Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi

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Photo of Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi by Joydeep Ghosh

Fort Kochi is a charming area in Cochin, known for Dutch, British and Portuguese style architecture, the Chinese Fishing nets and lovely cafes and food joints. While you’ll find tourists there most times of the year, the Christmas and New Year weekend is particularly popular. Also, once every two years the Kochi Muziris Biennale brings an inflow of International and domestic artists and art aficionados to this part of the country. I was lucky to be able to visit the last one in late 2018.

This post though is about what makes Fort Kochi particularly inviting – its various cafes and food joints. Most of the particularly famous ones and the more popular cafes / restaurants are clustered around the Burger Street and the Princess Street, two parallel running cobbled stone streets in the heart of Fort Kochi.

Princess Street

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Joydeep Ghosh

Burger Street

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Joydeep Ghosh

If you’re staying in Fort Kochi, wake up early morning to take a walk on the beach road, pick a chai from the tea vendors opposite the Aquatic Club and enjoy a chai with a view of the brightly painted wall murals.

Hot piping chai in the morning with a view of these murals

Photo of Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi by Joydeep Ghosh

The Beach Road is brightened up with these wall murals

Photo of Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi by Joydeep Ghosh

On my café hopping, the first port of call was Kashi Art Café. The prima donna of Fort Kochi. This café on Burger Street is a hub for the travellers and artsy gentry in Kochi. Living up to its name, the entry of the café is via a display room, exhibiting photographs and works of art (not just during the Biennale). And mind you, the popularity of this place is such that if you plan to visit on weekends or during the tourist season, you may have to wait to get a table, unless it’s early morning. Their breakfast options are great (delicious and filling. The coffee is great and so is the food, albeit a tad bit pricey.). But the ambience and the vibes more than compensates for it. You could be a solo visitor (like me) and yet not get bored. Do try their house cakes, which they bake with a lot of love.

An easy to miss entrance to the famed Kashi Art Cafe

Photo of Kashi Art Café by Joydeep Ghosh

French Press and paperbacks - fabulous companions

Photo of Kashi Art Café by Joydeep Ghosh

One of the installations in KAC

Photo of Kashi Art Café by Joydeep Ghosh

This installation stands out in the first courtyard

Photo of Kashi Art Café by Joydeep Ghosh

Oy’s In Restaurant is just across the street from Kashi, and though is not as popular, but worth it if waiting for food is not your choice. Like me, you could sit here for hours, with a book and music in your ears, without being disturbed or having the constant feeling that someone else is waiting for a table. The French toast and Americano is something that I particularly enjoyed here.

Oy's Cafe and Homestay, across the street from Kashi

Photo of Oy's in Restaurant with Home Stay by Joydeep Ghosh

The interiors of the Oy's Cafe

Photo of Oy's in Restaurant with Home Stay by Joydeep Ghosh

If you ask any local in Fort Kochi, which is one of their favourite breakfast place, they will in most likelihood direct you to Elite Bakery on Burger Street. And that’s exactly how I found myself at this not so fancy café. From the outside, it may look like just another Bakery, but they have few tables inside. The best time to visit is in the morning for the freshly baked pork pies and other savoury pastries. Since I wasn’t in luck as the pastries hadn’t been baked yet, I settled for a banana pancake filled with freshly grated coconut and chai. When it was finally served, I was surprised at its similarity to the Bengali patishapta.

Burger Street, with Elite Bakery up left

Photo of Elite Bakery by Joydeep Ghosh

My breakfast companions at Elite

Photo of Elite Bakery by Joydeep Ghosh

Another café worth mentioning is the Loafer’s Corner Café at the junction of Princess St. and Bastian St. Sit by one of the first-floor windows overlooking the street with a cold coffee to satiate your thirst after walking through the streets of Fort Kochi.

The Loafer's Corner cafe was closed in the early hours of the morning when I clicked this image

Photo of Loafers Corner Cafe by Joydeep Ghosh

Rasa Restaurant and Art Space on Bastian Street is a quaint little space that is a restaurant and a hostel / hotel together. A spacious eating joint to try the authentic Malabar Parotta and Kerala style chicken gravy. Looking over the street through the tinted glass windows is fun!

Interiors of Rasa

Photo of Rasa Hotel by Joydeep Ghosh

And then there is the CCD housed in the House of Yesudas, where the café is built around a mango tree, infact you can sit by the trunk of the tree on the first floor of the café… Interesting indeed.

The Cafe built around the mango tree..

Photo of OYO 16778 House Of Yesudas by Joydeep Ghosh

These are just a few among the several interesting cafes in Fort Kochi. Another trip is necessary to explore the rest.

To follow my travel journeys and more, ping me on Instagram @thewanderjoy. See you around!!