Eating out in Auroville

I spent all in all a month in Auroville, and during this time I gained many experiences about eating out. So happy to share 🙂

Sustainance Farm – the cheapest and best

This little farm is just the best. It is located on the ring road around Auroville, you may recognize it from an inviting blue gate. What is special about his little organic farm? As much as I know, in their small family restaurant they are cooking with the vegetables which are of perfect quality but just not spectacular enough to sell in the shops. And since these are the “waste” vegetables, the food they are cooking, they sell extremely cheap. An amazing unlimited veg thali (rice, Papad, dahl (lentils), and one or two vegetable dishes) served on banana leaf costs INR 60 only (2017 Spring). Since the thali is unlimited, you need to arrive in time (between noon and 1pm if I remember well) because later the choice and the quantity may be limited too. And… if you stay in a place where you also have kitchen, you may be happy to know that you can also buy organic vegetables at this farm, on very very good price. You only need to tell them about your needs the day before.

For idli and dosa

  • Those little stalls with near the Visitor’s Center Parking lot

There are two little food and tea stalls near the entrance of Auroville at Visitor’s  Center Parking lot, where you can buy idli for INR 5 with amazing coconut- and mint-tomato chutney. Well, in the mint-tomato chutney this place is in competition with the little restaurant which is right on the other side of the road (I don’t remember the name. Not even sure they have a name. But I  remember that on the sign the plain (dosa or whatever) was spelled “plane” :-). And they have some hens and a huge rooster around). Here the best way to try the chutney is with some dosa, which you can buy for INR 15 only.

These are local places so I would advise to try them only if you have already spent some time in India. I remember the scene when I saw that a cow was drinking of the water which they used for washing the dishes. But I have never had any health problems here and haven’t heard of any from others either.

  • Dosa Corner in the Visitor’s Center

Although the prices just cannot be as good as in the little local place mentioned above, the variety is all the more amazing at this small place right next to the place where you can rent bicycles in the Visitor’s Center. They have so many chutney and not only the regular dosa made of rice flour but also the one with ragi (http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/benefits-of-ragi-a-wonder-grain-1400676)

Verite Guesthouse – the healthiest 

When I first arrived in Auroville, I stayed at Verite Guesthouse. It was not cheap but the romantic little bungalows scattered around in a beautiful park were just adorable, just like the food. I am still convinced it was the best possible start of an Indian journey because the cuisine was healthy ayurvedic one somewhere on the edge of Indian and European taste with the best ragi bread, organic peanut butter and jams (the favourite was the chicco with ginger) loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, washed in bio-dynamic water, so no worries about food poisoning. The only problem is that as much I know the restaurant is open only to the guest who stay there. Bust still may be worth a try 🙂

There is wifi in the common room but it is very poor. And I don’t know whether it was because of the weather or some other reason (I was here in January when it was raining sometimes and then visited other places of Auroville in April when there was not a drop of rain), but there were crazy lot of ants, some of them even tempted by something in my notebook – someone told me they like the paper in the keyboard.

Well Cafe – If you like both eating and dancing

Well, I am just in love with Well Cafe. Had so beautiful memories here. My first party in all India, the first time stomping bare-foot on the beautiful red earth of Auroville. The party is free, just as the drinking water. As for food….they have nice falafel, soups and so so wonderful vanilla-strawberry cake. These are at almost European price, but really worth. And btw the cafe belongs to a beautiful community, the Wellpaper Community, who are supporting local woman to make handicrafts from used paper. Just amazing

African Pavilion

If Thursday evening, African Pavilion. The drum circles organized here every week are crazy dancing and community experiences. There is some entry fee, but was glad to pay every time. I have never tried the food here (was always more into dancing than eating), but have heard legends about it.

Solitude Farm

I was here only once for a Jazz Concert, which was a really special experience. They often have live music and nice food too.

If you have a sweet tooth

  • Naturell Cafe

It was so close to Verite…And they had the most amazing home made mango and peanut butter ice cream… Hmmm… and frozen Tiramisu. It is definitely worth a try. And they were making amazing organic tofu among others, sold in the little shop of the community.

I have never tried the food here, but the Italian pastas smelled just amazing, definitely will try next time. The prices are almost European, like in most of Auroville.

  • Ganesh Bakery

I just loved some of the cookies in this bakery which you could buy in small packs perfect for travelling. My favourite ones were the Cardamom hearts, and the Vanilla ones (these were vegan) and sometimes they also had cookies with ragi and jaggery. Ragi is a special cereal of South India which is said to be very healthy. And it is also very delicious. Jaggery is a natural sweetener made of the sugar cane, sometimes a bit liquid, sometimes dry, just in big lumps. Has a taste reminding of coffee and caramel and has less carbohydrate, absorbing more slowly. In India it is usually very difficult to eat healthy, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Indian people just love sugar, everything is full of it. But in Tamil Nadu you may find some options with jaggery. At least around Auroville.

In the Ganesh Bakery there was also a quite nice apple pie and vegan nut cake, but when it comes to croissants e.g., you need to be aware that it has not much in common with real croissants. Maybe the shape and some ingredients. The prices are almost European here too.

  • Auroville Bakery

 

Well, this is one of the places where sometimes you can have real croissants and crazy delicious cakes. And the restaurant behind the bakery is just lovely. And it is in the green belt of Auroville, so whenever I came here for something sweet, I did it without feeling guilty because I knew the earthy pleasure will come after and followed by a long bike ride. 🙂 Prices are almost European here too.

  • Bread and Chocolate

 

This is the place where I have never been, because as I have heard the prices are not almost European but even a bit expensive on a European level. But I have heard also legends about the sweets and breakfasts served here.

  • Gelato Factory

There is a huge variety of amazing home-made ice-cream at a really cute place. A real Europen ice-cream shop in India. The prices are also almost European but at least once you definitely need to try. It is close to Auroville Bakery so if once you wanna make a sweet tour or have a really bad day and you need some nice retreat for yourself, the best option.

Dreamer’s Cafe – The best coffee and the best WIFI in Auroville

 

Well, in Auroville Dreamer’s Cafe is the ultimate place for WIFI and coffee 🙂 The Indian milk coffee was even good priced but the Western styles had western prices too. There are also some amazing cakes and if you are lucky, you can even get a nice croissant. And I had here one of the most expensive and most delicious masala chai in all India.

 

 

 

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