Most of the Hampi’s eateries are concentrated around the Hampi Bazaar . Typical south Indian vegetarian food is the order of the town. That includes Idli & Dosa for the breakfast and the Tali meals for lunch. It’s not very difficult to spot eating joints sell western themes like pancake & likes. A large number of guesthouses in Hampi is attached with some type of restaurants.
If you walk towards Virupaksha Temple from Hampi bus stand (less than 200 meters), on either side you would find the restaurants. Some of the known names are Bhavani Hotel, Sri Venkatashawara Restaurant, Hotel Tourist…and many more.
Then for the less hectic ones take a walk from the Virupaksha Temple towards the Ghat (sacred bathing spot) on the riverside. On either side, just before you hit the riverside, you can spot a number of them. Some of the frequented names are Shanthi Restaurant, Om Shiva, Welcome Restaurant, Raju Roof Restaurant .
A row of thatched restaurants at the Hampi bus stand is a great place to have a steamy Idli breakfast with Chai (Rs 10). They are , as the Indians call it, “Cheap & Best”! Lookout for Shanthi Hotel.
Then there are these ‘Hampi fame’ genres.
Mango Tree Restaurant literally nestled in a banana plantation seems to be the most famous of it all. You may need to take a 500 meter stroll from the Virupaksha temple towards west (along the riverside).
The road takes a slight bend and you have to trace your way through a narrow path in a banana plantation. On a tree by the main road (on your right side) they’ve place a small signboard that leads you to this narrow trail. Carry a torch if you are going there for the much touted ‘hurricane-lantern dinner’ to navigate trough the unlit path.
Food served is nothing 'exotic' from a culinary point of view. But the settings are scenic and special. The seating are arranged on the terraced floor facing the river and the plantations around it. You sit on the straw mats instead of chairs. A giant sprawling mango tree (hence the name) stands in the middle of this open air restaurant. It seems like a nice joint to spend a relaxed evening after a hectic day’s sightseeing. Thali (south Indian rice meals with assorted tiny dishes) cost Rs 30. Other dishes (Cauliflower Manchurian, Fried rice, Vegetable curry… ) are Rs 60ish.
Another talked about restaurant with great looking ambiance is the Geetha River View Restaurant. You hit this place when you trek from the Hampi Bazaar to Vittala Temple along the ‘Kampa Bhuppa’s Path’ . Here again the specialty is the settings rather than the food they serve. But this is a nice place to relax, especially when you come towards Hampi Bazaar from Vittala Temple after the trek. Ask for Limca, (Rs 10) the aerated soft drink with a lemon flavor. They serve vegetarian food with the typical themes.
If you are near the Royal Center during the meals time, head towards Kamalapura. This place has a number of small restaurants. A typical meal cost Rs30. The state run Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswari (near the petrol station) is a decent place. And that is the only place in the Hole of Hampi who can serve beer ‘legally’. The menu and rates (a shade high) are comparable with the rest of Hampi’s ‘major’ restaurants. In any case this is a proper restaurant in Hampi’s otherwise makeshift scenario.
The choices are less and far apart if you are at the ‘other side’ of the river. The Anegondi village square has a few small restaurants. Hoova Café near the Gagan Mahal serves fish & Chicken curry!
Hyderabad to Hampi by Train
The most convenient train is the Hyderabad-Kolhapur Express (Train No:11303) or the Hyderabad - Vasco/Hubli Express (Train No:17603). On Thursdays you have one more train for Hampi, the Goa bound Hyderabad Vasco Da Gama express (Train No. 17021).
Bangalore to Hampi By Road
This is for the folks from Bangalore, still chewing over the idea if to take car or bike all the way to Hampi !