The North Indian’s Survival Guide To Bangalore

As welcoming and happy-to-adjust folks, we want to do what’s right and help our friends from the North. It wasn’t easy putting together this list, since some of our friends saw it as a perversion of all that’s good about moving to the South. Luckily, some brave North Indian escapees have turned informant for us, and reveal their recommendations for places and things in the city that will remind you of what you have left behind. Just don’t neglect your Kannada lessons or your benne (butter) dosa breakfasts.

Adyar Ananda Bhavan: For (Passable) North Indian Thali
This darshini chain has so many outlets across Bangalore, every brand-new North Indian has looked twice at that second option on the thali menu. They’ve hesitantly dipped into the dal tadka – seasoned with mustard seeds instead of jeera – and convinced themselves that “It’s not bad, actually, it’s quite good”. Start practising today.

Anjuman: For Monthly Hindi Poetry Nights
Atta Galatta, Anjuman – Bangalore’s Hindi and Urdu poetry club meets once a month to share poetry — their own, or that of others. Some sessions feature visiting poets from Delhi.

Bobby Da Dhaba + Kund + Manjit Da Dhaba: For Highway Feels
“Long drives” are not anybody’s idea of a good time here, as you know. Your dhaba/rest stop cravings are best satisfied at these three Punjabi eateries. Our friends especially recommend paneer bhurji and chana masala from Manjit Da Dhaba; any of the varieties of chicken kababs at Kund; and the lassi at Bobby Da Dhaba.

Bombay Chowpatty: For Falooda & Gol Gappas
Swap Bangalore chaat’s sweet politeness of flavour with punchy, pungent paani–which, as real North Indians know, is more than can be said of actual Bombay chaat. Everyone and their aunt also comes here from the sweet, slick, sticky falooda.

Bowring Kulfis: For Old-School Dessert
Since 1973, this cult city-based manufacturer has become synonymous with kulfi in a variety of flavours, including kesar-pista — boring (no pun intended) elsewhere, but not exactly traditional down here. Most famous for the panic-buying episode among patrons as the original St Mark’s Road outlet shut down six years ago.

Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha: For Sunday Afternoon Kirtans + Langar
The city’s biggest gurudwara, built in 1943 on the shores of Ulsoor Lake, has kirtans that will transport you to the Golden Temple and a kitchen to feed you and your soul.

Queen’s: For Hungry Hearts
It’s in a Lonely Planet guide, but hasn’t let that go to its head. On a day when you really need to forget the Silk Board traffic jam and the auto-driver who refused to speak anything but Kannada while you were stuck in it, come here and order a dal makhni and a fluffy roti.

Samarkand + Tandoor: For Posh Private Party Food
Putting the “khana” in khanabadosh (Persian for nomad), are these two Bangalore establishments. They gave the city its first taste of Mughlai food, and are still highly regarded. Get the Mughlai Biryani from Samarkand and the masaledar leg of raan from Tandoor.

Tadka Singh: For A Healthy Dose Of Nostalgia
Don’t be put off by its McDonalds-like takeover of the city. Die hard fans of North Indian food have turned loyalist, they tell us: the menu pays its respects to nostalgia while keeping a firm hand in making everything super healthy. Best news: they also pack a daily tiffin for office-goers.

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