Bengaluru’s dining scene is a confluence of influences. Authentic Southern Indian dishes are served alongside Western and European cuisines, or blended with international favourites to create innovative sub-continental fusion foods.
Local fare is known as Karnataka cuisine. Karnataka cuisine is milder than other Southern cuisines; making generous use of cane and palm sugar, and very little use of chilli powder. Udupi fare – comprised of local grains, beans, vegetables and fruits – is an integral part of Karnataka cuisine, and is embraced by the area’s large Vegetarian population. Local delicacies include dosas, idli, vada and uthapam, and can be sampled at a food stalls across Bengaluru.
When Bengaluru embraced its status as India’s Silicon Valley, it also embraced the lifestyle associate with the moniker. A number of design-conscious international restaurants – with menus comprised of Thai, Chinese, Continental, Mexican, French, Mughlai and Western dishes – sprung up around the city to become an indispensable part of Bengaluru’s landscape and lifestyle.
Following the success of international-style restaurants, bars and clubs also infiltrated Bengaluru – indulging the city’s ex-patriot community and working class with a number of environments in which to let their hair down. While the city gained throngs of venues – so much so that it was nicknamed ‘Pub City’ – it also attracted world-wide attention for some strange rules…
As the clock scores close to midnight Bengaluru turns into a relative ghost town, due to what is casually called the Cinderella law. Sanctioned in 2005, the act restricts the service of liquor after 11:30pm, and bans patrons from dancing in places of public entertainment.
Owing to the city’s nature as a cosmopolitan and urban hub, Bengaluru is home to a young and entrepreneurial working class with a disposable income. As a result the Southern Indian fiscal centre boasts one of the country’s best shopping scenes.
As the newspaper Hindu stated, "Bangalore's young and happening people, specifically the I.T. and professional crowd, have put the city on the nation's fashion map”. Shopping markets, malls and plazas abound, selling everything from famous Bengaluru silk to Western-style fashions.
Bengaluru’s three most popular shopping areas consist of Brigade Road, Commercial Street and M.G. Road. Brigade Road is popular hangout for the city’s young and trendy, with designer showrooms vying for business with knick-knack shops, eateries and entertainment facilities. Commercial Street is Bengaluru’s most prominent shopping zone, home to garment, hosiery and textile shops galore, as well as variety of general goods stores. While M.G. Road is a go-to for Indian fashions, in particular saris and silks.
Bengaluru’s most elite retailers can be found on Vittal Mallya Road – a pleasant tree-lined strip, home to boutiques boasting India's chicest creations – and at the majestic Leela Palace hotel’s indoor Galleria – Bengaluru’s answer to Rodeo Drive.
At the helm of Karnataka state, Bengaluru is the ideal place to pick up traditional Karnataka handicrafts. Famous Mysore and Bangalore silks, wooden carvings, and gold jewellery with traditional designs can be found throughout the city at numerous markets, street vendors and malls.