Your Diwali delicacies have to match your personality! If you are a ‘go big or go home’ person full of life, here are mithais that appreciate the enthusiast in you, and you, who appreciates the enthusiasm in mithai—a perfect love story. This diwali season, we are listing down some of the many boutique brands that will spruce up your mithai game the moment you introduce them to your loved ones.
Start your Diwali with a Genda Phool, literally! The brand derives its name from the auspicious flower: marigold, and wishes to bring to you the fortune and spirit of Diwali, packed in dainty boxes. Get your box of vibrant flavoured mithais now!
Bombay Sweet Shop
Befitting the multi-cultural references of Mumbai, Bombay Sweet Shop launches its new collection that appeases all palates. Be it a fruit or a decadent chocolate indulgence or a little ghewar tart, or the crowd-pleaser barfi this is your one go-to stop. Mumbai folks can order via Zomato, while the rest of India can head here.
Who knew a coffee brand would find a place in your mithai and namkeen thali. Araku, in full fledged, sends us sky-rocketing to a sweet Amaranth grain ladoo, that you can very well pair with any beverage or just the good old cuppa joe.
Coppetto Artisanal Gelato
While we all hail the traditional mithais, we also give our nod to the modern mithai-ice cream. Coppetto Artisanal Gelato got it covered and gave it a festive twist. Get your scoop of their twist here.
Baklava is back! Embrace those Baklava curves packed and delivered to you by PieceO’Cake Baklava. Sumptuous nut-filled delicacy re-invented with petals and love, all set to give your Diwali an exotic feel. Send them a DM on their Insta handle to order.
In today’s episode of pamper with a hamper, we have Sassy Teaspoon’s newly launched Diwali hampers, fitted with jars and boxes of pure happiness, in both sweet and salty shades.
Truffle and Co.
Amid all your golden lamps and silver serving plates, Truffle and Co.’s Diwali sweets will find their way in and sit in the centre, of attention. Glowing as much as your house is, and gleaming with flavour, Truffle and Co. sends in their regards packed in heartwarming sweets.
A box of chocolate sweets for the kids, and one for the kid in you. Chockriti re-designs chocolate ladoos with flavoured coatings. Chocolate bars and ladoos available here.
Radiant with a dash of yellow in the packaging and dotted with kaaju kishmish on top of each pedha, the yellow has started its journey to reach your heart. Flavours, toppings, fillings, colours and shapes, you name it, they have it.
Witness Le15 turn their signature macaroons as a diwali delicacy. There’s more to it, with flavoured teas, chocolate-dipped traditional mithais and love-struck namkeen boxes, all packed with a Le15 seal stamp.
When you get to keep the mithai and Meethi’s Mughal caricature box as well, it indeed becomes a Diwali gift. Set in a grid are some beautiful barfis of assortments that makes sure everyone gets to go home with something or the other.
What do you do when it’s a family get together and people want to enjoy it to the fullest? You draw cards, however, draw them with Meethi Elaichi’s Diwali box. Invent new games, let them creative aunties unleash their genius.
A mithai that comes to you all decked up and you don’t want to decide on who is the prettiest. The dilemma is presented by Misree’s Diwali launch which we’d love to call ‘beauty with tastes’.
Nihira and Co.
Who let the colours out? Nihira and Co. did. With the aim to add these vibrant colours to your celebration, the brand wants your heart to swell with their lip-smacking sweets.
If you want a change of scenery, Sweet Rasoi will send home their mounds of sweets that look likemarble and taste like heaven. Dipped in colour splashes and golden accents, the variety might just never end.
Dibs on these dips this Diwali! Give your palette a break from all the sweets and savoury of this season. Cremeitalia deserves to be the deal-breaker.
Make your Diwali ‘guilt-free’ with Yogisattva’s plant based mithais that compromise on nothing at all. No stealth, only health.
‘Sweet’ too has flavours- there is the cute sweet, the hot sweet, you name it Moner has it. From your favourite pedha to your favourite macaroon, all of them are dotted with a beautiful topping.
What is my favourite thing to do? What do I wish I could do in excess and not face the repercussions? What is the best part about exploring new cities? So many questions, a straightforward answer – good food!
Sometimes, a craving for scrumptious delicacies is not enough. We say that because, with an elevated ambience, the food becomes more than just a meal. It becomes an experience. ELLE DECOR India’s curated list of restaurants brings forth a range of flavours that marinate well with their unique interiors.
Diona at The Grand Anukampa Hotel, Jaipur
Diona by Chromed Design Studio is an amalgamation of volumes, niches, rounded curves, and monochromated themes. The stones and marble used, emulate the layout and dynamism of Santorini. The white-painted wall made of broken marble complements the labyrinth of arches and vaults creating a captivating contrast against the pink city scenery and making its eccentric design stand out.
As one exits the elevator, a gleaming crystal ceiling is covered by a massive green wall with an artful emblem that is now buzzing on Jaipur’s social media. However, Alfresco, the outdoor area has cabana seating, ivory gazebos, and natural ambient lighting which is a complete contrast to the crystals. Alternately, Diona hosts a dining space overlooking the infinity pool with an Instagrammable bar in the middle which gives a whole other luxe side to the space, alongside a private lounge that witnesses heightened views of the Jaipur sky.
The Olive Cafe & Bar, Chandigarh
Embarking on an all new journey of newer design aesthetics and a refreshing table of gourmet food by chef Jyotika Malik, The Olive Cafe & Bar unfurls its latest outpost in Chandigarh helmed by founder and MD AD Singh of The Olive Group of restaurants. White washed walls, tropical settings, sun-bathed courtyards and a breezy mood altogether, the new avatar of the restaurant in Chandigarh is one to gaze at.
As you trail through the space, coastal elements layered in gorgeous sober tones, arched windows, bamboo baskets, hand-finished terracotta tile covered patio and more such details reveal themselves – a design canvas directed by Sabina Singh and executed by architect Vivek Popli. “With two bars and one giant kitchen, Olive’s feast-friendly!” And that’s how the restaurant likes to sum itself up in a nutshell.
Bar Stock Exchange- Vashi, Mumbai
Bar Stock Exchange (BSE) crafted by Saniya Kantawala of her eponymous firm Saniya Kantawala Design encompasses a large outdoor seating area and an expansive indoor section. What makes the exteriors truly exquisite are the glazed openings with layers of coloured film, evoking traditional stained glass windows. The interior is almost as intriguing if not more than the exterior. It’s dressed in shades of red with a black and white bar counter in piccolo tiling spanning the room and forming the centrepiece. The bar counter too features a free-flowing painted pattern in nature-inspired shades.
The hues, patterns, and playful installations overall create a lively, youth-centric ambience that is a perfect reflection of what BSE brings to the table!
Mensho Tokyo, Greater Kailash, Delhi
The sense of interiors of this four-walled restaurant by Architect and Interior Designer Paushika Gupta, Founder of Paushika Gupta Architecture+Design is all about experiencing a modern take on a traditional Japanese-style ramen shop.
The interior design of the space aligns with the restaurant’s ever-evolving yet simple and traditional Japanese cuisine who’s primary focus is food, and the harmonious combination of traditional Japanese design elements with contemporary twists provides guests with a refreshing open-dining atmosphere wherein one can view the skills of the chef preparing food.
Dobaraa in Mumbai likes to call itself a design agnostic venue! A sense of dramatic liberty captures the space with an aim to create a vibe that would push you to take on the world. To represent this, the restor-bar has inscribed unabashedly on their wall, ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’. Their interiors are a blend of both worlds, elegant in some corners, and grunge in others, still being easy and fluid to the eye!
Their cocktails aim to please as they offer ‘Not just mixed beverages but moods’ which sounds perfect for a heavy work day or a chill day with your gal-pals. They carter to calm, frolic, frivolous, walking-on-the-ceiling! They invent, reinvent and observe new ones every now and then at every table or corner making this place ideal for any time and any day.
Ombré (BarBar), Varanasi
The ancient city of Varanasi exudes a laid back, cosmopolitan but free-spirited mood. Located here is a cosmo-resto bar, Ombré, a rooftop bar along Mint Road at Subroto Chowk designed by Urban Mistrii Studio’s Ritika Rakhiani. It is one to please as it embodies the tranquil and powerful identity of the city while giving it a strong, modern interpretation.
The ombre colour palette goes from soft powder blue to a strong navy blue–signifying the river Ganges–its calm yet powerful charisma. Complementing the scheme, are the fluidic light fixtures transcending into the river like holy lamps. The light frame arches anchor the space–an expression of the built character of the city.
Overall, minimal additions to the walls, such as a wire-framed sculpture and wall quotes along with the ombre shadings break the monotony of the place. The gold bar furniture plays an essential role in harmonising the visual experience along with the overall vibe of the venue.
YOUnion, Kamala Mills, Mumbai
‘Young’ and ‘Wild’ are two words that accurately outline the mood that captures YOUnion. Keeping the jungle theme in mind, restaurateur Zorawar Kalra aimed at creating an ambience that translates for and pays homage to the millennials. The all-day gastro-bar encompasses a carnival-like vibe created in line with dramatic interior elements like neon green lights behind the bar, green veils that dive into the idea of wilderness, and gold furniture that transpires a sense of easy-luxe.
Beyond decor, YOUnion has the country’s largest menu dedicated entirely to 300 types of shots including a ‘Make Your Own Shot’ option. They also have fifty different types of Long Island Iced Teas, which is truly a dream for anyone who enjoys a glass (or more) of drinks.
Butter Bar & Kitchen, Pune
If that glaze-y, smooth texture of butter could be translated into a restaurant, it’d be Pune’s new hotspot Butter Bar & Kitchen, a project by Meraki Hospitality and partners Hrishikesh R. Shinde, Sangram Shirole and Suryabhan R. Shinde. Designed by Minnie Bhatt, the 8,000 sq ft restaurant brings to the table a modern European-Asian fare amidst what feels like a rustic hideaway wrapped in elegance.
Minnie muses, “The word Butter speaks of a feeling of fluid ease, warmth and joy. The interiors have been conceptualised to bring to life this feeling—one that has an easygoing casual vibe.” The menu is devised by chef Shailendra Kekade, while the drinks curation comes from the mixologists Nitin Tewai and Suyash Pande
TKYO is imagined by Chromed Design Studio’s Abhigyan Neogi and Ankita Mehra, and this is the place to be at, when in Goa! It is nested in the heart of Anjuna inside a century-old Portuguese house, which is miraculously preserved as it yet retains the verandahs and patio seatings from that day and age. It is a whopping 11,500 sq ft property that can house more than 200 guests and offers both indoor and al fresco dining options, inspired by Japanese architecture and house elements like a conventional Tori entrance, an impressive pagoda-style illuminated island bar, a prominent sake barrel wall and several wall murals painted by local artists, authentically emitting the venue’s essence.
TKYO is the crossroad of Japanese & Portuguese architecture with seamlessly integrated Goan design elements that makes the place feel refreshing and equally refined!
Silly, says a grand off-white door in one of the lanes of Khar in Mumbai, inviting one to its gorgeous 4,700 sq ft venue filled with whiffs of contemporary-vintage interiors, scrumptious food and a rather refreshing escape from the industrial moodboard of the city life.
The all day cafe and bar crafted by interior designer Keith Menon of Spiro Spero also hosts a 65-year old mango tree and a striking white-grey gravel pathway that nestles an outdoor garden seating. While the bar incessantly stirs up some of the coolest drinks and cocktails, a swing set inside the venue poses as a sweet spot to lounge at, with the mezzanine floor housing two long co-working tables for guests to relax at!
Fig at Malcha‘s new home is a rejuvenated 60-year-old building in the middle of Lutyens Delhi. A confluence of Japanese design and the Nordic way of life, it revitalises the area in Malcha Marg’s market with modern architecture without losing any of the age-old elegance of the components around it. The concept of Fig at Malcha is well-thought-out and made for the purpose of artistic expression. Fig at Malcha’s genuine identity is rooted in basic, meticulously picked, and handcrafted materials, and these attributes are reflected in the restaurant’s classic white decor, seamless concrete flooring, and terrazzo counters.
“Our team’s dedication to providing a genuine mindful dining experience is reflected in the place we’ve created thanks to our uncompromising approach and flair for exceptional craftsmanship,” shares Manish Yadav, the founder of Fig at Malcha.
The first spell of the festive season has arrived and with Rakshabandhan knocking on our doors, it’ll be a sin to not keep our tables decorated and stocked with the best artisanal mithais and desserts in India.
Celebrating festivals in India probably means different things to different people. Some like to go all out with their plates full of a variety of sweet edibles, some love to experiment with all that’s new, while some of us only wait to gorge on that one favourite mithai (or dessert), artisanal but desi at core.
Lucky for you, ELLE DECOR India is prepped for the season to help you savour the best artisanal mithais and desserts in India. Check out our curated edit of the glacé sweets, you’ll probably want to overdose on (at your own caution!) below…
Colours, flavours and uniqueness burst with much delight at the newly launched contemporary Indian mithai brand Genda Phool. Founded by Shweta Agarwal, every creation is a proud fusion of the country’s traditional mithai-making techniques with an ecstatic hint of reimagined flavours.
Find out more here
MONER, Jardin Du Rose
From the house of Monèr, one of the first dedicated dessert bars and bistros in India by chef Freny Fernandes comes a dessert that is equally exceptional to look at and taste—presenting Jardin Du Rose.
Find out more here
BARFILA, Matcha tea green fudge (barfi)
Bright and bold, the green tea fudge by Barfila is probably the best of both worlds, with generous tinge of matcha flavour and concept of barfi moulded into one artisanal mithai.
If you can’t be in Kolkata, let the city of delectable sweets come to you. Bombay Sweet Shop brings its luscious take on handmade Nolen gur-coconut kheer kadam, rolled into adorable balls of malai ped, stuffed with palm jaggery-infused rasgulla and touched up with desiccated coconut!
With a palatable portfolio of Indian artisanal mithais, macarons and brownies, too, Saugaat by Bikanerwala is a sweet destination to bookmark. However, our eyes are fixated on the lemon de leche, a rich blend of smooth milk solids and that electrifying tang of lemon.
When your favourite things are splashed with delightful colours, the joy of savouring it doubles up. Khoya introduces pink coconut ladoo, made of coconut, filled with dry fruits and then rolled on a carpet of coconut again!
A staple during festive season, gunjiyas are a favourite at every home, and Gur Chini wants you to add some twist to it with their special wild rose and honey gunjiya. Deep red hued and stuffed with taste-tickling mixture, these sweets are sculpted into gorgeous compact shapes that you’d have a hard time deciding whether to gorge on it or not!
That’s the thing about comfort food – pitch any cuisine, any culinary technique, any esoteric recipe against it, and the first thing the spoon finds its way to and digs into is comfort food. At least, that’s the case for me, especially after savouring the menu at the newest outpost of The Nutcracker in Mumbai, at the current hotspot that is the Jio World Drive in BKC!
Nutcracker was first imagined back in 2016 by Annie Bafna, the creative who first dipped her feet in the world of finance for over 15 years before wearing the restaurateur hat.
The first outlet in Kala Ghoda was followed with launches in Bandra and Lower Parel, each space doused in a certain art deco, opulent feel. That’s where the new Nutcracker in BKC hits the refresh button with its natural, organic design grammar draping a 2,000 sq ft area. Like all the other outposts, this novel space is also designed and assembled to perfection by interior designerTejal Mathur.
Stringing together a spectacular concoction of earthy and elegant, Tejal muses, “One thing we both wanted in the high volume space were swings along the windows. At that point I imagined a softly high cave with solid grained furniture and oversized jute lamps.”
Warm, minimal interiors meeting an even warmer and soothing selection of recipes make up the experience at Nutcracker. Annie says, “I wanted the space to be minimalist, clean and modern while maintaining a sense of comfort and warmth that the brand and our food resonates with.”
Inside the new outpost…
Promenading towards the restaurant, soft arches and straight lines converge on a cold, polished canvas, conveying the designer’s mood board of making the facade look like an inviting, dimly lit cave.
As you step indoors, the door closing behind, the cosy rhythm of minimal, raw design whelms you. Every element here croons the colour story of sand, gravel and graphite, coalesced with seamless curves and large jute lamps.
The restaurant hosts three different sections. The Dune and Fluid are two spaces that Tejal enjoyed imagining the most. She informs about one monolithic curved wall that they draped with rough edged tiles and carved semi circular pods as its extension, contouring raised micro-cement platforms. Hence, the name Dune. This design thought transpires into a cocooned spot overlooking the rest of the community-seating area and the bar across!
As Annie divulges, this emerges as a potential section at The Nutcraker BKC to host open-mic, book reading and other such entertainment sessions.
Continuing the language of curves is the Flow Bar that stands right opposite Dune, stacked and queued with wines and other tipples.
Lean, arched windows on the other side of the restaurant draw attention, in company of playful swing seaters crafted with rope suspensions and black grained sandblasted tables. In Tejal’s words, this is a back to basic glam version of living in raw nature — and, we see no point in disagreeing here.
With the other end of the seating area dubbed The Perch, the restaurant is also thoughtfully decked with decor objects that seamlessly become a part of Annie and Tejal’s minimal, organic narrative.
A crinkled, pure white artwork dresses up one of the walls, while shelves bear the aesthetic weights of amorphous, mottled pottery, flanked with a surprising addition of a floor-to-ceiling raw bark and sprinkles of dry fronds and matted leaves that elevate the natural mood of the space.
Menu for the eyes and soul!
The menu at the new outlet of The Nutcracker in BKC brings a rather elaborate, soul-satiating spread of the classic all-day breakfast specials, luscious salads, warm plates of handmade pasta and ravioli alongside small plates and mains!
A special shoutout to the beautifully cooked Dhansaak that the menu reads as ‘a bowl of comfort the Parsi way!’ and in fact the recipe and inspiration of which comes from Annie’s very own household.
Annie also emphasises on maintaining the menu as a seasonal one, bringing a wide selection of flavours to the patrons in the most comforting style. The binging here bundles up to a perfect end (only for us to come back here yet again!) with an assortment of desserts such as the gooey chocolate cake, drunken tiramisu, baked almond cake, tarts and the delectable mango cheesecake that melts and just melts away as soon as it touches the tip of the tongue.
For the first time at Nutcracker, what stands as a pitstop here is the display counter, stocking up a cool assortment of its in-house spreads, dips, sauces, breads and crackers for the guests to buy!
Scroll through to savour the delicious plates served at The Nutcracker, BKC…
Rooted in quietude, wilderness and design laced with thoughts of outdoor adventures, Utsav Camp in Alwar, Rajasthan is a vision to behold and a place to experience away from the bustle and noises of a city life.
Hidden in the cascading flora and fauna of Sariska, the sanctuary is a mesmerising brainchild of a trained naturalist Luv Shekhawat.
Conceptualised and designed by Akshaya Mestry, Principal Architect at Studio Mestry Utsav Camp sprawling over 375000 sq ft (3.5 hectares) poses as a rite of passage that leads to inner peace and stimulates organic connections with one’s surroundings harnessing the healing power of nature and rejuvenating the soul.
Let’t rewind to a little backstory before this retreat took shape. In a situation disturbed by the pandemic, one of the most tricky challenges a designer could face is dealing with and executing design details virtually. This hiccup however, resulted in interesting endeavours for Akshaya and Luv, both, while crafting the space to completion. The coordination that followed for the designing of the retreat happened over video calls and email for over three months.
When Akshaya was first entrusted to transform the interiors of the then raw rubble shell, she was drawn to the reviving ambience of the adjoining forest. The lush surroundings compelled her to recreate a harmonising palette of indoor-meets-outdoors.
She divulges, “Being one of the oldest natural habitats in the world, Sariska’s trove of vegetation and fauna posed as the muse of the design narrative, etching an indelible impression upon the medley of spaces at Utsav Camp.”
To unlock the site’s maximum potential, Studio Mestry remodelled a few spaces including the forest lounge and stone cabins, adding in their own sensibilities. Use of indigenous materials like warm-toned wood, cool hand plaster lime walls complemented by beige, grey and olive green accents mould a rooted, homely colour palette.
Antique-style acacia and rosewood furniture, strategically placed custom artwork and artefacts exude an old-world charm, a subtle nod to the royal heritage of the State. A series of built in-house suspended lights crafted out of jute, metal and terracotta illuminate the jungle retreat.
Customised wallpapers narrating the stories of Sariska are the heart of every space. With their surreal wildlife illustrations, the wall coverings act as a catalyst calling out to the landscape beyond.
The reception area of Utsav Camp unfolds into a wide open courtyard also known as the outdoor library cafe as it is flanked by a private library. The library adjoins an enormous conventional restaurant. The upper levels of the restaurant include an in-house bar and forest lounge.
Elaborating on why the library and the forest lounge are their personal favourite spots, Akshaya reveals, “Our main focus was for people to enjoy a raw yet warm atmosphere within these spaces. Utsav Camp immerses the guests in a tactile milieu that revels in an untainted and rustic demeanour.”
The restaurant verandah further morphs into an external courtyard bordered by mammoth rubble buttresses. The centrally located outdoor garden restaurant with a rectangular pool enjoys captivating views of the skies.
Two meandering pathways hint a sequential directionality as they usher one into the spatially dispersed stone cabins and tents. The pathways connect both the public and the private sections of the site, disintegrating only to provide pause points for self reflection.
MS framework and bamboo rafter roofs fabricate a semi-covered sit-out space in the forest lounge. The stone cabins house similar extensions to enable additional privacy for the guests.
The ingenious design of the monolithic bed built under the bamboo roof incorporates a projected back that doubles up as a study desk. The stone bed is a sun-kissed, breezy escape in the day and a silent spectator of the star-filled sky at night.
Where every section of this place bursts with mindful design elements, Studio Mestry augmented this by installing bamboo screens in the southern facing walls to avoid overheating during summers. The screens filter in sunlight during winters. Embracing a sustainable approach, the studio utilises on-site wood, bamboo, natural stones, and local labour to establish a rooted and earthy essence in the project.
“Utsav Camp is a celebration of nature and tracing one’s roots,” concludes Akshaya. Far away from the monotonous and overwhelming clutches of urbanisation, the retreat stands proud as a delightful reminder of the inherent joy of outdoor-focussed, sustainable living.
Carrying forward the gusto of the Beyond Designs Bistro, founder Neha Gupta, who seems to be on a roll, has launched her newest venture, Nineteen78 restaurant at New Delhi’s choicest hub of restaurants, Select CITYWALK.
A radical retro look paired with delectable food, which comes in association with Neha’s name, makes the premise the hep go-to for intimate and private meals.
Conceived as a boutique restaurant, the design of this restaurant is credited to her and her husband—Sachin Gupta. An interior designer, an architect and a restauranter, Neha’s relentless spirit did not stir her during the pandemic and certainly has not phased her now.
The 48-seater-restaurant is as experimental in its interiors as they are with its menu.
Fusing mouldings and cornices reminiscent of classical architecture with innately contemporary framed artwork, the Gupta duo has imbibed the best of both worlds in the restaurant. Chequered flooring matching the hue of the walls subtly outlines the retro-vibe that is made prominent by the chairs in the space.
The stunning marble tables with metal cast bases and sofa seating in the corners connote a deja-vu moment from ‘90s sitcoms, while auburn wooden cabinetry sparks up the place.
In juxtaposition, an open ceiling, colourful upholstery on the chairs, and a minimalistic overhead shelf looming over the main counter speak of the relevance today.
A fun bunch of lights made of steel and fibre loom over the restaurant and seem to be an ode to the fusion. On the other hand, the display glass walls sport details with a much more vintage inspiration.
Joining the interiors on their adventure, even the menu at Nineteen78, is one that is quirky and unique. Patrons can choose from a list of mouth-watering European, Asian and Coastal cuisines from Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Although experimental, the trained chefs behind it seem to have a motive at play.
In revisiting certain classic dishes, the chefs have concocted a modern experimental fare. From Caesar and Fattoush salads with a twist to Chicken in spinach sauce with Orzo salad and grilled vegetables; from Sweet and spicy Hong Kong ginger fish to Caramelized dry Vietnamese chicken, prawn linguini, and Sliced lamb in hoisin sauce, the options are plenty and playful.
In addition, an irresistible dessert menu makes it a place impossible not-to-visit. Raspberry pie with vanilla ice cream, apple crumble, ice cream and chocolate devil cake shall do more than only satisfy sugar cravings.
To be able to offer a wholesome dining experience, an attached, modest bar graces the restaurant. To those early risers and those looking for a place for morning meetings, an extensive breakfast menu with healthy and indulgent selections shall do the trick.
You’ll agree, there is this mutual hobby amongst all of us that often isn’t said out loud when talking about our wishlist or things we love doing. No, it’s not collecting cool kicks or Netflixing and chill. It’s that endless itch to discover the best cafes in India (or wherever you live) where a great cup of coffee, delish desserts and savouries are served generously with superb aesthetics.
To save you the time of digging the depths of the internet and asking recommendations on Instagram, here is your checklist for the best cafes in India to bookmark now.
Brewing pure Arabica in the Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh is ARAKU Coffee. Crafting a unique social distribution model wherein farmers and agricultural experts work together, Araku Coffee cafe brings to the table an authentic seed-to-cup experience. With its flagships in Bengaluru as well as Paris, the award-winning coffee house also offers organic range of coffees and contemporary coffee accessories to stock up on.
Beyond Designs Bistro, New Delhi
Hosting a modern dining experience, Beyond Designs Bistro in New Delhi is where fine food meets fine design and art. With a pre-existing menu serving recipes and coffees day to night, the bistro has also launched an appetising selection of pre-packaged meals called Breakfast in Bed. A rather pampering way to kick start the day, the concept combines artisanal baked goods and other healthy foods prepared with fresh ingredients delivered directly to your doorstep!
Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru amongst other Indian cities
Experimenting with artistic approaches to farm-fresh coffee at the harvest level is Blue Tokai Coffee. With a mission to make crisp and enticing taste of estate coffee along with a menu of fresh bakes, desserts and breakfast bites accessible to all, the artisanal roastery chain has its charming cafes across India in Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad amongst other cities.
Cafe de Meet, Surat
Located in Surat is Cafe de Meet designed by Studio M’s principal designers Moiz Faizulla and Samad Sheikh. Illustrating a one-of-a-kind design identity, the cafe unveils a comforting escape for coffee lovers and even those who could use a tasteful break in calm away from the daily chaos. A befitting pairing to their brews is a hearty menu of avocado toasts, hummus bowl, ricotta bagels, pancakes along with other indulgent breakfast options.
Something’s Brewing, Bengaluru
A dedicated destination addressing the needs of all coffee enthusiasts with everything coffee is Something’s Brewing in Bengaluru. Featuring a curated collection of brewing tools and a trove of coffee ranging from Bili Hu, Third Wave Coffee to Araku and many more, the experience cum retail centre exhibits ‘Be your own Barista’ initiative allowing customers to choose their own beans, grind them and brew their own blends behind the counter.
Spotlighting a straight crop-to-cup java encounter is SUBKO in Mumbai. Making it to our list of best cafes in India, both its outposts, in Bandra and Byculla are known as speciality coffee roasters and a bakehouse. With interiors modelling a modern yet traditional design outlook, SUBKO is evoking a newfound passion amongst coffee connoisseurs to experiment and savour coffees originating from the Indian subcontinent, sourcing export quality grounds from across India including Chikmagalur and Ampthill Downs in Tamil Nadu.
The Flat White Coffee House, Surat
Crafting a soothing conversational space is The Flat White Coffee House in Surat sketched by Neogenisis+Studi0261 nested as a spruced-up bungalow bistro that strikes a seamless balance between modern and minimal design. Complete with a barista’s coffee bar and a bakery offering scrumptious selection of sweet and savoury treats, the outlet is an ideal hub to reset from the bustling crowd of the city.
Imagine a cauldron perched on simmering heat with a medley of tantalising Indian spices, culinary delights and traditional contemporary interiors rustled up together—seems like a tasteful vision to behold. Precisely expressing this, is the Jalsa restaurant in Kolkata that crafts the nuances of the country’s culture.
The 4000 sq ft modern Indian restaurant located in the old colonial Harrington Mansion on Harrington Street has over 100 years of history. Designed by Ajay Arya, Founder and Interior Designer of A Square Designs, the restaurant celebrates life with spaces that evoke a joie de vivre.
“The concept and the cuisine of the restaurant presented an opportunity to create a fusion of sorts. Just like authentic Indian cuisine, with a contemporary twist, I had a chance to blend the old with new, the stereotypical with inspiring, and the traditional Indian with modern,” recalls Ajay.
The restaurant celebrates the many ingredients of India — its cuisine, art and design, and the modern Indian woman rooted in traditions, yet conquering the world with her independent spirit. Inciting enigma and interest upon entrance is the narrow passage painted in deep red with striped black and white flooring and concealed mood lighting.
As it is rightly pointed out, ‘earth’ without ‘art’ is just ‘eh’, the restaurant interiors pop a peppy mood with its artistic flair. A 7ft painting of a woman behind the bar in the central dining hall personifies the idea of an urban woman—traditional yet modern. The adjacent walls are decorated with paintings of women in various moods on one side and imagery of arches on the other put together with dazzling chandeliers that enhance the Indian vibe. Gold metal screens, custom-made vintage seating and cushions in rich fabrics and vibrant florals add just the right dose of exuberance to the ambience.
Decked in wooden flooring, the private hall crafts a more sober and elegant mood. Arched window panes, a hand painted old door by a local Kolkata artist and a series of small arches, like ‘aalas’ in pastels accentuate the interiors of this space.
The party lounge features a rich shade of burgundy and teal paired with mouldings, stained glass details and black and white chevron flooring that furnishes a vibrant and royal dining experience. Just like the cuisine it offers; the restaurant interiors create a nostalgic world that takes you straight to royal dining rooms.
Ajay Arya enunciates a regal atmosphere with hand painting techniques, old lead work on glass used in the churches of yore, and a captivating colour palette to present a new taste and character to the city. There is a tasteful play of art, patterns, bright colours and arches that echo the flavours of India in all the three parts of the Jalsa restaurant in Kolkata.
For two distinct thoughts of design — minimal and whimsical, suggestive but subtle — to come together and exist parallelly in one space can yield results worth catching one’s attention. This is precisely the play of contrast this restaurant, Eat Punjab in Ahmedabad envisions and embraces, ever so effortlessly.
Lending a true blue North Indian chain of restaurant Eat Punjab, a design vocabulary of its own that is readily idiosyncratic yet can be reimagined in more ways than one at other outposts, Compartment S4 sketches a melodic mood board that is understated yet absorbing.
Kishan Shah and Manuni Patel, Architects and Co-founders, Compartment S4 muse, “The client wanted to bring elements in design that remind the guests of a royal house or palace in Punjab, but in a subtle and abstract way.”
Sprawling a generous 1,450 sq ft area, Eat Punjab stands right in the heart of the city in Gujarat. Clean, commodious and perched in a commercial complex, the restaurant models a large rectangular column-less space, easy to navigate in and out.
But why Three Yellow Circles? Kishan and Manuni inform, “A little whimsical story forms the basis of the design idea of this project. Three large yellow circles floating in the midst of infinite matter, collide and stick to one another to form a glowing center.”
The flooring here grabs the limelight with the rest of the interior elements falling right in sync with it. Fashioned entirely out of easily available natural stones, the flooring design brings alive a striking visual impact as one enters the restaurant. “Almost like bright objects floating in space or like kebabs floating in delicious Mughlai gravy!” aver Kishan and Manuni.
If you do a double take at the floor, which rightfully draws attention, three large golden-yellow Jaisalmer stone circles coincide with black and white terrazzo of industrial waste cut pieces of Ambaji marble and Kadappa stone. On these circles are stationed three circular tables meandering into beautiful curvy forms pinned with hues of green and wood, washing ashore a naturally soothing colour palette.
On the other side of the restaurant, a long Forest-Green sofa swathes the lengths of walls. While on the other side sits a row of diagonally placed square tables. A bigger table is placed astutely on the adjacent back side to host a bigger number of patrons and families.
An interesting juxtaposition of materials and textures is witnessed at Eat Punjab with mud-orange tiles and fluted wooden panelling on the walls. Teak furniture and natural flooring tunes in with hanging brass lights, brass utensils, and randomly shaped mirror panels on the walls.
Kishan and Manuni sum up the design approach of Compartment S4 for this space, revealing that, “All these elements create nostalgia of being in a haveli or a palace, somewhere in Patiala, reminiscent of the spaces, culture, landscape, and most importantly, the food!”
Serving stories of nectorous nostalgia at this revamped restaurant in Bhubaneswar, principal designers Sabyasachi Routray and Anisha Menon of ma+rs craft the contemporary reincarnation of the ever classic institution Karim’s Jama Masjid, New Delhi.
Established on a 2,000 sq space on the first floor of a commercial building in Patia, the eatery is enveloped by a county of institutes and offices, packing the area with a hub of hideaways.
Illustrating imagery inspired by the locale of the original outlet, the Routray and Menon incorporate innuendos from the bewitching backdrop of the Jama Masjid in the striking space.
Embodying an enamoring mood board inspired by tints, textures and traces of Mughal and Islamic architecture, the dive is a reminiscent reflection of Old Delhi and the aura it invokes in its interior decor and design.
Drawing inspiration from the divine red sandstone of imperial architectural marvel, the Jama Masjid, most of the walls at the dive are decked in a brick red colour. The designers at ma+rs strive to sketch an authentic space, which stays true to the context it originates from.
As you make your way into the stunning space through the majestic monumental arched entryway, a Green Beret toned wall with arched niches in a marble stucco finish and monochrome patterned tile flooring greets your step into the magical portal modelling a reimagined rendition of the old Delhi milieu.
Arched niches exhibiting antique brass artefacts dating back to the Mughal era, offer ganders and glimpses of the decadent dining area. Accommodating a triad of distinct seating options, past the accent green wall are intimate booths overlooking the busy streets of Bhubaneshwar.
Front-lined in glass, silhouettes reminiscent of the Masjid’s facade emanate a dappled light effect within the space. Upholstered in a royal green velveteen fabric, the seating manifests a touch of luxury, taking the diner back to the traditional era of the Mughals.
Crafting a contemporary character in the central space comprising four and six seater tables with custom teak wood chairs, cladded in a contrasting combination of tan brown leather in its seating and royal green velvet in its rattan backrest on the adjacent sofas.
Lastly, outlining snug seating in the booth section with a background of floral patterned Patiala green wallpaper by Asian Paints’s Nilaya Wallpaper range, mirroring Mughal gardens is a long wall lined with minimal metal arches in gold evincing elements of exquisite elegance.
Accomplishing the effect of an expansive voluminous space are strategically placed mirrors on the walls and ceiling panels in the remindful restaurant.
Remaining cognizant to the culture and history of its brand, Karim’s Bhubaneswar by ma+rs cooks up an Old Delhi Charm in not only its carte and cuisine but also reflects its roots in its revamped contemporary character.