Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur

Tripoto

The Anokhi Cafe

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

The Anokhi Cafe

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

On The House

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

On The House

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

1135 AD

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

1135 AD

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Indian Coffee House

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Indian Coffee House

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Tapri Central

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Tapri Central

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Tapri Central

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Tapri Central

Photo of Five must visit “new-age” cafés in Jaipur by Juhi Bansal

Jaipur is on everyone’s bucket list. The city is a beautiful amalgamation of old and new, of modern structures and vintage architecture, of spirit and character, of food and shopping, of picturesque views and present day wonders. For every Amer Palace there is a World Trade Park- I can’t think of any other city that has embraced the new century so well without giving up on its basic identity. Jaipur is truly home for me in every sense of the word.

Some of these cafes I’ve been visiting with my family since forever, some I was introduced to by friends and some I just stumbled upon during random drives. Here’s a list of my favourite five, the new-age cafes as I like to call them- hope you get a chance to visit them soon and have as much fun as I do every single time!

Anokhi Café, C-Scheme

(Specializes in: International Foods and Desserts)

It doesn’t have the best of interiors, is not fancily decorated, neither is it big enough. But, Anokhi Café has the two most important elements that take it to the top of my list instantly: Ambience and food. Whether it is the patrons who frequent the café or the gorgeous Anokhi store next door, the ambience calls out to you the moment you step in. And the food, well they like to call their menu “mostly organic”. The food is exquisite, scrumptious and completely to die for! I don’t even know where to start on recommendations -their bagels and cream cheese or their pastas or their salads. You also gotta try their breads and desserts like lemon meringue pie and mascarpone cheese cake. In short-one visit may not be sufficient :). The cafe offers foods that are made from fresh seasonal organic produce grown locally at the Anokhi farm.

Must try: Everything on the menu

Meal for two: Rs. 800-Rs. 1000 

On the House, Tonk Road

(Specializes in: International Foods and Desserts)

This is a real gem situated in a secluded corner of a very busy road. I chanced upon it while we were trying to locate another café. Because we were exhausted and it looked faintly enticing, we decided to give this one a try. I’ve been a fan ever since! They have a wholesome menu of snacks, sandwiches and pastas, exotic shakes, thin crust pizzas, splendid breakfast menu of eggs and what nots…what takes the cake is their dessert selection (quite literally!). I can never get enough of their lemon pies, breads, Tiramisu, Danish pastries and other such. The place has been done up with lots of colours and has both indoor and outdoor seating. You will find the café buzzing with lovely music and hearty chatters of patrons any time of the day. While OTH may not take you back to one of those exotic European cafes you frequent on your travels, I can assure you the experience will be very close.

Must trys: Desserts and Breakfast menu

Meal for two: Rs. 800-Rs. 1000

1135 AD, Amer Palace

It would be a crime to not mention the mighty palaces and forts when talking about Jaipur. 1135 AD is located inside the Amer Fort- a must visit if you are in Jaipur both for its historical value and the view it offers (it is the second most visited historical monument in India, second only to the Taj Mahal!). The meandering narrow gullies that take you to the Fort are charming to say the least.

With imperial interiors and regal furnishings, 1135 AD will transport you to the Mughal Raj immediately. Serving staff, dressed in a Rajasthani ensemble, makes you feel like royalty. The menu is not elaborate but has enough to interest you especially if you are looking for Marwari cuisine. Sit back and enjoy- this is the only café in my list where you can order a glass of beer or wine with the food :). Do not expect a lot from the food…there are definitely better places in Jaipur if you are looking for authentic Rajasthani fare. However there aren’t many heritage cafés around with a gorgeous view to boot and you may want to visit it solely for that!

Must trys: Thaal-e-Amber (non-veg)/ Thaal-e-Jodha (veg)

Meal for two: Rs. 1500-Rs.2500

Indian Coffee House, Jawahar Kala Kendra

(Specializes in: Indian Mini Meals and Snacks)

ICH isn’t unique to Jaipur and one might wonder why it fetaures on my list at all. The reasons are twofold. One, ICH in Jaipur is located inside the mighty Jawahar Kala Kendra- the hub of interesting art and cultural activities. Two, the architecture of the Coffee House- it is based on the lunar cycle and each table in the café represents a phase of the moon. The walls are adorned with Sanskrit Shlokas and make for an interesting read. Apart from this the fact that the café is frequented by the so called intelligentsia- writers, authors, artists and other creative lot, resplendent in their khadi-cotton-silver jewelry-kolhapuris ensemble (a-la fabindia) who are either lost in conversation with their posse or deep in thought with a cigarette in their hands or sitting and reading in solitude amidst several repeats of coffee and pakodas.

I have been going to ICH since time immemorial with family for Sunday breakfasts. The calm, the commotion, the food, the decade old white china, the conversations, I can never have enough. Their menu consists entirely of Indian meals: South Indian, Parathas, Omlettes, butter toasts and the like. And if all this wasn’t enough- they can put any small time roadside stall to shame as far as prices are concerned.

Must Trys: Sambar Vada and Omlette

Meal for two: Rs. 200-Rs. 300

Tapri Central, C-scheme

(Specializes in: Roadside menu and teas)

PS: The older café called Tapri Pratham is must visit too but if you are pressed for time, Tapri Central is the place to go to for a wholesome experience.

Tapri literally means a small tea stall in Rajasthan. Quirky fashion is one thing but a quirky café without going OTT. Now that’s interesting, isn’t it? Tapri embraces Hindi (the language) and the fun Indian snacks like a charm! The menu is anything but sophisticated. No fancy sounding cuisine- Tapri takes pride in the desi-pan! So with your chai (they have amazing variety of teas) the usual accompaniments would be parle-g, bun maska, vada pav, maggi, pani Puri and other delectablechowpaaty-esque fare. The place is perfect for breakfasts (opens at 7.30am and offers a wide variety of options like upma, dal pakwan etc.)

The interiors are done up rustically and quirkily with a mix of moodahs (Indian cane chair), comfortable chairs and wooden tables. Colourful kettles, cutting chai glasses and other interesting stuff adorn the walls. They have terrace seating as well. Watching the sun set with mouth-watering food is the best way to spend your evenings. One look at the funny names on the menu, their tip box and the goodies they retail from their premises (Happily Unmarried is one of their suppliers) and you know they have an amazing sense of humour. Words will never be able to do justice to this magnificent place and if you have time to visit only one place in Jaipur, I implore you to consider this!

Must Trys: Pani puris, Vada Pav, Maggi

Meal for two: Rs. 600-Rs. 800

So this is it; my favourite five! My apologies if you were expecting the heritage hotel café round up- it being Jaipur and all. Another post on those may be. Like I said, these are the “new-age” cafes in good ol’ Pinkcity. They make me immensely proud because they are not the cliché  “overpriced coffee places in the name of traditional feel because you are paying in dollars”. (I love those too by the way!). They are as cosmopolitan in their appearance as in their menus and this warrants a visit doesn’t it?

Originally published on Closet Buddies.

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