Bangalore offers a wide choice of cuisines, from the traditional to the exotic.Generally speaking, ‘home food’ is preferred over restaurant food in India. Inviting someone to your home for a meal is considered more personal and warm, than dinning out. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that most local cuisine restaurants are more ‘fast food’ style joints, such as the numerous dosa and idli spots lining most major streets. These are simple, quick, cheap, usually vegetarian fare and of local flavour. The Empire chain of restaurants (http://hotelempire.in/) is a family-style Indian restaurant, a notch up in comfort and menu variety and offers a more leisurely lunch or dinner option, popular with middle-class non-vegetarians.
In India in general, you will notice a clear distinction between ‘veg’ and ‘non-veg’ restaurants, since many vegetarians will not eat food prepared in a kitchen that also prepares non-veg items. Restaurants often clearly identify which audience they cater to on the front sideboard with a simple ‘veg’ or ‘non-veg’.
There is also a huge variety of foreign flavour restaurants, including Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Arabian, continental, fusion, North Indian, and various other regional foods of India. Prices range across a wide spectrum from Rs 50 to 1,500 (for one, without alcohol), with foreign menus and 5-star hotel restaurants charging the most.
Most restaurants open for lunch between noon and 2:30pm, then re-open for dinner around 6pm and close by 11pm. The evening cut-off is slowly changing with an extension being approved to keep establishments open until 2am. Always a good bet for late night eating are the 5-star hotels, which have 24-hour ‘coffee shops’ serving food through the night. Brunch is also becoming a popular weekend event at most of the top-end restaurants, with promotions of all-you-can-eat and drink for a fixed price.
The rest of the time, there are several fine dining options, especially concentrated along Church Street, as well as in the UB City complex. Bangalore has a huge offering of great restaurants, so keep your eyes peeled and your nose alert. Reservations are rarely required, though you may wish to book ahead for large groups or on weekend nights at hot spots.
A extensive restaurant guidebooks for Bangalore have been compiled: The Kingfisher Explocity Great Food Guide Bangalore (http://www.bangalorerestaurantguide.com/). Another great option for becoming familiar with the Bangalore foodie scene is to subscribe to ‘Food Lovers’ magazine for reviews of new restaurants and events centred on food. http://foodloversbangalore.wordpress.com/
Some websites to get updated info and reviews on Bangalore’s restaurants:
Home delivery is also widely available, be it Domino’s Pizza or your local south Indian restaurant. A great resource for ordering food is Hungry Zone http://hungryzone.com/bangalore, which posts menus for online ordering for many restaurants in Bangalore.