How many of these amazing cafes in Kala Ghoda have you been to? By Karan Kaushik
Fort, Mumbai‘s oldest business district is named after 18th-century fortifications built by the British. The area’s entrance is marked by the Flora Fountain. The Kala Ghoda area of Fort, just down MG Road from Regal Cinema continues to be a hub of cultural activity and a throbbing urban node.
It is home to institutions like the Jehangir Art Gallery, Prince of Wales Museum, David Sassoon Library, Bombay Natural History Society, and National Gallery of Modern Art, to name a few. The popular Kala Ghoda Art Festival is also held here every year. Being the cultural centre that it is, Kala Ghoda is also blessed with a cluster of iconic cafes across cuisines and budgets.
10 Cafes in Kala Ghoda every foodie must visit
Located on Ropewalk Street, Kala Ghoda Cafe has a nice intimate ambiance with lovely white walls and big glass doors looking out on the street, a place to settle in with your laptop. Try the French toast, the lovely sprouts salad, blueberry muffins, chicken jungli, and ham and cheese sandwiches.
In meals, try the mutton stew or chicken pot pie. They also serve a healthier version of waffles, which are gluten-free. Other popular dishes include Pesto Cheddar Melt, KGC Chef’s Salad, and Hot Chocolate. All the coffees are great. The back of the cafe doubles up as an art gallery.
Where: 10, Ropewalk Lane, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Priya Krishnamoorthy/Instagram
Featuring exposed brick walls embellished with framed vintage photographs, this outpost of the popular bar chain offers a rustic wooden ambiance. They are known for their extensive variety of brews. They also organise sports screenings on a big TV screen and you’ll never complain about their music either. The cafe is located on a stretch called Rampart Row.
The iconic cafe continues to be an all-time favourite after-work drinking spot. Try their impressive range of imported draft beers. Their menu features European, American, Continental, and Finger Food. Their barbeque dishes are mouth-watering too.
Where: Level 2, Rampart Row, 30, K Dubash Marg, above Royal Oak Banquets, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Akash Singh/Instagram
Located near the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, the iconic Bake House Cafe will impress you with its old-world charm. The building of the cafe features a beautiful Europeanesque facade decorated with paned wooden doors and vintage windows. Equal importance has been given to the interiors, which feature framed retro pictures of Mumbai and art-deco tiles.
Popular dishes on their menu include their Cheddar Mushroom and Asparagus Omelette, Shakshouka, Classic Eggs Florentine, and Sugar Doughnuts. Their Mac N Cheese Pizza, Harissa Chicken Supreme, and Butter Garlic Prawns are highly recommended too. Bake House Cafe also serves a range of delicious smoothies and shakes.
Where: Chamber of Commerce Ln, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Footprints and Forks
This all-day bakery cafe will impress you with its super fresh and healthy fare. They promote the use of local produce. Their European-styled fare uses the freshest domestic ingredients available, from organic seasonal veggies, country eggs to single-origin Indian coffees and teas with an aim to re-introduce their diners to the fine taste and quality of ingredients in their very own country.
The cafe’s interiors feature white walls and furniture with French windows. Must-try preparations include their quiches, puffs, artisanal sandwiches, hummus bowls, vegetable lasagne, and roasted chicken. From their dessert menu, try the chocolate ganache and flourless chocolate cake.
Where: Plot No. 14, Ground Floor, Yashwanth Chambers Military Square Lane, B Bharucha Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Rhea Pretty Little Blog/ Instagram
Featuring quirky decor and chic ambiance, 145 Cafe is super famous for its range of amazing freak shakes. Their menu features everything from North Indian and Chinese to Modern Indian, American, Mexican, and Asian. But most people visit for their desserts and shakes.
Popular dishes at 145 Cafe include Mighty Oreo Shake, Cookie Shot, Paneer Pasanda Bao, Pav Bhaji Cone, Chicken Makhani Bao, and Thai Vegetable Curry. Among their freak shakes, the Cookie Dough Freakshake is their bestseller. The cafe also boasts a Billiard Table which makes for a nice spot to enjoy their variety of cocktails and mocktails.
Where: Temple Bar Building, 145, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: 145 Cafe and Bar
This legendary cafe was established in 1933 and continues to attract food lovers with its lip-smacking Parsi delicacies and old-world charm. The cafe lies on the border of Kala Ghoda and Fort and has managed to retain its vintage vibes with black wooden furniture and checkered table covers. The cafe is nothing less than a paradise for meat lovers.
Their Parsi and Mughlai fare is worth writing home about. Popular preparations include Dhansak, Salli Boti, and Keema Biryani. They also serve chilled beer, which goes well with their meat preparations like Kheema Pao. Their creamy caramel custard is very popular among patrons. So are their red Parsi raspberry drinks served in old-school glass bottles.
Where: Alli Chambers, Nagindas Master Road, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Cafe Military/Instagram
Sequel Bistro & Juice Bar is an organic, farm-t0-fork, vegan-friendly restaurant known for its farm-fresh produce. Their recipes are completely gluten-free, additive-free, and refined sugar-free. They aim to promote holistic living with clean yet delectable eating. The interiors of the cafe feature a high-rising ceiling embellished with air-purifying plants.
They also have a Grab and Go fridge, for people who are in a hurry and don’t mind self-service. Popular dishes include Avocado Punch, Power Bowl, and the Sequel Tartine. They also serve delicious desserts like Raw Avo Mousse. Their Nice Cream is heavenly and so are their fresh all-natural smoothies. You must also try their Kashmiri saffron-infused almond milk and their wholesome smoothie bowls.
Where: Ground Floor, Upadrastha House, Dr. VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: The Blissful Memoir/ Instagram
An outpost of the popular breakfast eatery chain, The Nutcracker is famous for its extensive egg menu, burgers, and desserts. The quaint little cafe has a very bohemian vibe to it and serves fresh and wholesome food. You will absolutely love its old-world charm.
Popular offerings include Pancakes and Maple Syrup, Buttermilk Pancakes, Blackbean burgers, Lebanese Sandwiches, Nutcracker, and Belgian Hot Chocolate. Their classic Blackbean burger is a must-try too. They make great post-workout breakfast egg dishes. Their indulgent bagels and light avocado and brekkie bowls are also worth trying.
Where: Dr, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: The Nutcracker/Instagram
Tucked away in the charming bylanes of Kala Ghoda, Aka Bistro serves delicious and authentic European, Italian and Spanish fare. The restaurant is spread across two floors. The dining space is large and receives abundant natural light. The upper floor also houses an apparel store. Their menu features a range of healthy offerings like Quinoa and Cauliflower Cous Cous Salad, Seared Tofu, and Broccoli Cakes.
Their Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Fondue are delicious. The all-day breakfast menu has dishes like Wild Mushroom and Feta Omellete, Cereal Bowls, Huevos Rancheros, to name a few. They also have an interestingly-named non-alcoholic drinks range. Given the textile background of their owner, their drinks have names like Tanned Leather and Yellow Muslin.
Where: 123, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: AKA Bistro
This old-school family-owned Irani bakery is famed for its Persian breads, baked treats, and tea. The cafe is housed in a gorgeous blue coloured colonial building, which used to house a bank in the 1940s. The interiors are charming too, thanks to the vintage posters and tables adorned with antique fixtures.
With its high ceilings, simple furniture, poster-clad walls, and tempting aroma of freshly-baked desserts, Yazdani Bakery provides a quintessential old-world everyday dining Bombay experience. You can’t afford to miss their hot toasted buns soaked in butter with a cup of hot chai. Their Khari biscuits and apple pie are also to die for. So are their ginger biscuits and buttery bun maska.
Where: 11A, Cawasji Patel Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Image courtesy: Yazdani Bakery/Instagram