First off, I wish to remain anonymous. However I want you guys to know that I am a foreign student who came to Manipal during 2006-2007 on an exchange trip and fell in love with the place. And with my experience of a trip around India I can say that the cuisine-price level of a lot of restaurants in Manipal is just amazing.
My friends and I, went on a restaurant safari across Manipal,so to speak. Based on my experiences I am giving some suggestions where you can enjoy your evening. Keep in mind that this is only a small list of restaurants in Manipal at that time,we had many more restaurants and probably there are many more today. For further recommendations feel free to ask your fellow Indian students or leave a comment on this post.
This restaurant is situated in Hotel Rukmini Residency in Udupi and offers the famous meal “Mutton Banarasi” (non-spicy). Only this meal is worth the 15-minute rickshaw trip to Udupi. After tasting this meal you won’t mind the “high” price level (200 Rs).
You want to try the North-Indian and world-famous Tandoori Chicken? Then the “Hot Spot” is the right place for you. Situated at the Manipal Main Road to Udupi, this restaurant offers the best chicken in town. Try Chicken Peshwari and Chicken Haryali. Combine it with a cold sweet lassi and you will be in chicken heaven.
A huge variety of Indian food is offered at Dollops. It’s placed opposite to the bus station at Tiger Circle. The restaurant is often crowded, so it’s better to come some minutes earlier to pre-order a place. The restaurant is famous for its very good Shahi-Paneer and the Hot Garlic Chicken (mid-price range).
If you are into pasta after some Indian food, the “Basil” could be the right thing for you. The restaurant is situated behind the Manipal.edu main building and offers a well-chosen pasta menu as well some very good Chicken Tikka Masala (mid-price range).
Little Chef is an insider tip. Famous and well-known among MIT students, it is situated next to the bus service point and before the old football ground behind Kamath Circle. From the outside this small restaurant does not inspire confidence when seen for the first time. But Little Chef offers snacks like noodles, sandwiches and double coffee that tastes awesome. A lot of students used to go there for having their lunch or dinner. Ask for a Jumbo Chicken Burger, a Chicken Sandwich and a cold Banana lassi. Besides offering very tasty food, their owners became friends and invited us to consecration ceremonies of their new-built houses and to stag nights. Give Little Chef a try and close your visit with a handmade chai.
Discovered due to the fact that Indian fellow students were living above the restaurant in the same house, Mightys became a regularly visited restaurant for us. It’s placed before Manipal fuel station close to the bar “Dee Tee”. Our favourite food there was definitely Chicken Patiala in combination with Butter Garlic Nan as well as lemon and onions. You have to try this. Interestingly, Mightys also offers home service. You can order your food via phone and have it delivered to Kamath’s Circle if you’re living in one of the hostels (mid-price range).
Last but not least, I want to introduce our most often visited restaurant during our stay in Manipal. It is situated inside the shop building at Tiger Circle. Especially the evening visits have been kept in good memory. Therefore, don’t choose a place inside the restaurant, rather walk right next to the till and turn left in front of the kitchen. You will reach stairs, which lead you directly to the roof-top (only open in the evening). From there you can enjoy your food with an incredible panoramic view over Tiger Circle. Start your dinner with “Potatoe Lovers” or “Chicken Sausage Pepper Fry”. As main course you should order “Sweet Tango” or “Rainbow Rooster”. Finish the evening with an unbelievable “Lychee Salsa” (ice cream) and also ask for a cold Mango Lassi. In total this tasty food does not cost more than 300 RS.
This is a guest post by an ex-Manipal foreign student who wishes to remain anonymous. Some of the restaurants mentioned may not exist today.