Whoever said ‘the morning shows the day’ was a foodie. Let’s say, a foodie on a journey across India. And we can assume that the day went rather well if the foodie started it with breakfast at some of the places we have listed here. The range of choices is as alluring as the medley of flavours. The sights and sounds that accompany the breakfast certainly add to the experience.
Here are our top choices:
1) Appam and mutton stew at Koshy’s, Bengaluru: Sunday mornings have never been the same since this Bengaluru institution came along in 1940. You have to see the rush to believe that patrons don’t mind waking up in the wee hours on a Sunday for this classic combo. Be there well before 9am.
St Mark’s Road; Ph 080 2291 5840
2) Chinese breakfast, Kolkata: At the crack of dawn, foodies are often seen driving down to Kolkata’s central business district. At Tiretti Bazaar, the heart of Kolkata’s old Chinese quarters, a delicious spread of chicken broth, dumplings, rice pudding, shrimp pooris (!) and fish-ball soup awaits eager taste buds. Makeshift stalls jostle for space on the busy thoroughfare and food is served on paper plates out of steaming aluminium vessels. Early birds will go home happy; the breakfast is almost always over by 6.30am.
3) Parsi food at Jimmy Boy, Mumbai: If leisurely breakfast is more your style, then Jimmy Boy, a much-loved Parsi joint, is where you should head. Nothing stirs here before 11am, so you have enough time to drive down to the heritage-rich Horniman Circle at Fort. Start with a cola from a local Parsi brand while the waiters get you a Salli Per Edu — a beautiful combination of fried potato straws and eggs — and Bun Maska. Wash it down with the creamy Irani chai.
Vikas Building, Bank Street, Horniman Circle, Fort; Ph 022 22662503
4) Continental fare at Tryst Café, Chennai: Whooshing down the East Coast Road, stop for a taste of the Continent by the beachside suburbs of Chennai. Choose from quiches, omelettes (Spanish, classic cheese and mushroom and more) to a variety of warm breads and rolls and croissant (the apple and almond croissant offer a subtle flavour to the chocolate Danish) make for a breakfast treat. Not surprising the number of Europeans who descend for their morning espresso and croissant here.
Neelankarai, Gatsby Village, East Coast Road; Ph (0) 90251 07753
5) Sunrise Skillet at All American Diner, New Delhi: If you like to ring in the morning with bright colours, this is the place to be: chessboard floor, cherry-hued stools and red sofas. And as you go through the menu, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop and a host of other faces literally look down on you from the walls. You can start healthy if you like (there are cereals, oatmeal and fresh juices), but the Sunrise Skillet is what we’d vote for. It’s a feast on a plate: eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes and cheeses. To work off the calories (count them in thousands), walk down to the sprawling Lodi Garden nearby for a few rounds.
India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road; Ph 011 4366 3163
Aditi Sengupta is Delhi based and is a senior commissioning editor at Lonely Planet India. The article also has inputs from Sudha G Tilak a consultant editor for Lonely Planet India.