On the lanes and by-lanes of Puducherry you can only be stopped by one thing, and that’s the smell of the fresh bread baking. Cafes and bakeries in Puducherry are not just viewer’s delight; they are tongue ticklers, heart warmers and healthy fillers. You cannot miss out on the variety of baked food brought by the French such as breads, desserts, cakes while you are in this coastal paradise. Cafes here are not limited to just being beautiful meeting places, they are a quick shoppers’ stop and major landmarks. Start with Le Cafe on your bucket, visit the Tanto and end with a good treat at the Boulangerie. I warn you; even a fortnight is a less to have everything special on their menus. You need a month! Are you ready to have a great gourmet experience like the French? Then let’s go.
Grab a croissant with coffee or a mushroom sandwich with flower drink at this waterfront coffee shop. This is much more than a mere coffee shop, Le Cafe portrays the times when Puducherry used to be called Pondicherry through an array of pictures on its white walls. The dome-shaped building was a port during the French period. Order some tisane dip-dip, fish and egg varieties to gorge by the beachside while the breeze makes you slouch on cemented benches.
- Costs for two: Rs. 450
- Must try: Veg/Non-Veg variety of Barbeque, Gratin of the day and grilled prawns and fish
- Timings: Open 24 hours
- Address: Goubert Avenue (White Town on the Promenade beach side road)
It is not every day that you get a chance to breakfast on a heavy beef sandwich full of veggies, a fried egg and freshly baked wholegrain bread! But this dream can come true if you are in Puducherry and visiting Baker Street during morning hours. Famous for the age old tradition of making and serving Christmas logs, Baker Street is a pure delicacy for lovers of pastries, cakes, coffee and confectionaries prepared as the French do. If a vegetarian, you will like their cheesy tofu or a mushroom sandwich. Women bakers will astonish you with spoken-French and their French-like baking skills! Despite your understandable time crunch, don’t leave Puducherry without tasting utter-butterly Macaroons with gooey cheese, along with a basil-leaf tea.
- Costs for two: Rs. 800
- Must try: Bûche de Noel (Christmas Log), Mille feuille, Madeleines, Beignets, Brioche, Palmiers and Fruit tarts
- Timings: 7 AM – 9:30 PM
- Address: 123, Bussy Street
- Note: Free Wi-Fi is available within the restaurant.
The smell of a thin, oven baked, fresh pan crust pizza with melted Aurovillean mozzarella cheese bubbling on the top is what you cannot miss while going to Auroville from Pondicherry via Kullapalyam. Be it a variety of pastas (from carbonara to lasagne), steaks and salads or fresh garlic breads, Tanto will win hearts of young and old with their nutritious veggies and junky French fries and drinks.
- Costs for two: Rs. 450
- Must try: Veg/Non-Veg variety of Pizza toppings, sweet fruitful pizzas, Tiramisu
- Timings: 12:30 PM – 3 PM & 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
- Address: Near Iyyanar Koil Kullapalyam, Auroville, Puducherry
When your chocolate craving starts to bug you, you need to have some dessert at Zuka. Land at Mission Street on a joy ride in a cycle-rickshaw to have some chocolates with a spoon made of chocolate that melts in the aromatic cup! That sounds sinful, right?
- Costs for two: Rs. 300
- Must try: Signature hot chocolate
- Timings: 10 AM – 9 PM
- Address: 319, Mission Street
You will need a day to understand the origin of the Auroville bakery ‘Boulangerie’, which is run by a multi-cultural group. Situated on the road to Auroville, this bakery is famous for its authentic Creole food made to perfection in smell, taste and texture. The moment you enter, the smell will make you fall on your knees for at least one piece of the baked ones. Not everything’s very sweet here. You have knäckebrot, pumpernickel and spicy loafs. You name it and Boulangerie sells it!
- Cost for two: Rs. 150
- Must try: Nannari, French loaf of whole wheat, yeast, sourdough, samai, and ragi, vegan cake and tahini truffles
- Timings: 7 AM – 5:30 PM
- Address: Douceur Auroville (Sedarapet) Kuilapalayam, Auroville
Taste them, and you will have more reasons to love the French!