Superbikes and remodeled sports cars whiz in and out of Airlines’ woody compound, where you will have to voice over the vrooms for the battre (waiter) to hear your order. Their kadak coffee with a thick head of foam is best paired with masala puri. Note: brush up on your parallel parking skills if you want to be a regular here. Between Lavelle Road and St Mark’s Road.
Stop by this no-fuss darshini for soft, tangy mosru (curd) vada and coffee while running errands in Jayanagar. Ashoka Pillar Road, Jayanagar.
For a taste of authentic cuisine from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, head to Bharathi Refreshments. Pile on kothu paratha and pongal while the nondescript coffee counter makes you a milky version of kaapi. No. 803, H Siddaiah Road, opposite Government Hospital, Wilson Garden.
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar
The fragrant legend of Brahmin’s Coffee Bar wafted through the city many years ago and still lingers on. Expect a no-nonsense experience with a coffee that can knock a migraine right off. Considering the limited menu, we recommend a portion of everything on the side of that steaming tumbler. Ranga Rao Road, near Shankar Math, Basavanagudi.
Central Tiffin Room
Central Tiffin Room or Shri Sagar as it is now called, has held the bastion for filter coffee in Malleswaram for several decades. The constant bustle means that meals are served super fresh and at lightning speed. But it’s the richness of benne dose and the aroma of filter coffee that makes this temple district eatery worthy of a pilgrimage. 7th cross, Margosa Road, opposite the football ground, Malleswaram.
But it’s the richness of benne dose and the aroma of filter coffee that makes Central Tiffin Room in the temple district eatery worthy of a pilgrimage.
This is perhaps one of the few places in Bangalore that serves flavoured filter coffee. It may seem blasphemous to you, but one sip of the caramel filter coffee and you see that Mr Chetty’s knows his beans. No. 60, 80 Feet Road, BEL Road.
Take a crack at Egg Factory’s akuri eggs and ask for their off-the-menu filter coffee. No. 20, White House, Off St. Mark’s Road.
The Filter Coffee
Akin to a darshini sushi bar, here a variety of dosas are served on a banana leaf around a live kitchen counter with the ‘Master’ in the centre of all the action. And if sake is the perfect combination with sushi, then refreshing filter coffee sits just right here, at the end of this feast. No. 403, 4th cross, 3rd block, HRBR Layout, Kalyan Nagar.
SLV’s pillow-soft idlis and crunchy vadas overshadow the filter coffee, but as the older gentleman behind the counter once sagely told us: “One can’t exist without the other. Don’t drive a wedge between them.”
When you want a side of something European to go with your South Indian coffee cravings, try Forklore. Order Big Breakfast or eggs, bacon and onion jam pie paired with namma filter coffee. No. 431, 80 Feet Road, 6th block Koramangala.
The reward at the end of the long drive to Kempegowda International Airport is the piping hot little shot of bisi bisi kaapi in a tiny clay pot. It’ll knock the jet lag straight out of your system. And for an added local feel, crisp ambode vade will do the trick.KIA, Devanahalli.
Underdog among the chain of coffee shops in the city, they let their brews do the talking. All four outlets are in different malls, so get a signature coffee concoction and a gooey brownie to go. Kalmane Koffees gets its beans from their 130 year-old plantation back in Chickmagalur. Garuda Mall, Magrath Road; Mantri Square, Sampange Road, Malleswaram; Forum Mall, Whitefield.
Konark can be considered the gourmet version of a darshini. It is sparkling clean and servers wear bowties and vests, but despite all the shine, the benne masala dosas will still take you back to your grandma’s kitchen. Chase this with a piping hot glass tumbler of filter coffee and if you’re here in the evening, switch up the regular dosa batter for rava masala. No. 50, Residency Road.
Kumbakonam Degree Coffee
This traditional brew from across the border has a distinctly heavier hand of milk than the filter version in Karnataka. Relatively new in the city and still trying to please Bangalore. No. 845/B, Near BDA Complex, Indiranagar.
Mavalli Tiffin Room
The first MTR still stands in its place of origin in Basavanagudi, and continues to serve amazing South Indian food. Sundays are for meals, chandrahara sweet treats, and glorious copper cuppas. 14, Lalbagh Road, Mavalli, Basavanagudi.
New Krishna Bhavan
This family-run business has been serving super darshini food and sweets for nearly thirty years. While funkier versions of South Indian dishes are a big draw here, it’s the NKB frothy filter coffee + sweets that have turned us into sticky loyalists. Word of advice: get your own portion of mini idlis; don’t one-by-two this. Sampige Theatre, Sampige Road, Malleswaram.
You’ll barely notice this little South Indian fast food joint just off Miller’s Road, but it’s a hot favourite, not just with artists who perform at Alliance Francaise and Ambedkar Bhavan, but also with travelers spilling out of the Cantonment Station. It opens at 7 am and serves a chicory-laden coffee plus pongal loaded with pepper corns and ghee. No. 16/ A, ground floor, KKMP Building, Vasanth Nagar.
The ‘Veena Stores’ of locals in Malleswaram, this little canteen stationed outside the railway tracks has developed a fan following for buttery idlis and spicy kharabath served quick and over the counter. Make sure you order doubles of coconut chutney and finish off with a shot of filter kaaphi. Railway Parallel Road, opposite Manipal North Hospital, Malleswaram.
This is perhaps the only place where we’d trade coffee for a small tumbler of the liquid coconut chutney that is served out of a bucket. SLV’s pillow-soft idlis and crunchy vadas overshadow the filter coffee, but as the older gentleman behind the counter once sagely told us: “One can’t exist without the other. Don’t drive a wedge between them.” No. 130, 3rd main, 4th cross, Hanumanthnagar, Banashankari.
The lunch service sends out North and South Indian thalis at the speed of the Shinkansen, and after a substantial meal, caffeine becomes essential. That’s when their sweet, sweet coffee (ask for sugar on the side if you like it stronger) is served in faded white cups and saucers. 1st cross, 100 Feet Road, Opposite ING Vysya Bank, Koramangala.
For the most head-strong filter coffee and crispest vadas in South Bangalore. No. 1004, 26th main, 4th T Block, Jayanagar.
Visit this kitchen in Koramangala for a taste of India’s colonial heritage. Get hearty coconut stew and a round of appams before your coffee. No. 470, 80 Feet Road, Opposite BMTC Bus Stand, 6th block, Koramangala.
Vidhyarthi Bhavan is perhaps Bangalore’s most loved canteen where the aroma of ghee masala dosas and a meter-long fall of filter coffee. One sip and you’ll know what the buzz is all about. No. 32, Gandhi Bazaar, Near Gandhi Nagar Circle, Basavanagudi.
Like this list? Feel free to kaapi-paste.
Photo credit: Jodilogik.com
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