February 23, 2024

Breakfast in Bangalore – 5


Continuing from my other Breakfast in Bangalore posts – although there hasn’t been one in this series in a while now – here is Airlines Hotel (circa 1968). This is a particularly timely post since the fate of this iconic alfresco hangout is hanging in the balance of a court judgement.

Before you go any further, read about the history of Airlines Hotel here…

Bangalore’s version of the adda, Airlines is an open air little restaurant (for want of a better word) just off Lavelle Road close to the turn for St. Mark’s road. This place is busy at any time of the day, and especially so on weekends and weekday evenings. There is a ‘No Smoking’ notice hidden away in one corner and from what I have seen, locals insouciantly puff on its face.

Filter CoffeeLike many Bangalore institutions (think MTR, think Koshy’s), getting the attention of waiters here too is an art form. Or perhaps not. I think it is to do with your luck that day – the waiter for your table might be in a particularly good mood or just like your face a lot and in that case, you get served real quick. Quick enough for Bangalore, that is. Buat anyway, again like those other Bangalore institutions, who goes there to eat? The idea is to meet, greet and chat your way through several cups of filter coffee and the lives of friends not present there.


UpmaAs such, Airlines is known for its dosa and upma (genuine white and fluffy upma and not the tangy Bangalore kharabhat variety) but they also have a chaat corner which I have never tried. In the evenings, they pull out all stops and serve everything from chhole bhature to gobi manchurian.

There are a few more eating joints inside the premises now, including a small pizza joint and a chocolate shop. Corner House also has an outlet there with outside seating. And oh, Airlines itself is a drive-in place and I am told that eating crisp masala dosa from the comfort of your car seat used to be a favourite Bangalore pastime.

But given how lovely Bangalore weather can be through most of the year, I prefer to get out and find a chair under the sprawling banyan trees.

Perhaps, no longer?

3 thoughts on “Breakfast in Bangalore – 5

  1. I was so sad to know that Airlines might shut down. I have heard a lot about the place, have always meant to go there, but have never been. Looks like I might not get a chance to go there now. 🙁

    1. It’s one of Bangalore’s addas – a place to sit and chill for hours. Hopefully, they may still stay open (depends on the court judgment). But you know the sad part – this is the thing about a lot of travel destinations across the world as such – we need to visit before they disappear or fall into ruins 🙁

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