If you are remotely familiar with the food scene in Bangalore, you’d know that the endeavor mentioned in the title of this piece is an utterly futile exercise. In a city where every roadside darshini serves some lip-smacking dosas and where every resident has his/her own favorite place to partake of this delight, trying to find the joints that serve the ‘best’ dosas is fraught with risks. At best you would not agree with me and send a few choice curses my way, at worst you will probably douse me with a few bowls of steaming sambar and then banish me from this lovely city.
So, with the caveat that this is a very subjective list, based on my own brief stay in, and follow-up trips to, the city, aided by many (many!) helpful suggestions from friends (and people I didn’t even know), here’s a list of the 10 (a hopelessly small number, I know) best dosa places in Bangalore. This is in no particular order of goodness – we’ll cover 5 of the eateries here, and 5 in the next post. Remember, no meal mentioned here is complete unless followed by a tumbler or two of filter kaapi.
Vidyarthi Bhavan, Basavangudi – Much before I first visited the place myself, I had heard legends of its ghee-soaked dosas from my office seniors when I first started working in Bangalore. If they were in a particularly good mood in the morning, I could say that they had made an early detour to this no-frills place in the temple locality of Gandhi Bazaar. Their Sagu Masale Dose is a steal at INR 45, and you might need to opt for their Carry Bag (Medium or Big) that also finds mention on their menu. Come here for the food and the lightning fast service, get art and history lessons as well – the eatery’s walls are decorated with pencil sketches of Bangalore’s famous personalities.
Address: 32, Gandhi Bazaar, Near Gandhi Bazaar Circle, Basavanagudi
Timings: 6:30 AM to 12 Noon, 2:00 PM (2:30 on weekends) to 8 PM, Friday closed
Hotel Dwarka, NR Colony – Move about a km further to the south to this place renowned for its ‘Kali’ Dosas (no masala) served with a pat of butter. Old Bangaloreans might say that the quality at this self-service eatery, earlier located at Bull Temple Road, has come down, but you won’t be hearing them say it as you would be lost in the goodness of these dosas.
Address: 15 Katte Balaga Raod, NR Colony, Basavanagudi
Timings: 7 AM to 12:30 PM, 3:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Maiyas, Jayanagar – 2.5 km south-east is Maiyas, which is supposed to serve the best Benne (butter) Dosa in the city – it uses about 25 grams of the purest stuff in one dosa. This place is also great for a wholesome thali, some authentic South Kanara food and the wide spread of sweets, including the Chandrahara that is served only on Sundays. You get the Benne Dosa only till 8:30 am (which I missed) and it offers a really good Thuppa (ghee) Dosa after that (which I didn’t).
Address: 459/30, 30th Cross, 4th Block, Jayanagar
Timings: 7 AM to 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Monday closed
Sree Krishna Kafe, Koramangala – About 7 km further east is the place that any lover of good vegetarian food in Koramangala will swear by. The king of the menu here is the Podi Dosa, the name referring to the orange-ish spicy powder sprinkled generously on the dosa’s inside, giving it a very nice punch.
Address: 5th Main, Near Muni Reddy Kalyana Mantap, Koramangala 5th Block
Timings: 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM, 12 Noon to 3:15 PM, 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Indian Coffee House, Church Street – 7 km or so to the north is this place that serves breakfast the whole day. Reopened here after the one at MG Road nearby was shut down, it lets you step into a different time altogether with curt service, simple décor and quaintly dressed waiters. The best thing here is the time you spend after shopping for books at Blossom and lovingly going over your loot, but the scrambled egg on toast and the coffee are pretty good too. The Masala Dosa (at just INR 40!) looks nothing special, but hits the right spot. Or maybe it’s just the books.
Address: 19, Ground Floor, Church Street
Timings: 8 AM to 8:30 PM
We are just halfway through our hunt for the best dosas of Bangalore, and continue our food trip with the remaining 5 dosa joints in part 2 of this post.
Featured Photo (Masala Dosa at Vidyarthi Bhavan) Courtesy Zomato.com