Until recently eating out was a relatively new concept in Kerala; the older generation viewed restaurants with a great deal of suspicion and the act of dining outside the home as some sort of tragedy. Most restaurants, as a result, catered to visitors and are often attached to hotels. (The word hotel, in fact, is often synonymous with restaurant.) But that has changed, and large cities and even roadside highway halts fairly bristle with places to eat.

In mid-2014, as part of a move to essentially ban alcohol consumption, the government of Kerala issued orders to close all bars that are not part of five-star hotels, and to begin closing 10% of all liquor stores each year. It is not yet clear if these closures will actually continue.

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