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

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In Bandra and Looking for an Escape from Chaos? Head to One of These 7 Cafés and Breathe easy!

There is no dearth of options in Bandra, be it in terms of food or shopping or for that matter pretty sights! But then there is no shortage or traffic and crowd and total chaos as well.

The next time you are in Bandra and want to skip the madness, head to one of these cafés and relax!

Eat Around The Corner

True to its name, it is located in a corner of a lane, far away from the hustle and bustle. The café is beautiful and trendy with comfortable indoor seating and dreamy outdoor one. They have a large variety of grub to offer from, ranging from salads to burgers and the desserts here are to die for! Grab a corner outside, under the trees and enjoy a cup of coffee and a red velvet pastry. Or make that two pastries, ‘coz no one is watching!😉

Bombay Coffee House

Bombay Coffee House is a beautiful and peaceful coffee shop on linking road. There is a variety of coffee on offer along with some delicious croissants and pastries. They also have books and board games if that is your calling for the day. What we love is to sit by the window and be lost in our work while the world goes by – Linking road is that busy, we all know it! Bombay Coffee House will be your safe heaven on this busy road!

♥ The Bagle Shop

Tucked away in a corner of Carter road, many do not know this place exists, let alone that it serves kick-ass bagels! You will find many, who just come here to work and/or discuss in silence or just enjoy a good cup of coffee. The ambience is cozy and the greenery makes it cool. The Bagle Shop should be your go-to place for fresh air, a bagel and a smoothie.

Birdsong – The Organic Café

Hidden away from the world in one of Bandra’s narrow bylanes is this amazing café  – great place, almost straight out of a song! Calm and tranquil ambience. It is one of the places you wanna get lost in for hours. They serve delicious organic food although it definitely is pricey. Go here for a great cup of coffee and a corner to immerse yourself in a great book or a good conversation.

♥ Desi Deli

Although Desi Deli is located on a really busy street and is an open-air café, it makes for a good option if you want to just stop by and watch. They serve delicious breakfast options and smoothies or you can go simple with a strong cup of coffee!

♥ Pali Village Café

Pali Village Café is much more than just a café. It is an exquisite experience. The place is quaint and has a very vintage feel to it. It is not easy on the pocket for sure, but worth the visit be it for lone musings or cozy conversations.

Candies (Pali Hill)

As mainstream as this recommendation sounds, it is a place worth mentioning. The Pali Hill outlet of Candies is both chaotic and peaceful. Pick your favourite corner and be lost there for hours on end, no one will question your presence. We love the rooftop areas, they are just perfect!

Although it is not exhaustive, hope this list helps you with your Bandra musings!

Did we miss any place that should have made it to the list? Mention it in the comments! 🙂

The Whistling Teal [Chandpole, Udaipur]

Finding The Whistling Teal was a mere fluke for us. As we wandered down the Lake Palace Road, we saw a large board that said Authentic Espresso Coffee. A claim like that is bound to make us stop in our tracks. So we did. We stopped and we crossed the road and we made our way through the huge entrance and through the climber covered door, inside the beautiful café. Or should we say garden?

Hidden away in the verandah of Jhadol Haveli from the busy street, one can not guess that such a calm and serene place exists here. It is successful in reminding one how peaceful nature can be!

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The Whistling Teal makes you want to skip everything and just sit there enjoying the quiet and calm of the garden and the occasional chirping of birds or antics of squirrels.

 

It does not boast of a lake view or of being on a hill top but yet, The Whistling Teal is a place you should head to if you are in Udaipur. It can be romantic and cosy while being beautifully luxe at the same time.

 

 

Odd garden knick-knacks can be found all around which make walking around here really interesting. The owners also have pet dogs and rabbits and you are allowed to play with them. Aroma of coffee being brewed fills the area and the chips and barks and squeaks of birds and animals are the only music here, which by the way is more than enough!!

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We were so lost in the peacefulness that we really did not think about eating anything, but we hear that they serve really lip-smacking Rajasthani dishes. We can vouch for the coffee, though! 😉 😉

The Whistling Teal calls for a visit, even if it is a detour for you!

 

 

The Whistling Teal – Google Maps

The Whistling Teal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery [Gangaur Ghat, Chandpole, Udaipur]

What happens when you visit a new city and meet locals, be it relatives or friends?

They tell you all about the places you should check out. All this advice is definitely worth heeding to (mostly).

But what when each one tells you  ‘You have to visit Xyz, the view is amazing’ or ‘Have you been to Xyz yet? If not, let me take you, you will thank me later’ and you proudly nod and say, Oh we checked out Xyz yesterday, and we know what you are raving about!’

The Xyz in this context is Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar and Bakery and obviously, we are the epic people who checked it out!

Jheel’s Ginger CBB is a guest house that also houses a café and bakery and is located at Gangaur Ghat with a magnificent view of Lake Pichola. The café is spread over two floors of the guest house – the ground floor and the open terrace.
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One can see the entire area lit up, from the bridge to the other hotels and buildings.

February being comparatively cool in Udaipur, the cool breeze made us shiver, but the feeling is totally worth it!

The menu is quite well spread, but we were not here for the food, so we stuck to coffee and a sandwich.

Jheel’s Giner CBB is pretty famous for the breakfast range it has on offer, so that is something one can check out

 

Getting here is a bit tricky since the Cabs do not come beyond Jagdish Temple. One can take a tuk-tuk or an autorickshaw to the nearest point (being the Mata Temple bridge) or can just walk the distance (which is not much) and enjoy the colourful handicrafts and artefacts on the way.

Jheel’s Ginger Coffe Bar is one café you must visit on your trip to Udaipur, not only for the view but also for their decent grub.

Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery – Google Maps

Jheel's Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Ra – Bollywood Café & Restaurant [Chandpole, Udaipur]

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Bollywood Themed Café?

Nothing new in that, right?

But finding it in one of the lanes in Chandpole, famous amongst tourists who may not know many of our stars, was pretty surprising for us.

Café Ra looks like the house of a crazy Bollywood lover, who knows every movie and every dialogue at the back of the head and has a room that is a shrine to a celebrity or Bollywood in general.

Replete with drama, Café Ra is a cute and rugged restaurant dedicated to the owner’s love for Bollywood.

In fact, the way we located this cafe was equally dramatic. We were walking down the narrow lanes of Chandpole, to find another café, when we saw some really colourful and funky looking graffiti on the side walls.

Curious we walk in and discover this fun place. The walls at each level are covered in movie posters, pictures of actors and actresses or movie names. The topmost floor is labelled Stall and has its two walls covered in paintings and movie posters. On the same wall, one can find Coolie and 3 Idiots, Umrao Jaan and Jodhaa Akbar, Pyasaa and Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge!

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The cold coffee was something you can refrain from ordering. It was basically sugar water with a little flavour. Hot Coffee was decent.

What you must give a shot to are the parathas and other desi items. We loved the Aloo Paratha we ordered. It was huge and super delicious and spicy like we asked it to be. Served with a lip-smacking mango pickle, this one totally made our day! Another good news? It was for only ₹50!

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Café Ra is a restaurant you should definitely visit for a pocket-friendly meal. Our bill came to a total of ₹150. If not the food, the paintings and the insignias and the Bollywood craziness is sure to make you smile.

Café Ra, Bollywood Café and Restaurant – Google Maps

Cafe Ra - Bollywood Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PotLuck [Lokhandwala]

I make my own luck and I make it in a pot and then I bring it to potluck – Jarod Kintz

So there the secret is… you gotta make your own damn luck!

And we think, we did.

Sometimes you get happen to hit a jackpot and find a place that makes you really happy the moment you step in each time!

Done in cool blues and peaceful whites, this place is modern yet has an old world, rustic charm! Wooden tables that bear a worn out look, floral chairs and cushions give it a very cozy and homely feel. Once you enter, you definitely will not wish to leave. Complete with huge wooden panelled windows and knick-knacks that add colour and pizzazz to the interiors.

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The outdoor seating is the best one, with lots of plants to lift your spirit. Only one issue, they do not have a shade and hence one can comfortably sit here only when the sun has set. Otherwise, this would be our favourite spot to be at!

Just like the décor, a great deal of effort is put in the preparation and the presentation of food. They have a good mix of breakfast options, nibbles, sandwiches, burgers along with salads, pizzas and kinds of pasta. We entered the place in desperate need of coffee (no, it is never going to change!) and were really happy and satisfied with the Cold Coffee. It was the right amount of strong and thick and was so chocolatey.

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Cold Coffee

How often does it happen, that you go to a place, just for coffee or tea or maybe a sandwich, but you end up staying for so much more! It happened to us at PotLuck. The music, the ambience, the food and everything, literally everything made us stay back for just a little longer. We ordered Maggi with a twist and Mince Soya Burger.

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Maggi

The twist in the Maggi was the insane number of veggies added and the spicy masala. One can find tiny pieces of everything, from carrots to mushroom to onion to bell pepper. The masala makes it mildly spicy and really delicious. Slurpy and delicious!  😍

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Mince Soya Burger

Mince Soya Burger had a soya based crisp patty with mushrooms. Lots of cheese, rocket leaves and tomatoes made the burger a complete delight. The flavours very not very sharp, as is expected from mushrooms and soya, but we could not have enough of the burger!  😍

Cranberry-Lemongrass Cooler was magnificent! When it was first put on our table, we were a little shocked.

Who wouldn’t be? Look at that!

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Cranberry-Lemongrass Cooler

And then, a strong aroma of Lemongrass filled the air. Not only is it totally Instagram-worthy but it was really refreshing and enjoyable with intense flavours of cranberry and lemongrass, the later overpowering the former just by a whisker.

Watermelon Basil Splash is another delightful drink made fresh, with watermelon and basil leaves and topped over with Sprite. We say fresh coz we saw them cut open a watermelon, crush its pieces along with basil leaves and then prepare our drink. The best part? Flavours of watermelon and basil overshadowed the soda content.

Open Garden Sandwich was equally delicious with lots of veggies, a really strong pesto sauce and cheese!

Fruit Barni Ginger Ale was a mix fruit mocktail with pieces of apple, pears and cucumber. Ginger did not overpower the other flavours, rendering a fruity and energising drink.

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Fruit Barni Ginger Ale

Apart from the food, another amazing thing about the restaurant is their playlist! Seriously, keep your Shazam ready, you are going to want to get a lot of those songs!

Overall, we just love the place. A calm and serene ambience, with really good food and warm service. 🙂

PotLuck – Google Maps

PotLuck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato