George Bernard Shaw aptly said, ‘There is no sincere love than the love of food!’
Bengaluru is famous for its eateries that come to life in the evenings serving varied savouries. Today, there are entire streets dedicated to food, including Thindi Beedi Street, also known as VV (Vishaweshvara) Puram’s food street, mainly selling vegetarian food, and Nagarthpet of old Bengaluru (Central Bengaluru). Located in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Bengaluru, the VV Puram is locally called ‘Khau Galli’ or ‘Shettara Beedi’.
Some of the special delicacies available there are buttery masala dosa, soft paddus, a variety of rotis (breads), including ragi rotis from Karnataka, rumali rotis, etc., a variety of bajjis (fritters)—dal vadas, chilli bajji and capsicum bajjis—dabeli, vada pav, hot carrot halwa, rasgulla, and chaat. Indo-Chinese innovations like the famous ‘Gobi Manchurian Roll’ is quite a seller among locals.
If you are in VV Puram, a visit to the historic VB Bakery is a must. Try their rose honey cake and khara Congress bun (KBC; a spicy bun cooked in butter and filled with crispy snacks), aloo bun, almond toffee, and so on. For sweet lovers, Shivanna’s Gulkhand Centre serves the best desserts. They serve the traditional gulkhand with butter, banana and fresh figs, nellikai juice or amla morabba.
The street comes to life during the annually hosted ‘Avarekai Mela’, in the winter months of December and January, famous for its dishes made of avarekai or hyacinth beans.
Other eateries worth mention are Shri Vasavi Chatnis, Arya Vysya Refreshment, Idli Mane, Dev Sagar, Mumbai Lassi Center, Ramu Tiffin Center and Sri Swamy Bhajji.
In the narrow lanes of Nagarathpet , on the other hand, the legendary Gundappa Hotel, now renamed Sri Ram Vilas is a sweet shop that started way back in 1933. ‘To this day, its snacks taste the same as they did 50 years ago,’ quotes The Hindu.
When in Nagarathpet, one must definitely try a few delicacies such as Bangarpet pani puri, jam butter bun, masala tender coconut water, dry-fruit shake, pudi bath, butter masala dosa, kesar milk, pav bhaji, dabelis, floating pani puri, vada pav, tawa pulav , ghevar, gulab jamun with ice cream and much more.
The area also has a well-known fruit and vegetable market, designed by a German architect, which is unfortunately facing a demolition threat by BBMP. Some of the eateries in Nagarathpet include Annapoorna Sweets and Chaats, known for its kadhi kachori; Shyam Mishra Juice Centre; Mayur Pan Mahal & Juice Centre, specializes in Bombay street food and known for its dabeli; Lakshmi Natraj Restaurant; Neel Kamal Sweets and so on.
Once known for its traditional delicacies, mainly South Indian cuisine and bakery items, both these food streets now also serve North Indian, Chinese and Rajasthani fares.