Top Ten Must have Food in Mangalore

We stay away from our homes for 4-5 years and Mangalore is the place we’ve chosen. Now that you are already here, it is time to delight in the gastronomical delicacies of the food in Mangalore. Luckily for us Mangalore offers a variety of delicious food at an equally amazing number of restaurants.

If you had visited Mangalore a couple of decades ago, you would have been a tad bit disappointed. However with the great boom in the second-tier cities across the country, a consequent boon for all foodies is the arrival of innumerable restaurants, make shift ‘chaat’ stalls and fast food chains. In addition to the greater variety of options, there are also confusions which arise in choosing an eating place apt for your occasion/budget/taste preferences.

Here I list the Top 10 best food in Mangalore that you must taste before leaving this not-so-tiny town in south India.

10. Cottage Cheese with Spinach Soup at Palkhi – This is one damn “LEGENDARY” soup of the Vegetarian variety you must have! Palkhi restaurant is right next to the Kasturba Hospital/UMC at Ambedkar circle. Though it is slightly expensive, it is a must visit at least once during your stay in Mangalore. Apart from the Cottage Cheese and Spinach soup, the fish here is awesome, especially the Pomfret Tawa fry. Tip: Also try the Chicken Chatpata.

09. Palak Paani Puri at Chaat Zaara – If there is one thing about the food in Mangalore, it is that, there is something for everyone’s taste buds. Chaat Zaara is right behind Hotel Deepa Comforts on M.G.Road. This is one of the places that is light on the pockets, but the taste is something you’ll keep coming back to. The Palak Paani puri is something you’ll not find elsewhere in Mangalore, and the taste is something you’ll find unique!

08. Prawn Dimsums at Mainland China – The best Chinese restaurant in Mangalore by a mile, Mainland China offers a wonderfully blended menu which combines and contrasts the ingredients. Each of their dishes makes you yearn for more. The Prawn Dimsums simply melt in your mouth and are something you shouldn’t miss when you visit this slightly heavy on your pocket restaurant.

07. Chicken Dum Biryani at Andhra House – Next to the KSRTC bus stand at Bejai, this restaurant proudly flies the Andhra flag and lives up to the reputation of Andhra food. The Chicken Dumb biryani is the best available in Mangalore. You can also try the full meal here which is served with authentic spicy chutney and garlic tinged powder.

06. Chicken Tandoori at Diner’s Paradise – Located opposite City Hospital in Kadri, the restaurant remains open till 1 am on weekdays and 3 am on weekends! The two items on the menu you must have are the delicious chicken dum biryani and the Chicken Tandoori.

05. Thai Crunchy Chicken at Hao Hao/ Hao Ming – Yearning for delicious food in Mangalore, but have a somewhat light wallet? Never fear, the Hao’s are here. These two restaurants are among the oldest Chinese restaurants and serve incredibly delicious food in Mangalore every time. A filling 3 course meal would cost anywhere between Rs 150 – 250.

04. Chicken Hyderabadi Kabab at Clay Oven – This one is slightly farther than the other restaurants, at the Mangalore Gate near Kankanady. One of the better Arabic themed restaurants, the quantity is not luxurious, but they make up for it in terms of taste. However, if you are on a budget, best avoid this place as it is gonna cost you a lot and at the same time will not fill your belly.

03. The Standing Fish at  Guthu Family Restaurant – A huge Pomfret served perpendicular (literally standing) on a plate. Guthu family restaurant has many amazing dishes, but the Stand out dish literally has to be the one mentioned above. Cooked in a delicate blend of spices, this dish will give you a heavenly feeling!

Narayans Mangalore
Photo: The 3Hungry Men

02. Fish curry and Fish Fry at Narayan’s – Now if you come to Mangalore, you are a Fish-eatarian and you do not eat fish at Narayan’s, then seriously, something is wrong with you. Though the place may put you off (located in an older part of Mangalore, the ambiance doesn’t actually score this place any brownie points), the fish curry and fish fries are something every fish eating person in Mangalore yearns for. Open only for afternoon meals, do go before 1pm if you do not like waiting and you might just run in to that famous person from Mangalore you always wanted to meet.

01. GSB Style Fish Fries/Curries at Prabhu Brothers – If there is one thing about the food in Mangalore, it is about the amalgamation of flavours. The GSB community has contributed immensely to the regional delicacies and names like Phanna Upkari, hinga utka, alle piyav gashi etc are something everyone looks forward to. The Prabhu brothers operate out of a small rickshaw opposite C.V Nayak hall ans stir up these delicacies at amazingly reasonable prices. They are open between 7pm and shut shop by 10pm. You will be lucky if you get anything after 9pm though. Visit them and you’ll surely remember Maa ke haath ka khana.