From the Portuguese to the English, everybody wanted a slice of this ancient city for themselves. Here are some cafes that can give you a taste of the past, and make Kochi so multicultural.
If you’re walking past Peter Celli Street, the green trellis-covered façade of this quaint little café will definitely catch your eye. The interiors are reminiscent of an old tea garden bungalow with faded ochre walls and high ceilings. Tea paraphernalia takes up every corner here; tables made out of old tea chests and the antique teapot collection deserves a special mention.
The café offers a vast range of teas from Nilgiri to Darjeeling and Assam apart from the usual café fare including some lovely cakes. If you have time by your side then you can browse through old editions of The New Yorker while sipping on a hot cup of Darjeeling.
Address: Peter Celli St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001.
Operating out of a 150-year-old building at Ridsdale Street—which used to house The Imperial Bank of India in the 1950s—Farmer’s Café exudes a laid-back ambience coupled with delicious recipes. Prepared with fresh, organic produce sourced from Lunar Garden and city-based Farming Colours, the crunchy green salads are one of the highlights here. A must-try - the shakes made with cold-pressed coconut milk. The 120-cover art café is also an exhibition space which holds regular events.
Address: 682001, Rids Dale Road, next to the post office Fort Kochi., Kochi, Kerala 682001
Alice’s Delices French Bakery
Alice Delices is a French café that serves a variety of freshly made French breads alongwith cups of the best Wayanad coffee. The entrance room with casual bench seating opens into a delicious garden courtyard with beautiful plants. Interestingly decorated, the café has colourful Indian print cushions strewn on chairs. Rice trays made of coir are used artistically. French impressions come from graffiti made by a French artist whose ‘old fish man’ are large figures on the walls.
Haunting instrumental music from the clarinet suffuses the senses, along with aroma of French loaf and coffee. Apart from regular croissants, “which Indians love”, their innovations in bread are done with Indian spices. For instance, a bread with cinnamon goes well with a conserve made from pineapples with ginger. Baguette, lemon cake using pungent sharp Indian lemons and Cajou cake, made with local cashew nuts are on the menu.
Address: Door No. CC1, 339, Rose St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
The Old Courtyard
Housed in another old building on the streets of Kochi is the Old Courtyard. Previously known as Lily Koder's house, this mansion belonged to a Jew family. Now it functions as a hotel but their cafe allows non-resident guests. Named after the lovely white-washed courtyard with flowering bougainvilleas and orchids at the centre of the buildng, this cafe serves some delicious bakes and coffee. The gelato here is worth trying as well.
Address: Princess St, Fort Nagar, Fort, Kochi, Kerala 682001