Masala Dosas | Vidyarthi Bhavan

One of my favourite dishes is the masala dosa. And one of the best places that you get to have the best masala dosa is Vidyarthi Bhavan.

My tata (Grandfather) recommended it to me. My appa (father) has spent his schooldays eating at this place. My chikappa (father’s younger brother) took me to this place for the first time when I was still in my diapers. Masala dosa is what comes to your table if you don’t even look at a waiter. But he generally comes to you to confirm the number you are going to have. (My minimum is 3) Yeah yeah see me to know how much I eat! ;)

A view of the narrow and always crowded interior!

Vidyarthi Bhavan is in the heart of Gandhi Bazaar off Netkalappa circle. If you haven’t been there yet, I tell you you have missed the best eat-out in Bangalore.

Mostly, unless you are there at 6AM or something, you will have to wait to get your seat. The hotel looks like a extended 2+2 seater bus. While waiting you can only stand. You cannot sit in an AC lobby and wait for the head waiter to come and tell you the table is ready! You will have to, well, grab your seat. Eat and leave. I know I make it sound very bad, but then that’s the way it is.

Also, if you look at the Hotel from outside you will see that it’s a very old building. And something tells me that he has followed the original rules of the game by putting his hotel at the legal place where it should be. You can see the buildings of every other complex on the road butting out into the main road. Now, that’s what I value most in a hotel – ethics! I actually did confirm that with the owner who sits at the counter everyday.

So, now rush! Get your masala dosa. I was inspired by Usha’s post on Hotel Brindavan. I got hungry and got reminded of Vidyarthi Bhavan!

10 Comments so far

  1. Dr Vivek M (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

    Absolutely, they are among the best masala dosas I have had in town!
    Adding to Adi’s description of the place, it is a real sight to see the waiter bring in a huge stack of dosas from the kitchen.. it is quite a feat!

  2. anita (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 8:21 pm

    what an amazing place i must say! we ventured in there for breakfast after a photo shoot and i was truly fascinated. i’ve never seen so many people packed into such a small restaurant! i’ve added a pic i found in my files of the place to your post :)

  3. Sid (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

    Another place on my hitlist. Just can’t find the time though. And 7:30 in the morning is way too early.
    Any idea till when they are open?

  4. NParry (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 3:12 am

    Nice post.. Reminds of the days in the 70s when as a student of National High School, I’d sneak out with friends from our Boy Scout troop to eat at Vidyarthi. We used to get a 15 paise coupon for coffee and 50 paise coupon for other things. Masale dosay was Rs 1.50. So we’d order coffee first, get the bill for it and then order dosay. So the cashier at the entrance was usually a bit slow (he was also the head waiter, we called him Mudraa Rakshasa), we’d give him the coffee bill for 15 paisa and then walk away not paying the dosay bill…….Very proud of our accomplishments as Boy Scouts!! The cashier caught on to our game, but never did catch us or punish us because we’re from Nationals!!

  5. Adi (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    Dr. Vivek:
    Thanks for your comment!
    Yeah that stack of dosas is amazing. He almost manages 15-20 at a time. Think of it, it’s amazing how so many are made at a time?! Mind-boggling!
    Have you gone inside that room which is nearer to the kitchen? You will sweat like a pig but still enjoy that masala dosa. That’s Vidyarthi Bhavan’s greatness! :)

    You have my heartfelt gratitude for having uploaded the photo. In-fact wanted to request Dr. Vivek for it. Didn’t know we had a hidden photographer on our rolls here! ;)

  6. Adi (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Thanks for your comment!
    7.30AM in the morning must be fine! Check it out! I am not sure till what time they are open though.

    Thanks for your comment!
    LOL! Sir, looks like we are just following footsteps of elders like you!
    We used to do the same at a place called GTR in Mysore. Though it was self-service we used to manage our small-sized scams! :)
    Anyways, am glad my post made you take the journey down the memory lane! Those were the days, right?!!

  7. silkboard (unregistered) on August 28th, 2006 @ 9:27 am

    BTW, if you call Vidyarthi Bhavan for a Dosa take out, the usual wait time is 90 minutes to 2 hours. It is just so popular!

    These super good and hugely popular places (MTR, Vidyarthi Bhavan types) – why dont they spread their magic around by opening more branches!? Please!

  8. Adi (unregistered) on August 28th, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    Thanks for your comment!
    You are right. These places must spread their magic around more by opening more branches across the city/ country ala Hotel Saravana Bhavan.
    Let’s see when the need arises for expansion for them!

  9. Divs (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

    Amazing place!!! a fav hangout after a morning walk in lalbagh on nostalgic!!definitely a must-visit for anyone. you’ve missed something in Bangalore if you’re a foodie and you haven’t been to Vidyarthi bhavan!! the benne-dosas are the yummiest!!! Wouldn’t mind more walks in lalbagh to burn those extra calories :)

  10. Adi (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

    Very very true Divya! Totally agree with you!
    Thanks for your comment! :)

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