Located on the banks of River Ganga, Varanasi is one of the holiest cities in India. Known for its ghats, the ganga aarti, the temples, the saadhus, the bustling market area selling the famous Banarasi Saaree and the local delicacies, it is truly the spiritual capital of India. The spiritual aura that this city holds is beyond words. Despite being one of the oldest and most spiritual cities in India, Varanasi has evolved overtime, and today, one can find modern cafes cropping up all over the city keeping in touch with its cultural, traditional & religious roots!
This is a colourful cafe run by an American woman who has been coming to India for more than 20 years now. It offers Indian, organic and as well as gluten free food, which light and does not make you feel stuffy. It’s also quite easy on pocket making it a go-to spot for the locals and the tourists. You can try the delicious pasta, lassi, pancakes as well as other breakfast items. Their wide variety of menu, warm and friendly staff, cosy vibes and good music playing in the background makes it the perfect place to chill at.
This is one of the oldest cafes in the holy city, which serves amazing South Indian delicacies. This one offers you a variety of Uttapams, Dosas, Idlis and a lot more dishes. Start your day with some super soft idli, crispy vada and the famous South Indian filter coffee which is sure to satiate your taste buds. The ambience is of the place is quite simple and decent with light coloured walls and dim lighting. It’s usually jam-packed in the day time, so you might have to wait for a while to get a table here. Sample homemade snacks at this restaurant that offers a serene atmosphere, a reasonably priced menu and prompt service.
Bread of Life Bakery
Head to this bakery if you the sweet-tooth in you is craving for some chocolatey desserts and freshly baked items. This is a small cafe cum bakery run by a foreign couple and is the perfect place to bless your taste buds with some western cuisine. Try their lip smacking muffins, vegetable moussaka, cookies, pancakes and sandwiches from the menu. With sophisticated interiors and a friendly staff, the bakery offers a wonderful assortment of herbal teas that you can enjoy alongside your meals. The ambience of the place is elegant and colourful with some soft trance like music playing in the background.
Brown Bread Bakery
Speaking of bakeries, Brown Bread Bakery is one of those organic bakeries in Varanasi offering vegan and gluten free food for those looking for healthier options in the city. The bakery looks quite simple from the outside with a rooftop seating overlooking the bustling ghats. Enjoy a meal here and some delectable desserts while you take in the environment and admire the beauty of Varanasi. In the evenings, you will find local artists performing live. It offers 40 variety of bread and has its organic store in the back lanes of Varanasi.
Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe
Craving for some authentic Italian pizzas in the holy city? Head straight to this pizzeria which claims to be India’s first authentic Italian Pizzeria. Set near the holy Assi Ghat of Varanasi, Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe is a big Italian surprise for many new travellers. The ambiance of this restaurant is very soothing overlooking the mighty River Ganga. As the name suggests, Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe is an open air space adorned with lots of plants to give it a feel of Vaatika, which means a garden. From their cheese pizzas, farm fresh pizzas, mushroom pizzas to white sauce pasta, everything here tastes amazing. This eatery should definitely top your list whenever you plan to visit Varanasi.
Shiva Cafe And German Bakery
As the name suggests, this is a cafe cum bakery serving an array of Indian, Tibetan and Continental dishes along with some freshly baked items. Its open throughout the week and is always bustling with tourists. The rustic walls, comfortable seating arrangements and friendly staff makes it the perfect place for anyone who wants to meet new people or enjoy an evening with friends. Their Danish pastries, cheesecakes, chocolate babka and nutella pancakes are a must try.
Saving the best for the last, this is an 80-year-old family run food joint serving some lip-smacking lassis in Varanasu for decades now. With its walls adorned with passport sized photographs, letters and postcards, the restaurant is frequently visited by many travellers throughout the year. You can pick a base of peach, mango, banana, pomegranate or several other flavors before picking your toppings. Though their dishes are purely vegetarian, the joint is one of the best breakfast spots in the city, where you can enjoy a fruity lassi and hot, buttery aloo parathas.
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