An ever-evolving cosmopolitan, the capital of breweries, and the prestigious ‘Silicon Valley of India’ - one can safely say that the city of Bengaluru wears many hats. But beyond these terrible cliches and its obvious traffic issues, this is a city that’s slowly unfolding into a hub of culture, art, and experiences that are unique to the region. As concrete structures come up overnight and vehicles take over the once desolate streets, Bengaluru’s old-world charm still manages to remain intact through its decades-old eateries and communities that have watched the city grow into the diverse metropolitan it is today. Not only does the city boast of lovely weather and budding youth population, but it also provides a plethora of opportunities for the young and old, the cautious and the adventurous. From the lush Cubbon Park that hosts not just regular fitness enthusiasts but also those interested in just getting out, meeting new people, and taking in fresh air, to the city’s very own heroes that are making it inclusive for not just people from all walks of life but our beloved furry friends too - Bengaluru is bubbling with opportunities.
A new addition to the thriving metropolitan is the trendy Hyatt Centric. Located in the heart of the city, on the popular MG Road, Hyatt Centric is Hyatt hotels’ newest lifestyle brand. Complete with a locally-inspired luxurious spa, a 24-hour fitness centre, and a beautiful pool, Hyatt Centric’s rooms capture the local vibe of Bengaluru. Whether it’s downing signature cocktails at ‘The Bengaluru Brasserie’ or just browsing local magazines, books and artefacts at ‘The Corner’, Hyatt Centric is full of quirky, comfortable spaces where one can simply unwind and be themselves. And what makes it even better is the fact that it’s located in the middle of the action, near some of Bengaluru’s most popular areas like Brigade Road, Commercial Street, and Cubbon Park.
So really, what other reason does one need to visit Bengaluru? Home to many treasured secrets, Bengaluru is where you should be if you possess the heart of a globetrotter. Homegrown, along with Hyatt Centric, brings to you a comprehensive guide that will take you through the city like never before. Through its quaint tea stalls and buzzing skateparks, contemporary theatre collectives and iconic dessert parlours. There’s something for every kind of traveller and there’s only one way to find out.
Places To Eat At
I. Korean Food Crawl Across The City
Where: Multiple Locations
A little-known fact about Bengaluru is its Korean expat population. This coupled with the barrage of Korean business visitors has given rise to a number of restaurants serving authentic Korean delicacies in the city. But to pick out the perfect place to practice (or introduce yourself to) the art of using chopsticks is not easy. But fret not, we know just the right eateries for you to dive into the elaborate nuances of the cuisine. The Arirang Korean Restaurant located on Kammanahalli Main Road is where you can get a beautiful Korean Barbeque spread complete with floor seating and a simple ambience. Hae Kum Gang on Brigade Road is where you can try not just Korean food but also other South East Asian fares. However, it’s Koramangala’s The Himalayan, with its walls full of K-pop stickers and friendly staff where the Korean experience is taken to a whole new level.
II. The Smoke Co For Smoked And Cured Meats
Where: 501, 6th Cross, Koramangala 6th Block.
With Christmas just around the corner, The Smoke Co.’s Christmas menu is just what you need to get the celebratory bells ringing. Complete with festival-themed dishes like Christmas Baked Ham, Braised Beef Cheeks etc., The Smoke Co is also one place you must visit if you’re particular about the way your meat is cooked. This restaurant serves a wide variety smoked and cured meats - each more delicious than the other. And of course, there’s live music and a cosy, well-lit ambience to go with it.
Cost: INR 2,500 for two people.
III. Authentic Local Cuisines At Tasting Room - Bengaluru Oota Company
Where: 5, Cambridge Cross Road, Cambridge Layout, Ulsoor.
You obviously can’t visit Bengaluru without having some mouthwatering Karnataka cuisines. At Tasting Room, you can get all that and more. Not only does the Bengaluru Oota Company bring the traditional flavours of Gowda and Mangalorean cuisines to your table, but it also promises an intimate dining experience with a warm cup of filter coffee at the end. Choose from a range of delicacies like Marwai Ajadina (Clams), Kori Ghee Roast, Mango Mensakai, Mamsa Saaru (a traditional mutton curry), Mamsa Pulao, Bassaru (greens and lentil curry), and more. You can also customise your meal - choose from between a 3-course and a 5-course meal and leave the rest to the professional chefs of Tasting Room.
Cost: INR 2,000 for two people.
But Bengaluru’s culinary charms don’t end here. For a lovely Mexican meal, head to Sanchez’ Taqueria & Cantina in Indiranagar. For pan Asian delights, there’s MISU. Sharon’s Tea Stall in Thipassandra is known for serving over 100 different varieties of chai (make this your evening snack break).
Things To See
IV. The Cave Skatepark
Where: M.C.E.C.H.S. Layout 1st Phase, RK Hegde Nagar.
Opened in 2015, The Cave Skatepark is where all the cool kids hang out. It’s also where children come to sharpen their skateboarding skills. In a collaborative effort between Holystoked and Adidas Originals, The Cave is iconic for the kind of contemporary and niche space it represents. Attracting residents from across the city, this skatepark has been done up by local graffiti artists and is tucked away in North Bengaluru close to Jakkur Airfield. They’ve even put in some obstacles as well, to keep it interesting.
Ramachandraiah and his son Raju, two earnest citizens of Bengaluru, preserve the city’s old-world charm in their own unique way - by making hilarious hand-drawn posters on cheap quality paper. Filled with vibrancy and hilarious typos that only India’s ancient, B-grade flier-culture still perpetuates, these posters are plastered all over the city. A mammoth task achieved by the duo during the wee hours of the night, spotting these posters across the city is a fun activity and we’d recommend you give yourself a break from the digital screens and try it.
Where: 22, 57/58/1/2, Saket Callipolis, Doddakannhalli, Ambalipura, Sarjapur Road.
With its spectacular graffiti walls, exposed bricks, and opulent interiors, the new Sarjapur Social is straight out of the American classic novel The Great Gatsby. It reminds you of a beautiful penthouse still dripping from the memories of its once-upon-a-time lavish parties and gatherings. There’s also a marble staircase and chandeliers to go with it. A visual delight, this new space is also the biggest, most ambitious Social in the country. Totally lives up to the hype!
Cost: INR 1,500 for two people.
Interesting Things To Do
VII. Cubbon Park For A Little Bit Of Everything
Where: Kasturba Road, Behind High Court of Karnataka, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangi Rama Nagar.
Cubbon Park is perhaps one of the oldest rendezvous spots of the city. Almost every Bangalore resident has been here - whether it’s for a quick run before work, an enthralling street play, a community gathering, or simply to catch up with an old friend. For many people, Cubbon Park represents a free space where one can gather regardless of anything. There’s also a poetry club that regularly meets here to bond over verses and more.
There’s nothing quite as invigorating as spending a day learning how to make ‘bambikes’ with India’s first bamboo bike maker - Vijay Sharma. He also doubles up as a furniture designer and carpenter. Sharma made his first bamboo bike way back in 2009 and now regularly holds workshops, with VAWAA, where he not only teaches people how to make eco-friendly bicycle but also discusses urban farming, craft beer and other things that excite him.
Head to the VAWAA site for more information and book your session with Vijay Sharma.
Where: No 11, Church Street, Near KC Das Sweet Shop.
Packed shelves, the aroma of old books, and a book-lover or two present at any given point of time, Goobe’s in Bengaluru is an underground haven for all kinds of bibliophiles. From old comic books to thick Tagore novels to limited editions, Goobe’s houses a unique collection of some of the rarest, most unheard pieces of literature. Be prepared to run into someone and lose yourself in an unexpected literary debate. One of the few independent bookstores in Bengaluru, Goobe’s offers a wide range of literary genres. Also, if you’re unusually fond of Science-fiction, just like the owner Mr. Ravi, then make sure to visit this bookstore for some hearty conversations and new friends.
With a budding population of young people who are extremely curious and always looking for new things to do, Bengaluru is home to many different types of unconventional activities that one could take up. Whether it’s the Interactive Music Museum where every music enthusiast can lose themselves in events, musical art installations, and other projects or enrolling yourself at Cult, a Bengaluru-based fitness startup that’s redefining how health is perceived - there’s always something new and exciting to do.
Places To Shop At
Where: 29/11, Ambalipura Residency Road, Amblipura, PWD Quarters, 1st Sector, HSR Layout.
We’ve all heard of upcycled furniture but at Oorja, it’s the lamps that are upcycled from the most unlikely materials sourced locally. With a wide range of lamps that come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, Oorjaa’s lamps are beautiful and stand out for their colourful and quirky designs. Lighting up spaces in the most eco-friendly way possible, Oorjaa’s also works with spaces across Bangalore.
XI. An Artisanal Cheese Haul At 10 Cuts Of Cheese
Where: No 972H, 2nd Floor, 1st A main, Koramangala 4th Block, Chandra Reddy Layout, S T Bed, Koramangala.
At this Bangalore gourmet store, cheese takes its place as the pièce de résistance, with selected preserves and packaged foods starring as the trusty accompaniments. From premium quality Gouda to lesser-known local varieties like Kalari, there’s nothing you won’t get here. So make sure to drop by and (guiltlessly) splurge on the food of the Gods - you won’t regret it.
Where: 47, Prestige Eureka, Opp. Hotel Empire, Church Street, Bengaluru,
To pick up pop-culture inspired collectibles and merchandise, drop by The Entertainment Store at Church Street. There’s absolutely nothing you won’t get here. From figurines to t-shirts to posters and more, they have a large collection of interesting stuff and knick knacks - stuff that makes a great last-minute gift. And for those of you who can’t make the time to visit the store, don’t worry because they ship online too.
Merging traditional Indian ethos with contemporary styles and patterns, the Collage Shop Indian is a lifestyle and clothing store that sells an eclectic range of lifestyle products.
Where: 89/1, Monnekollal Village, Varthur Hobli, Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli.
A lovely rooftop bar and restaurant, Foxtrot’s al fresco bar, the big Foxtrot signage, and upbeat music is all you need to get a taste of Bengaluru’s nightlife. A diverse Indian and continental menu complemented by their signature cocktails, Foxtrot is surely a crowd-puller - especially because of their in-house DJ. There’s also an indoors seating section made up of colourful walls and beautiful mood lighting. They also have a delicious brunch menu that’s worth every rupee (and possibly even more!).
XIV. House Of Life
One of the most popular music venues in the city, House Of Life is always bubbling with exciting new performances and events. Redefining the face of Bengaluru’s music scene, the venue hosts a number of internationally renowned DJs and musicians. In fact, Dj Magdalena, the “heart and soul” of DYNAMIC MUSIC will be performing here on 22nd December, Saturday. So if you’re in town, make sure to drop by for a memorable night of music, drinks, and more.
You can find more details about the event here.
Other places to spend a couple of hours with good music, food, and drinks include Kaze - a beautiful rooftop space for Japanese cuisine and a panoramic view of the city, Bob’s Bar for pocket-friendly fun, and So Far Sounds to be a part of the burgeoning community of live music lovers and intimate gigs.
Quintessential Bengaluru Experiences
XV. Dive Into The Journey Of Electric Bikes At AtherSpace
An experience unlike anything else, AtherSpace is Ather Energy’s efforts to bring people closer to the conception and making of the company’s electric bikes. Located at 100ft in Iniranagar, the space houses the “Naked Vehicle” (the frame of the scooter) and allows visitors to simply walk in and take test rides. The idea is to understand the journey of a single Ather bike, the efforts that go into making a product that’s actively contributing to the environment, and to bring people close to the bike.
To know more about it, click here.
XVI. A Brain Museum For When The Zombie Apocalypse Actually Happens
Where: NIHMANS Brain Hospital. Just east of NIHMANS Bus Stop, Hosur Main Road/ Dairy Circle Road.
If the zombie apocalypse were to actually happen, this is the last place you’d want to be. In a very morbid setting, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru, almost 300 brain specimens are on display. From brains of schizophrenics to sufferers of strokes and HIV-infected brains, the ‘artefacts’ here come in all sizes and types. Conceptualised by Dr. S.K. Shankar, the idea is to educate visitors about prevention measures and treatments available for about 70 percent of the showcased diseases. And if that’s not all, at the end of a tour of this museum you even get to hold a human brain in your hands! It is free for public viewing on weekdays and Saturdays between 10 am and 3 pm.
XVII. Unwind With Sensory Deprivation Therapy
Where: Krishna Temple Road (Just Off 100 ft Road), Indiranagar.
Founded by Amitabh Swetta and Vartika Gupta, 1000 Petals is a sanctuary for meditation, therapy and scientific spirituality. Their Sensory Deprivation therapy involves effortlessly floating in a pod with 10 inches of warm water as you slowly disconnect from the world and instead focus on yourself. A one-of-a-kind experience available in Bengaluru, 1000 petals also offers other therapies like Lucia Light Therapy along with mediation and yoga classes held regularly.
Call +919686844770 to make your appointment, and visit their website here.
To know more about Hyatt Centric Bengaluru, click here.