Gouthami was the first guesthouse that we stayed in when we arrived in Hampi. It was the only guesthouse that we were able to find that would give us a decent discount for staying long term. The room was clean and had an attached bathroom. It was actually a pretty good deal, but we heard a rumor that they were getting shut down, so we moved. It ended up working out for us in the long run, but at the time we thought it was a mistake. Overall, if you prefer the comfort of a guesthouse over saving money by staying at a homestay, make sure you check this place out as it might have the best prices for you.
Anita’s is a good place to have breakfast, a snack, or some chai, before climbing or to fill up on thali after climbing if you happen to be passing through the area. The owner’s family is super friendly and this is one of the few places that ask you if you want refills on your thali. You can also buy 20-liter water jugs here although just down the road a minute away you can buy water for cheaper at Lovely Family. Actually, I think the food at lovely family is better as well, but try them both and choose for yourself. In addition, they rent a couple of cheap rooms upstairs but you have to deal with loud religious chanting from the nearby temple very early each morning.
When we had first arrived in Hampi, I avoided this restaurant after a friend told me that she had gotten sick eating here. Towards the end of my stay a different friend told me that it was perfectly safe to eat here and it was really good. I decided to go for it. I was glad that I did. Lovely Family has excellent food and some really good deals. The fruit salad is topped with coconut shavings and peanuts and although it isn’t the biggest, it is the cheapest fruit salad I’ve found. The lassis are also cheap and very tasty. Even though it isn’t on the menu, ask for a coconut banana lassi. You can do your part to help the environment by buying 20-liter water jugs here and refilling your water bottle. The jugs are much cheaper here than anywhere else.
This place was the original climbers hangout back in the day. It was demolished a little while back, but recently rebuilt. The food is pretty good, and cheap. The prices are comparable to the cheaper Indian restaurants, but it has a large menu that, like the guesthouses, includes western food and curries. In addition, it has some of the cheapest accommodation in town as long as don’t mind roughing it. They will rent out a mattress and blanket so that you can sleep on the rocks.
Goan Corner is the most “professional” restaurant in Hampi. Usually I prefer eating at places that have a more local feel, but when I want to feel more at home I eat here. The food at Goan Corner is excellent. The pizza is cooked in a wood oven and rivals good pizza at home. My favorite dish however is the Afghan half-chicken. While I love the vegetarian offerings in India, the Afghan chicken is by far my go-to meat dish. It’s a proper half of a chicken, and it is juicy, tender, and delicious. When you eat here, you can be confident that it is cooked hygienically. This comes at a price though as it is one of the more expensive restaurants in Hampi although the drinks (try the peanut butter and honey shake) are reasonably priced.
Goan Corner is also the best place to watch a movie in Hampi. They have a large projector screen with good sound and video quality.
Ok, so massages aren’t your typical dirtbag expenditure, but when you are climbing nearly everyday, you might feel the urge to splurge for one. Now, I’ve been disappointed by a lot of the cheap massages I’ve had in Asia, and this one is more expensive than most, but the massages at Lotus are one of the best I’ve had in Asia and are still much cheaper than a comparable one back in the US. The masseurs know what they are doing and have good techniques and pressure. I strained my back bouldering and the massage I received helped a lot while still being pretty relaxing.
Rockland is another cheap option to get Indian food. Their dosa is my favorite item on the menu. It has less oil than most places, and is thick. Most other restaurants make a very thin dosa, which I like as well, but not as much as the one at Rockland. Unfortunately, there are a couple of things that I don’t like about this place. One is that the prices change from visit to visit. Like many places in Hampi, they try to charge as much as they think they can get from you. If you become a regular however, you will get the low prices. Another thing I don’t like is that they really pressure you to come back and eat there everyday. It comes off too desperate and feels awkward. Finally, the owner is drinking more often than not. I prefer driving just a bit further and going to Devammas.
Although it is pretty far from the main Hampi strip, Devammas is my favorite Indian restaurant in the area. In general, it is slightly cheaper than the other local Indian restaurants and the food is great. While they have a menu on the wall, they will make many more things. My go to dish is the mixed fruit pancake. It is packed with fresh fruit and is quite filling. The service is better than most, though they can sometimes forget to start your order, and the staff is friendly. If it looks busy inside you might want to go elsewhere because your food will take a while.
Man, I have mixed feelings about this place. The first time I ate here, the food was fresh, hot, and delicious. The only dinner offering is Thali but it came with a wide variety of sides including the best curd and ghee I’ve had. Benjamin, the owner, and his wife and chef, Esther were charming and interesting. The next couple of visits, the food was cold, we had to ask for curd, and Benjamin was obnoxiously drunk. Another time, the place was full of friendly, eclectic locals and Benjamin was playing amazing music on his guitar. Each time I would visit, it would either be amazing or annoying. I recommend checking it out and deciding for yourself.
There are a few bakeries in town, but in my opinion this one has the tastiest goods in Hampi. My favorites are the apple crumble and the chocolate donut, although the latter is much better freshly baked early in the morning. The regular food on the menu is better than average, and cheap compared to the other restaurants. It does have some downsides. It isn’t as comfortable as say Laughing Buddha, just plastic chairs and tables, and the awning doesn’t stop rain and only gives some protection from the sun. They have wifi but it is slow for Hampi, which means really, really slow. Finally, the service is pretty awful. The staff is usually one their phones and completely inattentive. At least half of the time they serve me slices of pie without any utensils. Despite this, the prices and deliciousness keep me coming back.