I've been to Bangalore twice in the past year to celebrate a friend's wedding. Coming from Mumbai, I always enjoy the food options and pub culture of the city - I truly believe that Bangalore has some of the best eating and drinking options in India, so take advantage! It's a place where old school institutions like MTR and Koshy's can still thrive next the modern microbreweries and high-end malls. Despite a strict curfew of 11:30pm (it's recently been extended to 1am until at least June 1, 2014), Bangalore's chill denizens seem to make the most of opening hours and love to try new things.
This guide has only touched on the few places that I've visited personally but there's so much more to explore. Friends tell me that there are an increasing number of regular cultural happenings in the city as well so look them up before you go, go. Some include shows and screenings at 1shanthiroad, festivals and flea markets by Kitsch Mandi, and startup workshops at Jaaga. Please create Trabblr events around these and other interesting things that you come across!
As far as getting around goes, first-time visitors to Bangalore will notice that you can't hail a taxi on the road. You can only hail rickshaws. If a cab is what you need (for long journeys to Whitefield or the airport from central), then you'll have to book a cab using a radio taxi service such as Meru Cabs or even the state-run KSTDC Cabs.
I always have fun in Bangalore and I can't wait to explore the city with Trabblrs when I'm there next!
A clean and reasonably priced hotel with a very central location. There's a limited but delicious breakfast buffet on the roof every morning as well as a gym room with a treadmill. Service was friendly and attentive - the owner was even kind enough to help my friends drape their saris for a wedding we had to go to!
The Biere Club is a great place to while away an afternoon in Bangalore. One of a handful of microbreweries in the city, The Biere Club offers a variety of craft brews. I miss drinking wheat beers in Mumbai and so that's all I had here - super refreshing with hints of fruit. The food is regular pub grub but apparently there's a more extensive menu at the dedicated restaurant upstairs called The Chophouse.
Koshy's is a Bangalore institution that has changed little from when it was founded in 1940. There is plenty of old school charm such as ceiling fans, broad pillars, uniformed waiters, and an ageing yet intellectual clientele. Popular with journalists, artists, thespians, and students, Koshy's has long been a venue for fervent discussions. I had a pot of strong coffee and kheema toast with a fried pork sausage. Both were pretty decent.
We booked an evening flight out of Bangalore just so that we could hit up Benjarong for some spicy Thai food. Friends who have lived in or visited Thailand regularly proclaim that this is one of the best Thai restaurants in India. The pad ka-prao made me sweat - always a good sign!
I love Japanese food but unfortunately it's usually expensive or inconsistent in Mumbai. I was therefore really excited to try Harima after a friend recommended it. The food is reasonably priced and fantastic. I binged on spicy tuna sushi, gyoza, and pork katsu curry. The mostly wooden interior is minimal and clean - low cushioned seating and screened private rooms make the experience even more authentic!
The NGMA is in the quiet heritage premises of Manikyavelu Mansion, which was once the home of the Mysore royal family. Dotting the surrounding manicured gardens are sculptures and colorful plants that make for some great photography subjects. You can spend at least a couple hours here exploring the mansion. Cap your visit with a coffee at the outdoor cafe!
Damn, this place is good! If you want to try truly unique preparations of Indian coastal cuisine, then this restaurant is a must on your agenda. I had the masala kane fish, chicken cooked with slowly roasted coconut, and the Kerala fish curry infused with raw mango. Dip into your gravies with neer dosas and appams, and wash it all down with a draught of Kingfisher!