Walk up 12th main road in Indiranagar and you’re bound to spot a swarm of people congregating around steaming plates of South Indian fare. Despite having no dearth of old-school breakfast spots, Bangalore has seen the young Rameshwaram Cafe grow from strength to strength in just a few years. Here’s looking at its origin story, profit estimations, menu favourites, and more.
Mornings in Karnataka’s capital city often come with golden dosas, pillowy idlis, and fragrant filter coffee. And there are plenty of renowned places for a bite, including the iconic 80-year-old Vidyarthi Bhavan and the charming hole-in-the-wall Veena Stores. However, the ever-growing appetite for South Indian breakfast has made room for several new establishments to enter the game. None have come close to amassing the cult following that The Rameshwaram Cafe – located in Bangalore’s bustling Indiranagar – boasts of. The spot is easily distinguished by the throng of eager-eyed diners – some perched on the footpath with plates of Ghee Podi Idli and Open Butter Masala Dosa, others lined up in long queues for a bite. And this holds true for almost any time during the day, through the week considering the eatery is open from 6:00 am to 1:00 am. We take a look at what contributed to this popularity as well as the best picks of the menu.
Rameshwaram Cafe, Bangalore is a quick service restaurant (QSR)
Locals in the city are familiar with the term ‘darshinis,’ which is used to refer to a QSR. Ubiquitous in the city, these come with minimal (or no) seating, reasonable pricing, and a limited menu with a few signature bites. Most are holes-in-the-wall – tucked into bylanes of popular neighbourhoods like Jayanagar and Koramangala. Quick service allows these establishments to serve a large set of people, with service itself not being that high on the priority list.
Rameshwaram Cafe falls under this category. What works for it is its location, low prices, and flexible timings. Bang centre of the city on a busy main road, it’s in the company of popular breweries and bustling bars – drawing hungry post-party diners with its fragrant and comforting flavours. This led to complications with littering and traffic jams, causing a shutdown in 2022 that was revoked after public outcry and a promise to ban single-use plastic. All its other branches – in JP Nagar, Rajajinagar, and Brookefield – have a similar story to tell. Many note that the eatery fuses several styles of South Indian cooking.
Its name was inspired by APJ Abdul Kalam
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The cafe is owned by mechanical engineering graduate Raghavendra Rao (the Co-Founder & CEO) who has over 20 years of experience in the food industry. The co-owner and managing director Divya Raghavendra Rao is a chartered accountant with a postgraduate degree from IIM Ahmedabad. She comes with over 12 years of experience. As per the official website, the duo dreamed of providing “original, unfiltered South Indian flavours globally.” The cafe steps it up a notch with fresh, high quality ingredients and high hygiene standards in place. It claims to have achieved consistency in taste and quality across its outlets. The name of the cafe is reportedly a nod to the birthplace of the late APJ Abdul Kalam – aerospace scientist and former Indian president – whose simplicity, patience, and old-school ways inspired the owners. “At Rameshwaram, we look up to him in every form and draw inspiration from the way he lived — holding ground in grandeur,” they explain on the website.
It makes about INR 4.5 crores in a month
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A report by Business Today quotes Sujeet Kumar, the co-founder of B2B marketplace Udaan as saying, “If you see Rameshwaram cafe. They cut 7,500 bills a day. One store which is hardly 10 by 10 or 10 by 15 square feet. does Rs 4.5 crore business a month and clocks around Rs 50 crore a year,” on a podcast. He further added that the establishment makes about 70 percent gross margins.
In part, this could be due to its active social media presence, which sets it apart from old-school spots that don’t have owners or staff that are tech savvy. Reportedly, the team is provided with medical insurance, accommodation, and other employee benefits – with equal treatment being prioritised.
Rameshwaram Cafe is most popular for its idlis and dosas
The menu here is quite limited, allowing the restaurant to keep quality intact. Standouts are Ghee Podi Idlis, Ghee Thatte Idli, Ghee Podi Masala Dosa, Open Butter Masala Dosa, Garlic Roast Dosa, Akki Roti, Gongura Rice, Ven Pongal, Vada, and Ghee Sambar Button Idli. Round out a meal here with some classic, warming filter coffee.
Have you dined at this spot yet?
All images: Courtesy The Rameshwaram Cafe, Bangalore/Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The combination of good locations, flexible timings, and solid mareting - along with delicious food - is believed to have made Rameshwaram Cafe quite popular in Bangalore.
Answer: Raghavendra Rao and Divya Raghavendra Rao are owners of Rameshwaram Cafe Bangalore.
Answer: Idlis and dosas are the main draw of Rameshwaram Cafe.