Along with the mainstream seafood of the region, street food in Mangalore is undeniably epicurean. The mixed aromas of food from across the country are any day highlighted by the exclusivity of the state that could be found elsewhere, but wouldn’t be the same.
Here are the best street food in Mangalore that you must try if you are already there or planning a trip.
1. GassiMay the list begin with a mandatory dedication to the state. This food of Mangalore is rather a thick coconut-based delight. This all-time local favourite can be savoured with roti, rice or the traditional neer dosa or Korri roti (a combination of crispy wafer-like flattened bread made from boiled rice and chicken curry). The gassi is prepared with a variety of ingredients as its central delicacy, such as kori (chicken) gassi, channa dal (chickpeas) gassi, meen (fish) gassi, paneer (cottage cheese) gassi.
Best Places for Gassi: Machali- Behind Ocean Pearl, Sharada Vidyalaya Rd, Kodailbail, Mangalore; and Maharaja- 1st Floor, Trade Centre, Near Jyothi Talkies, Bunts Hostel Rd, Mangalore
2. Goli BajjiIf you are looking for the perfect snack handpicked from the street food of Mangalore, then the Goli bajji is your taste! This perfect evening snack is a sweet and sourish, plain soft bun that can either be eaten plain or with chutney. It is primarily made with maida (flour) and curd and further fried to add to its crispy and golden brown flavour. Also known as Mangalore Bonda, Goli bajji or Goli baje, it makes for a great winter snack or a savoury on a rainy evening.
Best Places for Goli Bhajji: Mitra Samaj- Sri Krishna Temple Complex, Thenkpete, Maruthi Veethika, Udupi, Karnataka.
3. Korri RotiKorri roti or Chicken curry and fried wafers is another Mangalorean food, although mainstream, yet adding to the traditional street food of Mangalore marking the exclusivity of this cuisine. The chicken curry is generally made from a red chilly base, hence, maybe a little spicier for those accustomed to bland taste buds and perfect for the spice lovers. The roti is different from the usual roti one would speak of. It is a crispy, flattened wafer kind of bread used to dip in the curry and savour.
Best Place For Korri Roti: Shetty’s Korri Roti- Commercial Complex, Ground Floor, Hebrews, MG Rd, Mangalore
4. Gujje PodiThis food of Mangalore is a pakoda in other terms, but not the usual pakoda you may have tasted. The Gujje Podi is a jackfruit pakoda, yes, you heard that! Jackfruit fried snack, nope not the jackfruit chips. As unsure as you may seem, the pakoda is that many times good. Another favourite snack of the Mangalorean, this consists of thinly sliced jackfruit pieces dipped in a rich, flavorful batter and deep-fried adding to the crispy and crunchy nature of the pakoda.
Best Place For Gujje Podi: New Tajmahal- Hotel Panchmahal, building, KSR Road, Kodailbail, Mangalore
5. MandakkiYou’ve seen rice, and you’ve seen puffed rice. What if you could merge the two? Unthinkable? Try the Mangalorean Mandakki, and it would force you to think twice! This is a famous and cultural street food of Mangalore that consists of veggies, cooked puffed rice, masala and all the good things life has to offer. Grab a cup of chai (tea) and savour this Mangalorean food, hopefully, while nature is pouring outside your window!
You could find this snack at almost any chat shop in Mangalore, and more so, people prefer to make it themselves and be a little more creative with their ingredients!
6. Kadale Manoli
A famous festive meal, the kadale manoli is usually prepared during south Indian festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi. Although an exclusive dish, it is a must try to those who touch Mangalorean grounds. Literally translated, the kadale manoli means chickpeas (kadale) and ivy gourd (manoli). This beautiful saffron mixture can be eaten either with a side such as rice or dosa and can be eaten just by the dish itself.
Families usually prepare this dish at home, the recipe is pretty simple, and in case you bump into your Mangalorean friend the next time, demand for this savoury! A friend in food is definitely a friend in need!
This spicy snack, though not staple to the region, is still considered to be one of the best food in Mangalore. The crispy covering made of flour is deep-fried in oil, with a savoury filling of potatoes, peas, onions, lentils and various spices to further boost its taste. It’s a quintessential Indian delicacy served best with a side of chutney and a cup of hot chai (tea).
8. Seer Fish Masala Fry
Mangalorean seer fish masala fry is one of those spicy dishes that will definitely make you want to lick your plate clean. The masala paste coating the fish is undertoned with spicy and sour flavours and the fish fried enough to leave its skin crispy. Contrary to the crisp covering, the flesh inside is moist and juicy. This dish bursts with flavours as the spices gives out such a striking aroma and flavour that it is irresistible to one.
This is a dish common to all as it has a universally plain taste. However, in Mangalore, varieties are common such as cheese omelette, masala omelette, masala cheese omelette and more, giving this bland meal a more exotic taste. Ingredients such as tomatoes, chillies, onions, black pepper, cheese, etc., are used to provide it with a unique tinge. Also, in Mangalore, the omelette is often said out loud with the adjoining words bhandary in tow. This household shop has been successful in being deemed synonymous to the dish as it is Mangalore’s best-kept gem.
10. Chicken Ghee Roast
A popular food of Mangalore, the origin of Chicken Ghee Roast roots back to a small town called Kundapur. This sizzling reddish with tangy and spicy flavours seeping out of every bite is a must-have in Mangalore. The unique thing about the recipe is that its spices are roasted in ghee to attain a rich classic flavour. The homemade spices are accompanied by ingredients like coconut, curry leaves and pepper influenced by the flavours of South India.
11. Kerala Parotta
This layered flatbread, exotic street food of Mangalore is a must-try for all the food lovers. Made with key ingredients like eggs, maida and milk, it brings out a rich doughy flavour. Available with a side of different types of curries, it is elegant in taste.
12. Badam MilkThis refreshing drink perfect for a summer day is a classic in Mangalore. Made with exotic spices like saffron and different dry fruits, this milk gives out a delicious sweet taste and aroma. In Mangalore, it is also available in different flavours like pistachio.
13. Mangalore BiryaniThe town of Mangalore has its own version of the country’s most famous delicacy - Biryani. In the city, there are many places which serve different kinds of rice delicacies which includes the Shahi Biryani, Prawn Biryani and the most popular one, Beary Chicken Biryani. It is your usual Dum Biryani with a twist - coconut milk, lots of green chillies, saffron and caramelised onion are added to it apart from the typical ingredients. It is indeed a refreshing take on India’s ever-popular dish, and now we want you to decide if this is the best version of Biryani!
14. Mangalorean BunsPrepared in Udupi- Tulu Mangalore style cuisine, this popular Mangalorean tea time snack is loved all over Karnataka. Pillowy soft bread puris are made with a refreshing dash of sweetness, containing flour, sugar and mashed overripe bananas, so Mangalorean buns are also called banana buns. You can enjoy these buns warm and with coconut chutney at many breakfast places in Mangalore.
Best Places For Mangalorean Buns: New Tajmahal Cafe - Hotel Panchmahal, KSR Road, Mangalore, Khatta Meetha - Saibeen Complex, Lalbagh, Mangalore
15. Prawns and CrabsMangaloreans are fond of seafood cooked with a flavoursome South Indian touch, often eaten for lunch. Sea food in Mangalore like prawns and crabs are fried and cooked with delicious masalas, broths, ghee, shredded coconuts and a variety of spicy condiments. Since a greater population of Mangalore is non vegetarian, prawns and crab delicacies are plenty in the city. With close proximity to the sea and fishing harbours, fresh produce is available every day.
Best Places For Prawns and Crabs: Machali - Ocean Pearl. Sharada Vidyalaya Road, Mangalore; Girimanja’s - Kalikamba Temple, Azizuddin Cross Road, Mangalore
Food Joints in Mangalore
1. Sitharam Chat CharmuriA small food truck situated opposite St.Aloysius College is popularly known for the Charmuri (also known as Jhalmuri). The charmuri is roasted to perfection in coconut oil and is made of puffed rice, onions, chillies, and raw mangoes. The food joint has been operational for over 30 years and a popular destination amongst street-food lovers of Mangalore.
Location - Lighthouse Hill Road
Cost for two - INR 80
2. New Taj Mahal CaféThe place opens at 6 AM to serve piping hot filter coffee along with scrumptious pooris, idlis and dosas. Buns is a popular Mangalorean savoury dish served here which is made flour and bananas (and look similar to Bhaturas). The place is bustling with people during the rush hour, and the locals swear by the place!
Location - Near Navabharath Circle, Kodailbail
Cost for two - INR 250
3. Sri Krishna Bhel Puri HouseLocated in a central market area, Sri Krishna Bhel Puri House is only open during a small window between 4 PM - 9 PM. It makes it your best bet to grab an evening snack after an entire day of shopping. Apart from their famous Bhel Puri do try their Chola Bhatura and Ragada Samosa.
Location - Next To City Market Shopping Centre, Bhavathi Street, Bhavathi
Cost for two - INR 150
4. Shetty Lunch Home
Non-vegetarian foodies cannot leave Mangalore without tasting the range of seafood options, and this cosy place is a must-visit place. Their neer dosa, fish thali, and crab ghee roast are few of the best dishes amongst the offerings.
Location - Opposite Don Bosco Building, Balmatta
Cost for two - INR 500
5. WoodlandsIt is one of the oldest Udipi restaurants in Mangalore and has many options if you decide to have breakfast or an evening snack. Their speciality Goli Bajjis and Filter Coffee will make your day. You can also order in from the convenience of your car instead of sitting inside the restaurant.
Location - Hotel Woodlands, Bunts Hostel Road, BalmattaWhich of these Mangalorean dishes have you tried? Let us know your favourite in the comments below!
Cost for two - INR 300