Cafes are the neutral zone between home and work. An upsurge of Indian cafes assures that we have somewhere to go with friends, partners or even by ourselves. You could read, work, talk or simply, stare out the window. Live performances at some of these cafes are a definite plus. So, we cover the best Indian cafes for you. We have covered 10 cities as detailed below.
Kolkata – Mecca of old time Indian Cafes
Kolkata and flurys are inseparable. Every single person who lives in Kolkata or has visited Kolkata would have fond memories of Flurys continental breakfast for sure. This British time cafe has held on its signature dishes even today. Be it the world famous beans on toast or poached eggs omelettes with freshly brewed Darjeeling tea. Flurys meets the expectations of every generation.
A quaint, small place based in Elgin Road, Kolkata. The ambience is cosy and will remind you of the actual Piccadilly square. A tastefully crafted menu will not disappoint you if you are tempted to have pancakes, waffles, pastas, pizzas and other contemporary food options. The regular golden waffles and banana cabana (crepes) are the most recommended dishes by regular visitors.
This café near Sambunath Pandit hospital is for the bikers and game lovers. Apart from the roadie-biker ambience, you would also find a lot of indoor games to enjoy. This includes board games, foosball and air hockey. Because of these options, it is a great place to visit if you have children. The menu offers a wide variety. The best items to try are the all-day breakfast options, keema, burgers, sizzlers and pancakes.
This quaint café in Versova is definitely a place for you if you are a cat-lover. Even if you are contemplating getting a pet, you could pay them a visit. The outer area is where you place your order. You could choose to sit here as well. Whatever you buy helps to provide shelter and food to the cats. The inner chamber is where the cats are. They would be tucked away in cat trees or sitting by the window or lounging in peoples’ laps. There are small tables here that will allow you to sip your tea or have your food while you play with the cats.
Bombay to Barcelona library café
Situated in Marol, Andheri, the heart-warming backstory of this café will lift your spirits. The founder of this café, Amin Sheikh is a former street kid and this café is his attempt to help street kids get a footing before they launch off into the world. His life is very interesting and involves him working for Eustace Fernandes who was the creator of the Amul girl. Eustace sent him to Barcelona, where Amin saw that there were no street kids. This café is an attempt to make that reality happen in Mumbai as well. The café is very decently priced and you get to have some authentic Spanish food. There is also a section on the menu for those who are underprivileged.
Taj Mahal tea house café
This place is for the “Wah Ustad” feel. This café in Bandra will greet you with lovely classical Indian music, a charming ambience and an exhaustive menu of teas. The food is pretty quirky and different and goes well with the beverage you order. This is a great idea for a rain-soaked Saturday evening, to sit with someone or by yourself and see it pouring outside while you embrace the warmth of your cup.
A small, old place on MG road, this is probably where college kids went to in the 70s and 80s. And continue to go today. It was one of the very first fast food places and has an old-world feel. The food is very reasonable and you could have a very filling meal in Rs. 300. However, due to its fame, it may be a little crowded at times so you might want to pick a good time to go. They serve pasta, sandwiches and burgers along with hot and cold beverages.
Pagdandi Books Chai café
Nested in Baner, this is definitely a go-to for the book-lover cosiness. There are small cornered mattresses and tables where you could read. They have a good collection of books, some of which you could buy if you’re interested. While the food options are vegetarian only, you can still enjoy a good taste. The spinach corn sandwich is recommended. The ginger tea and cappuccino are worth trying as well. This café again is very light on the pockets.
We couldn’t talk about Pune without talking of this wonderful, iconic bakery. This place is situated in Koregaon Park. This is a good place for German and Italian food, including some really great salads. The desserts section is definitely delectable. Do pick up the Shrewsbury biscuits from the bakery before leaving. Each person you share it with will love you forever!
Turquoise cottage café
This is a lovely café situated in Green Park and features some amazing variety of cuisine – continental, Mediterranean, Italian, American – and Goan! The Goan menu has been added most recently and the reviewers are really happy with the authentic taste. They have a lovely décor, a great rooftop ambience and a friendly staff. The best dishes here according to reviewers are Bruschettas, Mezze Platter, Salads, Cocktails, Pizza, Apple Pie and Beer. As Delhi prices go, it can be fairly reasonable as you do have filling dishes priced at Rs.300 – 500.
The rose café
This café will give you the calming feel that pastel shades induce. While they serve multiple cuisines including Lebanese food, the best-recommended dishes are Coffee, Iced Peach Tea, Chicken Steak, Tiramisu, Waffles, Pizza and Chicken Mustard. If you’d like to spend the day amidst a lot of greenery, cute décor and delicious food in Saket, this is the one for you.
What a Comic Show Café
This unique café in Greater Kailash is surely the place for comic-book fans. The décor is completely immersed in comic feel. Don’t worry, it features works and heroes of both Marvel and DC. The comic-book theme touches their tables, serving utensils and the walls. Of course, they have a lot of comic books for you to read! The best things to eat? Pizza, Mocktails, Pasta, Pork Dumplings, Cocktails, Coffee, and Steak.
The full name is actually Roots – café in the park. As the name suggests, the focus is on greenery and open spaces. Since they open at 8 am, it is a great place for a winter morning breakfast. The dishes are simple and the menu is limited. However, the food is made and served fresh so it would suit the earthy/organic mood. The best dishes to try are Healthy Breakfast, Poha, Vada, Egg Kejriwal, Spiced Mushrooms, Masala Tea and Rajma Rice.
This is for the travellers’ spirit, especially the one who loves the hills. We think this reviewer expresses it best in her words “This cafe reminds you of a smallish place in the hills, with bean bags and books and board games, ideal to come and veg out on a Sunday morning. But ambience aside, it is actually the menu here which gets me excited. From English breakfast to Kanpur ki kachori and sabzi to Allahabadi Samosa Chatkara. Shahi tukda to mango Maggi. These guys have a pretty diverse choice of items on the list.”
This café is a mix of different cultures. The colours used in the décor are pretty vibrant and make it a pretty and Instagram friendly place. There are regular sports screenings here as well and so they are well prepared to handle large groups. The café has a decent collection of board games too, so it is definitely more of a group hangout place. Their best dishes are Tiramisu, Pasta, Pancakes, Mutton Rara, Omelette, Spaghetti and Chips.
The White Room
The white room has an almost completely white décor and that is the reason it stands out. The impact of white around you can be that you also feel a lot of space and vastness. This is the kind of place which invites contemplation and is great for light meetups. They have outdoor seating too and lots of greenery and is definitely great for a raining evening. It is situated on church street. The best from their menu includes Coffee, Chicken Pie, Caramel Frappe, Espresso, Tea, Chocolate Milkshake and Mushroom Soup.
This lovely café in Koramangala, 5th block, is another great place for book lovers. By now, it must be clear that the author of this post has a thing for books and book cafes! This place provides a great place to read and browse their collection as well as get work done and meet like-minded people. The food is pretty great too. The most recommended foods are sandwiches, Masala Pav, Chicken Burger, Filter Coffee, Burgers, French Fries and Milk Shakes. Another plus is that this place is really pocket-friendly – all the items are below 100 Rs!
An Egg Story
An egg-citing place in Brookefield, this is for you whether you like the sunny side up or not! As the name suggests, they have a great variety of tasty egg dishes. The décor is bright and cosy. Reviewers have said that some of them went their with their children and the food was loved by the kids too. This is another café that is not very expensive. The best dishes include Healthy Breakfast, Enchiladas, English Breakfast, Burgers, Caesar Salad, Eggs and the Sunday Brunch.
That Madras Place
This small, homely space is situated in Adyar. It is quite a good option for Italian food. The décor and the ambience are cheerful. There’s outdoor and rooftop seating as well. One of the reviewers says “Moment you enter the restaurant you just can’t stop noticing their wall with all the important pics that defines Madras.” Their most coveted foods include Pasta, Fries, Raspberry Soda, Mascarpone, Chicken Lasanga, Sandwiches and Fish.
This café is about more than just the readers and writers. The entire profits from this café go to burn victims – another one of the heart-warming Indian cafes. The food is rated greatly by all the reviewers. Some visitors praise the desserts section, especially the pastries. Some others have loved the German pizza. Other favourites are Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Chocolate Mousse and Croissants. This café is situated in three locations, the one with Gopalpuram having the highest ratings.
Wild Garden – Amethyst café
This “break from the city” café is situated in Royapettah. This ambience of this gorgeous cafe in the middle of the hustle of Chennai takes you to another era. The flooring of this cafe is of checkered tiles and only surrounded by greenery. The food is as praised is the ambience, be it sweet or savoury. The best dishes are Club Sandwich, Sugarcane Juice, Filter Coffee, Pizza, Pasta, Hazelnut Cappuccino, and Sandwiches.
Situated in the Jubilee hills area, this café gives a charming feel. At once with the rustic furniture, the cute swing as well as the outdoor seating amidst greenery, you notice time slowing down around you. The food has been ranked well consistently by different types of reviewers. Chocolate Pastry, Sandwiches, Pizza, Coffee, Brownie, Crispy Prawns, Prawn Sizzler and the Ferraro-rocher shake are recommended.
Looking for something that’s un-cozy? Well, Driven café is the answer with its garage theme. If you look closely the tables on the first floor are actually made up on car and truck parts as well! The wall next to stairs full of pictures is most photogenic. The cherry on top is their songs selection. The best foods to have are Coffee, Donut, Chai, Paneer Kulcha, Brownie, Sandwiches and Americano dishes. The innovation of such Indian cafes is surely worth admiring!
The Gallery café
Here is a great place to combine your love for food and art. This is one of those Indian cafes which provokes thinking because of its displays. You can find people to converse with or sit on your own and have your cuppa. The food is pretty great too. Most visitors recommend the mango cheesecake. Other things to try are Pasta, Sandwiches, Chocolate Shake, Waffles, Spaghetti, Sandwich and Tomato Basil Soup.
Zen café has three outlets in Ahmedabad, each with its unique plus points. They have some lovely art and paintings on display. All three locations are great to visit in monsoons and winters, though summers may be a bit tough. They try to provide the best still with sprinkler fans. The best foods available are Coffee, Chai, Sandwiches, Carrot Cake, Nachos, Mocktails and Chaat.
This is a café which is very unique. Unlike other cafes/restaurants, they do not have a fixed menu and do not charge a bulk for the food. Instead, they have a different menu each day (decided by the person who had volunteered to cook for the day) and they happily take whatever amount of money you want to give them. Also, anyone can go and help them out if willing to do so. Food is prashad when you have it here. Visiting such Indian cafes surely makes you see the good in the world.
A café with a real-life mystery experience in Ahmedabad? Sure! The café is situated in Navrangpura. Not only is it spacious, with great décor and lovely food, it also has a mystery room! It’s a team game where the objective is to escape the room with the help of clues. The real-life game experience is the reason it made it to our best of Indian cafes list. Once you solve the mystery, you are bound to work up an appetite. You can choose from some of the best dishes like Waffles, Pasta, Pizza, Aloo Tikki Burger, Peri Peri Chicken, Chaat and Mocktails.
Situated in sector 10, this place has a combination of the rustic-exposed-brick wall look as well as the English tea room. It also has an outdoor seating area to enjoy the greens. Both the snack food as well as the heavier meal food has been appreciated by regular visitors. The quantity is ample. The best of their menu includes coffee, Club Chicken Sandwich, Sandwiches, Chicken Breast, Keema Bun, Pasta and Apple Pie.
Books and Brews Café
If you read Enid Blyton as a kid and always wondered what it was like to spend time in a treehouse, visit this café for sure.This unique aspect got it into our list of Indian cafes. The place has snug wooden interiors and comfortable sitting options. They have ample books and games so you could spend hours there. They invite independent bands to give them a performance space. The food is within budget and tasty. Some dishes to try are Honey Chilli Cauliflower, Coffee, Pasta, Chai, Lemonade, Sandwiches and Chicken Tikka Sandwich.
The theme of this café is travel and the aspect of “never settled down”. You will find that amply evidenced in the décor and ambience. It’s a large space and helps you to cool your heels if you have been shopping nearby. The place is a bit pricey but the food quality makes up for it. Dishes to try to include the Lebanese food menu for sure and Coffee, Mezze Platter, Veg Platter, Cappuccino, Wine, Baklava and Salads.
We have tried to cover the best of Indian cafes. Have we missed out any? Let us know in the comments below!
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