From soft Udupi classics to hearty rava renditions — Bangalore’s breakfast platter features some of the country’s best idlis. We’re exploring the city’s most popular spots for a bite of this savoury steamed staple.
For centuries, good mornings across several South Indian households have been synonymous with fermented, steamed cakes. These come in several iterations — Udupi, Thatte, Rava, Kanchipuram — each with varying ingredients, cooking techniques, and accompaniments. In Bangalore, several establishments across different neighbourhoods offer a bite of the staple, setting their plates apart by dousing their idlis in delicious ghee, sprinkling them with spicy gunpowder, or crafting them with the best recipes passed down generations.
Many serve up the most scrumptious green chutney as well. While some are new on the block, others are vintage restaurants that have been around since before the country’s independence. Come weekends, these spaces are brimming with activity as locals make a beeline for their bites, patiently waiting their turn as early as 6:00 am in lines that spill over to the main roads. Here’s a look at a few spots that consistently feature in foodies and experts’ top recommendations.
Best places to head to for idlis in Bangalore
We can go back & forth about who makes best versions of these three items. But we’ll all have to agree that, without a doubt, Veena stores in Bangalore kicks major ass. That chutney has healing properties. pic.twitter.com/7OiMaCInjl
— Vikas Navratna (@vikasnavaratna) March 11, 2022
What was once a local condiments store (1977) has now firmly established itself in the city’s breakfast habits. The menu features the likes of vadas, kesari bath, bisi bele bath, and puliyogare. However, it’s the melt-in-the-mouth idlis that have locals lining up every weekend. Served alongside a unique mint-coriander-coconut chutney, these are fluffy and delicate — falling apart right as you dig in. Best part? The price of a plate may have changed from 10 paisa in the 1980s to the current INR 30 and the space may have expanded to four shops from being a hole-in-the-wall — but the quality of every bite has remained consistent. Don’t forget to wrap up a meal with some fragrant filter coffee.
Address: 183, Margosa Rd, Malleswaram, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 80233 44838
Sri Raghavendra Stores
A light snack at Sri Raghavendra Stores in between Rail Fanning at #Malleswaram railway station!
— அஷ்வின் காந்தி/अश्विन गांधी/Ashwin Gandhi (@PantryCar) May 14, 2023
Another Malleshwaram stalwart — which has been around since 1975 — this hole-in-the-wall’s menu is limited to chow chow bath, shavigi bath, idli vada, coffee, and tea. This was a deliberate move by the family-run business to ensure every bite spells quality and deliciousness. The pillowy idlis feature a simple mix of rice and lentils and are made fresh everyday in a kitchen that’s a few steps away from the store. This meant to be doused in the in-house chutney with mustard seeds, coconut, and green chillies. A meal will set you back by about INR 80.
Address: Railway station, 11th Main Rd, next to Malleshwara, Malleshwaram
Contact: +91 80233 48477
Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR)
Perfect way to start a day in Bengaluru: Mavalli Tiffin Room.. no one makes breakfast quite like they do South of the Vindhyas! One India, many breakfasts! #ElectionsOnMyPlate pic.twitter.com/IGDOaszbty
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 8, 2018
For over a century, this establishment has served Bengaluru some of the most scrumptious South Indian fare. Its patrons include politicians, celebrities, students, and working professionals, amongst others. The space is best known for having invented the Rava Idli during World War II by experimenting with semolina when rice was short in supply. This is served with a sagu and coconut chutney and is as hearty and flavour-packed as they come. The classic Udupi-style idli is just as delightful, served with sambar and chutney. Both come with a side of indulgent ghee. Wrap up a meal with some strong filter coffee.
Address: 4, Lal Bagh Main Rd, Doddamavalli, Sudhama Nagar
Contact: +91 98868 94128
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar
Had to go drop off folks at station. And that always means finding new places for thindi. First stop – Brahmins coffee bar – idli vade. I must have drunk a gallon of that yummax chutney. /1 pic.twitter.com/mBxyulIJon
— Jillu | (@jiljilramamani) April 29, 2023
A hole-in-the-wall with a small menu of Filter Coffee, Kesari Bath, Khara Bath, Idlis Vada, Milk, and Buttermilk — Brahmin’s Coffee has been serving breakfast enthusiasts since 1965. As such, it’s an icon in its own right. The quality of the food has remained consistent, with the batter for the idlis — one of the space’s first offerings — coming in from the home kitchen. In the past, reports note that locals would grab parcels of the batter to take home. Soft and fluffy, these steamed cakes are served with their signature chutney — supervised by the owner and doled out in generous amounts. One of the best idlis in Bangalore is complemented with some piping-hot coffee.
Address: Ranga Rao Road, Basavanagudi
Contact: +91 98450 30234
After the wonderful darsanam at Jayanagar this morning, @Turquoizzze and I grabbed some quick thindi at Taaza Thindi. 2 single idli, 2 single vada drenched in yummy coconut chutney and 2 half filter coffee. All for Rs 68 only. #TeamSoru #BengaluruFoodScene pic.twitter.com/5d57x5aJrJ
— Jillu | (@jiljilramamani) January 28, 2023
Satiating South Bengaluru’s appetite for idlis, Taaza Thindi is wildly popular and, as such, is highly rated. This, despite only having been in the city a little over 9 years. The menu offers Kesari Bath, Khara Bath, Chow Chow Bath, Masala Dosa, and Plain Dosa. That said, it’s the Idlis that many locals sing praises of. Unlike other spots in the city, this establishment uses machines to help the idli batter rise. Grainy and melt-in-the-mouth soft, the steamed cakes are served hot and fresh with a thin green chutney, complete with curry leaves and mustard seeds. Round out one the best idlis in Bangalore with a cup of coffee or Horlicks.
Address: 1004, 26th Main, 4th T Block, Opposite HDFC Bank, Jayanagar
Contact: +91 80409 12277
ok i get the rameshwaram cafe hype now pic.twitter.com/61x73KJiEz
— Bhoomi (@bhoomeme) May 21, 2023
In the heart of Bengaluru — large crowds head to 12th main road in Indiranagar for South Indian fare. Rameshwaram Cafe is quite new to the city’s culinary scene. Despite this, its quality offerings have seen it grow from strength to strength. Popular on the menu are their Open Butter Masala Dosa, Ghee Podi Masala Dosa, Garlic Roast Dosa, Akki Roti, Gongura Rice, Ven Pongal, and Vada. However, a quick peek at the plates of those dining around will reveal several renditions of idlis — Ghee Podi Idlis, Ghee Sambar Button Idlis, Plain Idlis, the works. The Thatte Idli — hailing from the industrial town of Bidadi and featuring tapioca in its batter — is soft, spongy, and served with a generous helping of podi and ghee, making every bite indulgent. Wrap up a meal with some filter coffee.
Address: 2984, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar
Contact: +91 70226 49471
Which of these spots are you headed to this weekend?
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Which is the best idli in Jayanagar Bangalore?
Taaza Thindi is the best-rated spot in Jayanagar that serves up delicious idlis. A few blocks away in Basavanagudi is the iconic Brahmin’s Coffee Bar.
– Which is the oldest idli shop in Bangalore?
Mavalli Tiffin Room and Veena Stores are amongst the oldest spots for idli.