Famous Street Food of Karnataka [Must Try Dishes of Karnataka]

. 8 min read
Famous Street Food of Karnataka [Must Try Dishes of Karnataka]

How to Start Its Business?

Karnataka is renowned all over India for its street food, with delicacies such as vada, Gobi Manchurian, momos, shawarma, chaats, and more. These are especially popular with students, as they are very easy on the pocket. Many entrepreneurs are seeing the street food business in Karnataka as very lucrative.

Below are some of the most famous street delicacies in Karnataka, and how you can easily start a street food business anywhere.

Street Food Of Karnataka

1. Shawarma

In Karnataka, shawarma has thrived. A shawarma business can be started with very little equipment and investment, as it mainly needs a roasting machine. This machine costs INR 15000-20000 from a second-hand dealer. You should consider the age and state of the machine before buying it.

Hire workers already experienced in the shawarma or grilling business.  Also look for areas with a high student and IT employee population, such as Koramangala, J.P Nagar, and Jayanagar in Bangalore, where there will be good profits.

For a business plan, keep it simple and attempt to break even in the first 6 months. Also keep in mind the long-term prospects of your restaurant, as you can expand into a full restaurant and take-out place, building it around your shawarma stand. It would also help to have a tie-up or deal with a local poultry shop, which can provide you with good quality and reasonably priced chicken at a moment’s notice.

2. Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian is another favourite in Karnataka. This can be a stand-alone snack or can be paired with rice or paranthas for a full meal.

For this business,  it is vital to hire cooks who are familiar with Chinese cuisine.  The key is to make sure to offer other snacks and items, such as chowmein, fried rice, honey chilli potatoes, and momos to pair well with the gobi. You can offer full meals, as well as snacks, and attract a larger crowd.

It would also help to have a tie-up with a reliable supplier who offers credit. They should be able to provide you with supplies at short notice.

Additionally, you need to have generous portion sizes. You will also need to invest in packing boxes. Furthermore, you need to decide whether you will be providing delivery services once your business expands. The initial setup costs for the stall may be INR 10000-12000, depending on the location and the number of items you plan to serve.

3. Momos

Although momos are widely available across India, in Karnataka, they have a firmly established base, with several specialty chain restaurants.

Most momo stalls also expand into juice, sandwich, and other snack stalls, which can be very profitable businesses. The initial setup costs are low, about INR 10000.

For manpower, there are several migrant workers from the north-east, as well as from Nepal in Bangalore, who are already familiar with momos. These expert cooks can make all the difference in your business, and are usually quick and efficient, ensuring a high turnover.

It is important to stake out the market carefully, to be able to draw and maintain your clientele. You can offer other Indian Chinese snacks such as chowmein, fried rice, and different types of chicken. Apart from vegetarian and chicken momos, you can offer chicken cheese momos, chilli potato momos, and several other variations.

You could also try offering pan-fried momos, as well as steamed, to differentiate your shop from the others. Leave room for innovation in your business plan, as you could try experimenting with different kinds of momos to see what works.

4. Chaats

Chaats, although beloved in many parts of India, have a special twist in Karnataka, where masala puri, Dahi puri, and tomato chaat are the most relished. Your business plan may need to set aside a figure of at least INR 5000-7000 per month to acquire fresh ingredients.

Tie up with a local supplier, who can provide fresh ingredients. For manpower, you can hire people from other chaat businesses and stalls, although one person is enough for a basic stall. However, as your business grows, you will need to hire more people, two for the prep work, one to serve and attend to customers, another for the cash registry, and one for doing the dishes. A variety of options is crucial, as is quick service. You can also add a juice and ice cream counter or bakery.

You can set up your chaat stalls outside schools, colleges, IT parks, temples, call centres, and so on to attract more clients. You can also distribute flyers and establish contact with other small businesses operating closeby, to promote your business. Furthermore, word of mouth will also help.

You will need to obtain a licence and permit to operate your stall from the local municipal corporation. You will also need to be registered as a mobile street food vendor and in some cases may need to obtain a permit from the health department in some localities.

South Indian famous dish served on black plate

5. Vada

Vada is one of the most quintessential Karnataka snacks. This versatile dish can be found everywhere in the state. However, since vadas are so popular, it is harder to establish your business.

Your manpower is everything, so hire people with experience at a  South Indian restaurant. You may need to hire around 2-6 people, to divide the cooking, washing up, preparation duties, and cash register depending on how large your restaurant is.

You may need up to INR 25000-30000 per month for your ingredients, depending on how big your business is.

The initial costs of this business have to include the rent for the premises, as well as the licensing costs of operating a full-fledged restaurant. You will have to be a registered food selling business and will need to be registered under the food safety department,

You can set up your restaurant in residential neighborhoods, malls, on highways, in college and office canteens, etc. You can create a website for publicity and spread the word through newspaper and flyer advertisements. As such, this business will be more expensive to set up, around INR 2-5 lakhs.


Overall, here are a few of the best street foods of Karnataka. Anywhere you go, and with whomever you go, one thing is certain: the experience of walking in the breeze blowing while eating delicious food in Karnataka's popular 'Food Streets' will fill you with sheer joy and intense happiness. So go to Karnataka's food streets and enjoy delicious and yummy food served while having a good time.

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FAQs on street food of Karnataka

Q. How can I get a loan to set up a street food stall in Karnataka?

Ans. Most banks will be able to give you a small business loan, under the SME criteria, as long as you meet the basic requirements. You may need to compare the rates of a few banks to get the best deal.

Q. How can I market my street food business better?

Ans. You can tie up with local businesses around your operation area, to give out flyers of your business to their customers, in return for you doing the same. You can also hire people to distribute flyers outside schools, colleges, and offices in the area. You can put up boards in the locality.

Q. How can I get a licence to set up a street food stall?

Ans. You can get a street food stall licence from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. For both your licence and registration, you will need to maintain a valid email ID and mobile phone number. You can apply online, on the FSSAI official website, and get your unique reference number, attach your supporting documents, as well as choose a payment method and submit.

Q. Which are the best places to set up a street food business?

Ans. As a general rule of thumb, any place with a high footfall, such as outside schools, colleges, offices, and markets is a good place to set up a street food business. Metropolitan cities also offer some more profits.

Q. How much does it cost to set up a street food business?

Ans. This depends on the location, and the kind of street food business as costs will vary based on this. The number of items on your menu, your clientele, and your overheads will also impact this number. A good range would be between approximately INR 5000, for a simple stall, to about 2-3 lakhs for a larger shop.

We hope our article turned out to be useful for you. For more such informative content, you can visit these linked articles as well:
Famous Street Food of Meghalaya Famous Street Food of Tripura Famous Street Food of Odisha
Famous Street Food of Rajasthan Famous Street Food of Punjab Famous Street Food of Himachal Pradesh