Over the past years I have heard, seen, and viewed videos on Pondicherry. It always made me inquisitive. What is so special about the territory? A month back, I finally had the opportunity to check it for myself. I realised all the hullabaloo over Pondicherry aka ‘Puducherry’ was worth it. All that colourful posts and neat roads I saw over posts and videos, was right in front of me. Any girl would go gaga over these colour pops.
Pondicherry is known for its colonial influence, thanks to France, Netherlands, England, and Portugal. One of the prime reasons it is called the ‘Little France of India.’ Apart from being famous for its architecture, churches, and extravagantly clean roads, the colonial influence is visible over the gourmet food as well. Before heading to Pondicherry, I was fortunate to sit in the cafes of Paris sipping a nice cuppa hot chocolate. Since, I have always dreamt of heading back and experiencing it all over again. Pondicherry made it happen.
If you are someone who dreams of sitting in a French cafe and sipping a nice coffee, then the following Pondy cafes should be on your checklist –
Coromandel Cafe: Housed in the century old villa Le Maison Rose in White Town is the Coromandel Cafe. The same team that conceptulised Amethyst, established this cafe. The interiors act as your second abode and the cafe furniture has a Jodhpur touch to it. The cuisine is European with an Indian touch. What we loved the most here is the pink hummus and flat bread. You should also try out their signature Posh N’ Pink Tagliatelle that includes pink sauce, goats cheese, caramalised onions, sprouts, and red cabbage.
Le Cafe: Many businessmen are of the opinion that Le Cafe is a lovable place. It is more or less a meeting point for the locals. Le Cafe holds high regards for its top-notch bakery and several passing expatriates have spoken in length about the place. The ambiance is authentic and gives you a breathtaking view of the Bay of Bengal. The best part, the bakery items and wood stock pizza comes at a reasonable price. Make sure to try their chocolate brownie with ice cream.
Cafe Des Arts: It propounds a Bohemian charm and a vintage ambiance. The cafe mesmerises you with its French decor. Apart from the outdoor seating, the indoor seating offers a special place for book lovers. The menu does not fail to surprise the visitors. The must-try items are masala chai, Hibiscus flower syrup drink, nutella pancakes, and crepes. The cost for two would be INR 600-800.
Right Path Cafe: There are several eateries and cafes the moment you enter Auroville. But one of the places I will recommend you to head is the Right Path Cafe. They have spacious interiors as well as exteriors seating, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner available at affordable price. They serve authentic south Indian meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You get the mini and full meal here. Do not forget to end the meal with Auroville’s special syrup juice that is healthy and delicious.
Le Dupleix: We were fortunate to opt for Le Dupleix in White Town for our stay. The architecture and design mixed with modern touch took us back to the colonial era in the modern world. The dining space is ideal for friends and family under a prepossessing roof. The reason their cafe is cosy is because it is away from the main city’s hustle and bustle. Since Le Dupleix was our abode, the hotel staff provided us discount on the lunch.
PY Cafe Love: The MG Road in Pondicherry is known for the best French-styled cafes. One such must-visit is PY Cafe Love. Right from mirrors in the wall to stenciled quotes to broken clocks to amazing food, PY Cafe Love has everything in it. The idea of the cafe is to just engage in conversations with your loved ones. If you visit the cafe alone, they have solution for that as well. You will receive a colouring paper with some wacky quotes. You could colour them until the food arrives. How cool, right?
Meraki Eatery Teahouse: Although it was a last-minute plan, the Meraki Eatery Teahouse is just what you need for a good and sumptuous breakfast. Their English breakfast is pretty filling while their masala chai and masala omelette is sufficient for a quick brekkie.
Hope Cafe: Never got an opportunity to eat here but came across this neon-themed cafe while heading to Cafe Des Arts. Situated in White Town, they term the cafe as hope, joy, and happiness. It is newly opened and quite a peaceful one. It is also one of the place where you can enjoy a vegan dish.
Mind you, all these cafes are in and around White Town. So, consider this list if you are visiting Pondy anytime soon.