of the cant. area, I think I should make a trip to these places. thank you.

  18. Vijay June 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    @Which main?…. Please do go.. you will not regret 🙂

  19. My3 June 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Promises, Promises….
    We are all still waiting for the food write-up. At this rate I will send you my compilation soon 😉 Veggie ones for me please 😀
    heh heh heh!!!!!!!

  20. Vijay June 12, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    @My3: Sorry .. sorry… no time .. in the meantime pls send your preferred list 🙂

  21. Sahana November 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Reading this blog reminded of my days in good old Bengaluru! Always a sweet memory for me. This particular read in your blog has taken me back in time to my childhood, where there were umpteen trips to VB, NMH, MTR, Janata Hotel, VB Bakery, Iyengar’s Bakery and Gandhi Bazaar. Having lived in Basavanagudi, these were our regular haunts. I live in the US and treats like this are not seen. There is no place like Bengaluru for food! Thanks for this!!!

    • Vijay November 21, 2010 at 7:44 am #

      Sahana..glad to take you down memory lane…thanks for visiting…

      Sent from my Mobile Device

  22. Anand Lakshminarsu June 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Dwaraka of Bull Temple Road( Gooligudi Raste!) is now in Narasimharaja Colony(hardly a km away).Ragahvendraprassana on Gundopanth Road (behind KR Market) is another hotel of the yore still serving old Bangalore style Iddli , Poori Sagu , Ravebele bath and the finest filter coffee.Vishnu Bhawan(Kempegowda Theatre) alas has converted to a darshini and nothing much great(I miss the Bread toast masale).Besides those listed in the article thank god for some mercies,UKB,Janardhana,CTR(Malleswaram),NKB(Malleswaram) ,Prakash Cafe still dish out great stuff.I love Bangalore.

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