Bengaluru’s food and drink trail includes classics like idli and masala dosa washed down with a steaming cup of filter coffee.
Filter kaapi, an important part of food culture in South India, is made by mixing boiled, frothy milk with coffee brewed in a traditional filter. Indian filter coffee is different from filter coffee in the West, which is actually drip brew coffee. Bengaluru’s food and drink trail includes classics like idli and masala dosa washed down with a steaming cup of filter kaapi.
Coffee expert Sandeep Srinivasa has identified that coffee was considered an upper-class Brahmanical drink, and played a direct role in the Tamil struggle for equal access to ‘coffee hotels’ in the 1900s. Matters have cooled down across India but the coffee at these establishments is still hot. We list five places where you’d find the best filter coffee in Bengaluru:
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar
Known for its idli-chutney, vada and kesari bath, Brahmin’s Coffee Bar in Basavanagudi also serves excellent filter coffee. The place is a Bangalore institution that has been popular among the coffee-drinking crowd for years. It’s an unpretentious setting with only standing space. Prices are so humble it’s surprising—the filter coffee is priced at ₹20.
Claiming to serve ‘rural cuisine in a rural setting’, Halli Mane serves traditional Karnataka-style food and steaming hot filter coffee along with it. The akki roti is very popular, as is the thatte idli (served only between 4-10pm). Stop by for a wholesome meal of dosa or a breakfast of poori sagu (served between 9-11am). The star of the show, however, remains the coffee.
The Filter Coffee
A Kalyan Nagar restaurant with dosas like ghee masala, paper roast, podi masala and onion ghee on the menu, The Filter Coffee also serves unlimited meals. The place is known for serving different renditions of filter coffee, like black filter coffee and hazelnut filter coffee. Try the unusual flavours or stick to dependable original.
CTR Shri Sagar
Those who visit Malleshwaram usually don’t leave without a meal at CTR Shri Sagar. CTR is over 50 years old and the dosas here are very popular, as is the filter coffee, which is milky and frothy. The place is always packed, so it’s wise to arrive to be able to bag a table. Patrons especially love the benne masala dosa.
The Coffee Board Truck
An iconic coffee truck on Avenue Road, The Coffee Board Truck opens from the early hours of the morning until 10am so visit during this time if you’d like to grab some filter coffee before or after breakfast. They serve only coffee and no food, so it’s evident that what they do is very specialised. The filter coffee will keep you wanting to return.