One of South India’s most famous tourist destinations, Mysore is a resplendent, jewel-like city admired for its glittering palaces, royal gardens, and magnificent monuments. Along with standard Indian and international fare, Mysore’s restaurant scene serves the best-loved local recipes and dishes of South India. From humble kitchens concealing mind-blowing meals to glamorous fine dining destinations, here is a look at the 10 best restaurants in Mysore.
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To say Vinayaka Mylari (or simply Mylari) is simply ‘a famous restaurant’ would be akin to committing a crime in Mysore. When more townspeople can agree on a single place’s excellence than the direction from which the Sun rises, you know you’re in the presence of something legendary. Do not expect fancy décor, but do come with an empty stomach. This is a place known for food and food alone, especially the dosas. A fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils, the dosa is a staple of many Indian menus; at Mylari, it’s served on a banana leaf with a side of coconut chutney. Sounds simple, yet it’s this dish that has made Mylari an icon in the eyes of Mysore’s citizens. You can also drop by in the morning for a filling breakfast to kick-start your day, without putting a dent in your wallet.
If you’re craving tasty seafood or North Indian food and beer on a budget, then head to Oyster Bay. Tucked in the midst of a perennially crowded college area, this restaurant offers guests a break from the bustle with its quiet ambiance and soothing décor. If you like a good crowd, you can also opt to sit outside in their plush outdoor dining and enjoy the cool breezes blowing across the restaurant in the evenings. This seafood spot serves a surprising range of cuisines, including North Indian, Chinese, continental and Mughlai. They also offer a well-stocked lounge bar if you want to take a break and relax with a drink. When dinnertime rolls around, go for the seafood island soup for a starter and kung pao lamb for the main course.
One of Mysore city’s iconic eateries, Hotel RRR is a decades-old institution best known for its meatier dishes. This restaurant doesn’t just have regular clients, they have regular families spanning two to three generations. Since they only seat about fifty folks at a time, this means they’re always packed. Do your best to snag a seat and sample the small but mighty menu that’s bringing in these huge crowds. The biryani is a star attraction here, though you can go for the mutton and fish fry too. Whatever you order will be served to you on a banana leaf, South Indian style. Their menu has remained almost exactly the same for decades, and the quality of their food is the same high standards as when they first opened. The food is a bit on the spicy side, so get a big glass of water and brace your taste buds.
You’ll find the charming Tiger Trail tucked away in the Royal Orchid Metropole. Housed inside a heritage building owned by the royal family of Mysore, this restaurant built its menu around recipes which are local to the various tiger reserves located all over India. This premise resulted in a wide range of dishes traversing Italian, North Indian and Chinese cuisines. You can choose to dine inside surrounded by the history of the building, or enjoy the greenery and fresh air of their outdoor seating section. Though they’re located in the heart of the city, the atmosphere is surprisingly tranquil. Tiger Trail is best known for its range of succulent kebabs, so be sure to sample a few when you stop in, they are worth every bite and penny.
Spring is an elegant fine dining establishment located in one of Mysore’s best hotels, Radisson Blu Plaza. This restaurant stays open all day to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner from North and South India, as well as Continental cuisine. The locals throng to this place for its impressive buffets. Spring also offers a special menu just for kids, and their kitchen is happy to accommodate diners with special dietary requests. The bar offers a striking range of spirits and a few impressive wines. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Mysore, this is a perfect place to treat yourself.
Mahesh Prasad embodies the typical South Indian dining experience, and is beloved by Mysore locals for both what it offers and what it represents. In the struggle to keep up with modern times, many truly traditional restaurants have sadly shut down, but this gem remains open thanks to a base of loyal local customers who spread the word and give it a modern presence with rave reviews on social media. Their doors are open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a nice cup of tea. On this menu, look beyond the usual idlis and dosas and try the Khara Bhath, Vangi bath or Pongal.
By The Way
By The Way is a great hangout spot for casual dining, based in a goan-style shack with relaxed outdoor seating on a large, grassy lawn beside an epic waterfall pond. Their thoughtfully-designed play area keeps younger customers engaged while waiting for their food, and makes the restaurant more than just a place to grab a quick bite. If you’re looking for a place to kick back and unwind while digging into some quality Chinese, seafood or continental food, By The Way is the place to be.
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