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Honestly, pubs and microbreweries aside, Bengaluru’s vibrant eating out culture definitely owes something to the quaint cafés that dot the city. And we are not even talking chains or the generic joints with the same music and décor, but the ones that are built with thought. So if you have not checked these places out already, I suggest you do.
Café Buzzinga has a lovely, casual vibe. I stumbled upon it accidentally when a bunch of us were looking for a place to eat in Whitefield. Away from the madness of that part of town, this is exactly the place you want to come to when you want to chill and have a conversation with an old friend over a chicken and jalapeno omelette or, if you want to take it up a notch, a BLT omelette (both of which come with toast and butter on the side) along with coffee or tea.
There is yet another gorgeous café in Whitefield and, honestly, I feel slightly biased towards it. Café of Joy has lots of European food on it, which includes fresh breads and other bakes. Their blackboard menu changes regularly, so be a little open to surprises. And they make a deadly hot chocolate, along with a few more calorific treats. And there is something delightful about their décor; it is almost like a setting out of Alice in Wonderland, or one of those Enid Blyton novels.
Entering Dyu Art Café (Koramangala) is like entering someone’s house in Kerala. The floor, the seating and, of course, the smell of filter coffee take you back to that long lost trip you took to God’s own country years ago. The menu is uncomplicated, yet everything that we have tried so far tastes great. For your first visit, you could try the mint lime with a portion of their herb cheese sandwich.
Secret Garden Café (Cunningham Road) is a cute little place that is perfect for a long and lazy lunch, either alone or with a friend. Their menu changes every day, so you could either get a plate of cannelloni with spinach and asparagus or Malaysian dalcha, depending on when you go. But if they have dark chocolate fudge cake with ice cream on the menu the day you visit, we suggest you definitely try it.
If we could describe Café Max in one word, it would be charming, especially in the evenings when the fairy lights come on and you are a little buzzed after two cups of warm mulled wine (usually available around Christmas). The big French windows overlooking the lush, green part of the city makes you realize that everything is exactly the way it ought to be. It is great for dates or for days when you are craving dessert (think cheesecake or home-made crêpes with Nutella). And do not forget to try their carrot cake.
Tucked away in a lane off 80 FT Road in Indiranagar is Dreamcatcher Café & Bistro, which is actually a boarding house for backpackers. But their burgers are so good; they make a lovely classic hamburger! They serve breakfast food all day, which includes kheema dosa. For mains, they make specials, so you can just look up their blackboard.
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Priyadarshini is an independent journalist from Bengaluru whose life pretty much revolves around food, good music, literature, and cinema. She’s worked with different publications over the past 10 years, and has written about travel, theatre, films, books, music, food and lots of food! She’s travelled wherever her feet and budget would allow, discovering cultures through local palates and social behaviour, and in an ideal world would probably resort to using food and music to resolve any dispute.