The Best Al Fresco Restaurants In Puducherry
Image Credit: Instagram/ledupleix.pondicherry

Puducherry is a vibrant seaside town with brightly coloured buildings and tree-lined streets. The former French colony is also home to some excellent restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating. When the sun isn’t blazing, it can be very pleasurable to dine at these places that serve everything from South Indian to European food. We recommend the five best al fresco restaurants in the union territory:

Courtyard Restaurant

Located in Le Dupleix, a hotel which was earlier the residence of the Mayor of Pondicherry, Courtyard is a beautiful space. It specialises in seafood and fusion dishes, including lobster cooked with Kashmiri saffron and fish moilee. The homemade ravioli is very popular and a comforting dish to eat outdoors on a chilly evening. Happy hours see cocktails flowing freely. The homemade rum and raisin ice cream must not be missed.

Bay of Buddha

Bay of Buddha occupies the rooftop of The Promenade hotel. Overlooking the sea, the restaurant serves Asian fare including Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese. Choose from soups like tom yum or soba noodle, or dimsum or sushi. The som tum (Thai raw papaya salad) is especially good, as is the Singapore tofu salad with sesame and chilli sauce. Bay of Buddha also offers four-course tasting menus for both vegetarians and meat eaters. 

Coromandel Cafe

Coromandel Cafe is home to a tropical garden and is especially known for its pizza, which includes a spicy margherita and curry leaf chilli chorizo. Lebanese salads and innovative dips (like pumpkin, chilli and goats cheese) are also on the menu. Mains include steak, grilled fish, and fish and chips. The cocktail menu is designed to impress, with creative creations like a paan mojito and guava-chilli margarita.

Maison Perumal

Located in Puducherry’s Tamil quarter, Maison Perumal is both a hotel and a restaurant. It has a courtyard and a terrace as well. The place claims to specialise in Franco-Tamil cuisine, with dishes like vazhapoo vadai (banana flower patties), verkadalai masala (roasted peanuts with onion and tomato masala), kothamalli meen porichathu (coriander fried fish) and muttai podimas (Tamil-style scrambled egg) on the menu. 

Villa Helena Garden Restaurant

Villa Helena forms the courtyard of a 19th century mansion, which is now a guest house. The restaurant offers world cuisine, including Mediterranean, Japanese and French food. Try the cheese platter that comes with baguette and homemade chutney, or indulge in the smoked fish carpaccio with soy, lime, olive oil and fresh coriander. Cocktails include a margarita made with Tabasco sauce.