I am going to have a separate post for my Pondicherry trip but today is Friday’s List night & what better than to talk about food. Especially because, Pondy is a place which has so many cute cafes to take life slowly in and with such awesome French decor, and when you crave for something more spicy, you go to the South Indian joints!
So, I am going to talk about 7 places that I ate at. I wanted my trip to be a mix of places that people touted about and the ones I discovered myself. Considering I had only 2 days there, I managed to try out quite a fair lot! Here it goes:
- Hari Tea Stall or H2K: If you start from the clock tower on MG Road and keep going straight in the Rock beach direction, you will spot this super tiny South Indian breakfast type shop on the right side. I read about someone loving their mini samosas, so I had to go because I have had my fair share of mallu style mini samosas in Dubai & I love them to bits! I also ended up having other things like dosa on their menu & these guys are super good. Do try them out for sure.
- Cafe Des Arts: Unarguably the most spoken about place in Pondy because they have the most Instagram worthy wall in Pondy! I saw a lot of blogs mentioning that this place is quite a put off after you are done clicking the wall. However, my experience has been fairly good. First of all, their interiors are also very beautiful and, second, if not outstanding, their food is pretty decent at least. I had a ratatouille crepe with mozarella & saw others having pancakes which looked good. 😛 Coffee was a downer though (which is anyway my complaint with a lot of places in Pondy).
3. Artika Cafe: Okay, I did read up this name on some blogs but didn’t pay much attention as there were other places which took centerstage in those blogs. This actually was one of my favourites in Pondy! And what a chance discovery! So, as soon as I got done with Cafe Des Arts, I was craving good coffee and while roaming in the French Quarters, I came across this place and just entered (mostly because they had a washroom & I really had to pee). Then, I ordered a coffee and just settled in. I loved how this place was not rushed, there was never too much crowd but never fully empty and the place is surrounded by greenery and lush sounds to give you company. This place is surreal really! And the best part, they have an art gallery, I bought 2 vintage postcards from there. I ended up going to this place twice, the food is average cafe food but overall lovely experience!
4. Kasha ki Asha: I saw multiple people mentioning to try out their European thali. I cannot even begin to tell how bad it was. Honestly, I feel bad saying so because this place is run by a women group and the earnings from this place are very helpful for a lot of needy people. But I really hope they improve the food. Even at home, a good salad is not a very tough job, so I felt a bit bad as a customer. Again, the ambience is extremely good what with greenery and leafy sounds all around.
5. Cafe Xtasi: Okay, a lot of people recommend this place for wood-fired pizzas and I had a hunch that it will just be a normal one, this place is famous as its old, but I wanted to try the pizza anyhow. But something weird ensued. I crossed this cafe multiple times on my walks and every time it gave a shady feeling, as in not super shady but for a girl on a solo trip, definitely! I didn’t want to miss it so, at one point, I went in and asked one of the staffs if there is any other branch, because the board mentioned Xtasi gastro pub while everywhere on the internet its Cafe Xtasi. The guy hesitated for a minute and then said, “No, no, this is the only one”. Even more shady now! I immediately decided to go to another pizza place. There was waiting there, so I thought shady or not shady, I am going back to Xtasi now (not very wise guys! If it feels shady, skip it!). So, I put Cafe Xtasi in Google Maps and reached a totally different Cafe Xtasi. It is then that I realized this is the original and earlier I was always crossing the rip-off one. 🙂 I had a very good meal here but nothing out of the world.
6. Baker’s Street: Another place which gets a lot of love on the internet because French bakery, hello! But the sad part is I always crossed this place when I wasn’t that hungry. Eventually I decided I’ll get something packed from here to take back, like a quiche or croissant, but when I went there to do that, it was closed. I did try their coconut ice cream, which was good but then, its coconut icecream!
7. The Gelato Factory: This one deserves a special mention because it was a chance discovery again & exactly what I needed then. So, again, I crossed this place multiple times & its done in a cutesy manner so it definitely drew attention. It seemed to be new. It was never on top of my list of places to go eat at, but I had kept it at the back of my mind in case opportunity comes. 😛 I make it sound like a really important decision, but, well, food is. On my last night dinner in Pondy, I somehow saw myself near to this place & what I was craving was this – something light like a soup but also not like cafe food which is creamy or mild, but something very spicy like Indian food. Yeah, pretty complicated! However, I had zero expectations of getting exactly this requirement fulfilled 😀 so, I just thought of finding a nice soup place. I asked these guys if they have soups. They said yes and I quickly entered. One look at their menu and I realized they are kind of doing Indian versions of many things (y’all grown up in Indian know those kinds of menus). I ordered a tomato soup & cutlets. I loved both the things!!! It was just how I wanted, light, warm, comforting but also Indian style! 🙂
That’s it for my Friday’s List. Do let me know if you have been to Pondy. 🙂
Disclaimer: I didn’t try any food places in Auroville even though I did go there. All the places mentioned above are from the French Quarters or White Town area.