1. Winterfell Café
There’s no question in saying that Game Of Thrones has won hearts for not only international viewers but has taken a clean sweep over Indian hearts. A portrayal of medieval European aesthetic shown in the series has now taken over a local Kashmiri themed restaurant, “The Winterfell café”. If you are a GOT lover, this place is a go-to destination. Located at the magnificent boulevard road, this place part from offering intricate designs in the café, the food offered is palatable. You cannot dare to miss their appetizing chicken Alfredo pasta, wrap and coffee. Not only this, this place organizes a lot of open mics and enthralling jam sessions. So, while you’re on your trip to Kashmir, don’t forget to visit this commendable hotspot.
2. CHAI JAAI:
Located on historic “Bund” in the heart of the Srinagar city, Chai Jaai is an abode for any tea lover. Not only will it amaze you with the food it provides, but the ambiance provided in this tea room is so pleasing to the eyes and truly speaks of Kashmiri beauty, its culture, art and of course world appreciated papier mache which is designed on the walls of this tea room. Not only does this place speak of Kashmiri culture, but it surely has some British aesthetics linked in the room. It serves around 8 disparate varieties of tea (including the Kashmir pink salt tea), Kashmir’s traditional bakery which includes “Kulcha and Shirmal”. Apart from the magnificent tea that they have, they offer you Kashmir’s famous non-veg cuisine, “Harrissa” in handcrafted copper works. This place has created an indelible imprint!
3. 14th Avenue Cafe Grill & Bakeshop
Decked on the banks of River Jhelum, 14th Avenue Café is a go-to place for every food and bakery lover. This small quaint locale can be a surprise for any food lover, and can very well suit your palate. From finger licking classic Mexican Pizza to succulent blueberry cheesecake, this place is a destination to abandon your taste buds and also enjoy the scenic beauty of River Jhelum close to your eyes. The hospitality provided in the restaurant can clearly speak of a lot of efforts being put forth for customer satisfaction and the décor makes it more comfortable to be in. So, if you’re travelling to Srinagar, going to 14th avenue is a must!
4. Gulshan- The Book Shop The Coffee Shop
Unlike other cafés of the city, this book and café shop is located on an island, converted to park, in the Srinagar’s famous Dal Lake. The quaint thing about this place is that you need to get there by a shikara and that is what makes it more alluring. In the middle of Dal lake, surrounded by the Shankaracharya, Zabarwan and Kohimaran mountains, this beautiful place provides a panoramic view that is pleasing and refreshing to the eyes. Not only is it famous for the café, but, it is a go-to destination for book lovers. The fusion of books with the aroma of coffee dazzles and mesmerizes your soul. This place hoards a wide selection of English-language books including plenty on Kashmiri history and politics. If you’re in Kashmir, a place of historic essence, you can pick a book from history and enjoy a sip of tea with a magnificent view of snow-capped mountain peaks.
5. BOOKS AND BRICKS CAFÉ
Nestled between the hustle and bustle of Srinagar’s Gogji Bagh area, this café takes you back to the time of colonial era with the touch of Wild West. The ambience offered by the café takes you to the American delight. The ambience provided by the place in itself creates an illusion of books and can keep one busy for the time till the delicious food is right on your table. This place has been concocted so well that a bite of lamb burger, served on the wood platter, with a modern classic in your hand makes you feel no less than being in heaven. With its polished furniture , noteworthy wallpapers and exquisite food, Books and Bricks café really lives to its name!
Located in a historic building, on the Bund of river Jhelum, Goodfellas is a café in its kind. This place offers you a perfect amalgamation of art, culture and exquisite food. A feel with heritage craft on the windows with intricate trellis work, acclaimed art from Kashmiri culture, crafted with snazzy and contemporary artwork is a treat to offer with the mouth-watering delicacies provided in the menu. This café has been sketched with a distinctive touch and cultural legacy. A variety of food is offered in this lit place which includes the Kashmiri special “Nun Chai” (salt tea) to freshly baked pastries. The café is a go-to place for music lovers as the walls of this place are always enchanting soulful tracks from young Kashmiri artists.
7. The Other Side Café:
A pure perception of fine dine, the Other Side Café located in the heart of Srinagar city, Lal Chowk, has been winning hearts of food lovers with their succulent dishes and cuisines. The ambience provided by this place has a hint of Kashmiriyat to it by the craft of Chinar leaves engraved on the walls and ceiling. Ranging from scrumptious chicken peri peri pizza to finger licking shawarma, this place has food to satiate your every need. For our tea lovers, they offer you varieties of masala chai and the famous “Kashmiri kahwa”, luscious enough to float your boat. They offer a variety of Iranian, Lebanese and Palestinian retreats. Not only this, this place does offer you a service of providing toothsome and glamorous cakes. If you’re in Kashmir and have an anniversary or a birthday coming up, don’t forget to customise a cake from them. You can sit back and relax in the cosy environment with soothing melodies and delicious food!
8. COFFEA ARABICA:
An outlet of Srinagar’s famous hotel Broadway, Coffea Arabica is one of the go-to destinations for school/college goers and high-class businessmen and employees. From your everyday cravings of mouth-watering chocolate cakes and coffee to savoury Lebanese shawarma, this half-timbered place is deceivingly spacious with tasteful aesthetics in its interiors to give you a to joy to relish forever. This place perhaps is considered to be the pioneer to introduce café and grill concept to the Srinagar city. The quaint ambience with dark and wooden arches, offers you a touch of colonial era. Lamb shawarma, Falafel, Shishtouk are must-haves of this beautifully lit place. The well designed and maintained interiors of this two-storied café fabricate an aura where one can slog and enjoy for quite some hours.
9. CAFÉ COFFEE DAY:
Country’s favourite hangout for coffee and conversations, Café coffee day is an added delight to the beauty of Kashmir. The irresistible aroma of coffee you smell when you enter this place, brings the real magic and you’re appetized enough to feel the aura in this place and enjoy your cosy stay. CCD, as remembered by the coffee lovers, is the best place where you can hang out with friends, or have a business meeting and make conversations over steaming cups of amazing coffee. So, if you’re in Kashmir, do stop by any outlet to get a taste from back home.
10. GROUND ZERO – CAFÉ & GRILL:
Located at the centre point of Srinagar’s famous hustle and bustle area, Ground Zero, as the name suggests, is a common hotspot for any gastronome. This exotic place has been beautifully built with unique designs treasuring the wooden walls. This multi-cuisine restaurant, besides a variety of local, Chinese and continental serves famous “Kahwa & Nun Chai”, the traditional tea as well. While you’re on your way to visit this place, don’t forget to taste their signature dish, which is made from the wood-fired ovens using scrumptious meat with their special and unique marinating technique!
11. HUKUS BUKUS:
With such a nostalgic name, bringing you back to your childhood days, Hukus Bukus, a theme based café with a modernised industrial look has paved off the old concepts of having a room for a café. This café is an open space located in the backyard, where one can relax in fresh air and enjoy delicious food and coffee. This garden café has a wide variety of food to offer. The exotic delicacies ranging from Patthar Gosht (Hyderabadi) to Chicken Alfaham (Lebanese) besides Tandoori delicacies, Pasta-Alfredo/Arabiata, Mojitos, Coffee and more are a treat to offer from this place. This place is differently themed altogether and the delicacies offered are worth trying for!
12. URTH CAFÉ:
A blend of Kashmiri culture and modern garnish, Urth café decked on the banks of River Jhelum will leave any visitor passing by dumbstruck with the décor of this place. The ornate interiors, scrumptious food and astonishing drinks are proficient enough to make the food lovers happy. From Shawarma, Chicken and Jalapeno Pizza, Charmoula Trout, shakes, teas, to Hookah, the speciality of this place, you’ll find everything that will float your boat. If you want a breathing place from your daily life slogging, Urth café is a go-to destination!
13. MOTOR CAFÉ:
Crafted with the theme of motor, Motor Café, located in the city’s posh area of Rajbagh, is a well-bred concept and a habitat for motor lovers. A café to the core, with a soul of wheel engine, this café not only looks like a part of motor, but the comfortable seating is the same as your car. That makes this café one of its kinds. Painted with warm colours, this café offers you scrumptious food from succulent burgers to mouth-watering milkshakes. For those who love tasty food and thematic ambience, it’s a go-to place for Y’all!
Article by Taha Firdous