Pondicherry or Puducherry and Auroville have been my most traveled destinations in India and I finally got down to writing this detailed post which has been a long overdue one, been procrastinating for over a year now…
The beautiful fusion of French and Tamil culture is what makes this union territory most sort after tourist destination. Puducherry is a discovery of gastronomical delight, handmade or artisan products. Every time, I travel I discover sometime new in terms of food. If you like sightseeing, then there is a temple, Aurobindo ashram, church, park and the promenade located close to each other and at walking distance. You could also hire a cycle and join one of the walks (internet search) for an Architectural experience of the white town.
There are a lot of options to stay at Puducherry, depending on your budget. Some of the places that I recommend for eating out are:
Rendezvous (30, Near Citi Bank, Suffren Road, White Town, Puducherry) – For lazy lunches. I like their sea food platter with some chilled beer.
Hotel de L’Orient (17 Rue Romain Rolland) – An 18th century heritage hotel with a courtyard sitting serving some really good food. Great for romantic lunch or dinner dates.
Le Dupleix (5, Rue De La Caserne, White Town) – Extremely elegant and stylish, the hotel building used to be the residence of the Mayor of Pondicherry three centuries ago. It has a wood paneled bar and a courtyard sitting. Great for dinner outings.
Appachi (Old No.9 & New No.11, Rangapillai Street) – When you are fed up of eating too much of French food, this is your destination for some spicy Chettinad food. No alcohol is served but the food won’t make you miss it. They have appams, duck fry, which is mostly served during dinner. Great for lunch or dinner.
Le Maison Rose (8, Romain Rolland Street,White Town) – Has a beautiful boutique with eclectic collection of home decor and jewelry. In their backyard, they have a nice open cafe serving lunch and dinner. I reached there post lunch and ordered and ice-tea and some guava compote and fresh lime mousse (may not look good but tastes really good).
Hot Breads (42, Ambour Salai, Bharathi Park Area, MG Road) – Go for some freshly bakes sausage rolls and breads. An old outlet with some really good choices to make from the fresh bakes basket.
Cafe des Arts (10 Suffren St.) – Heard good things about this place. Looks like a cool place to go to.
Light House Grill (terrace, The Promenade) – Nice place to indulge in an evening drink with a view of the sea.
Le Space (La Bourdonnais Street, White Town) – Its a great place to socialize over beer and you tend to miss it as it is located on the first floor, next to an antique store. This place has a different menu everyday showcased on a black board which is carried to your table when you want to place an order 🙂
Maison Perumal (Perumal, Koli street, Heritage town) – To experience Tamil cuisine with a twist.
Auroville on the other hand offers you an informal experience with open cafes. Auroville is located about 12-14km from Pondicherry. Auroville is great to visit during the day for lunch or coffee. Finding your way in Auroville can be a little difficult. You can use google maps or use one of their maps to find your way around. There are a lot of options to stay at Auroville and sometimes is much cheaper than Pondicherry. You can either call or book your stay by choosing this website as most of the guest houses are listed. The cafes are open from 7am to 5pm or in some cases till 10pm. Some cafes may insist on a guest card or Auro card (pre-paid card to be used during your stay at Auroville, ask your guest house to arrange one for you).
I’ve experienced Auroville as a student, tourist and as an entrepreneur. During my student days, I got to the opportunity to meet new people from all across the world. Post work hours, I’ve spent my time learning about different art forms like yoga, salsa or Brazilian martial art, capoeira etc. Experiencing different cultures and sharing views also meant that we spent a lot of time eating different cuisines all on one table.
Auroville Bakery – One of my favourite bakery in India and I also stop once in every trip of mine for breakfast. The wide range of freshly baked breads is what makes this place a truly baker’s delight. They also have a cafe attached for your all day food fix. Payment by cash or Auro card.
Solar Kitchen – Most popular lunchtime eatery in Auroville, prepares simple vegetarian food to over 1000 lunches. Payment by Auro card only.
Roma’s Kitchen – North Indian in both outdoor or indoor seating. Payment by cash or Auro card.
Tanto (near new creation corner) – Very popular place and they are known for their wood fired pizzas. Payment by cash or Auro card.
Frites Corner (next to Tanto) – Love their crepes and salads. Payment by cash or Auro card.
Garden cafe (Naturellement) – Lovely outdoor cafe. Martina (owner of the place) makes some really good lasagna and desserts. They also sell jams, nut better and juices. Payment by cash or Auro card.
Visitor’s center is the main tourist place and has a decent cafe. Auroville food products and other artifacts can be bought at Visitor’s center and Farm Fresh, which also has a cafe (opp Auroville bakery). Click for more cafes in Auroville. Know more about Auroville here.