Sip Through Time: Exploring 5 Oldest Cafes in India

By Saniya Baxi | 04, Sep, 2023
Sip Through Time: Exploring 5 Oldest Cafes in India

India has had a long and profound history with tea and coffee for centuries. Due to the social nature of the Indian people, it wasn’t a surprise that cafés started booming across the country decades ago. They served as gathering places where people would come together and talk while enjoying their coffee! 

Luckily, some of these old cafés are still running and working today, giving us a sense of the history and rich culture of India. So, here are some of the oldest cafés in the country.

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1. Leopold Cafeleopold cafe

Image Credit: Whats Hot India

Address: Police Station, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, near Colaba, Mumbai

Google Ratings: 4.2 Stars (27,914 Reviews)

Located in Mumbai, Leopold Cafe is one of the oldest cafés in India. It was established back in 1871 by the Iranis and it is still open today regardless of everything it’s been through. This 151-year-old cafe is very popular among tourists and locals for many reasons.  

In 2008, this cafe was one of the targets of a terrorist attack that ended up killing 164 people in Mumbai. 6 visitors and 2 staff members were killed in this extremely unfortunate event. 

Despite everything, the café opened again only 4 days later, showing resilience and standing in the face of terror. Moreover, the owners decided to leave the bullet holes unrepaired to stay as a reminder of this tragic attack. Proving that the cafe could withstand time and different conditions, giving a unique historical value.

The atmosphere is lively and the staff is friendly. They offer a huge menu with a wide range of foods and drinks from different cultures to suit every taste. Do take note that they're also selling alcoholic beverages, therefore, it is advisable to check for their ingredients with the staff before dining in.


2. The Indian Coffee House, Kolkata

Address: 15, Bankim Chatterjee St, College Square West, College Street, Kolkata

Google Ratings: 4.1 Stars (34,507 Reviews)

The Indian Coffee House is the oldest cafe in Kolkata. It was first founded in 1876 and it was called Albert Hall, then in 1942, it was converted into a coffee house. It is an iconic place in the area and a nostalgic hotspot for all the locals around. 

It’s been popular among great artists, political leaders, poets, and writers for years. For instance, the Indian economist Amartya Sen and the director Satyajit Ray used to be regular visitors to this coffee house. 

They don’t only serve coffee but also a wide variety of food items like fish kabiraji, chicken chowmein, chicken cutlet, original Kolkata snacks, and more. The prices are also very cheap and affordable for everyone. They close their doors at 9 PM, so make sure you visit before then. 


3. Flury’s, Kolkataflurys kolkata

Image Credit: Pradip Sanyal on Telegraph India

Address: 18A, Park St, Park Street area, Kolkata

Google Ratings: 4.3 Stars (11,018 Reviews)

Flury’s is another famous cafe in Kolkata that was founded by a Swiss couple back in 1927. They’re loved for their amazing hot chocolate, donuts, and omelets. They also serve great breakfasts, desserts, cakes, and cold and hot drinks.

It is very popular among celebrities and Kortaka’s locals as well. The Indian director Satyajit Ray was rumored to visit this cafe for breakfast every Sunday. Thanks to the great success of this cafe, they’ve opened 14 other counters in Kolkata and other branches in the big cities. 


4. Moti Mahal, Delhi

Address: 3704, Netaji Subhash Marg, Old Dariya Ganj, Daryaganj, New Delhi

Google Ratings: 3.9 Stars (4,387 Reviews)

Moti Mahal is one of the oldest spots in Delhi. The decorations inside the restaurant are the same since the restaurant was founded back in 1947. You can feel the authenticity and get a sense of the past once you step inside. 

Even the menu is still untouched since the opening days of the place. You have to try their finger-licking butter chicken, which is the dish they’re most famous for. 

However, make sure you visit the authentic branch and not another one of the many rivals with the same name. 


5. Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, BengaluruBrahmin's Coffee Bar

Image Credit: Surya Devan/Facebook on Whats Hot India

Address: XH39+HH2, Ranga Rao Rd, Near Shankar Mutt, Shankarapura, Bengaluru

Google Ratings: 4.5 Stars (20,530 Reviews)

Brahmin’s Coffee Bar was founded in Bengaluru in 1965 by Narasimha Rao. His wife has been supervising the making of every item served since the café opened its doors. 

The place is known for its high-quality items and its rapid popularity was simply through word of mouth. They don’t have chairs, so you can see many people standing around the place, chatting with their cups of coffee in hand.  

They have a Zomato rating of 4.9 stars and they are very famous for their filtered coffee and great chutney. 


Final Thoughts 

Whether you are an Indian local who wants to get nostalgic or a tourist who wants to get a sense of the past, you should pay a visit to India’s oldest cafés. Get a glimpse of India’s rich culture and remarkable food as well. 

You can also meet the locals who’ve been regular to these cafés for years and listen to their stories and beautiful memories!


Cover Image Credit: Maria Orlova on Pexels

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