Your Guide To The Best Cafes In Puducherry
Image Credit: Instagram/cafedesarts

A promenade with a rocky beach, French-influenced architecture, and charming cafes define Pondicherry. If you’ve been to the place, you understand why it’s a recommended holiday destination. The food scene is marvellous, and cafes in the union territory serve everything from local cuisine to European fare. Most are welcoming, airy spaces with lots of natural light. We recommend the five best ones:

Le Cafe

Set along the promenade by the beach, Le Cafe is probably Pondicherry’s most popular cafe. It takes pride in being the only sea-facing cafe in the region and is open throughout the day. Walk in for an early breakfast in the morning or a cup of coffee in the afternoon. A blackboard outside lists items on the menu, which includes masala chai, cinnamon tea, hot chocolate and sandwiches and fries.

Rendezvous Cafe 

With a beautiful terrace, Rendezvous Cafe is the ideal place to visit when the weather is mild. It opens for lunch and dinner and remains closed between 3.30-6.30pm. The menu includes Mangalorean and Goan dishes, along with a few European classics like coq au vin and chicken cordon bleu. Closed on Tuesdays, the cafe also offers a takeaway service between noon and 9pm.

Villa Shanti

Housed in a hotel of the same name, Villa Shanti is part of a restored villa. The alfresco courtyard wins against the air conditioned area when considering where to sit. Breakfast is a choice between Indian or an egg preparation, or cereal. The menu goes on to become more creative for lunch and dinner, including shorba, gazpacho, betel leaves and fig salad, and candied eggplant for dessert. 

Coromandel Cafe

Despite its name, Coromandel Cafe doesn’t serve coastal cuisine. Instead, the menu has a selection of pizza, Lebanese and Thai salads, Korean chicken and North Indian curries. We recommend visiting for tea or coffee and a snack, and enjoying the environs of the French-style mansion. The exterior is a pale pink and large windows allow sunlight to pour in—overall an Instagram-worthy spot. 

Cafe Des Arts

A mustard exterior and vintage interior welcome patrons at Cafe Des Arts. Graphics on the outer wall set the place apart and make it easy to recognise; inside is a homely space with pale yellow walls. The croissants, served with butter and jam, are not to be missed (but are served only until noon so drop by in the morning for them). Try the croques, which are a popular French snack along with some excellent coffee.