Mangalore, the coastal city of Karnataka, is a port city and also a major commercial center. This city was a hub of trading and commercial activities from the days of British and Portuguese rules. As a result, we find a multi-cultural influence in the cuisine of Mangalore. Mangalorean cuisine is primarily influenced by south Indian dishes. Catholics and Muslims of Mangalore have their set of unique dishes. Since Mangalore is a coastal city, fish is the staple food of most people. Mangalore is famous for its variety of seafood dishes. There are many seafood restaurants in the city which boast of decades of epicurean journey. Let us have a quick look at the most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore.
Ask any resident of Mangalore to name the most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore, and the name Machali is sure to pop up in the list. Although Machali has only 6 to 7 years of culinary experience, it has won the hearts of Mangalore foodies in this short span of time. The variety of dishes on their menu will make you drool, especially if you are a seafood lover. Rava Fish Fry is one of their specialty dishes. Fish is first marinated with masala, and then coated with semolina. When this semolina-coated fish is fried in oil, we get the Rava fish fry. Crab meat ghee roast is another special dish which crab lovers will relish. As they extract the crab meat from the shell before frying it with masala, you are saved from the cumbersome task of breaking open the crab shells.
Machali is a no-frills restaurant where food is the king. This is not a place to enjoy a relaxed eat-out. You will get complete meals with delicious seafood items. You can expect a heavy footfall during peak hours. Service is fast and efficient. Despite the crowd, there is no compromise on cleanliness. However, this is not a high-end restaurant. If you wish to taste lip-smacking food at affordable prices, this is a restaurant that you can visit in Mangalore. There are parking facilities as well. Machali is a restaurant where you can go for family dining.
Hotel Narayana is a simple and unassuming seafood restaurant. This is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore. Unlike many other seafood restaurants, you cannot expect a lavish spread at Hotel Narayana. Order a meal, and you get rice and gravy with two to three side dishes. Fish varieties fried over a pan are the specialties at Narayana. They bring the many varieties of fish fries in a tray, along with a fried masala mixture or Podi. You can choose your pick from the fish fries, and they serve it along with some Podi. This fried masala Podi is what Narayana is famous for. You can have this spicy Podi with rice or fish. It tastes delicious!
Food is served in the traditional manner over a banana leaf. You will also get a glass of spiced buttermilk along with the meals. Like Machali, Hotel Narayana is also a restaurant with modest settings. This is not a fancy or luxurious eatery. Like most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore, seafood items served here are fresh catch from the sea. They do not use refrigerated items which guarantees a fresh taste to the dishes. Interiors of Hotel Narayana are not very spacious. There are no parking facilities outside the restaurant, but you will find space to park the vehicle in any adjacent lane. The restaurant does not charge exorbitant prices for their food items.
Giri Manja’s is one of the restaurants where you get authentic Mangalorean seafood dishes. This is one of the oldest and most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore. They serve a drink made with Kokum as the welcome drink before the meals. This sour and spicy drink acts as an appetizer. Meals at Giri Manja’s are a little elaborate. You get rice along with fish curry, side dishes, pickles and Papadam. You can order fish fries as additional items. Fish tawa (pan) fry, masala fry and ghee roast are the specialties on their menu. Dishes like squid fries and prawns ghee roast are highly popular among guests. Food at Giri Manja’s tastes homely and delicious.
Giri Manja’s is inconspicuous in its location. It is located beside a narrow alley. The tiny door to the restaurant will give you no idea about the treasure house of taste that awaits you inside. There are no parking facilities nearby. Nevertheless, you can find a huge crowd here at peak hours. The fact that people are willing to park their vehicles in far off corners and come walking to the restaurant is proof of its popularity. It is the authentic taste of food that attracts people to this decades-old eatery. Interiors of the restaurant have an antique feel with wooden grilled windows reminding us of ancient mansions. If you wish to experience the taste of traditional Mangalorean cuisine, do not miss Giri Manja’s.
Gajalee Seafood Restaurant
If you wish to have a fine dining experience in Mangalore and if seafood is your favorite, Gajalee Seafood Restaurant is an option that you can experiment with. This restaurant is located in a quiet neighbourhood, away from the bustling city. Most guests who visit Gajalee give good remarks about the locational advantage as well as the ambiance of the place. Gajalee is famous for its seafood dishes such as the tandoori crab roast, ghee roast and clams koshimbir. Bombil (Bombay duck) fish fry is another specialty fish dish of Gajalee restaurant. Apart from the seafood items, they serve regular Mangalorean cuisines such as the Neer Dosa.
More than food, it is the ambiance that receives accolades at Gajalee. The restaurant is located over a hilltop, and offers wonderful views. Gajalee is housed in a colonial building which was previously a circuit house. High roofs, French windows and the colonial architecture adds to the classy look. They offer indoor and outdoor dining options. The place looks awesome when lighted up in the evenings. Food items are slightly overpriced, but the ambiance makes up for the price. If your intention is just to get the feel of authentic Mangalorean seafood and do not care much about the extravagant look, you may skip this restaurant. However, if you are in a mood for a quiet family dinner or a romantic evening, please do visit Gajalee.
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Although the tag line of Pallkhi states that this is a multi-cuisine restaurant, the name Pallkhi is definitely counted as one among the most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore. This restaurant has been featured in many television channels such as NDTV, Travel XP, and Zee TV. It is one of the best restaurants in Mangalore to taste the food of your choice, be it seafood, Punjabi dishes, South Indian food or Continental cuisine. Prawns ghee roast, chicken ghee roast, and pomfret fry are some of the popular items on their menu. Guests have high praise for their spinach and cottage cheese soup as well.
Pallkhi is a restaurant that sparkles with luxury. It is located in a three storied building, and valet parking is available. Interiors look elegant and cozy. This restaurant has been on the favorites list of many celebrities as well. If you plan a visit during the weekends, it is better to book a table in advance. Otherwise, you may end up in a long queue. Pallkhi is a good restaurant to throw a lavish party or to plan a candlelight dinner. As you may expect, food is not inexpensive. Nevertheless, if you feel that excellent food, ambiance and service will compensate for the high price, you must pay a visit to Pallkhi.
Shetty Lunch Home
When in Mangalore, you will be amazed by the number of restaurants that offer seafood specialties. Shetty Lunch Home is yet another one among the most popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore. The enormous seafood Thali that Shetty Lunch Home serves its guests is a must-try for all foodies. As in most seafood restaurants in Mangalore, ghee roast is special here also. Prawns sukka, squid ghee roast, Anjal (seer fish) tawa fry, and clams sukka are some of the items on their seafood Thali which the guests relish on. The traditional Mangalorean snack Neer Dosa is also a part of the meal. Kane (lady fish) masala fry and chicken ghee roast are their signature dishes. The restaurant claims to be the inventors of these dishes.
Though the name suggests that this is a lunch home, this is not a typical mess home with a frugal appearance. The restaurant has a decent ambiance, though not very plush. It is located beside a quiet lane in the heart of Mangalore city. Dining area is on two floors, and there are air conditioned and non-air conditioned dining areas. Tiled roofing and bamboo curtains impart a traditional look to the place. Price of food is quite reasonable. Shetty Lunch Home is an eatery with decades of history, and so, is a must-visit for tasting authentic Mangalore seafood.
Hotel Food Lands
Food Lands is a restaurant in Mangalore that has been serving customers for the past three decades. Although this is not a restaurant dedicated exclusively for seafood, Hotel Food Lands is definitely one of the popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore. Seafood delicacies like Anjal (seer fish) masala fry, crab sukka, and prawns ghee roast are highly in demand. Chicken ghee roast is another dish that finds favour with guests. You will also get the traditional Mangalorean dishes such as Kori Roti and Neer Dosa. At Food Lands, they serve alcoholic beverages too. So if you are in a mood for a spirited party, Hotel Food Lands will welcome you.
Hotel Food Lands has a soothing ambiance. The restaurant is centrally located. Interior space looks elegant and chic. They have a party hall, and ample parking facilities. Food Lands suit the guests who are out for family dinners or for friends’ get togethers. Guests have high praise for the excellent service that the hotel staff provides. A few customers have opined that food is expensive, but the ambiance and service makes up for it. If you wish to get the taste of Mangalorean seafood along with other traditional Mangalore cuisine, you should visit Hotel Food Lands.
Among all the seafood restaurants in Mangalore with an attractive ambiance, Madhuvan’s Village may probably be the best. The restaurant is located close to the Mangalore airport, and attracts guests with lovely food and awesome settings. As in the other popular seafood restaurants in Mangalore, ghee roast items are special in Madhuvan’s Village also. Whether it is made with prawns, crab, or chicken, ghee roast is lip-smacking. They serve Thali meals too, with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. This is a restaurant where you will get a wide range of food, from traditional Mangalorean Neer dosa to pizza and biryanis. They serve alcoholic beverages as well.
Ambiance is the USP of Madhuvan’s Village Restaurant. The restaurant has a vast open space with sufficient parking space. Restaurant interiors are a perfect blend of modernity and antiquity. In sync with the village theme of the restaurant, we find several wall hangings and display items which remind us of farms and harvest seasons. Although they serve alcohol, families feel quite comfortable while dining here. Garden and play area for kids are a welcome change from the crowded city restaurants. All said, if you are visiting the restaurant during weekends, you may find the place teeming with people. Food items are a bit expensive, and so, may not be affordable to all.
Maharaja Family Restaurant
The word ‘Maharaja’ can be translated as ‘the king.’ Although it is difficult to rank a particular restaurant as ‘the king of all’, Maharaja is counted as one of the best restaurants in Mangalore. This is a family restaurant that serves multi-cuisine food items. Chicken ghee roast is the most popular dish at Maharaja. Seafood delicacies such as Boothai (sardine) Nippat, Anjal masala fry and Bangude (mackerel)rava fry are some of their specialties. They offer Thali meals with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, but the restaurant is preferable if you are a seafood lover. The restaurant serves several GSB (Gaud Saraswat Brahmin) specialty dishes. You will get alcoholic beverages, cocktails and mocktails as well at Maharaja.
Maharaja Restaurant is located beside a busy road, and has limited parking facilities. Interior space of the restaurant looks good with soft lighting. Some guests find the walls and curtains too dark colored for their choice. They have air conditioned and non-air conditioned dining areas. The restaurant is located on the first floor, and elevators are available. As in other restaurants, the price of seafood dishes depend on the individual items and their seasonal availability. On the whole, Maharaja Family Restaurant is worth a visit if you are in Mangalore.