Retro Bites: Hop on for a ride on the 90’s Bangalore Food Express

Be it a fast-food chain selling burgers through a clown, or a posh rooftop-restaurant serving “authentic Lebanese food”, or a fast-paced restro-pub dishing out exotic tapas and cocktails, these were things unheard of if you were a Bangalorean in the 90s.

We’re talking of a simpler time when you could count the number of restaurants on Church Street on one hand, when you could stand on the terrace of your house and see the LIC Stone Building at Anil Kumble Circle and when Koramangala didn’t quite exist as part of the city.

If we’ve already got you feeling nostalgic, wait till you hear our take on the foods every city-dweller got the munchies for, in the 90s. We’re not saying all the food we’ve listed below are still the best, it’s just that they were un-pretentious, are of a forgotten era and still give us that warm fuzzy feeling when eaten.

West Bangalore (This was the erstwhile Centre of the city but for the sake of convenience it’s being referred to as West Bangalore in this post)

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If you lived in the Rajajinagar/ Malleswaram/Basvangudi area or just anywhere in West Bangalore, we’re sure the following were a regular with you:

  • Bun butter congress from VB Bakery,
  • Dil Pasand & coconut biscuits from O.G. Variar & Sons
  • Elvis Presley & Choc Fiesta from Richie Rich
  • Snacks like chow chow bath mixture and favourites like Mysore Pak from Venkateshwara Sweets or Krishna Sweets
  • Rava Idly from MTR or the Benne Saagu Masala Dosa from CTR or Idli-vada from Veena Stores/Raghavendra Stores, or Vasudev Adigas, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Brahmin’s Cafe and similar old-school South Indian joints.
  • Bangalore-style Chaats from Karnataka Bhel House

Central Bangalore

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Central Bangalore comprised of its fair share of iconic restaurants. If you grew up in this area in the 90s, these were very likely some of things you loved snacking on:

  • Mixed Grill and Appam & stew from Koshy’s
  • Kulfi, grape juice, mango juice & lassi from Bowring Kulfi Stand
  • Masala Dosa and Chana Batura from Airlines
  • Burgers from Indiana
  • Kebabs & Brain fry from Empire or Imperial
  • Death By Chocolate & Hot Chocolate Fudge from Corner House
  • Rum tart, Apple cake ball, Pineapple Pastry, sandwiches & Lasagna from Sweet Chariot
  • Dry-fruit Ice Cream with cream & honey from Lakeview
  • Chocolate-covered Marie Biscuits from Nilgiris
  • Plum Cake from Thom’s Bakery
  • Coffee & South Indian breakfast from India Coffee House
  • Bengali sweets & Mishti Dohi from KC Das
  • Sweets & Chaats from Arya Bhavan, Kanti Sweets etc.
  • Chinese food from Chung-wah
  • North Indian food from Queen’s
  • Coastal food from Tom’s Restaurant
  • Indo-Chinese food & South Indian food from Woody’s (Remember going shopping in Commercial Street and invariably ending up at Woody’s for a bite?)

East Bangalore (East Bangalore were the outskirts of the city so you wouldn’t find too many eateries here)


Although, eateries in East Bangalore were far and few in number, favourites from them were:

  • Mutton Samosa & Mutton Cutlet from Albert Bakery
  • Punjabi, Marathi & Gujarati Food from Bombay Post at Carlton Towers.
  • Cream Cones, Honey Cake, Aloo Bun, Veg Puff and Jam Swiss Roll from Iyengar Bakery (includes all their branches throughout the city).
  • You can easily skip Airlines, Indiana and Woody’s as the quality of their food has severely deteriorated. Also, Bombay Post shut down a couple of years back with the rest of the places in Carlton Towers.
  • Do make your own judgment call on things like cream cones from Iyengar Bakery and food from India Coffee House as the culinary standards of the city have risen since they started selling the said foods.
  • We realize this list is not all-encompassing, so if you think we’ve missed a place drop off your comments below; we’d love to hear from you!


DISCLAIMER All reviews posted by The Bangalore Food Harem are solely the personal opinions of the reviewers, presented in good faith. The opinions given are open to the reader’s discretion and any restaurant who feels there needs to be a reassessment of any review is welcome to contact us at Defamatory or malicious voice will not be used, as this is neither our goal nor aspiration.