New to Manipal and hungry? Still hungover from those home-food memories? Think finding good food in Manipal is like searching for a needle in a haystack?
For all you freshers and not-so-freshers lamenting with eternal hunger, here’s a guide to different bistros in Manipal, and the different foods one can avail at these places:
Messes in campus:
Messes in campus include the Indira mess, which is located inside Indira hostel. Food is basic, with roti-sabzi-daal along with rasam, rice and curd. Ocassionally, they serve gulab jamun and buttermilk. You can pay extra for juices and there is an option to get something other than the meal of the day, but one has to pay separately for those. Though dimly lit and slightly dingy, Indira mess is a convenient option if you’re running late for classes. One can interact with their batch-mates and seniors here, though it’s only restricted to the girls.
The food court mess, in the food court is served by Chef on Wheels. Food quality is similar to the Indira mess, which is to say not too great. However, it’s where you interact with all your batch-mates (girls AND boys) in the first few months of college, before you settle with the few who become your constants.
The spacious and well-lit international mess is inside the New International hostel. It is also served by Chef on Wheels, though the food is notches higher – both in quality and quantity – as compared to the food court mess. The food can even be described as tasty, rather than just palatable – the adjective for the food court mess and Indira mess. However, the food is priced at a higher range than the latter two.
BQ mess, located next to Bachelors’ Quarters, is supplied by Sodexo, just like Indira mess. Food is identical to Indira, the only exception being that it serves an exclusively vegetarian menu. Being the singular campus mess that stays open till 2:30 am to both boys and girls, it is frequented by students from all over campus.
Messes off campus
For those who wish for the coveted ghar ka khaana experience in Manipal, private messes off campus bring those wishes to reality.
Ganoderma mess, behind Dreamz shop, serves the fulke all North-Indians crave. The food satiates the tummy; and with only around 60 rupees per meal, the lightening of purses is negligible. Right opposite is North-Indian mess, with price range and food very similar to Ganoderma mess.
Down the same road stands Suresh mess, serving mouth-watering aloo bhindi at very pocket-friendly prices.
For fish lovers, Malaysian mess right opposite SP and Charaka hostel is the go-to place. Two segments offer you, for minimal charges, fish and home food each. Delicious though it might be, the food here doesn’t sit too well with the health community.
Sindhi mess and rajasthani mess are two other messes located near the MIT FC. Spicy, scrumptious, and economical, these places are personal favorites of a large community of students in Manipal.
For the occasional splurge on delectable multi-cuisine food, Manipal offers a wide range of restaurants. These restaurants are also the ideal venues for birthday treats, or to treat friends to free food when our parents visit us.
Attill, Saiba, Dollops, China Valley are a few that dish out mainly North Indian and Chinese gastronomies. Although pricier than the messes listed above, the food is more than worth it.
A few other restaurants offering the same cuisine include:
- Punjabi tadka
- Mughal garden
- Guzzlers inn
- Spicy village
Another category of restaurants include Snack Shack, Planet café, Basil, Manna rolls, Chicken Bay, Sellfish, Hot Chix, Yummy’s kitchen, Manipal Fried Chicken, etc. These are all much loved fast food joints, scattered throughout Manipal. Though not very healthy, they calm down untimely hunger pangs for cheap prices.
For those who have two sweet teeth, Manipal houses a number of ice-cream, milkshake and cake outlets. To name a few, we have Baskin Robbins, Polar Bear, Frost, DeMouths, Thancos natural, etc.
Flavours 24 is a place which serves unparalleled frozen yogurt. This, exemplifies the rare heavenly combination of healthy with tasty. CAD(M)-CAD(B) makes the best chocolate thick-shakes with cadbury, Ferrero Rocher, and the like. Tease, one of the oldest juice and drinks joint in Manipal, serves interesting drinks with fruit bubbles and jellies.
Among well-known restaurant chains, KFC, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Café Coffee Day, Subway and Just Bake have yet graced the lands of Manipal.
With excellent food, sophisticated ambience and supreme service, these places are reserved by Manipal-ites for the most special of occasions.
Eye of the Tiger, the most famous in this category, plays fine music in the background even as one stares into the eyes of their special someone while sipping some of the best mixed mocktails and cocktails in Manipal. Superlative food and elite waiting almost justify the humongous hole burnt through one’s pockets here.
Another diner at the posh end of the spectrum is Country Inn, and it’s the buffet one looks out for here. Again, pricey but worthwhile, Country Inn also holds a dance floor for the countless Saturday nights.
Sizzler Ranch is the first and only sizzler haven in Manipal. The ranch sizzles with energy, even as rock music in the background coaxes you into calmly waiting for the delicious sizzlers coming your way. Though a little smoky and obviously expensive, the restaurant makes it to the top few favorites of the author herself.
Scirocco’s coffee valley has a pool table, outdoor seating and an ideal ambience for any occasion, be it a first date or a chill time with friends. It boasts of Italian pastas, pizzas, salads, and risottos on the menu. The serving size is just right, as it has us satiated yet leaves behind the perfect amount of wanting for more.
Manipal is a place of substance, rather than show. Though apparently a small university town, it has all the different sorts of eateries, all eateries serve different cuisines. Mentioned in this article are just a few of the innumerable diners, cafés, and snack points in Manipal. The list, in reality, is inexhaustible.
What’s more, is that new places crop up here round the year. So newcomers, even for a moment, must not mourn the dearth of good food in Manipal. We have it all in the bag here, folks!