Military hotels are a large number of restaurants and eateries located in different parts of Bangalore. These hotels in Bangalore serve mainly non-vegetarian foods, but they generally don’t serve beef and pork.
It is not clear as to the exact reason for this name, however there are certain explanations. According to artist and art historian Suresh Jayaram, after Shahaji Bhonsle‘s conquer of Bangalore in 1638, most of these hotels were run by his men and the Maratha descendants, and as they were military people, the hotels got this name.
According to Rajiv L, owner of Shivaji Military Hotel in Jayangar in South Bangalore, the soldiers used these hotels as a meeting place and plan their campaigns. Another legend states that when the bubonic plague struck Bengaluru in the late 1800s, women and children were sent away to distant villages, and military hotels started providing wherewithal to farmers who stayed back to tend to their fields. Another story states that in the early 19th century, these hotels began serving the warring armies of Tipu Sultan, and later, the British. Old Bangalore, what we know as the Cantonment area, did not have any meat-serving restaurants.
The hallmark of these family-run restaurants is the limited menu, consisting of dishes made from closely guarded recipes. The eateries are typically tucked away into the city’s by-lanes, but most began in what were once prominent parts of town, such as Kalasipalya, Majestic, and Malleswaram. Mainly these hotels have small entrance which leads into a broad corridor lined with stone tables and chairs.
Some of the commonly served food items are biryani, mutton chaap, keema, chicken items, ragi mudde. It was only for Hindu civilian and military people have non veg lunch or dinner.