The cobbled streets, churches and colonial buildings in Fort Kochi remind you of this port city's rich past. From the Portuguese to the Dutch to the English, everybody wanted a slice of this ancient city for themselves. Influenced by the colonial rulers, Kochi (earlier called Cochin) has retained its traditional food but also retained some delicacies of the colonial times. Here are some cafes that can give you a taste of the past:
If you're walking past Peter Celli Street in Fort Kochi area, the ivy-covered facade 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, then you can browse through old editions of The New Yorker while sipping on a hot cup of Darjeeling.
Timing: 8.30 am to 9 pm
Address: Peter Celli St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
Quality Bakery is known for its Breudher, which is baked by only a few old bakeries. Founded by CV Chandran about 50 years ago, the bakery still follows the breudher recipe used by him.
Breudher or Dutch bread (a cross between bread and cake) is culinary gift left behind by the Dutch, who ruled Kochi (earlier known as Cochin) for more than a century. Its unique flavour has appealed to the locals but baking Breudher is becoming rare now. Quality Bakery bakes Breudher on Saturdays and made to order on other days of the week.
Time: Monday to Sunday (7 am – 9:30 pm)
Address: X66R+47J, Pattalam Rd, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
Known for its old-world charm, Pepper House serves sandwiches, wraps and beverages. Pepper House, which was originally a warehouse for spices, has been renovated. A portion of it is used as a café and another as an art gallery for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. With its calm and soothing ambience, the café is a perfect place to just laze around.
Kochi Biennale Foundation, the organisers of the Biennale, use the art gallery within Pepper House for international art-residency programmes. One can stroll around, sip coffee, munch on delicious food, and also browse through books.
Time: 10 am to 6 pm everyday
Address: Pepper House, Kalvatty Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi
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 building, the cafe serves some delicious bakes and coffee. Popular for its dark chocolate brownies, apple crumble, lime cheesecake and Rose’s cheesecake, the gelato too is worth trying.
Address: Princess Street, Kochi, Kerala 682001