Known in the local Tulu language as kali gadangs, toddy restaurants used to be seedy places that were not family-friendly and often considered downmarket. However, in recent years, these toddy shops have undergone a sea change to become a huge talking point for those interested in the local fare in Mangalore. Kali gadangs are now big, bright and airy places – some designed to look like a dhaba, others like a fancy lounge and yet others set on backwaters, quite reminiscent of Goan shacks. The food, as good as ever, is spicy bar snacks, usually meat and seafood-heavy.
The Toddy House - Talapady
The last great stop before you hit the Kerala border from Mangalore, The Toddy House is designed like a roadside dhaba. It’s large and colourful and has taken the humble toddy to new heights. The toddy shots section has plenty to browse, and the gandhari chilli option is great. Try the ginger-flavoured toddy too. The duck roast, fish rava masala, and the bondas (squid fry) are perfect accompaniments.
The Toddy House: Near Talapady Checkpost, NH-66 Talapady, Mangalore
Kudla da Paddai – Urwa
Set against the Gurupura river in another part of town, Paddai has two large round shacks where you can sit with your toddy and watch the calm waters. The kitchen works in shifts and even in its off hours between 3 pm and 5 pm, you will still get a good kori rotti and squid ghee roast with your toddy. Also, try their prawn vadas.
Kudla da Paddai: Kallov, Sulathan Batteri, Road, Urwa, Mangaluru
The Toddy Palace – Kuloor
Plenty of seafood options here to go with your toddy, from tawa fries to rawa selections, masala fry, the local uppu-munchi (salt-tamarind) and more. The marwai (cockles) sukka and the Kundapura tawa masala are great. Choose from traditional accompaniments like neer dosa, pundi, and boiled rice among others.
The Toddy Palace: Suvarna Building, Kuloor - Kavoor Rd, Padukodi, Mangaluru
Kali Jiga – Falnir
A traditional setting, yet family-friendly, this toddy lounge is in the heart of the city, right behind KMC Hospital at Jyothi Circle. The crab tawa fry, marwai sukka, mutton roast, and chicken ghee roast are what is on offer here to go with your toddy. They take pride in their masala and tava-fried fish.
Kali Jiga: VRCX+9MF, Near KMC Hospital, Jyothi Circle, Jyothi Falnir Road, New Balmatta Rd, Mangaluru
Palguni The Toddy Court - Kavoor
A cosy place overlooking the Gurpur River with seating indoors and outside under coconut palms. The best time to visit is around 10.30 a.m. when the toddy is the freshest. Classic spicy dishes like the kube sukke (cockles sukka), and the ghee roast in prawn or chicken are what you should order.
Palguni The Toddy Court: WVPF+RP8, Marakada, Kavoor, Mangaluru
Toddy Paradise – Ullal
A lovely place to hang out with friends over some toddy. Popular for their seafood dishes, the masala fries, rava or tava fries of prawns, fish and shellfish sell like hotcakes here. Coupled with some fresh toddy, you are sure to have a great time!
Toddy Paradise: RV27+CQH, Ullal
Toddy Village – Moodbidri
In keeping with the old-school toddy houses springing up all over Mangalore and its surrounding areas, Toddy Village is nothing great to look at but serves up some amazing dishes that are the perfect accompaniment to your toddy, any time of the day. Besides the ghee roasts and masala fries, you also have some Indian Chinese thrown into the mix.
Toddy Village Harmony Enclave Apartment Road, Swaraj Maidan, Mudbidri
Kaliyuga Restaurant and Toddy Café – Malpe
Set by the seaside in Malpe near Kadala Theera, this toddy place is spacious. The Disco fish tawa fry and the squid ghee roast are good options to order here along with their premium toddy. It is a kid-friendly place, but keep in mind that parking is by the gate and not exclusive to the place.
Kaliyuga Restaurant and Toddy Café: Near paradise isle resort, Kola, Malpe
Arun’s Seafood with Cold Toddy – Kodi Bengare
Known for its cold toddy, which often runs out by 3 p.m., you get what the name says – seafood with cold toddy, with the addition of being seaside. The neer dosa, chicken sukka, squid rava fry, pomfret tava fry, kori rotti are all recommended.
Arun’s Seafood: CMMW+42W, Kodi Bengare-Hoode Rd, Kodi Bengare