Pondicherry is a hot pot of cultures, and so a foodie’s delight! The cuisine here has a strong French and Tamil influence, one can find good food at every nook and corner. From butter soft idlis to Nutella laden pancakes, there’s something for everyone!
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite places to eat in Pondicherry.
Baker’s street is usually the first place tourists head to when they visit Pondicherry. It’s very popular, but eating here is totally worth the hype. Especially for a vegetarian, they have some really delicious food items on offer. The pizza, garden salad, sub sandwiches, freshly baked breads and pastries are must-haves. Oh and they have a dessert section too with chocolate eclairs, mousses, cupcakes and ice-creams.
I loved how they keep the food on display so that you know exactly what you are ordering! We stopped here for to grab a quick bite in the evenings and loved it every single time.
Artika cafe gallery
This is a hidden gem! Your Pondicherry experience is incomplete without a visit to this beautiful cafe gallery! Situated in the by-lanes of the white town, this cafe is part of a restored French villa. We stumbled upon this place while wandering around the French quarters and turned up here for breakfast the next morning.
The place is adorned with mosiacs and wall creepers, vintage french lamps which look resplendent on it’s white washed interiors. The cafe had a magical vibe to it! There was a gallery of paintings and a tiny shop that sells souvenirs and trinkets in one of the rooms adjacent to the dinning area. They have a good selection of breakfast for vegetarians, fresh fruit juices, raw smoothies, muesli with yogurt, fresh baked baguette sandwiches, croissants, oats porridge, cheese toasts and Nutella laden crepes!
The best location award goes to this one, hands down. Le cafe is a government run cafe located on the promenade facing the beach! We went here early morning for quick breakfast before heading to the beach and guess what, we spent a good couple of hours. The food here is is simple and down to earth! I called for the south Indian mix, which included fluffy idlis, medu wada, sambar and coconut chutney.
If you’re in the mood to have breakfast with a view of the sea in a palm-fringed setting, you must go here!
Known for its legendary hot chocolate served with a chocolate spoon, this tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe did not disappoint. A heaven for vegetarians who don’t mind eating cake as a meal by itself! We tried the blueberry cheesecake, the red velvet cake and the oh-so-famous hot chocolate! In all honesty, the hot chocolate was not mind-blowing or anything. It was chocolaty, dense and perfectly sweet, just as it should be.
They have a great collection of chocolates and truffles too. Don’t forget to pack some to take back home!
Note: Most cakes and pastries contain eggs so ask for the eggless variation.
Adyar Ananda Bhavan
If you are a South Indian food fanatic like me, you should not miss this place at all costs. Away from the touristy hustle bustle, in the marketplace of the tamil town lies this eatery that serves some of the most authentic tamilian fare. If you’re someone who loves authentic local food, then this is your best bet.
A basic, non-fancy restaurant that is a savior for vegetarians! We tried the mini thali which consisted of tamarind rice, curd rice, sambar rice, parotta, papadums, korma, mixed veggies and kesari bhat.
Obviously one visit was not enough and so we went again to grab lunch. We then had the fluffiest idlis dipped in a bowl of hot sambar and poori bhaji.
The restaurant houses a tiny snack shop too where you can buy local snacks. We bought some banana chips and coconut cakes to snack on.
📍122 & 124, Jawaharlal Nehru Street, Puducherry,
Cafe des arts
If a delicious French breakfast is what you are looking for, look no further! This cafe is one of the prettiest places to eat and the food is equally good! The outdoor seating is very relaxing especially if you go in the morning.
They serve delicious crepes and waffles! Also try the baguette sandwiches, savory crepes, toasts, croques, salads, tartines, freshly squeezed juices and desserts.
The have an exceptionally good selection for vegetarians and my favorite of all was the tomato and cheddar croissant!
📍10, Suffren Street, White Town, Puducherry,
The Pasta bar Veneto
We had absolutely no plans of eating Italian but the place looked really good as we passed by. They have a great variety of pastas, pizzas and focaccia sandwiches.
We ordered the pasta in red sauce which came with grilled zucchini, mushrooms and lots of black olives. The side of garlic bread was so good that we ordered another portion of cheese garlic bread.
Plenty of vegetarian options to choose from so stop by if you are no more in the mood for idli or crepes.
📍248, Mission St, Viratipatu, Heritage Town, Puducherry.
Eat my cake
This is the cutest french cafe in town! The pastel walls and bohemian decor makes you want to stop by and check it out. We had fresh fruit juice which was served in pretty l’il mason jars. The home-made cupcakes were oh-so delicious and so were the cream cheese bagels.
The two local ladies running the place were super friendly. Plus it’s located right on Rolland street, with tables set up near the walkway where you can soak in the prettiness of the white town.
Gelataria Montecatini Terme
Ice-cream is something I never crave for but this place left me wanting for more! It’s located right on the promenade near the beach. They have a mind-boggling variety of gelato flavors and it’s hard to pick one.
It’s a short walk away from most restaurants and so the favored dessert spot for tourists as well as locals. Definitely a must visit when in Pondicherry!
Our homestay host suggested us a lot of places to eat and he mentioned cafe ole for their coffee and sandwiches.
I had the paneer tikka sandwich (Paneer fanatic alert) which was grilled to perfection and was filled with a delicious mix of tandoori paneer, ice berg and cheese. It was served with nachos and spaghetti for some strange reason.
The ambience was good, owner was friendly and gave a lot of recommendations! They have a huge selection of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches.
Indian Coffee House
The usual no-frills kind of place that locals throng to in the evenings for a hot cuppa. We ordered coffee and a plate of good ‘ol humble idli which was served with a bowl of steaming hot sambar on a banana leaf. Oh and they served three different types of chutneys and all of them were lip-smacking good!
They only serve vegetarian fare and that means you can order anything from the menu without thinking twice. Extremely budget friendly, it was probably our cheapest meal in Pondicherry.