These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present

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(C) Pineapple Supply Co.

Photo of Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

The erstwhile French colony, Pondicherry, is a melting pot of vibrant South Indian culture with a smattering of French flavours. Perched on India’s east coast in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is adorned with Gallic landscapes of bougainvillea-draped colonial townhouses, pastel cafes and leafy boulevards. A haven for both the traveller in quest of adventure and spiritual awakening, and the leisure-seeking tourist, there's no dearth of places to visit in the lovely town. But by far, the best way to explore the city is through its food, that epitomises Pondicherry's past and present.

So after you have doused yourself in the tropical sunshine and surfed the waters of the Auroville Beach, here's your guide to some of the city's most charming cafés that will whip you up the most lush crème caramel and fluffiest of croissants.

(C) Domus

Photo of Domus, Suffren Street, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

Domus, translating to 'house' in Latin, is a melange of all things bizarre. Turquoise pillars and red walls invite you into this vegetarian café hidden in the quiet gardens of an eccentric design shop which boasts of antiquated paintings, 40s style lamps and other such rare objects. The items on sale are all curated from across the globe by Claude Dalmais, French proprietor and interior designer.

Serving up a range of organic and healthy fare, you can also create your own sandwich here with the desired choice of bread, seasoning and filling. An especially good spot to sit with your iced tea and unwind would be under the cool shade of the mango tree in the courtyard.

(C) Beni Rupp/Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 56, Rue Suffren Street

When: 10.00 am to 6.30 pm (open all days)

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Muesli breakfasts, European-salad thalis, the Financier dessert.

Cost for two: Rs 300

(C) Artika Cafe Gallery

Photo of Artika Cafe Gallery, La Bourdonnais Street, White Town, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

Taking you through a canopied avenue, the Artika Café Gallery beckons you with graffiti-etched walls and a fashion boutique. While it's a quintessential French courtyard café, some spectacular imagery can be seen all over the café interiors. A particularly zany mural of a half-man, half-woman on a playing card which is painted on the door to the entrance stays with you long after you've left the place. Go here for a healthy breakfast plate, or for a late lunch of some of the best basil pesto you've ever tasted.

(C) Artika Cafe Gallery

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 1, Labourdonnais Street

When: 8.30 am to 7.00 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Green smoothies, chocolate cake, Croque Monsieur, French crêpes, ratatouille and croissants.

Cost for two: Rs 700

(C) Nandita/Flickr

Photo of Satsanga, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

Owned and run by French expat Pierre Elouard, this is where the locals come to eat. With an open-air seating arrangement, the cafe serves a delicious concoction of French and Italian cuisines. Surrounded by lush green foliage and a thatched bamboo roof, go to this cafe for a warm, intimate experience.

(C) speedbug/Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 54, La Bourdonnais Street

When: 12.00 - 3.00 pm, 7.00 -11.00 pm

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Salad niçoise, steak-frites, crème brûlée, lemon pie

Cost for two: Rs 1,000

(C) Well Cafe

Photo of Well Cafe, Bommayapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India by Sonalika Debnath

Auroville's Well Cafe has an enticing assortment of Mediterranean food and vegan meals. An easy hike through forest trails leads you to this hidden cafe. The rustic charm of the seating area and the frequent events that are held at the cafe will keep you coming back for more. Well Cafe also partners with Well Paper, an initiative that aims to rehabilitate women affected by the tsunami.

(C) gsol/Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: Opposite Upasana Auroshilpam, Auroville

When: 8.30 am to 4.00 pm

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Crème brûlée, seafood curry and idli-sambar.

Cost for two: Rs 500

(C) Ritambhara Agrawal

Photo of Cafe des Arts, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

A kitschy rickshaw parked in the front lawn. Pop-culture themed decor. A small hushed library. Cheery yellow walls illustrated with musicians sitting inside teacups and monkeys sitting on bicycles and flying elephants. This is what will welcome you when you step into the old French townhouse, refurbished into a quaint bohemian café. It also houses two shops – Nirvana and Cottonwood, selling all things Bollywood and Indian. The cafe is home to probably the best and most authentic French food in town.

(C) Ritambhara Agrawal

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 10, Suffren Street

When: 8.30 am to 7.00 pm (Closed only on Tuesdays)

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Waffles, masala chai, crepes, pancakes, hibiscus flower syrup with soda, and croque provençal.

Cost for two: Rs 800

(C) Maison Perumal

Photo of Maison Perumal, Perumal Koil Street, Raja Rajeswari Nagar, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

Offering a slice of the authentic French way of life, Maison Perumal's open courtyards will let you witness the most magnificent of sunsets. The cafe is also decked with arched stained glass windows and Burma teak pillars that portray a French-Tamil melange. This is also embodied in their delectable fusion cuisine.

(C) Maison Perumal

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 44, Perumal Koil Street

When: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm

Wifi: Yes

Must-haves: Coffee caramel and the cilantro fried fish

Cost for two: Rs 900

Villa Shanti

(C) Villa Shanti

Photo of Suffren Street, White Town, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

In the heart of the old French town lies Villa Shanti, a 19th century townhouse that has now been converted into an award-winning hotel. With minimalistic decor, the cafe offers a refreshing Grecian ambience to dine in. Most of their meals are prepared with organic produce.

(C) Anna Verdina/ Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 14, Suffren Street, White Town

When: 12.00 - 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm - 10.30 pm

WiFi: Yes

Must-haves: Steak-frites, crêpes, crème brûlée, chocolate eclairs, masala prawns

Cost for two: Rs 1,500

(C) La Casita

Photo of Traveller's Cafe at La Casita, Eswaran Dharmaraja Kovil Street, Raja Rajeswari Nagar, Pondicherry, Puducherry, India by Sonalika Debnath

The Traveller's Café is hidden inside La Casita, Centre of Latin American Art and Culture in Pondicherry. Offering sweeping views of the Kamatchi Aman Sanctuary and the entire town of Pondicherry, the housetop bistro also holds concerts and gigs incorporating Latin American music, motion picture screenings and workshops.

(C) kbrannigan/ Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Where: 147, Eswaran Dharmaraja Kovil St

When: 11.00 am - 3.30 pm, 5.30 - 9.30 pm

Wifi: Yes

Must-have: Dimsums and the fried cheese empanadas

Cost for two: Rs 500

(C) Gowrishankar TS/Flickr

Photo of These 8 Charming Cafes Will Help You Eat Your Way Through Pondicherry's Glorious Past And Present by Sonalika Debnath

Found a quirky cafe in Pondicherry that hasn't been featured on our list? Tell us about it in the comments or write your very own travelogue on Tripoto!

Here's another list of stunning cafes in another Indian city to try!

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6 Comment(s)
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You missed coromandel cafe...
Tue 04 30 19, 13:56 · Reply · Report
there are so many missed. the amazing ones.... while I solo travelled Pondy, there are many personal favourites and this list is no close to what Pondy has to offer.
Sun 04 14 19, 16:21 · Reply · Report
Nicely write up. Makes us to book tickets now
Fri 04 05 19, 10:35 · Reply · Report
This post is so mouth watering.......will hunt em all :D
Thu 07 05 18, 11:56 · Reply · Report
Amazing !!
Tue 02 20 18, 12:10 · Reply · Report
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