The best French-inspired cafes in Pondicherry


The best of French cafes and other eateries in Pondicherry, and what you must eat at them:

  • Bon Bakes: Spinach Pasta, Basil Tomato & Cheese Sandwich
  • Crepe in Touch: Buckwheat Crepe, Far au Breton         
  • Artika Café Gallery: Croque monsieur, Baguette
  • Baker Street: Chicken and Olive Quiche, Chocolate Cheese Cake
  • Zuka Choco-La: Hot Chocolate, Moksha
  • New Banana Café: Shredded Carrot & Beetroot Salad, Mushroom Quiche
  • Indian Kaffe Xpress: Bombay Sandwich, Caramelized Bananas

Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry is home to travelers from more than 90 nations. The influence of foreign cultures on this coastal town is apparent in the food habits, outfits and even architecture of most buildings. I visited Puducherry recently and spent a few days there – exploring the place and immersing myself in the local culture. I also explored the many interesting cafes, restaurants and other eateries. Here’s my list of some of the best eateries and their unique dishes in this beautiful coastal town.

3 Tips First Time Travelers Should Know about Pondicherry Eateries

Service – A lot of eateries in Pondicherry are not very swift with the service so be patient while waiting for your order. It is largely a quaint, laid back town and that’s what makes it beautiful. Enjoy the patiently cooked food when it comes.

Closing Timing – Unlike most tourist destinations in India, Pondicherry is very strict with the closing timing of eateries. Try to reach eateries well before the closing time, which in many areas is as early as 8:30pm.

Language – Try conversing with the waiters either in English or the regional language. Else, you might just get served another dish on the menu. 😉

7 Best Cafes to Stop by in and around White Town

1. Bon Bakes

Located at a walking distance from the sea-side promenade in the heart of White Town, is a quaint café that goes by the name of Bon Bakes. A varied menu, light music and a heartwarming ambiance is what this little eatery offers. A personal favourite here was the Spinach Pasta. Served with four slices of garlic toast and butter, it was a delightfully delicious twist to the regular pasta. Coupled with a cup of Hazelnut coffee and some hot cross buns, it made for a filling meal that left me completely satiated. The show stopper though was the double chocolate croissant. 

French Specialty  – Double Chocolate Croissant

Spinach Pasta, Bon Bakes (Credit: Ande Leviss)
Double chocolate croissant (Credit: Mee Foong)
Hot Cross Buns, Bon Bakes (Credit: Bonita)
  1. Crepe in Touch

The place has a unique name and so is its food. This is a must try eatery for lovers of French cuisine. A wide variety of crepes are available here, including healthy organic options. The blueberry crepe was really tasty and made for a scrumptious filling breakfast. There are various other crepes to choose from. Among the desserts, Far au Breton, a special kind of cake, with whole prunes and raisins, is perfect with tea. The café has an attached antique shop which makes for interesting browsing.

French Specialty  – Mini Brioche with Caramel

Blueberry Crepe (Credit: Dora)
Mini Brioche with Caramel (Credit: Mike Toulopolous)
Far au Breton (Credit: Olivia Moulin)
  1. Artika Café Gallery

An excellent place for breakfast platters which typically consist of mashed potatotes, grilled tomatoes, half fried eggs or potato wedges for vegetarians, and chicken sausages.  Croque monsieur (a French sandwich) is a hit here and will make for a good start for first time French food tasters. Quench your thirst with some fresh iced strawberry shake without sugar. They also serve fresh fruit juices and their watermelon juice is especially recommended. There is an in-house boutique for designer clothes.

French Specialty  – Croque Monsieur

Strawberry Shake (Credit: Ania Smigielska)
Croque Monsieur (Credits: Matt Bruck)
  1. Baker Street

Located right in the heart of White Town, Baker Street makes for an ideal dessert place. The dessert platter with its assortment of cakes, candies, pastries and coffees is highly recommended. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, dig straight into the toasts and sandwiches on offer, especially the crispy, oregano-seasoned French fries. Since Baker Street is run by a French gentleman, the food here has authentic French flavours.

French Specialty – Butter Croissant

Chocolate cheese cake and ice cream (Credit: Akriti Mattu)
Chicken and Olive Quiche (Credit: Lilliey)
Oregano-sprinkled French fries (Credit: Akriti Mattu)
  1. Zuka Choco-La

For all foodies who feel hot chocolate is overrated, Zuka Choco-La’s signature Hot Chocolate might change your belief. Piping hot, served with a spoon made of chocolate, it takes the otherwise humble hot chocolate to a completely new level. This chocolaterie might redefine temptation, so difficult is it to resist the range of craving-worthy chocolate options on the menu. A pastry called Moksha is a must-have. Their specialty, it has a crisp, firm outer and a soft, melt-in-your-mouth interior. They also have Chocolate Pakoras.

A statue of superstar Rajnikanth looks quite out of place and makes for an eyebrow-raising, fun moment.

French Specialty – Mud Pie

Moksha (Credit: Shabnam)
Assortment of Chocolates (Credit: Ram Kumar)
Choco Jerrys (Credits: Ishmita Tandon)
  1. New Banana Café

A hidden café in a quaint, laid-back street full of houses. Offering primarily vegetarian fare, this café serves appetizing salads and flavourful home-made jams. The shredded beetroot and carrot salad with a pich of olive oil on top is a perfect starter. So is toast with home-made apple jam, bursting with fresh flavours. Quiches are their specialty, especially the one with the mushroom filling. Coupled with a mint or peach cooler, it makes for a wholesome, filling snack. They also offer crepes, and the egg and cheese crepe is among the best savoury crepes on offer.

French Specialty – Egg and Cheese Crepe

Shredded Carrot and Beetroot salad (Credit: Johann Jay)
Mushroom Quiche (Credit: Yuri)
  1. The Indian Kaffé Xpress

A good option for brunch, The Indian Kaffe Xpress is perfect for lazing around. It offers north-Indian cuisine with a few continental items on the menu. Bombay Sandwich, aloo paranthas and omelets are delicious and filling. Infact, finding a place serving paranthas in Pondicherry is an anomaly and Kaffe Xpress is hence quite popular with north Indians. The portion sizes are good. Among the non-Indian options, caramelized bananas make for a good dessert to try. They also serve waffles with a variety of toppings.

French Specialty – Waffles

Caramelized Bananas (Credit: Jean Ng)
Bombay Sandwich (Credit: Amit Soni)
Aloo Prantha (Credit: Vigneshwari)

Located right in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry of course has the best of south-Indian food to offer as well. This post focuses on the French-inspired cafes, but I couldn’t resist adding these two highly recommended south-Indian eateries.

Top 2 South Indian Eateries in Pondicherry

  • Suruguru: South Indian Thali, Podi Idly
  • Appachi: Prawn Fry, Vanjaram
  1. Surguru 

This is one of the best eateries for south Indian food in Pondicherry. Different varieties of idlys, dosas, uttapams are available here. The experience of eating on a fresh banana leaf is relaxing. The south Indian thali served here is 100% authentic and has 4-8 items on the plate excluding the pickle, chutney and sweet dish. North Indian food is also available here but the southern cuisine is better.

South Indian Thali (Credit: Indiveer Jhandwayala)
Rava dosa (Credit: Jasmin Siv)
Podi Idly (Credit: Tharaka Siv)
  1. Appachi

Appachi serves Chettinad cuisine and has a homely ambiance. A good eatery to try some very unique south Indian flavours. The sea food served here is fresh and the variety is good from normal fish fry to prawns, oysters and even sharks. Do try prawns here. They are quite sumptuous.

Vanjaram (Credit: Akriti Mattu)
Prawn Fry (Credit: Atul Saserndran)
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Comments
  • Chelsa

    I love the fish dishes in Pondicherry. Very nice article with good illustrative images. I’d like to know some food places in Kerela.

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