Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads!


Want to explore more road trips that you can take in 2022? Head to this page to find your next favourite holiday!

Idli and dosa are the first things that come into our heads when thinking about Karnataka's cuisine! Isn't it?

However, staying in Bangalore for over 15 years has made me appreciate one of the oldest cuisines in the country. Known for its spicy curries and seafood forte, food in Karnataka is an experience in itself. Influenced by the neighbouring states, coastal areas, and rich history, the state offers you seven mouthwatering culinary delights.

Let me take you on a road trip amidst the Western Ghats, Deccan Plateau and Kannad Coast, fiilled with forests, beaches, waterfalls, coffee plantations, and lakes across Karnataka.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Loved for its pleasant weather, this city is renowned for its small eatery joints, street food, eccentric cafes and pubs dotting every nook and corner of the city.

You simply cannot leave Bangalore without trying these local dishes:

🍴Idli & Masala Dose- Vidyarthi Bhavan in Basavangudi

🍴Donne Biryani- Shivaji Military hotel

☕ Filter Coffee- Across the city

🍴Chow Chow bath- MTR

🍴Kesari bath- Veena Stores in Malleshwaram

🍴Bangarpet Chats- Near Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Nagarathpet

For a detailed guide of Bengaluru click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Bengaluru to Mysuru via- Bidadi-Ramnagara

The 3 and half hour journey (143.5 kms) from Bangalore to Mysore takes you through the famous Ramnagara hills (In the movie Sholay!), amusement parks, temples and historical towns.

You simply cannot miss the Thatte Idli in Bidadi and the famous Maddur Vada on the way to Mysuru.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

The Heritage City has a lot to offer when it comes to your taste buds. While the city has lot to offer when it comes to beautiful palaces, parks and temples- do not forget to have these famous food items while you are here:

🍴Different types of dosas, idlis and chutneys especially Mysore Masale Dose- Hotel Vinayaka Mylari

🍴Mysore Pak- Guru Sweet Mart

🍴Payasam- Mahesh Prasad Veg Restaurant

🍴Mysore Churumuri- Street hawkers near Marimallappa’s college

🍴Bisi Bele Bath and Mysore Bonda- TKS Iyengars Restaurant

🍴Traditional Mysore Thali- Includes kosambri, huli or saaru, gojju, palyas, rasam, pappad, pickle and curds- Hotel RRR Mysuru

For a detailed guide of Mysuru click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Mysuru to Kodagu (Coorg) via Nagarhole

Lush green forests, coffee plantations, an occasional deer or elephant across the road- this is how I can describe this epic 3 hours (140 kms) journey.

Known as the "Scotland of India", Kodagu is a hill station offering mesmerising valleys, coffee plantations, numerous waterfalls, varied wildlife and trekking trails.

A haven for non vegetarians, Kodagu is also famous for its delish coorgi cusine. Some of the food items, which will enhance your taste buds are :

Kadambuttu, Bamboo Shoot Curry, Noolputtu, Neyi Koolu, Pandhi Curry, Kuleputtu, Kodava Mudi Chekke Barthad, Kodava Ellu Pajji, Paputtu, Akki Otti.

Visit Coorg Cuisine, Capitol Village, Badriya, MB Cafe, Cuisine Paapera, Silver Sky Restaurant for authentic Kodava Food.

For a detailed guide of Kodagu click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Kodagu to Mangalore via Dubare

A scenic 4 hours drive (159 kms) this route will overjoy the wanderer side of you with view points, natural waterfalls, quaint beaches, forts and suspension bridge. Coastal Karnataka starts from this route.

Known as the 'Rome of the East', Mangaluru offers you a diversified cultural and historical architecture, which also reflects in their famous cuisine. The city is famous for sparkling beaches, undulating hills, freshwater streams, coconut palms, and astonishing wildlife. Don't forget to visit the Bekal fort ( famous from the song ( "tu hi re" ) while you are here.

You have to try these authentic Mangalorean delicacies in the city:

Neer Dosa- Ideal Cafe

Chicken Sukka- Machali

Mangalore Buns- New Tajmahal Cafe

Sea Food Thali & Chicken Ghee Roast- Shetty Lunch Home

Kori Rotti- Shetty's Kori Rotti

Kappa Rotti- Hotel Kappa Roti

Bangude Puli Munchi- Janatha Lunch Home

Mangalore Bajji or Gole Baje- The Balli Shop

For a detailed guide of Mangalore click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Mangalore to Udupi via Maravanthe

A 2 hours drive ( 75 kms) through the beaches of Coastal Karnataka, you can hit the Fisheries Road instead of the Main Highway. You will be surrounded by river on one side and the sea on the other, while witnessing the rich culture of the locales. Enroute - You will get to witness scenic beaches like Pithrody, Maravanthe Beach (Arabian Sea on one side and Souparnika river on the other) and Kappu beach(lighthouse beach).

A city with rich history, culture, cuisine and nature, Udupi is a coastal town with quaint eateries to dazzling beaches. Known for white water rafting, famous temples, St.Mary's Island ( take a ferry) and wildlife, this growing city is also famous for its strictly vegetarian Udupi Cuisine.

Some of the dishes you cannot miss are:

Udupi Meal- Served in Plantain leaf, the meal consists of Saaru, Koddelu, Menaskai, Huli, Tambuli, Spiced Rice, Tallu, Aiethna and Bakshya- MTR or Shri Krishna Matha ( The temple serves free lunch to its devotees)

Goli Baji, Kaddubu or Moode & Patrode- Mitra Samaj

Banana Bun- Hotel Shree Krishna

Pelakai Halwa- Udupi Sweets

Mandakki Upkari- Chandru Churmuri Shop

For a detailed guide of Udupi click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Udupi to Gokarna via Malpe – Kollur – Kundapura– Murudeshwar – Honnavar – Kumta

This 178 kms drive is one of the most beautiful coastal drive in India and a travel lover's dream come true. Marking the Karavali coastal, the diverting beauty of the terrain of this region is driven by its rivers, mangrove forests, creeks, waterfalls, temples, forts, caves and ranges of hills.

You can visit the Mookambika temple in Kollur and once you reach Kundapura do not miss to eat at the famous Shetty’s Lunch Home. Continue your beautiful coastal drive to Bhatkal and have Biryani in Kwality Hotel and reach Murudeshwar. Explore the temple with second tallest Shiva statue in the world. Continue to Idagunji and visit the Ganapati temple.

Stop over at Apsarakonda to see the mesmerising waterfalls. Drive to honnavar and explore one of the best mangrove forests in the country.

Finally explore pristine Vannali and Mangodlu beaches near Kumta.

You can start your day early morning from Kumta to reach Gokarna while visiting the Yana Caves and Mirjan fort on your way.

With pristine beaches where on can witness hills on one side and beach on the other, Gokarna is renowned Hindu shrines. With innumerable cliffs, coves and lip smacking cuisine, this small town is a must visit.

Here are some of the gastronomic delights that you better not miss!

Konkani Thali: With traditional preparations of rice and rotis with saru, gojju, palya, thovve and other accompaniments- Halfway Home

Todadevu & Patrode- Dattaprasad Tiffin Canteen

Clam curry- Open House Fishland

Prawn Masala & Seer Fish Fry or sizzlers - Honni Mane Home Fish Food

For a detailed guide of Gokarna click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Gokarna to Hubli and Dharwad via Dandeli ( 205 km)

This 5 hour drive is filled with forests, quaint villages and ghats. At 133 kms you will find Dandeli, a popular adventure sports destination in Karnataka due to white water rafting opportunities in the Kali river. Experience the thrills of white water rafting on some unpredictable stretches.

The second largest city in Karnataka, Hubli is a captivating place with its lovely parks, Unkal lake, beautiful architecture and scenic views of the Nrupatunga hills. The city is home to the famous Khanavali. Khanavali is the name given to the food and the places that serve the authentic North Karnataka food.

Lip-smacking food you must have in Hubli and Dharwad are :

Girmit & Kanda Bhajji- “Durgad Bail” eat street

Hubli-Dharwad Pedha - Babusing Thakur Pedha shop

Paapdi Chutney- Ramesh Sweets

Bhille Lakkad Ghaati and Misal Khara- Bhille

Mirchi Bhajji (in Akkihond Market)- Famous Bassu Mirchi Wala

Lingayat Khanavali Meals- Basaveshwar Khanavali

Savji Kahavali Meal- Jumann

For a detailed guide of Hubli click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Hubli to Hampi via Gadag and Hosapete

If you are a history buff this route is for you. Enroute Hampi visit ruined temples at Gadag & Lakkundi. It is filled with lush green forest on both sides of the road.

You must stop at Hosapete for the famous local cuisine Jolada rotti – Ennegayi palya at Naivedyam and visit the Tungabhadra Dam.

A world heritage site, known for it's ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara and located at the banks the Tungabhadra River, Hampi is a cultural town like no other.

Being a temple town, it is difficult to get non vegetarian here. However, the local North Karnataka thalli at Mango Restaurant is something to die for . Comprising of Bhakri, Badane Kaayi , Shenga/Ellu chutney, Ranjaka, Kosambari, Bele Kaalu, Mosarubajji, Raw Salads, Anna, Saaru, Happala, Mosaru, Benne Tuppa it is served in traditional banana leaf.

For a detailed guide of Hampi click here.

Photo of Driving Down Karnataka To Taste The Best On The Roads! by Tanisha Mundra

Hampi to Bangalore via Davanagere – Chitradurga – Tumakuru

Hampi to Bengaluru drive is filled with lakes, coconut trees, Wildlife Sanctuary, Chitradurga fort, ancient Temples, Ankali mutt (a temple between huge rocks and underground carved out caves). You can also visit Chandravalli, a beautiful archaeological site, and is a region of valley formed by three hills Chitradurga, Kirabanakallu and Jolagudda.

While you are at it have Lip-smacking Benne Dosa with a spicy chutney and potato palya (curry) at Old Sagar Benne Dose in Davanagere.

To summarize, Karnataka is filled with vivid colours, rich heritage and culture, resulting in a gastronomic experience you will never forget.

Follow me on Instagram and explore this world through my eyes!

Ready to travel for free? Earn Credits and redeem them on Tripoto’s weekend getaways, hotel stays and vacation packages!