Mangalore is an important port city on the Konkan coast. Apart from being a quaint town, it is also emerging as an educational and industrial hub. Between picturesque Kerala and concrete Bangalore, Mangalore provides tourists with the best of both worlds. The city is also a melting pot of different communities, including the Beary Muslims, Mangalorean Catholics, Saraswath Brahmins, and Bunts, among others.
The local cuisine reflects this coalescence. In fact, street food in Mangalore is what
most tourists relish. This apart, the city is home to a number of swanky eateries. Some of the ingredients that are vital to the local cuisine are coconut, rice, garlic, dried red chillies, ginger, curry leaves and tamarind. Like almost all coastal communities, fish is part of the staple diet.
The Mangalore fish curry, chicken ghee roast and other favourites, like the Mangalore buns, can be sampled at any of the eateries that dot the city landscape.If you’re looking for a gastronomical adventure, start with the local food in any city. Sample the fare without any preconceived notions, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Here are some eateries you should visit on your trip to Mangalore:
1. Breakfast blowout at Taj Mahal Café
An early breakfast here is a must. Apart from the crispy vadas and dosas, and soft idlies, you will find
city’s favourite breakfast item here — – the Mangalore buns. And no, it’s not actually a bun but
resembles a North Indian batura. These doughy pieces of heaven are infused with just the right
amount of ripe bananas to make it fragrant and soft. The buns go well with a cup of hot coffee.
Breakfast here will set the pace for an action-packed day of adventure, or on a food trail.
2. Discover the local secret at Giri Manja’s
Every city and town has a best-kept food secret. These places usually serve the best food, without
much fuss and fanfare. Giri Manja’s is Mangalore’s best secret. Tucked away in a side road on Car
Street, the entrance is almost hidden. The eatery comprises of a home converted with long tables
lining either side of the front room. The benches pave the way for a communal style of eating. The
menu here, which the serves remember by heart, consists of ‘meals’. The best items on their menu
include the masala fry or sukha. The prawn masala is mouthwatering, as is the seer fish fry. Apart
from the street food in Mangalore, these restaurants are worth visiting for local cuisine.
3. Pig out at Gajalee
Gajalee, which is famous for its coastal food, serves some of the best seafood in Mangalore.
Although pricier than other eateries, a meal here, in the old converted circuit-house with terracotta
floors, whitewashed walls and French windows, provides a good experience. Some of the favourites
to try out here include the Crab Tandoori Masala and Prawn Ghee Roast. Some of the best food in
Mangalore can be found here.
4. Old World Charm at Woodlands
Woodlands is a popular Mangalore eatery. Back when there weren’t too many eating-out options,
most locals would head to this place, tucking into their excellent dosas. Although they now have a varied menu,
the dosa here still makes it to the ‘must try list’. If you are looking for some of the best
street food in Mangalore, the Chinese Bhel Puri is a must try. The Woodlands experience would be
incomplete without a piping hot cup of their famous filter coffee.
5. Lighthouse Chaat, Locally Yours
Looking for local street food in Mangalore? Make your way to Seetharam’s. This is where you get
the best local chaat. A van has been turned into a chaat counter, making it the perfect hangout for
college students from nearby universities, as well as other hungry customers from across the city in
need of a street food fix. The main catch here is the charmuri — – a puffed rice mixture that puts in
the fire in your belly, quite literally. The puffed rice comes alive with peanuts and slivers of raw
mango. Not only do these ingredients add texture, they also pack it with flavour. What gives
Mangalore charmuri its characteristic flavour is the use of coconut oil. For the indulgent, BC, which
comes with boiled eggs is something you should try. Charmuri at Seetharam’s can be washed down
with a glass of cold sugarcane juice.