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The culture of Bagalkot has been influenced traditionally by Kannada culture with prominent traces of Marathi culture as well, partly because of the district’s proximity to Maharashtra and partly because of its past history of being a taluk under the Bombay Presidency. The North Karnataka dialect of Kannada is primarily spoken in the district. Kannada itself is classified as a Dravidian language. The ethnologue identifies Bijapur Kannada as the closest dialect to the particular dialect of Bagalkot. The traditional cuisine of the district is typical of the North Karnataka cuisine of the region. Jowar based food such as  Bhakri are popular. Other forms of Indian bread made out of jowar are also common and are referred to as jolada rotti. As with most North Karnataka districts, Jhunka, a garbanzo beans based dish is very popular and is usually eaten with Bhakri; the combination of these two dishes is referred to as Jhunka bhakar. Though not grown extensively in the district, rice, as in all of South India, is part of the staple diet and is imported from other parts of the state and region. Lentil and pulse based broths are common. Ilkal town in Bagalkot district is famous for the Ilkal sarees manufactured here.

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