This caffeine addict recently shared her favourite coffee haunts in central London (you can get your fix, here). And now without further ado, here’s spilling the beans on the best cafes in Bombay. Ready for a coffee crawl around the city?
1. Kala Ghoda Cafe, Kala Ghoda
If you’re lucky enough to nab one of the very few coveted tables, then this tiny cafe in the heart of Kala Ghoda is the perfect spot for a cosy catch up or even for hiding away with your laptop if you need to catch up on your emails instead (although, do take note that WiFi is switched off between 12.30-3.30 pm). The organic focus extends from the produce to the coffee – a well-bodied and bold blend of Arabica and Robusta varieties sourced directly from organic plantations in Chennai and roasted in-house. The jaggery served as a sweetener on the side is a healthy touch but don’t pass up on one of their more sinful waffles – it’s quite a treat, especially once liberally doused with rich dark chocolate!
Kala Ghoda Cafe, 10, Ropewalk Lane, Opp Krishna Restaurant, Kala Ghoda Fort, Mumbai 400001
2. Sea Lounge at Taj, Colaba
A Bombay institution, and no – not just for its longstanding reputation as an intermediary setting for many an arranged marriage in polite Marwari society. The elegant salon at the Taj boasts sweeping views across the city’s harbour, with lazy afternoons over high tea in order for the less hurried. Nothing quite beats the combination of chaat and cold coffee here, the latter an incredibly indulgent proposition with generous dollops of vanilla ice cream smoothly blitzed in.
The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
3. Indigo Deli, Colaba
Another Bombay mainstay, which effortlessly pulls off a day to night vibe. The coffee list is extensive from Colombian roast to the earthy Monsoon Malabar. Fun fact: the latter’s musky blend has a distinctly neutral pH balance, the beans having lost their original acidity from exposure to the monsoon winds and rains on the Malabar coast of Karnataka and Kerala!
Whichever coffee you ultimately choose, do remember that a side of cookies (freshly baked in-store) is ALWAYS a good idea.
Indigo Deli, 5, Ground Floor, Pheroze Building, Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahrishi Marg, Opp. Danraj Mahal, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400039
4. Suzzette, Nariman Point
We’ll always be thankful to the French trio behind Suzette for bringing a bit of Brittany to Bombay. Crisp buckwheat crêpes apart, mornings are always well taken care of here over freshly-baked melt-in-your-mouth croissants and steaming cups of coffee. Comfort classics include the viennois – an americano topped with oodles of whipped cream.
Suzette, A1, Atlanta Building, Ground Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021;
Shop No. 14, Gasper Enclave, St John Street, Opp. Golds Gym, Pali Naka, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
5. Zen cafe, Lower Parel
Housed in a furniture store in Raghuvanshi Mills, the cafe is as sedate as the name would suggest with comfy sofas apt for sinking back against as you dive into a good book from their library. If you’re feeling indulgent, then the creamy iced blends of coffee and chocolate should do the trick (iced nutella latte anyone?), while coffee connoisseurs can delight in artisanal coffee from the brew bar, AeroPress’d for a sharper, cleaner finish. The signature Nocciola baci – bite-sized hazelnut bikkies – presented alongside, are quite moreish too.
Zen cafe, Shop No 3, KSL House, Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013
6. BAD Cafe, Bandra
Ristrettos (a stronger, more aromatic alternative to espresso); homemade Turkish blends; Spanish-style cafe bonbons; and even cold coffee served with a warm minty texture… you can find all manners of creative caffeinated treasures at the recently opened BAD Cafe. Short for Bringing a Difference, this new multi-purpose venue in Bandra is definitely shaking up the city’s coffee culture too. Have a read of my recent review here, for the full lowdown.
BAD, 22G, Kapadia House, New Kantwadi Road, Off Perry Cross Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West
7. La Folie Lab, Bandra
La Folie do more than serve up some of the the most exquisite French pastries in town. Their new lab-like, open-plan set-up in Bandra does much right by coffee enthusiasts too with two types of coffee-brewing methods – siphon (the heady apparatus pictured above) and cold brew for a milder, less acidic coffee to pair those delicate éclairs with!
La Folie Lab, 1, Ground Floor, Libra Towers, Opposite St.Peter’s Church, Hill Road, Bandra West
8. Blue Tokai, Mahalaxmi
This cheerful cafe in Mahalaxmi regularly roasts its own beans, brewing the coffees with a meticulous – almost scientific – precision for a velvety-smooth result. Oh and they have cruffins on the menu too – an exquisite hybrid between a croissant and muffin, amply filled with a rich custard cream…
Full review, here.
Blue Tokai, Unit 20/22 Laxmi Woolen Mill, Opposite Khazana Furniture, Shakti Mill Lane, Off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai
9. Best for filter kaapi
Aromatic, perfectly golden milky coffee with an intensely sweet richness balanced by nutty undertones… yes, this guide would be incomplete without a mention of where you can find the best South Indian filter kaapi. Otherwise known as the Mylapore of Mumbai, the city’s Matunga district is your best best of course – the reputations of Mysore and Madras cafes both precede it. South Bombay compatriots less keen to travel afar can seek comfort in a good brew at Dakshinayan too, close to Malabar Hill.
Cafe Madras, No. 38-B, Ground Floor, Kamakshi Building, Bhaudaji Road, Kings Circle, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019
Cafe Mysore, Shop No. 1461-C, Durlabh Niwas, Bhandaji Road, Matunga East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019
Dakshinayan, 183, Teen Batti Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
10. Country of Origin, Nepean Sea Road
And of course there’s always the quintessential neighbourhood cafe to satisfy your caffeine fix when you’re most in need. I rely on my next-door neighbour – the Country of Origin, a takeaway patisserie and food boutique on Nepean Sea Road (you can find them in Bandra and Juhu too). From dishing out the best brownies in town to lemon squares and whisky eclairs, as though there weren’t enough sweet reasons to venture into COO, the cappucinos and hazelnut lattes are the best by a mile too!
Country of Origin, 69 A, , Manisha Building, Nepean Sea Road, Opp. Petit Hall, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400006