It’s a lazy weekend morning in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. The area, which hosts one of India’s biggest art festivals in February, is a beautiful heritage neighbourhood full of interesting bylanes. As one wanders around, you pass by the statue of the majestic black horse for which the district is named, the landmark CD and record store, Rhythm House (why did it have to shut down!) and the blue and white Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue.
If you walk past the synagogue, you will hit Dr V.B. Gandhi Marg, a lane with chic boutiques and cafes at every turn, guaranteed to make you want to stop and smell the coffee. And yes, it doesn't just stop at smelling.
Here is our four-stop coffee trail of Kala Ghoda:
Kala Ghoda Cafe
This tiny café is a fixture in the area irrespective of the trendy new eateries that come and go. The wholesome desi waffles (made of amaranth, millet and brown rice flour) with chocolate sauce are delicious as is the pora pav, or a spicy Parsi-style omelette with ciabatta bread and butter.
This bistro is the right place if you’re looking for premium organic and plant-based foods. The café has great interiors, with exposed brick and sunlight streaming in through the big windows. Instead of regular coffee, try a refreshing matcha latte or one of their cold-pressed juices. Perfect poach, as the name suggests their poached eggs with avocado in apple cider vinegar sauce on sorghum taste, is a wholesome breakfast with nuanced flavours. For a sweet brunch, try the power bowl, a smoothie bowl with avocado, Peruvian cacao and topped with granola, raspberries and pomegranate seeds.
Bake House Café
This little eatery with its quirky, vintage décor and ambient lighting is a cosy place for brunch. Order the organic cold coffee with a chocolate croissant, one of the many baked goods they have on offer. The café also serves savoury breakfasts like the full packed protein breakfast with sausage, toast and baked beans and shakshouka eggs with salsa and peppers.
This restaurant may be a chain, with three other locations in Mumbai, but The Nutcracker, Kala Ghoda definitely has its own charm, with pink and white bougainvillaea greeting you as you walk up to the wooden shuttered doors. The Nutcracker has a unique aesthetic with its vintage patterned tiles and interesting décor. Think yellow stools suspended from the ceiling. Try their delicious breakfast foods like eggs Kejriwal (sunny side up on toast with cheese and mushrooms) or an everything bagel with jalapeno cream cheese. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, try out their lava shake, a Nutella milkshake with granola and a kick of caffeine.
Also read: On a Ramzan bread trail in Delhi