As I was planning my trip to Pondicherry, obsessing over the itinerary, finding the appropriate clothing, and searching for sassy cafes, I had built up certain expectation in my head. Having been under European (mostly French) rule for more than 250 years, Pondi got liberation from the French in the year 1954. However, Pondicherry managed to retain a major part of the French culture in the form of White Town - the French quarters and the delectable food. The French influence was exactly what was on my mind. And boy! did Pondicherry live up to those expectations and more! More than the architecture and the colorful lanes, it was the food that stole my heart.
Located on Bussy Street, Baker Street serves the best French breakfast in town. I'm serious. The selling point of Baker Street - the selection of baguettes, croissants, and the light desserts paired with an espresso will prevent you from walking out until all this baked goodness had made its way into your stomach and your heart. The decor is modern and chic. Clean tables of different shapes and sizes are scattered tastefully with some paintings and flower pots used for decoration. I sampled the humbled croissant, chocolate escargot, mango cupcake, coffee eclair, chocolate twister and my lifeline - coffee. With an exception of the mango cupcake, which didn't quite appeal to my taste buds, all the items were heavenly. A shout-out to the buttery and fluffy croissant as well as the chocolate escargot. I would go back to Pondicherry just to eat these two items again and again !
You can find Baker Street on Zomato. Click the link below.
A stone's throw away from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, #Dilliwala6 is the most instagram-worthy eatery in town, as evident from the hashtag in the name of the restaurant. While a downside to this place is the lack of non-veg food and alcohol, there are way too many upsides. Firstly, there is a courtyard housing outdoor seating, a funky colorful scooter, a spiral staircase and a massive poster. Secondly, the indoor seating overlooking the courtyard has metal chairs that have been painted with beautiful patterns. Even the flooring here is bright and cheerful! A must-do at Dilliwala6 is getting pictures clicked to up your Instagram game instantly. Coming to the food, the cuisine served here is North Indian and mouth-watering delicious, nothing less than what you would expect of North Indian food. The service was a little slow on a busy day but I'm not complaining.
Cafe des Arts
Right in the heart of White Town, on Rue Suffren, is Cafe des Arts. An art inspired cafe, not only do they serve French food but they house a collection of books, a cute little boutique and a colorful rickshaw! I couldn't quite pay much attention to the food I was served because the rickshaw nestled beneath pink bougainvillea flowers had all my attention. Stop here for a quick bite when you're walking around white town and need a place to unwind. While you're here, don't forget to click a bunch of pictures with the bright blue rickshaw.
Who can resist a thin crust pizza prepared in a brick oven? I know I can't. That's probably why I have no pictures from my dinner at Cafe Xtasi. From the moment that the pizza arrived at the table, till the time it was all in my tummy, not once did I stop to look up. Besides a wide variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian pizzas, they also serve a selection of pastas, appetizers and chocolaty drinks. The garlic bread with cheese was drizzled with olive oil that went well with the crispiness of the bread. Sigh.
Bay of Buddha
Perched atop the hotel The Promenade, overlooking the ocean, Bay of Buddha is a rooftop restaurant with views to die for. With an old lighthouse in the background and the ocean upfront, this is the ideal restaurant for a fancy date. Serving pan-Asian cuisine, you can enjoy the delicious food while sipping on refreshing cocktails. I visited this restaurant for dinner. Being a vegetarian, I choose the Mapo Tofu, Szechwan Fried Rice with vegetables and some drinks. Both the food and cocktail were delightful. A gentle breeze, soft lighting, comfortable seating and potted plants set the mood for an exemplary evening. I would recommend calling ahead and reserving a table overlooking the ocean.