This is Traveldine’s selection of the best cafés, eating joints and watering holes in the Pink City of Jaipur.
As we ring in 2022, there is hope for going back to the days of carefree travel, soaking in sights and feasting on food. Jaipur, a city with a UNESCO World Heritage tag popular for its forts, food and festivals and rich royal heritage could be the place to visit. From traditional, heritage, classic, trendiest to vibrant cafés, bars and restaurants; there is also renewed interest in concepts, décor, healthy menu, sourcing of fresh ingredients and social responsibility. A lot is happening in the Pink City on the food front.
The café adjacent to the flagship Anokhi apparels store exudes warmth. Minimalist décor with cane furniture and ceiling lends an arty vibe. Organic seasonal fresh food comes from their own Anokhi farm. It has the finest international flavours in vegetarian food with vegan and gluten-free options. The cookies, carrot cake and cheesecake go well with a robust cup of French press single estate organic coffee. No Latte or cappuccinos please. The whole meal tomato bread hummus sandwich with fresh lettuce plucked the very morning is a delight for any discerning foodie. The aesthetically displayed dishes are appealing to look at and easy to order.
Address: 2nd Floor, KK Square, C 11 Prithviraj Road, C Scheme. Ph 0141 4007245
Timings: 10 AM-7:30 PM
Curious Life Coffee Roasters
It is not just another cup of caffeine fix but the coffee shop-cum-roastery is all about passion for the brew. Choose your beans and get them roasted and brewed to get a cup crafted especially for you. Dark interiors, the lingering fragrance of fresh ground coffee, state-of-the-art coffee machines and curious coffee lovers! Go for a bowl of greens, beans and avocado salad or chicken/vegetables sandwiches on the side. The owner, an ex-army officer Neeraj Sheoran, sources the finest single-origin coffee beans directly from small farmers. You can place an order for freshly roasted coffee (7988784356).
Address: C 54A, Sarojini Marg, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar. Ph 0141 4032456
Timings: 8 AM-10 PM
Cafe White Sage
The café comes as a whiff of freshness with its cool décor, vibe and concept of responsible dining. It is the global cuisine ‘Meraaki Kitchen’ team, Neha (MasterChef Finalist Season 4) and Shivika’s second culinary venture. The menu is vegetarian, international, fresh and seasonal and ever evolving. Sample vegetable gyoza, burrata salad, smashed avocado toast, kombucha and eclectic beverages made in-house. Their coffee is Fairtrade and mocktails are called zero-proof cocktails. No syrup is used but only fresh fruit pulp. The farm-to-table concept is taken seriously to the extent that there’s no cold storage in the kitchen, everything is made from scratch every day! Their motto is that it’s a restaurant’s responsibility to source locally to make farming sustainable.
Address: Inside Meraaki Kitchen, Near Civil Lines Metro Station, opposite Pillar No. 88; 27 Madrampura. Ph 9116135108
Timings: 12-10 PM
On the House OTH Bistro & Bakers
The best place to have coffee and to hang out with friends and family. The place has a great vibe, casual and cosy, nice gentry and the staff are courteous. There’s a European feel to the décor, elegant wooden furniture and warm lights. The European bistro concept works with gourmet bread, beverages, pastries and croissants. The strawberry mousse Belgian cake, pizza, pancakes, grilled fish with cilantro sauce are just perfect. They serve Italian, Mexican, Lebanese and Asian and oriental cuisine is served upstairs. Try sushi and nasi goreng. There’s a Moroccan style sitting with handcrafted white and blue tiles. The owner Dushyant Singh brought first ever Gourmet Getaway to Jaipur in 2017.
Address: E-145, Ramesh Marg, Durgadas Colony, near Talwalkar’s gym, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar. Ph 7737217533, 0141 4112232
Timings: 11:30 AM-10 PM
(Another branch OTH Rustic has traditional local dishes)
Start your day with a big hearty English breakfast of porridge, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and cereals. Casual and friendly, the black and white chess-like floor and brown ceiling lend a spaciousness and openness to the place. You crave some global cuisine; chances are you find it here. Lebanese mezze platter, Italian risotto, Thai green curry, chicken stroganoff and braised mushroom and pokchoi; the menu is vast. The garlic bread, Belgian truffle chocolate, tiramisu cakes with coffee or hot chocolate make you linger longer. The in-house bakery has a good selection of multigrain bread, wheat pizza and burger buns.
Address: A/1, 21, Sahkar Marg, near 22 Godown circle, Hotel Las Vegas Ground Floor, C Scheme.
Timings: 9 AM-10:30 PM
The good old ‘tapri ki chai’ comes piping hot in kettles invigorating your senses. Always crowded, try to grab a table on the terrace to enjoy the tea and sweeping view of Central Park. Inside there is enough room to sit. Disposable eco-friendly bagasse plates are used. The moong daal pakode, dal pakwan, masala maggi, kala chana chaat and khichdi are highly recommended. Quirky phrases; “Horn ok please” in the menu and funky mugs and kettles displayed lend a cheery vibe. The owners Ankit Bohra and Saurabh Bopana, former bank employees made a hip ‘tea stall’ and it caught everyone’s fancy. Now they have an adjoining store selling India’s handicrafts and organic food.
(There are other outlets)
Address: B4 E, 2nd-3rd floor, Surana Jewellers, Opposite Central Park, C Scheme. Ph 0141 5144477
Timings: 7:30 AM-10:15 PM
Sancha Tea Boutique
Tea appreciation is a lifestyle and Sancha tea boutique is an epicurean’s delight. The neatly stacked tea packets, the lifting aroma of tea and a laid-back vibe; perfect for relaxing with a calming cup of tea! But the tea sommeliers would assist you by brewing various samples of gourmet tea and you might end up appreciating the nuances of several cups of brew. Opened by a professional tea taster and blender Sanjay Kapoor their signature President’s Darjeeling tea and Saffron Masala Chai is a must-try.
Address: 296, Mirza Ismail Road, Paanch Batti. Ph 0141 4059657
Timings: 10AM-7 PM
If you are in the mood for some loud music, dancing with friends during the day (night also) then Farzi café is the option. ‘We serve memories, not just food’, written on the blackboard, rings true as desserts are served in a dramatic way enveloped in swirling icy fumes from liquid nitrogen. The dark interiors exude warmth but if feeling claustrophobic, there is outdoor sitting too with swings and shade of trees. Try the fusion food keema kulcha and Amritsari fish and chips. Rasmalai Tres leches and chocolate dirt pile seem intriguing.
Address: Ground Floor, Hotel Radisson Blu, Khasa Kothi Circle, Gopalbari, MI Road. Mo 72300 08238
Timings: 1 PM-12 midnight
The kitchen at Jaipur Modern
It’s more like visiting an old acquaintance in a classy bungalow in an upscale neighbourhood with pretty outdoors. The aesthetics of the interiors add to the charm. The black and white zigzag marble flooring matches with similar tabletops, there is a mosaic of brick size wooden pieces on the walls. The food is sumptuous; Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Moroccan and continental dishes and delectable desserts. The thin crust pizza with fresh herbs, crunchy wasabi Tempura sushi, shitake mushroom sushi and even quinoa laddus! Their support for sustainable farming and local communities is appreciable. The sushi rice and miso are sourced from a local organic culture farm from Allahabad (under the aegis of Japan’s Makino school of continuing and non-formal education).
Address: 51, Sardar Patel Marg, Dhuleshwar garden, C Scheme, Opposite India Post Bhawan. Phone: 0141 4113000
If you are looking for a typical Rajasthani thali with all-weather favourites like gatte ki subzi, kadhi, ker sangria subzi, ghee soaked bajre ki khichadi, dal baati churma and an overall experience of Rajasthani food, culture, folk dances and crafts then visit Chokhi Dhani. It is a mock-up of a traditional Rajasthani village. Set up in 1989, spread in 10 acres, it has gained popularity among tourists. Visit Chaupad Jeeman Ghar, named after the ancient game of Chaupad, the sit-down restaurant that serves authentic Rajasthani thali and visit Sangri and Gorbandh for Rajsthani cuisine.
Entry ticket to Chokhi Dhani: Rs 750-Rs1200 Adult, Rs 450-Rs800 Child. Entry free below 3 years.
Address: 12 Miles, Tonk Road, Ajmer-Jaipur Highway, Jaipur-303905, Ph 0141 5165000
Laxmi Misthan Bhandar
The LMB is an iconic brand since 1727 as a hotel, restaurant and sweet shop in Jaipur’s Johari bazaar, the UNESCO World Heritage walled city. It has traditional vegetarian Rajasthani meals and delicacies cooked in pure ghee, rich and wholesome. Authentic Rajasthani thalis and dal bati churma are served in the restaurant, could be prepared without onion and garlic too. Not to miss are the sweets ghevar-the decadent honeycomb confection drenched in ghee and sugar syrup, popular during Gangaur and Teej festivals, doodh phinni, pyaz kachori and sugar-free gajak. There is a satisfaction that food is served fresh and no chemical preservatives are used.
Address: Shop 98-99, Johari Bazar, Jaipur-302003. (Another branch in Vaishali Nagar), Mo 9024609609
Timings: 9 AM-10 PM
Little Italy restaurant
This is one place to go for vegetarians for Italian cuisine. It also serves Mexican. It has several vegan options. The minimalist décor and no-fuss interiors are pleasing. Try thin crust pizza and spinach ravioli. It serves alcohol. It has Indian wine, Australian wines and red wine cocktails. It is wheelchair accessible.
Timings: 12 PM-10:30 PM
Address: C 11 KK Square, C Scheme, 3rd Floor, Prithviraj Road, Jaipur-302001, Ph 0141 4022444
A fine-dining restaurantserving authentic Rajasthani cuisine in a clubhouse like colonial architecture building. The black & white photographs of Maharani Gayatri Devi and the Polo Club exude an old-world charm. It also offers al fresco dining in the green outdoors in the evening. Relive the recipes of the royal kitchen by ordering laal maas, junglee maas and keema bati. For vegetarians, govind gatta, kair sangri, papad curry and papad mangori are good. The cuisine is Indian and Rajasthani specialities and they serve beer and wine. For coffee and macaroons visit the adjoining Dzurt patisserie.
Address: Hari Bhawan, Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur-302001, Ph 9116642231
From a basic eating place to the chic sitting area in the old and new outlets, the makeover has attracted diners to enjoy a sumptuous meal at Handi. In spite of its location in the busiest MI Road with parking woes, it is thronged by tourists for the fiery laal maas, junglee maas and the bajra roti. Downstairs you could see big tandoors baking tandoori rotis. Though other cuisine introduced, stick to their original fare. It has carved a niche for non-vegetarian mughlai kebabs, tandoori and handi chicken.
Address: Handi Restaurant, Maya Mansion, opposite GPO, Mirza Ismael Road, Patrakar Colony, Ashok Nagar, Ph 0141 4917115
The finest place to dine for Chinese and oriental cuisine. As you enter the house, the colour red overwhelms from wall to ceiling and table cover, the earthy tone of the floor provides relief but overall, the décor impresses. With the option of sitting on chairs to the low-seating arrangement, a dragon mural watches from above. The delicious food, innovative presentation and attentive staff make the dining experience pleasurable. Try the dim sums, fresh basil chicken mince bao made of lotus flour and rice served in hollow bamboo. If you have a query on food, don’t be surprised if the chef comes to your table.
Address: Hotel Radisson Blu, Khasa Kothi Circle, Gopalbari, MI Road, Mo 9828503336
Timings: 12:30 PM-3 PM, 7:30 PM-11:30 PM
This is the ultimate fine dining experience at one of India’s best luxury hotels, the Rambagh Palace hotel. The Renaissance-style original dining room exudes European elegance with high ceilings, gilded mirrors, floral frescoes. The traditional royal food, classic music to heritage liqueur all give a vintage vibe. They serve Laal maas, dhundhar murg, dal bati churma, jodhpuri gate, ker sangri ki subzi, with epicurean dishes from Awadh, Hyderabad and Punjab regal past.
Address: Rambagh Palace hotel, Bhawani Singh Road, Ph 0141 2385700
Timings: Lunch 12:30 PM-3 PM; Dinner 7:30 PM-11:30 PM
The Peshawri at ITC Rajputana could transport you to the North-West frontier province with its barbecued specialities like peshawri kebab and baked bread like pudina parantha, lachha parantha and garlic nan. The earthy tone and shades of brown in the décor give it a rustic warmth that endears. The friendly staff ensure you have a pleasurable time. Remember to have their signature dish dal Bukhara, Sikandari naan, Barrah kebab, murgh malai kebab and tandoori jhinga.
Address: ITC Rajputana Hotel, Palace Road, Gopalbari, Ph 0141 5100100
Timings: Lunch 12:30 PM-2:45 PM, Dinner 7 PM-11:45 PM
If you really want to get transported to the royal past of Rajput grandeur and dine in the grandest of all, the Amber Palace, then go for 1135 AD restaurant inside the fort. Recreating the old-world charm with engraved furniture and grand chandeliers, it serves Rajasthani and Mughlai cuisine. Try the laal maas, badam shorba, mushroom galouti kebab and Junglee maas popular as ‘hunter’s delight’. Splurge in Thaal e Jodha, the finest local vegetarian delicacies served in a traditional silver thali.
Address: Level 2, Jaleb chowk, Near Sheela Mata Temple, Amber Palace, Amer, Mo 9829744416
Some of the best bars in Jaipur are situated in heritage premises giving an opportunity to visitors to wine and dine in royal grandeur.
It is a classic Italian café and bar inspired by an iconic Venetian café with a Sicilian garden. The colour scheme is enchanting. It has turquoise, white and saffron-hued interiors, and little tented pavilions outside where evening cocktails are served. A great place to chill with drinks and food. Have quinoa samosa with minced chicken and ravioli with pumpkin and walnut, pasta and panna cotta here. They serve a select list of speciality cocktails. Try their favourite Lulista (a coconut margarita) or the popular Marina Rossa, Savoia Spritz, Martini Bianco & Prosecco and lime.
Timings: 3 PM-midnight
The Shikaar Bagh
The bar and multicuisine restaurant in the Narain Niwas Palace has the vibe of an English hunting lodge. The wooden interiors with Persian carpets and the spacious outdoors with lush greenery and pretty terraces create a relaxed atmosphere. The refreshing signature drink at Shikaar Bagh is the Long Island iced tea cocktail popular as LIT. They make one jar by mixing vodka, white rum, tequila and gin in orange or cranberry juice and some coke.
Timings: 12:01 PM till 1 AM.
Bar Palladio and Shikaar Bagh are both in the Narain Niwas Palace premises.
Address: Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Ph 0141 2561291
Situated in the grand Rambagh Palace, the finest luxury heritage hotel has an elegant bar adorned with trophies and memorabilia of the royal past. The shelves are lined with the finest whiskies, single malts, cognacs, wines and Cuban cigars. They serve signature cocktails inspired by Polo sports.
Timings: 12 PM-11:45 PM
The Steam Lounge Bar
This is the classiest bar in Jaipur set on the Rambagh Palace grounds. An old steam engine has been restored and a Victorian railway station recreated around it. Try the wood-fired pizza and orange mint spritzer.
Timings: 6 PM-12 midnight
Address: Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Road
The bar at the majestic 18th-century Jai Mahal Palace built in the Indo-Saracenic style in the sprawling Mughal gardens has a chic elegance. It has a wide selection of classic and contemporary cocktails, aged single malts and Habanos cigars. You can try French sparkling wine, the Cinnamon Martini or request the bartender to make you an innovative cocktail. Norwegian smoked salmon salad and fish ‘n’ chips are popular finger foods to accompany drinks.
Address: Jai Mahal Palace, Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Ph 0141 6601111
Timings: 11 AM-11:45 PM
Considered as the best bar in town, the Aza bar at the Fairmont hotel has a hunting lodge vibe with a library having leather-bound books and deep leather wing chairs. It is known for its collection of vintage cognacs, rare single malts and a wine cellar. There is a signature ‘Maharaja’ collection of liqueurs in the bar.
Address: 2, Riico Kukas, Ph 0142 6420000
Timings: 5 PM-11 PM
This family multicuisine restaurant and bar is inside an impressive yellowish limestone and mortar heritage bungalow with turquoise blue railings and pillars. It is situated in Peelwa Garden. Any renovation is done by using recycled stones from the walled city, using minimal cement to retain the heritage structure. It has the youngest bar in town, registered in December 2019. Their signature cocktails are Townsend lemonade-vodka, lime juice and sugar syrup. The newest is Smokin Aces, a concoction of bourbon, apple juice, red wine and cinnamon stick.
Address: 1, Peelwa Garden, Moti Doongri Road, Ph 8824877200
Timings: 12 PM-12 AM
This is located in the heart of the city in the heritage Naila Bagh Palace, a former residence of Fateh Singh-ji, a former Prime Minister of Jaipur. With open lounge space and swimming pools, it makes the perfect venue for parties. Youngsters throng here for a vibrant nightlife scene. Cocktails, music, dance and partying go together. They have a good collection of Indian and international liqueurs.
Address: Naila Bagh Palace, Moti Doongri, Adarsh Nagar, Ph 9610330004
Timings: 1 PM-1 AM