Best Cafés in Leamington Spa!

Leamington Spa maybe a small town, but the choices for food and drinks it has to offer are never ending! Turn right on Warwick Street for a yummy cake or left on Regent Street for scrumptious cheese pastries. It is never not the right time to head to one of the cozy cafes and grab a cup of coffee as you watch the world go by.

Here are some of our favourite cafes:

Coffee Architects: The vibe of this place is amazing, with the colorful decor and cozy spots. They serve the best cakes in town. Really the best! And their coffee is just wow!

Raspberry Oreo Cake and Hot Chocolate at Coffee Architects

Savi’s Cafe and Bakery: Savi’s is one of the cafes that open early morning and serve mouth watering pastries and sandwiches. There are two outlets of this family owned business and both serve amazing options.

Cheese Onion Pastry and Hot Chocolate at Savi’s Bakery

Spa Town Coffee: A cafe with a relaxed and chatty vibe, we love the coffee and food here. We visited the coffee shop on a Sunday morning and just fell in love. An elderly man sat with his coffee and newspaper in one corner, a group of cyclists occupied a couple tables in the centre and a pair of friends sat in another corner, studying – this cafe drew them all in!

Falafel Wrap with Fresh Salad at Spa Town Coffee

Coffee #1: One of the biggest coffee shops here, it serves a variety of sandwiches, baguettes and more. This was the first coffee shop we visited in Leamington Spa and loved!

Tomato and Cheese Panini at Coffee #1

Gusto Ricco Cafe: Oh this place! The vibe, the music and the food. This is one of our favourite spots, be it for a light bite or to satiate our growling tummies. Open till 10 pm, this place with its rustic mood and chosen upholstery has some scrumptious homemade cakes and delicious coffee.

The Aviary Cafe: Located in the magnificent Jephson Gardens, The Aviary Cafe is one of the finest places in town. We hands down rate their hot chocolate the best. They serve a variety of handmade cakes and pastries. The cafe is pet friendly and generally crowded owing to its location.

Mashed Swedes Cafe: If you are looking for a heartsome breakfast, this is the place to head to. What amazing coffee and those waffles are to die for. We love the vibe and their service with a smile!

The Oxford Cafe: A cozy cafe with a very homely vibe, we loved their hearty and filling breakfast.

Leif Tea Rooms and Piano Bar: A cozy cafe that turns to a happening bar come evening, this place serves some delicious food and teas. They also have trivia nights, karaoke and you can also play the piano here!

Habano: More a Cuban restaurant than a cafe, this place serves delicious coffee as well. And the service here is amazing. Head here to try their delicious burgers and more!

Cappuccino at Habano

Some of the other cafes you can head to are Le Cafe, Cafe Rogue, The Larder, Tartine. Trust us, no one ever goes hungry in Leamington Spa.

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Our favorite Cafés in Shillong!

Shillong is a beautiful city, encircled by tall pine trees,  a climate that is dramatically moody and some really good cafés, whose ambience is made all the more better by the various shade of the city…

So strap in and read more about our favorite cafés in Shillong:

ML-05 Café

This is a breathtaking wonder! Situated amidst lush greenery, every picture taken at this cafe is instagrammable. Named after the local vehicle registration number, this cafè exudes charm and cuteness. Located in the outskirts of Shillong, ML05 is a bikers’ and travellers paradise. 

Margarita Pizza at ML-05 Cafè

Hoitea Toitea

If you seek absolute peace and calm within city limits, this is the place to be. This cafè serves some of the most delicious food in Shillong and specializes in exotic blends of tea. Even though we are not avid tea drinkers, this place has managed to make us start liking tea.  
The cafè shares the space with the Crinoline swimming pool (named after Crinoline Waterfall), leveling up the experience of having your meal.  
Recommendation: Try the Zen Collection of teas and every possible food item on the menu!!

Spaghetti and Veggies at Hoitea Toitea
Detox Juice at Hoitea Toitea

The Living Roof

Another cafè with amazing interiors and ambience, great location and more importantly lip-smacking food! 
This cafè has everything to keep you engaged until your food is ready – a pool table, live musical performances and board games. Outdoor seating offers the comfort of a quiet meal.
Recommendation: Try the shakes, coffee, pastas here.
This cafè  can also be your home when you are on a vacation. (Registered on OYO)

Dylan’s Cafè

This iconic cafè in Shillong is a tribute to the legendary Bob Dylan and the perfect spot for celeb spotting. Located in the heart of town,  a visit to this cafè on a chilly evening for a cup of hot chocolate is a must. The food is average but the overall experience is quite amazing. 

Hot Chocolate at Dylan’s Cafè

Cafè  Shillong

If you are not sure of where to hang, just close your eyes and head to this cafè. There is somethings about this pace, which even though located on the main Laitmukhrah street, is so peaceful. We love sitting outside and watching the city go by.
Recommendation: Nasi Goreng here is to die for. They serve local delicacies as well. 

Lasagna at Cafe Shillong

Hashtag Cafè  

Another delightful cafè in Laitumkhrah where you can sip your coffee and eat your heart out. There have variety of local dishes (Khasi and Naga) to choose from other than the regular Chinese and Italian cuisines. The music here is really good and they also host performances by local artists. Hashtag Cafè is a very pocket friendly option. 

The Grub – Cafè and Bakery

The Grub caught our attention for their huge stack of books and the open seating (terrace). The ambience is cozy and we love finding ourselves a comfy nook to enjoy our coffee and a devour a good book. The food here is quiet good.

These are our favourite, and there are innumerable other good eateries and cafès in Shillong, no one here dies of hunger! 

Book Cafè – Ningxia Lù (Ningxia Road), Qingdao

We tend to find the most amazing places when we are least expecting them.
On our recent trip to China, on a cold winter day, we had decided to explore the city on foot. After some shopping, we were just roaming around and that is when saw this cafe – Book Cafè – we exchanged stares and ran towards it!

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It is a huge cafe on the side of a bustling street and right next to Ningxia Lù metro station. This place is also well connected by local buses if you decide to take one.

Entering, we saw huge stacks of books arranged properly in pillar-like shelves. Cozy and inviting sofas along one side and a few tables on the other. The interiors were beautifully designed and made us fall in love with the place at first sight.

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The cafe was almost empty barring a few people who were lost in their books.

For non-Mandarin speakers, it does get a bit difficult to understand the menu but the staff was very friendly and those who understood a bit of English helped us through our dilemma. We ordered our coffee and decided to makes ourselves comfortable upstairs.

Until our coffee arrived, we browsed through the books and explored the cafe. There were a lot of beautiful paintings and books up for sale. Most of the collect is in Mandarin and if you understand the language, this cafe is a heaven to be lost in for hours.

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We browsed through a few books and interacted with the staff trying to get to know the city better while our coffee arrived. The best part about the coffee was the cute Chinese cutlery that they used.

After spending about two hours here, we decided it was time to go, but would definitely love to visit this place again – hopefully with better knowledge of Mandarin.

Artika Café [White Town, Pondicherry]

First look at Artika Café and you feel like you are in a slow-motion video of some lost town. Time probably, literally stops here! Artika Café is one of the best places to laze around in Pondicherry.

 

It is essentially a black and white shot, with a random table or two adding the colours. Dry leaves and white bougainvillaea decorate the courtyard, giving the feel of a never-ending autumn. The quietness here can be the brand ambassador for Pondicherry’s ‘Peaceful Pondicherry’ tagline! This peacefulness is what drew us here and kept us here and what made us never want to get up and leave!

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A narrow and beautiful shrub covered path led us to the graffiti and mural-covered courtyard. There are a few tables in the open courtyard and a few lounge chairs in the shade covered area to just stretch and relax.

There are a few tables inside as well, in an old, pretty worn-out house but we chose outside, obviously!

There is an art gallery and a shop inside, which sort of seems like the thing in Pondicherry!

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Once we had taken in the amazing surroundings and rested for a few good minutes, we asked for the menu, which is another surprise. They give you a big handmade paperboard menu that is handwritten – art all the way!

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There are quite a few breakfast options, sandwiches, baguettes and crepes to pick from.

They have some really good combos to pick from. The food ranges from affordable to average pricey but one can easily find something

 

according to their budget.

Another good thing here is the free WiFi for as long as you want.

The service is prompt and super friendly.

 

 

We had a Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich. The aroma of the ratatouille being prepared made our mouths water! The sandwich was delicious, non-spicy ratatouille with lots of veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and more with lots of mozzarella cheese! It was lip-smacking!

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Ratatouille & Cheese Sandwich

We also had Mango Lassi which was more like thick mango pulp smoothie! It was very refreshing and filling!

Artika Café and Gallery should be where you head to, to chill on a hot summer day or to get your work done in peace. And if nothing, a few hours of peace don’t hurt!

We had an amazing time at Artika Café, do tell us about yours!!

Artika Café [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Artika Cafe Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kasha Ki Aasha [White Town, Pondicherry]

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“I think I am in the wrong place!”

“Nope, definitely, this is someone’s home. We are in the wrong place!”

This is how the conversation will go when you first enter Kasha Ki Asha – that you have entered someone’s really well-kempt home and there is no way that a café exists here. Pass by those rooms with handicrafts and khadi kurtas and bags and you reach the centre of the home which again reinforces your belief that this is someone’s home and you are trespassing!

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With a small central verandah with lots of flowers, a metallic statue of the dancing God and a few females going about their business, it has got to be a home, no?

Well, it is, but it is a home converted to an art gallery and also houses a café upstairs.

Breathing a sigh of relief that we have to be hungry no longer, we climbed up the narrow staircase to come face to face with the rooftop café and then… and then we smiled!

 

Kasha Ki Aasha is a dream we all had but never got. A terrace with cane furniture to laze on, lots of plants to keep it cool…. a space where we could relax and spend all our days and evenings and maybe even nights! Away from the chaos and cacophony, one can chill and be at peace at this café for as long as they want. And delicious homecooked food doesn’t hurt either!

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We spent hours here, hogging and just sitting, doing nothing, at some points not even talking…just being quiet! That is the type of place Kasha Ki Aasha is. And if you love such places, you will love this one!

The women who run the café come upstairs from time to time to ask for any order or you can go to the stairs and holler for someone but apart from that, they let you be. No one keeps poking asking if you want anything more, something we Mumbaikars, or for that matter, metro-dwellers are not used to!

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Coming to the food, they have a small menu and also serve some specials apart from the menu. The quantity is decent and one cannot help feel that the prices are a little high. That kept aside, the food is delicious! Their European and Thai thalis are hot selling and pretty famous! They also serve beer and wine. We stuck to mostly Indian options or Indian with a twist. Here’s what we tried and loved:

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Traditional Indian Breakfast – Soft steamed idlis with a bowl of sambhar and a groundnut and coconut based chutney.  The sambhar is non-spicy but had the perfect maa-ke-hath ka taste! The quantity of sambhar is a little less and you may have to ask for another bowl. The chutney is delicious too, with no hint of spiciness.

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Chappati & Dal Fry – Two large and soft chappatis with slightly crispy centres and a small bowl of dal. Dal again was non-spicy but yummy with lots of onions and ginger. This preparation is again served with the chutney.

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Chappati & Dal Fry

Pizza Dosai – Before we tell you what it is, we will tell you that it is delicious!! Two plain uttapams with lots of veggies on top – chopped tomatoes, onions, capsicum and more. This is then finished with lots of cheese! It tastes very slightly sweet owing to the tomato based sauce used to mix the veggies and the batter but the combination overall is amazing and something different!

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Onion Dosai with Chutney – Crispy and thin onion dosas. These were again bang-on yummy and can be had even without that chutney!

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Onion Dosai with Chutney

Black Bean Burger – The black bean burger has two black bean based cutlets with a slightly charred and smokey flavour, topped with tomatoes, capsicum and onions. It is served with a cold macaroni salad that is spiced with black pepper and is delicious. Each of these can be had separately and the combination is lip-smacking.

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The café is open only until 7 p.m. which is really sad considering the ambience is perfect for spending your evenings!!

All in all, Kasha Ki Aasha is an amazing place with good food and should find its way to your list of places to visit in Pondicherry!

Kasha Ki Aasha [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Kasha Ki Aasha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canteen 18 [Heritage Town, Pondicherry]

Sometimes, wrong roads lead people to the right places.

One such wrong road led us to discover Canteen 18. We were headed towards our hotel and we saw a small little eatery, at the corner of a street, just in the passing. Little did we know a split second would have that much impact. The moment we were fresh and ready to feed our growling tummies, the first place that we mentioned, together, was that small eatery at the corner – Canteen 18!

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We walked to the eatery, located in the lane behind a very busy MG Road. A sharp contrast from the chaotic main road, this street and Canteen 18, both, are a solace. First look, and you are bound to smile. A small cooking area, with 3 tables and a capacity to seat not more than 10 people, this place is charming in all certainty.

The place is run by two people and sees an influx of locals and foreigners alike. The menu is not very large in general and really small, like 5 items small, for vegetarians. And yet we recommend you go here, even if you have to pick the same combination in a burger and a croissant (this is for vegetarians, others have options), we still strongly recommend you do not miss out on this one! Have a bite of their burgers or croissant sandwich and you will know why!

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We tried the Paneer Veggie Burger and totally loved it! The patty had a slightly charred and smokey flavour and went so well with the molten mozzarella. Add to that their lip-smacking Barbeque sauce and it was heavenly!

We also loved :

Veggie Croissant Sandwich > A slightly crisp and buttery croissant that was stuffed with veggies, sauces and mozzarella, just like a sandwich would. But it tasted soooo soo good!

Affogato, which was only ₹90 – a perfect treat!

Canteen 18 is a dreamy place and definitely something you have to treat yourself to. Imagine a quiet road, open-air cafe, aroma of delicious food filling the air. Doesn’t seem much like India? Well, that’s where Pondicherry will surprise you!

We don’t even wanna imagine how beautiful this setting would be in monsoons! Another Pondicherry trip seems like a great idea at this moment!

 

Canteen 18 [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Canteen 18 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato