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My list of favourite places to eat in Pondicherry and Auroville

From a traditional Franco-Tamil home meal in Pondicherry to a food forest inside the bio-region in Auroville, there are gastronomic experiences like no other

A meal at Chez Pushpa in Pondicherry.
A meal at Chez Pushpa in Pondicherry.

For curious foodies, Pondicherry and Auroville offer menus that span across cultures; be it a traditional Franco-Tamil meal served on banana leaves, oven-fresh Italian pizzas, or Brittany-style sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes. Here are my list of places for a complete gastronomic experiences. 


Bread & Chocolate

Everybody’s favourite bakery and Mason & Co chocolate shop from Auroville has a second location in Pondicherry on Rue De La Marine. The Sourdough Pizza at the Pondy location is almost perfect, and the space is just meters away from the ocean. It has a high open roof, plenty of greenery and sea breeze wafts in. Don't miss the gourmet food store on your way out and pick up their iconic croissants.

Chez Pushpa

Local residents Anita de Canaga and her ­mother Pushpa (fondly known as Pushpa aunty) offer a traditional Pondicherian (Franco-Tamil) served on a banana leaf. My favourite dishes are the mutton sambar, the tamarind and coconut milk sauce and the pork vindali. Reservations need atleast 24 hours notice. For booking, mail

Shree Andhra Tiffins

For a delicious vegetarian lunch, this Andhra mess is a favourite among locals. It is located in a side street of the busy heritage town area of Pondy. The menu changes daily, and the podi rice with ghee is spectacular. If you make a polite request, they may even let you sample the gongura chutney or ulavacharu (horse gram curry) that’re usually reserved for regulars.

Crepe in touch

Crepe in touch, located in the heritage town area in Pondy, makes authentic Brittany-style sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes. They have a delicious herb butter that goes on most of their savoury crepes, and a rich caramel sauce for sweet crepes. This restaurant is seasonal, and you need to call ahead to check if they are open.

Theevu Plage

This shack on Serenity beach between Pondicherry and Auroville is one of the few places you have a well prepared and fresh seafood meal. Plan to spend a few hours here, because everything is cooked fresh as per your order. The sand lobster a la plancha and golden fried calamari are cooked to perfection. Do ask for extra a la plancha dipping sauce on the side.

Also read | Lounge Loves | Beyond The Boulevards Puducherry tales


Umami Kitchen

Chef Leo is the Tuscan behind this fantastic restaurant on the Auroville main road. Being Italian, his fresh tagliatelle pasta, slow cooked ragu, rucola pesto and carbonara are my favourites. Umami is one of the few restaurants in the area that prepare meat with care and attention. They also have a few Asian dishes on the menu, such as Chef Leo’s Thai curry which is made with keffir lime, lemongrass and chillies from his own garden.

Solitude Farm

This is a very special food forest inside the Auroville bio-region. Krishna, the founder and farmer behind Solitude, hosts a farm walk on Saturday mornings. Their lunch is truly farm-to-table; everything on your plate is grown on the land where the restaurant is situated on.

M&M Cheese Factory Store

This is not a full-fledged restaurant, but a cheese shop with a few secret lunch items for sale everyday. Apart from the aged and fresh cheeses prepared by the owners Massimo and Monica, look out for the lasagna, parmigiana, ravioli and mozzarella salad. They are only open till 2 pm and closed on Sunday. Take home a jar of their red pepper cream sauce for your next pasta night at home.


A small Italian deli and kitchen, Gastronomica makes a lunch item that changes everyday. I am partial to their fresh ravioli and burger patties. Their fridges are filled with locally prepared as well as imported meats, sauces, cheeses and desserts. Sometimes they make authentic Neapolitan pizza too.

Also read | Can Auroville become a model for cities of the future?

Near Pondicherry and Auroville

Molasses, Molasur Village, Tindivanam

This fantastic farm-to-table restaurant near Tindivanam is about a 40-minute drive from Pondicherry. The location truly allows one to disconnect and unwind in nature. If you are lucky, you can meet the cows and chickens. Molasses is run by the food-loving entrepreneur, Rachna Rao. The restaurant accepts bookings a day in advance for groups of 6 or more.

My preferred food option is the banana leaf meal, which includes multiple vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian preparations locally sourced or grown on the farm. My favourite is the foraged Brahmi chutney with chorizo vada, and the farm-grown black rice pongal for dessert. To book, contact them on Instagram, @molasses_india.

The Farm, Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), Chennai

The Farm is ideal for a stop on your way to Pondy from the Chennai airport. They make fantastic aged and fresh cheeses with milk from their cows and buffalos that graze on their pastures next door. The restaurant menu is full of comforting dishes from the owner's travels and family favourites. There's bamboo shoot pork curry, a Sindhi aloo tuk, a Malwani seafood thali, a silken tofu sourced from their favourite local Japanese restaurant and pizza using their fantastic mozzarella.

Mansi Reddy heads Brand & Marketing at Mason & Co and Bread & Chocolate. She has been living near Pondicherry for seven years.

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