Weekend escapades to Manipal are common if you are in Mangaluru. Hailed as one of the most cosmopolitan towns in India, this Suburb near Udupi is home to students from different parts of the country. It’s the seat of Manipal Academy of Higher Education. This sleepy yet scenic town shot to fame when in 1953 Dr TMA Pai set up the Kasturba Medical College. A few years later (in 1957), the Manipal Institute of Technology was established. Manipal’s proximity to Udupi, Mangaluru and Chikmagalur is also the reason this ‘university town’ is popular among tourists and youngsters alike.

Talking of food, a number of eateries have mushroomed in Manipal over the years. Catering to the taste buds of students from various corners of India, these restaurants and cafés have gained prominence with their own special menus and the experience they offer at these eateries.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the best food joints in Manipal.

Facebook/@sathyaraj.shettigar; the interiors of Dollops

 

1. Dollops

When in Manipal, you cannot not visit Dollops. One of the most popular student hangout joints in the ‘university town’, this eatery flaunts a unique ambience that falls somewhere between country-style and urban casual. Almost always crowded, the place is located in the heart of Manipal. It was set up in 1991. From Mangalurean specials to biryani, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, frankies, rolls, noodles, custard and cola float, there’s a lot to choose from the menu. 

Address: 16-384B, Tiger Circle Upendra Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11.30am to 11pm

Meal for two: ₹400 (approx)

Instagram/@_spiceart_; a rice-chicken combo meal at SnackShack

 

 2. SnackShack

Another popular food joint in Manipal, SnackShack is said to serve the best rice/noodle combination with chicken/vegetables. You can also opt for their Chicken Pepper Steak Meal, besides burgers, pizzas, juices, milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Established in 1989, this eatery is said to be the go-to dinner place for a lot of people in Manipal. 

Address: Tiger Circle, Manipal Store Building, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11am to 11pm

Meal for two: ₹400 (approx)

Facebook/@jackie.m.manipal; the exteriors of Basil Café

3. Basil Café

Their Faajita, Quesadilla and Pastas options are unmissable, while you must also try Basil Café’s sauce-tossed noodles, Malaysian-style dishes - such as Mi Goreng (egg/chicken) and Nasi Ayam - and Basil-special combo meals. Their innovative menu aside, the restaurant is hailed for its cosy ambience and friendly service.     

Address: Dr VS Acharya Road, Vidyaratna Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11am to 10.30pm

Meal for two: ₹600 (approx)

Instagram/@food.passion.fun; Chicken Tikka Biryani with chicken lollipops and kebabs at Sai’s Restaurant

 

4. Sai’s

Be it biryani, seafood, desserts, North Indian or Chinese dishes, Sai’s Restaurant seems to be serving it all. It was established in 2013. Their chicken dishes are particularly popular - be it chicken biryani, kebabs or lollipops, while the Gobi Ghee Roast and Veg Chilly are also worth sampling.  

Address: 9Q2P+4X2, Madhav Nagar, Eshwar Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11.30am to 11pm

Meal for two: ₹600 (approx)

Facebook/@alok.tewary; a glimpse of Hadiqa

 

5. Hadiqa

Formerly The Egg Factory, Hadiqa is known for its ambience, comfortable seating and easy-on-the-pocket menu. Their Chicken Penne Pasta with Basil Pesto is to die for. You can also try their Chicken Crostini, Chicken Lasagne and Grilled Chicken, apart from the burgers and milkshakes that are also popular.     

Address: Smrithi Bhavan, behind TMA Pai Park, Eshwar Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 8.30am to 10.30pm

Meal for two: ₹300 (approx)

Facebook/Dolphin Lunch Home Manipal; a Mangalurean meal at Dolphin Lunch Home

 

6. Dolphin Lunch Home

Want to go for an authentic Mangalurean-style meal in Manipal? Head to Dolphin Lunch Home. Simple interiors and some great food at an affordable price are some of the factors that attract hordes of customers to this humble eatery. You’ll also love their Chicken Pulimunchi, Garlic Chicken, Neer Dosa, Gobi Manchurian and biryanis.    

Address: Eshwar Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11.30am-4pm to 6pm-11pm

Meal for two: ₹400 (approx)

Facebook/Eye Of The Tiger, Manipal; crispy Calamari Rings with a cheesy dip at Eye Of The Tiger

7. Eye of the Tiger

Possibly named after American rock band Survivor Band popular track ‘Eye of the Tiger’, this is basically a restrobar which is quite popular among the youngsters in town. Good food and beer, vintage décor, music and live sports screening are the top crowd-pullers here. Honey Mustard Chicken, Kaffir Lime Chicken Kabab, Thyme Chilli Prawns, Squid Creme Pepper, Yorkshire Lamb Cutlets and Calamari Rings are among the top picks. They also serve an assortment of soups, salads, steaks, pasta, fries, nachos, wings and desserts. 

Address: Inside Green Park Hotel, 4th Floor, Eshwar Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11am to 11.30pm

Meal for two: ₹1,000 (approx)

Instagram/@deepti199; filter coffee at Pai Tiffins

 

8. Pai Tiffins

Although established only in 2018, Pai Tiffins has gained quite the fame within a short period of time. A well-known South Indian restaurant in the student town, it serves quality vegetarian food at an affordable price. Mysore Masala Dosa, Butter Masala Dosa, Goli Bajje, Pongal, gobi/mushroom Manchurian and filter coffee are popular here.   

Address: Shop No. 16-444 A1, Ground Floor, Manipal Commercial Complex, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 7am to 10pm

Meal for two: ₹300 (approx)

Facebook/@@Grubmonkeys

 

9. Grub Monkeys

A burger lover’s paradise, young folks love to hang out at Grub Monkeys. Friendly staff and good music are among the other pluses here. Their Crispy Chicken Burger, Tex Mex Burger, Peri Peri Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken Burger, Sloppy Monkey Burger, Buffalo Sauce Chicken Burger and Classic Veg Burger are among the top choices.   

Address: Dr VS Acharya Rd, Vidyaratna Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 12.30pm to 10.30pm

Meal for two: ₹600 (approx)

Facebook/@Hangyo CTF Manipal; ice cream cups at Hangyo CTF Manipal

 

10. Hangyo CTF

A good place to grab ice creams, their sizzlers and special pizzas and biryanis are also worth trying. People love the Butterscotch and Gadbad ice creams here. Reasonable pricing and friendly staff are among the reasons behind the popularity of this place.    

Address: Near Syndicate Bank Record and Stationary Division, Beside Geetha mandira, Eshwar Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576104

Timings: 11.30am-3pm and 6.30pm-10.30pm

Meal for two: ₹500 (approx)