Mysore, and particularly Gokulam, has a vast array of great places to eat – you just have to know where to find them. From very cheap standard South Indian fare to more expensive organic/vegan/gluten-free Western and fusion options, it’s often surprising what you can find here. And if you like food half as much as I do, you’re going to want to try them all!
Many of the cafes and restaurants can be tricky to find, particularly if it’s your first time in Mysore, and some have very specific opening hours, so I’ve put together the following guide to help you navigate your way around the wonderful world of food in and around Gokulam.
Look out for my follow-up post which will suggest great places to eat within Mysore city itself, as well as covering the all-important topic of coffee and ice-cream. And after that I’ll be sharing my tips on where to buy food for preparing at home whilst staying here in Mysore.
Please note: restaurants close down and pop up all the time and I’m sure there’ll be places I’ve missed or information that’s changed. Please leave a comment if you notice anything that’s incorrect, and I’ll endeavour to keep this post up to date.
- = cheap as chips
- = mid-range
- = expect to pay a bit more
- = left hand side
- = right hand side
N.B. As there are a few coconut stands now, the references in the directions below refer to the original coconut stand, on the corner of Contour Road and 1st Main (also known as 9th Cross).
Anu’s Bamboo Hut
Anu’s Bamboo Hut, 2nd Main, Gokulam 3rd Stage – 1st left after the coconut stand, look for the big black gate with the “Anu’s” sign $$
Anu and her husband Ganesh are like the mother and father of the yoga community in Gokulam. As well as organising taxis, scooters and accommodation, giving cooking lessons and campaigning for safer streets, they also run a cafe in a bamboo hut on their roof.
Anu’s home-cooked buffet lunches are the epitome of hearty, wholesome, healthy, safe and delicious Indian food. She always uses the freshest ingredients and the buffet lunch includes brown rice, curries, dal, chapatis, salads and a yummy dessert.
In the evenings Anu serves delicious banana-based smoothies (so thick they’re served in bowls), with optional add-ins such as dates, figs, cashews, almonds, coconut and chocolate, as well as hot and cold drinks and her famous chocolate pie. Free wifi. Open every day except Thu (and during cooking classes). Lunch buffet (Rs250) 1-3pm, smoothies 5-7pm.
2nd Main, Gokulam 3rd Stage – 1st right after the coconut stand, past shala road, opposite the West Lions school, look for the pink house on the corner $$
Santosha means contentment and this Western breakfast establishment certainly lives up to its name. You’ll always get the warmest of welcomes from Arun, the owner, who offers everything from omelettes and tofu scramble, to fruit salad and pancakes, to granola and almond milk. With the real coffee, bottomless chai and a great range of juices and smoothies, the only hard part is deciding what to order!
My personal favourite is the Ragi pancakes (a type of millet) with banana, cinnamon and honey. The energy balls and banana/beetroot/carrot bread also make great snacks to eat in or take away. Free wifi. Open Sun-Thu 7am-12.30pm (closed Fri & Sat).
1st Main, Gokulam 3rd Stage (also known as 9th Cross) – straight up from the coconut stand on LHS $$
This is another Western breakfast place, very popular for a post-practice indulgence. As well as the usual breakfast fare, you can expect to find grilled cheese/tomato/basil sandwiches, chocolate Ragi pancakes, bruschetta with spinach and tomato, vegetable/tofu/egg scramble, and vegetable salad with peanut butter or tahini.
There are plenty of hot and cold drink options, with amazingly thick smoothies, such as the Addash Shake (containing spirulina), Espresso Blast, Green Coconut and, my personal favourite, the Peanut Butter Smoothie, which is to die for! Free wifi. Open every day 8am-12.30pm.
Contour Road, Gokulam 3rd Stage – from the coconut stand head west up Contour Rd past Aditya Hospital and the Piles & Proctology Clinic, look for a gate on RHS with the Anokhi Garden sign (and usually lots of scooters parked outside) $$$
With various indoor and outdoor seating areas, including the beautiful tree covered garden at the front, it’s no wonder Anokhi’s is the favourite weekend breakfast spot for many yoga students. Flora, the French owner, is a great cook and offers a huge menu, including hummus sandwiches, French crêpes, vegan gluten-free pancakes, French toast, special porridge, the best fruit salad, muesli, juices, smoothies and even masala coffee – my new favourite drink!
They also have daily specials which can include wonderful homemade tarts and raw chocolate brownies. Fundraising and craft sale events happen here from time to time and they also have a few rooms for rent. Free wifi. Open Thu-Sun 8am-1pm (last orders 12.30pm).
La Petite France
1st Main, Gokulam 3rd Stage (also known as 9th Cross) – straight up from the coconut stand on RHS, past Khushi’s $$
This is a relatively new place, run by an Indian lady and her French husband. The colourful decor and menus, and full-sized tables and chairs (as opposed to the low tables and floor cushions so common elsewhere) give La Petite France a funky cafe vibe.
The menu is mostly light bites and treats, such as sandwiches, soups, salads, French fries (which are really good), pancakes and even waffles. They have hot and cold drinks and a few breakfast items too. Free wifi. Open every day except Mon, 10am-3pm and 5pm-9pm.
Hotel Vishnu Bhavan
Contour Road, Gokulam 3rd Stage – from the coconut stand head west up Contour Rd and it’s a short way up on the LHS, look for the bright red frontage $
This is a chain of restaurants so there are a few of these dotted around the city. As well as a lunchtime thali they offer a decent range of idli, dosas, Indian breads and snacks, juices, chai and desserts. They also have an extensive Chinese style menu, although I haven’t personally sampled it.
At the front of the restaurant they have a sweet counter, which has to be sampled at least once! Indian sweets are very hard to describe, but are usually soft in texture, sold in small bars or rounds and flavoured with anything from pistachios, almonds and coconut, to turmeric, cinnamon and ghee. The Mysore Special is one of the best! Open all day every day.
Contour Road, Gokulam 3rd Stage – from the coconut stand head east up Contour Rd, keep going round the corner and it’s at the end on the RHS $
A typical Indian snack house with tables laid out on the street. Expect the usual Indian breakfast snacks and lunchtime thali. I’ve never seen an actual menu here; you just ask what’s available and order that! Also a good place to grab a chai at any time of the day.
Contour Road, Gokulam 3rd Stage – from the coconut stand head west up Contour Rd, keep going past Anokhi’s and it’s further up on the RHS immediately after Urban Oasis, look for the very pink house! $$
Every lunchtime Guruprasad and his mother welcome people into their home to enjoy “Soulful vegetarian buffet lunches of Indian delicacies”. The food is always wonderful and will probably include a few things you’ve never tried before, but Guruprasad will introduce all the dishes before you tuck in. Their claim of “authentic ethnic Indian cuisine with great ambiance” doesn’t disappoint, and you can choose to sit either indoors (within easy reach of the food), or outside in the pretty little garden.
You need to book by 8pm the previous day, for a min. of 5 people, max. 20, and the price is Rs200 per head. They also offer cooking classes for private groups. Open every day 12.30pm-3.30pm. Call +91-8212-518275 (H) or +91-9448-246637 (M) to book.
1st A Main Road, Gokulam 2nd Stage (parallel to Contour Road) – from the coconut stand head down 1st Main and take the 1st left immediately before the Ganesha temple, Chakra House is a short distance down on the LHS $$
Rajesh is a great host and he and his team work around the clock to bring you a varied selection of Western treats, some with an Indian twist. They offer omelettes, salads, soups, fried vegetables, tofu scramble, sandwiches, muesli, pancakes, toast, juices, smoothies, teas and energy balls. At the time of writing Rajesh told me they have a new chef and a brand new menu on its way so watch this space… And the best thing is they’re open all day, making it a great place to hang out any time.
They’ve also just started doing a buffet breakfast for Rs200, which includes chai, juice, fruit salad, porridge, toast, omelette, sprout salad, ukma and coconut chutney (you can order regular breakfast dishes too). You can find kirtans, open mic nights and other events happening here, as well as courses being offered in Ayurveda, Yoga Sutras, Anatomy and Diet & Nutrition. Free wifi. Open every day 8am-8pm.
Depth n Green
1st Main, Gokulam 2nd Stage – from the coconut stand head down 1st Main past the Ganesha temple and it’s a short way down on the LHS
This is a new establishment as of October 2014 and I love the effort they’ve gone to, with their tree trunk tables, betel leaf plates and bowls and the Depth n Green philosophy which states “Be present… looking deeply makes everything appear fruh (greener)!”
Their fusion menu consists of such delights as the Buddha Bowl (brown rice, rajma masala and salsa salad), Penne al Pesto and Thai Papaya Salad as well as a range of soups, green and fruit smoothies, delicious homemade dairy and vegan cakes, and an assortment of teas including “the tastiest chai masala in Mysore” – they’re not wrong! They also offer a wholesome lunchtime thali and live music on Saturday evenings. Free wifi. Open every day except Mon, 9.30am-9.30pm (weekends til 10pm).
Sri Durga Bhavan
Just off 1st Main, Gokulam 2nd Stage – from the coconut stand head down 1st Main past the Ganesha temple and Depth n Green, then turn left at the Honda garage and it’s just on the LHS $
This is cheap, Indian fast food at its best! The menu isn’t huge but you’ll find a good range of idli, dosas, vada, chow chow bath and other Indian “snacks”, as well as breads such as rotis, chapatis and parothas. The service is so quick you can order one item at a time and go back for more if you’re still hungry – until you’ve made your way through the whole menu!
I personally love their sambar and coconut chutney as they’re on the slightly milder side. Their chai is pretty good too, but make sure you order masala chai, as “chai” simply means regular tea in India. And if you don’t want to rot your teeth, make sure you ask for no sugar. A great place for Indian breakfast, lunch or evening snacks. Open Mon-Sat 8am-4pm & 5pm-9pm, Sun 8am-12pm.
Om Cafe, Mystic School
3rd A Main, Gokulam 2nd Stage – from the coconut stand head down 1st Main towards the Ganesha temple, take the 2nd on the right and at the end continue straight over up the hill, as you pass the park on your LHS take the next on the right and Mystic School is at the end on the LHS, the cafe is at the top of the stairs $$
Mystic School can be a little tricky to find, but it’s worth it to try Guru & Sons’ new menu offering a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner (à la carte items also available). The rooftop cafe serves a variety of fruit & vegetable juices, smoothies, salads, omelettes and toast. The buffet lunch has a delicious variety of Indian dishes including rice, dal, curries, breads, as well as some salads, dessert and chai, and is very good value at only Rs150.
The rooftop also houses a massage room, sauna and cold jacuzzi/plunge pool, making it a great place to hang out and relax any time of day. Free wifi. Open Mon-Sat 8am-8pm. http://mysoreyoga.in/cafe-spa
Ratna’s Home Cooking
Delivery only $$
The lovely Ratna has been feeding yogis for many years. She cooks delicious, healthy, vegetarian food and delivers it to your door in traditional metal tiffin boxes. A standard lunch usually includes brown rice, a curry, 2 vegetable side dishes/salads and a couple of rotis or chapatis. She claims to use high quality ingredients and oils and can customise dishes to suit your indiv idual needs.
As of March 2014, a standard lunch cost Rs150, which I actually found was enough to feed 2 people, or split between 2 meals. Ratna also offers a nannying and clothes washing service, so she’s a good person to know! Call her on +91-9741-019649 to order.
Vani Vilas Mohalla (just outside Gokulam)
Vani Vilas Mohalla is the neighbourhood adjacent to Gokulam and many visitors won’t even realise that they’re not in Gokulam anymore.
Gokulam Main Road – from the coconut stand head down 1st Main until you reach Gokulam Main Rd (approx. 5 roads down on the RHS), turn right and Tina’s is 2 blocks up on the corner of 3rd Main $
I personally haven’t been to Tina’s very often but I know it’s popular with many yoga students. They have a small menu and serve traditional Indian dishes and snacks. You can choose a few dishes you like and they’ll make up a plate, like a small thali. They also have rather good chocolate brownies! Open every day 1pm-11pm.
The Sixth Main
6th Main – as above, head down Gokulam Main Rd and turn left when you reach 6th Main, it’s a short way down on the RHS $
This is a very popular Indian eatery for both lunch and dinner. For lunch they serve good quality North and South Indian thalis, either with or without dessert, and you can also order from the main menu for both lunch and dinner.
They have a great selection of curries, rice, breads, chaats (snacks) and some Chinese dishes, as well as juices, lassis and hot drinks. My personal favourites are the ghee rice and paneer butter masala. This is a great place to go with a group and share lots of different items from the menu, aka a “food party”! Open every day 11.30am-3.30pm and 6pm-10.30pm.
Adipampa Road (also known as 7th Main) – head down Gokulam Main Rd and turn left when you reach 7th Main/Adipampa Rd, it’s 2 blocks down on the corner of 10th Cross $$$
The restaurant run by Dhātu Organics & Naturals is officially called Rasa Dhātu, but everyone knows it simply as Dhātu. This is a place not to be missed during your visit to Mysore. All the food here is organic and they only use fresh, top quality ingredients. It’s very popular with both Indians and foreigners alike and recently started opening throughout the day.
The menu features a wonderful variety of salads, starters, soups, pastas, millet dishes, juices, smoothies and teas as well as very good Indian curries, rice, breads and combo meals. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options and various daily specials too. The spinach paneer pakoras are a must – melt-in-your-mouth-paneer encased in crispy spinach & curry leaf batter, served with a tangy tamarind sauce.
You can also find such delicacies as spinach, walnut & goats cheese salad, amaranth salad, pasta with pesto, and gluten-free multigrain chapatis. A visit to the next door shop is a must too. Free wifi. Open every day 11am-10pm. http://rasadhatu.com
Anima Madhva Bhavan
Adipampa Road (also known as 7th Main) – continue down past Dhātu and it’s on the corner of 6th Cross $$
Anima Madhva Bhavan claims to be the only restaurant serving vegetarian Brahmin heritage food in Mysore that doesn’t use MSG or baking soda. It’s certainly an experience not to be missed. Lunch is served on plantain leaves at low tables with floor cushions and the enthusiastic waiters constantly pour more and more food onto your leaf until you tell them to stop. This is traditional cuisine and should be eaten in the traditional way – with the fingers of your right hand only.
They also have an extensive menu to order from in the evening, including an incredible 25 varieties of dosa. But be warned – if you decide to try the dosa “sharing platter” make sure you have a few people with you, as I tried this with a friend and we soon realised we had to get through 7 different dosas – yes 7 – between only 2 of us. Needless to say we didn’t quite manage it! Open for lunch 12pm-3.30pm, à la carte dinner 5.30-9.30pm, plantain leaf dinner 7.30-9.30pm.
Kalidasa Road – from Dhātu cross over, head down 10th Cross, and it’s at the end, on the corner of Kalidasa Rd, look for the green & yellow awnings just below street level $
This is another good Indian eatery popular with people from all walks of life. They have a huge menu featuring a wide selection of Indian breakfast items, chaats, curries, rice, breads and Chinese meals, as well as juices and desserts.
They have many different and unusual dosas to sample including a special dosa for each day of the week. The paper dosa is an experience not to be missed – at about a metre long it barely fits on the table and is great fun to share with a friend, each starting at one end until eventually you meet in the middle! Like most Indian restaurants, they serve thalis at lunchtime and snacks at breakfast and in the afternoon. Main meals start later in the evening, around 7pm. Open every day 7.30am-10.30pm.
Adipampa Road, Vinayakanagara – from Dhātu continue down Adipampa Rd, past Anima Madhva Bhavan, over Temple Rd and it’s a short way down on the RHS $$$
With its comfy leather seats, air conditioning and real Italian food, Pascucci feels like an oasis of luxury away from the bustling hubbub of Mysore. They have a good selection of pastas, pizzas, salads, wraps and juices, and a list of coffees, iced coffees, ice creams and desserts that would put any Italian ice cream parlour to shame!
There are mixed opinions about the pizza here, but some say it’s excellent (at least by Indian standards). The Insalata Caprese is surprisingly good and made with real mozzarella, and their counter full of cakes, tarts and other desserts is enough to make the mouths water of even the non-sweet-toothed! Free wifi. Open every day 9am-11pm.
Pakva International Veg Lounge
Livin Corner, Temple Road – from Gokulam Main Rd turn left down 3rd Main until you reach Temple Rd at the end, turn left and it’s on the LHS above Bata shoe shop (there’s a lift on the LHS to take you up to the restaurant) $$$
I think the name alone is enough to give you an idea of the type of place this is, but it’s an experience not to be missed. With its modern, industrial-style furnishings, cute menu graphics and friendly service, Pakva feels like it’s a few steps ahead of the average local eatery – although the 90s hardcore rave music wasn’t quite what I was expecting as the “retro ambience” promised on their flyer!
They have a varied menu, from standard Indian food, to burgers and fries, to pasta and even some Thai and Chinese dishes. But what we really went for was the pizza. Apart from the slightly dubious, Indian-tasting “tomato sauce”, I actually thought they were pretty good, and for a more tomatoey flavour you can always do as the Indians do and smother your pizza in ketchup! They also have a selection of coffees and a natural ice cream counter. Free wifi. Open every day 10.30am-10.30pm. Pakva Lounge Facebook Page
Hunsur Road, Jayalakshmipuram – head down Gokulam Main Rd past BM Habitat Mall all the way to the end, turn right onto Hunsur Rd, continue past the hospital and the park and it’s on your RHS (a long walk or a short scooter/rickshaw ride) $$$
Previously the Chittaranjan Palace, the Green Hotel makes for the ultimate colonial dining experience. With its beautiful decor, impeccably dressed waiters and environmentally friendly policies, it’s no wonder this is the most popular destination for the weekly yoga rest day (although that might also be down to the fact that it’s one of the only eateries in the area that serves alcohol). Just remember to bring the bug spray if dining outdoors in the beautiful garden area.
Their extensive menu includes a vast array of Indian, Chinese, European and fusion dishes, all of which are top quality and sure not to disappoint. They even serve meat, which is unusual for Mysore. My personal favourites are the coconut rice, paneer tikka, malai kofta and butter kulcha – delicious! The Green Hotel also features a coffee shop and bakery, serving wonderful homemade breads and cakes, a craft shop and library/bookstore. Free wifi. Open every day 8am-11pm, dinner from the tandoor (oven) served from 7.15pm. www.greenhotelindia.com
Still hungry for more?
In my follow-up post ‘Eating Out in Mysore’ I’ll be sharing my tips on where to eat out further afield than Gokulam, and also where to find the best coffee and ice-cream. And coming soon… my guide to eating in whilst staying in Mysore.
– Hannah Moss (Ashtanga & Angels)