We don’t know what this says about our friends, but we’ve come to realise that we now know too many people who’d rather drive out to Kempegowda International Airport for their weekend evening jollies than crawl along Indiranagar 12th Main for yet another Saturday night.
Intrigued, we asked them what they found appealing about a route more commonly associated with travellers’ tears. Answer: the song of the open road on commute-free weekends, and the promise of good grub. Here, in increasing distance from Mekhri Circle, is a guide to your stops on a late-night drive out. PS. If you are stuck in traffic and late for a flight, this may just be the comfort you need.
The Druid Garden: On the other side of Mekhri Circle, find North Bangalore’s only brewery. It isn’t known for its food, sadly, but park here to tank up on caramel-flavoured Hefweizen and enjoy a vast, breezy terrace.
40/1, 3rd floor, Century Corbel, Sahakara Nagar. Open all days till 12 am except Mondays. 23 kms before the airport.
Jus’ Trufs: These Jakkur chocolatiers have long been known for their truffles and Belgian dark chocolate praline, but recently expanded their menu to include burgers and -- for pillion-riders and passengers -- a big wine list. On weekends, expect surprisingly good stand-up acts and theatrical performances that aren’t just an afterthought.
#9, Jakkur main road, Jakkur. Open till 11 pm. 23 kms before KIA.
Jakkur Flying Club: Get out of your car, strap yourself into a jeep and feel the wind in your hair at this field. Horizon Adventures offers weekend parasailing and paragliding sessions, allowing you to take off within city limits. Former Airforce officer and chief instructor Nanda Prasad tells us that your reporting time, ideally, should be 6 am.
Jakkur Aerodrome, Yelahanka Post, a five minute flight will cost approximately Rs 600 per person. Call 9844406333 for more and to book a session. 21 kms before KIA.
Bhagini Grand: Just ahead of the airport is this family restaurant and bar full of engineering students. Don’t let that deter you: the cold beer goes well with a mutton biryani with exceptionally tender chunks of meat, and an expansive view of KIA’s lights in the distance.
Hunasamanranahalli, opposite Gaut School, International Airport. Fifteen minutes before the airport.
Jade Garden: Check in to this resort for a shower, a soft bed, a mile-long buffet and an amazing pool to cool off in. Drive-by warning: this is a favourite ‘overnight’ destination, so expect to run into staycationers, bachelorette revellers and other long-drive aficionados. This resort and villa property has everything you need for a weekend away.
Sadehalli Village, opposite McDonald’s, Devanahalli Taluk, call 08040703703 for bookings. 9 kms before the airport.
We weren’t sure if this was an urban legend, but in our hunt for the truth and a midnight snack, there he was, parked on the service road anxiously looking around for the cops to arrive & shoo him away.
NH7 Refuel: As the name suggests, Refuel is where the city’s super bikers head to take selfies on their #weekendrides. This cross between a dhaba and café is recommended for frothy cold coffees and rich sweetened lassi to fuel your drive back.
142/7 NH7 Highway, Kasaba Hobli, Devanahalli. 15 km after the airport toll booth. Open from 7 am to midnight.
Maruti Van Roll Guy: We weren’t sure if this was an urban legend, but in our hunt for the truth and a midnight snack, there he was, parked on the service road anxiously looking around for the cops to arrive and shoo him away. His limited menu includes instant noodles, egg and chicken rolls, biscuits and tea. He’s usually parked near the toll booth and shifts positions along the road to avoid the cops. We can’t promise you’ll find him but we can tell you that his simple egg roll is everything you’d like a midnight snack to be.
Look for white Maruti Van parked on the service lane with his boot open, Devanahalli.
Café 77 East: The new Taj opposite KIA is often written off as a convention venue for out-of-towners, but what we discovered here is that it’s also date-night central for twenty-something lovebirds, who may reliably be found in droves holding hands and drinking from the same milkshakes at their 24-hour coffee shop. If you just missed your flight, or got out of a bumpy one, allow us to direct your attention to a very full bar.
Taj Bangalore, opposite KIA, International Airport, Devanahalli.
Café Noir: Not to show off, but KIA happens to have the only departure area of any Indian airport we know of with seriously good food. This little outpost of the UB City Noir does luscious quiches. While the city’s swank bakeries slumber until 11 am, come here to greet the morning with a French press and Paris-Brest pastry to keep you company.
KIA, International Airport, Devanahalli. Open 24 hours.
Maiyas: Why must a 24-hour darshini only exist at the airport? Even as we gnash our teeth at the cruelty, we’re grateful that there’s a place for 3 am puliogere somewhere around the city. This outlet isn’t everything you expect from a Maiyas, but the upside is that it has the smallest queue of any branch we know.
KIA, International Airport. Open 24 hours.
Puro Gusto: The gourmet meals are fine, but the premium Italian coffee is the real deal here -- we’re not sure why this international chain chose to open its first Indian outlet at an airport, but we’ll take it.
Domestic Terminal 2, KIA, Devanahalli. Open 24 hours.
Hatti Kaapi: A little earthen tumbler of frothy filter coffee is the perfect pick-me-up for your drive back to the city. It’s smartly positioned just outside the arrivals terminal, and is the only thing you need to restore your faith that love, chicory-flavoured, is actually all around.
Arrivals, KIA, International Airport, Devanahalli. Open 24 hours.
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