From colonial bakeries that specialise in all things cake to quaint holes-in-the-wall whose puffs draw celebrities in scores — the oldest ovens produce the freshest treats in Bangalore. Here’s a look at a few iconic spots that dough-minate local dining habits.
In a city like Bangalore, spaces offering meticulously-plated decadent desserts, gourmet French viennoiserie, and experimental culinary treats are a dime a (baker’s) dozen. However, locals continue to turn to old-school establishments for their bread and cake needs. These spots serve as time capsules — promising recipes passed down generations, no-fuss ambiance unfazed by globalisation, consistent flavours, and wallet-friendly prices. Grabbing a bite at one of them is a ritual steeped in nostalgia.
Most recently, Virat Kohli confessed to having sneaked into a hole-in-the-wall to pick up his actress-wife Anusha Sharma’s favourite puffs. “She loves Thom’s bakery,” India Today quoted him saying. The cricketer added that his nervousness about being recognised was quelled when the wildly popular space went about business as usual. “I promise you nobody noticed me at all, it was such a liberating feeling.”
Needless to say, the Bangalore bakery quickly went viral on social media. And with it, several other similar spots — whose oven-cooked goodies are the stuff of cravings — have come to the fore. Tucked into the city’s most bustling streets, these are easily recognisable by their humble fixtures and bustling, crowded atmosphere. Not to mention, the delicious waft of flaky, buttery goodness. Here’s a look at a few must-visit destinations.
Iconic bakeries in Bangalore to pop by for a bite of history
Ramzan street food at Frazer town
Don’t forget to grab them samosas and khowa naan from the legendary Albert Bakery pic.twitter.com/UtFe2G2SOC
— Shivani Kava/ಶಿವಾನಿ (@kavashivani) April 1, 2023
Established in 1902, this popular bakery first began by supplying bread to the Anglo-Indian and British communities in the cantonment region. As word of their delicious baked creations got around, the menu expanded. Popular options include biscuits, khova naan, banana grape cake, chicken cutlets, and puffs. The samosas — chicken, mutton, and vegetable — are a must try.
Address: 93, Mosque Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore
Contact: +91 98861 65349
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Since 1970 — when PM Thomas first established this space — Thom’s has been serving up the most exquisite baked delicacies. “Every day we make about 450 loaves of bread, including white, brown and multigrain. Our plain white bread sells the fastest,” head chef Mark revealed to Deccan Herald. Other popular features of the menu include the signature plum cake as well as chicken and mutton puffs, cookies, sugar-dusted doughnuts, sandwiches, tarts, pies, sponge cakes, and samosas.
Address: 1/2, Wheeler Road, Frazer Town
Contact: +91 88675 79013
This space first began in 1930 as a partnership between local baker Sahadevan — who was adept at creating English treats — and a British woman. Reportedly, in the 1940s young army aspirants keen on building upper body strength volunteered to knead the dough here. In return, they were given a loaf of freshly-baked bread — one of the establishment’s most popular menu options. Other must-try goodies include the ribbon cake, masala biscuits, puffs, cummtee cakes, kal kals, rose cookies, coconut barfi, Japanese cake, and rolls. During Christmas, plum cakes here fly off the shelves. Best part? Upgrades to the kitchen aside, this space stays evergreen — complete, with age-old recipes, continued commitment to quality, and flavours that remain unchanged.
Address: 36, Quadrant Road, Near Om Shakthi Temple, Shivajinagar
Contact: +91 97404 03940
OG Variar & Sons
Also, made a pit stop at OG Variar & Sons Bakery.
Oof. If you’re a person who’s been born and bre(a)d in Bangalore, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the smell of the bakery SENT me.
Diiivine. Wish I could bottle it up.
Packed some moist AF pound cake for tea time. pic.twitter.com/6jWWvl5gEE
— enthu-cutlet 🍜 (@_waabi_saabi_) November 3, 2021
In the 1950s, Govinda Variar — an experienced baker — began selling bread and buns. In 1970, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning a bakery by opening Variar Bakery. “He started off with potato puff, but on customer demand, improvised it to vegetable puff. Quality and innovation were his foremost concerns and it continues to be like that,” the establishment’s advisor Rudra Basavraj revealed to The Hindu. The menu’s most popular features are the buns, cakes, bread, butter biscuits, veg toast, rusk, cupcakes, and eggless plum cake. Each is baked fresh, with no colouring or added preservatives.
Address: 1217, 5th Block, 20th Main, Near Shivanagar Signal, Rajajinagar
Contact: +91 95385 20264
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Brothers B Sankaran and B Kannan moved to Bangalore from their hometown of Krishnagiri in hopes of a better life. They worked with the wildly popular Excelsior Bakery for nearly two decades before opening BP Bakery in Ulsoor. “We started with only tea biscuits for 10 paise and were struggling to make ends meet,” Sankaran told Times Of India. However, the introduction of mutton puffs — which continues to be a best-seller — put the space on the city’s dining map. Other popular menu options include milk bread, biscuits, apple cake, and bun jam. Come Christmas and Easter, the bakery offers the most decadent plum cake, hot cross buns, and Easter eggs.
Address: 42,Lakshmipura, Chinmaya Mission Hospital Rd, Halasuru
Contact: +91 80253 60396
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In 1953, K Thirumalachar from Hassan took a leap of faith and opened a bakery. The space was an absolute hit, inspiring a legion of other such establishments around the city that are popularly known as ‘Iyengar Bakeries.’ On offer are delicious options like Congress kadlekai, sweet corn buns, cookies, apple cake, khara bun, honey cake, aloo bun, bun butter jam, peanut bun, pastries, and badam burfi. “Back in those days, Thirumalachar kept the bakery open until 11 pm just for labourers working late,” the establishment’s Finance Manager S Murali told Metrolife. The menu hasn’t changed despite steep competition from other eateries in the region. The clientele here includes the likes of South Indian actors Srinath, Dodanna, and Ramesh Bhat.
Address: 20, Sajjan Rao Cir, Vishweshwarapura, Shankarapura
Contact: +91 96203 90345
Which of these bakeries are you adding to your Bangalore dining rotation?
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Which is the original Iyengar bakery in Bangalore?
Several Iyengar bakeries dot Bangalore. However, VB Bakery is often quoted to be the first of its kind.
– Which is Anushka’s Favourite bakery in Bangalore?
Virat Kohli revealed in an interview that Anushka Sharma is partial to the puffs at Thoms Bakery in Bangalore.