Two lomoheads go searching for the best filter coffee in Bangalore, India. This is the second, and concluding, part of the series.
The last two weeks have been uber-hectic! For those of you who missed it, here’s nishichauhan's Episode 1 where we promised we’d go looking for the best filter coffee in town. And for the last two weeks that’s exactly what we’ve done. We’ve travelled the length and breadth of the city sampling lip-smacking coffee and shooting loads of film on our Lomography La Sardina.
What we have for you, today, is the culmination of an endless stream (or so it seemed to us) of coffee! Three handpicked kaapi joints in the city that are sure to satisfy your gustatory cravings! So without further ado, let’s jump right in (or sip right up, whatever gets your goat).
Komala Refreshments, in the Frazer Town suburb of North Bangalore is a traditionalist’s delight. It’s a dimly lit, basic-table-and-chair eatery that’s been serving freshly made Karnataka-style fast food and fresh-brewed kaapi for decades now. The place is usually full, even on weekday afternoons, and you need to be quite prepared to wait a while for a table, or share it with someone else, if you’re looking to grab a bite. If you’re only there for the coffee, however, you’re probably better off ordering a kaapi-to-go and sipping on your brew, standing on the pavement outside. Not surprisingly, table turnover rate is quite high, service is super-fast and the waiters are a harried lot. For me the long-outdated, period decor and the table-and-chair feel of the place are the most attractive pieces of the package. For sheer local flavour this has to be your choice!
If you travel to the southern part of Bangalore, to the suburb of JP Nagar, you’ll find yourself in the heartland of the traditional Kannadiga population of the city. Smack in the middle of a block full of old-time, lavish bunglows you’ll run into the Rangashankara Theatre. If you’re here to catch a production of Hamlet (or whatever else is playing), do make the time to drop into the theare’s charming little cafe. The entire place is a hub for the who’s who of the local theatre scene to hang out and chill. The decor is eclectic, and ever changing, and the place just throbs with energy on weekends. The cafe serves delectable local cuisine and also whips up a mean kapi, but for me it’ll always be a favourite because it’s such a vibrant place to be in!
But I can understand if you’d much rather enjoy your cuppa in your own leisurely time, with none of the hubbub I’ve described so far. If a quiet cup of coffee on a languid afternoon seems more up your alley then all you need to do is head a few blocks further south of Rangashankara, to the Cafe Pascucci. It’s one of six outlets in the city and is, apparently, a franchise of the original Italian cafe. They have the most delicious, wood-fired pizzas and perfectly brewed espressos but they’re equally happy serving you filter coffee. All you have to do is ask. If you’re here on a weekday afternoon, your desire for some peace and quiet, and a warm cuppa, will be handsomely satisfied!
So there you are. Three handpicked joints for three different moods. All so you can grap yourself a cup of kaapi the next time you’re a-visiting Bangalore. And if you are, do look me up. And my partner-in-crime nishichauhan.