Ready for a big day in The City of the Future? Bring your neighborly attitude, an open mind, and a big appetite.
BANGALORE, India – Bangalore is home to some of India’s best universities and colleges, and the cultural scene reflects the young people who live here. Not only is it known as the country's music capital (Bangaloreans love their Iron Maiden!), but also as a hub for plays, performances, culture, technology, food, and art.
1. South Indians know a delicious breakfast when they see one. Shanti Sagar in the Koramangala neighborhood has the best dosa — crispy and buttery on the outside, with a soft interior. The no-frills eatery also offers unparalleled people watching. Don’t leave without trying the traditional filter coffee. The incredibly fragrant aroma will make you forget all about Starbucks.
2. Blossom Book House on Church Street is a Bangalore institution and a must-see if you’re looking for rare and hard-to-find secondhand books. The shelves are stacked to the ceiling, and the attendants have an almost psychic knowledge of where to find exactly what you’re looking for, be it an English title or regional Indian one. Most of the books carry a significant discount, an added bonus.
3. National Gallery of Modern Art is a calm and peaceful place to spend a hot morning. Trace the path of Indian contemporary art and check out the beautiful Raja Ravi Verma paintings.
4. While Bangalore’s restaurant scene is a foodie's delight, Red Fork Café in the Indiranagar neighborhood deserves a special mention. This quaint little spot serves carrot fritters with grilled haloumi, crispy calamari, and my personal favorite, beer-battered fish and chips. What’s more, the iced tea tastes truly sun-kissed, the perfect pick-me-up for lunchtime.
5. Bangaloreans love their kitschy merchandise, and The Orange Bicycle in Indiranagar is my favorite shop for quirky Indian brands and hidden treasures. I've picked up brightly colored planters, eccentric posters, and funky notebooks with comic prints that make great souvenirs.
6. The city has a vibrant theater scene, and Ranga Shankara is its best venue. The rustic space hosts evening shows in English as well as in regional languages. The café floods with theater-goers after a show, and for good reason: Indian snacks like vada pav are delicious and affordable.
7. Once the sun goes down and the city becomes cooler, head to Jaaga, a café-theater hybrid that hosts traveller meet-ups, vegan pot-lucks, and movie nights throughout the week. Organizers screen films inside a specially designed mud hut, and you can complement an evening of film appreciation with a pitcher of fresh organic lemonade under the stars in the attached open-air Courtyard Café.
8. If you're in the mood for loud music, great food, and sensational drinks, then Monkey Bar is your next stop. The gastro pub serves the most innovative dishes and cocktails in all of Bangalore. Grab a table in the basement and play a game of pool while you wait for a Maanga, a tangy and incredibly potent cocktail of vodka, aam panna, sweet lime, mint, jeera, and salt. Order burgers and have your camera ready: The plating deserves to be Instagrammed.
See all locations mentioned in this story. (Google Maps)