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Best restaurants in Fort Kochi: Where to eat in Fort Kochi
Friday, March 13th, 2015

By Sudha Mathew

Fort Kochi is my favourite “old city” in India.  Its well-preserved mix of colonial architectural styles, seaside location and laidback atmosphere are the reasons why I and countless others love it. Another compelling reason is the wonderful lineup of places to eat in Fort Kochi. Having access to fresh catch is a big factor in making it a popular foodie destination. But in particular, the atmosphere and décor of the best restaurants in Fort Kochi elevates it in the ranking stakes, if like in my case, the stomach plans your holidays. Art galleries, unused piers and heritage buildings of tea companies all feature in this list of the 7 best restaurants in Fort Kochi.

Old Harbour Hotel at Tower Road

Old Harbour Hotel has the loveliest garden restaurant in Fort Kochi with verdant greenery, flowers, butterflies and a pool glinting in the foreground. I’ve gone several times over the years and no matter which season, it’s always superbly maintained. The Old Harbour Hotel is a 300 year old heritage building, owned by the Dutch and British in earlier times. During the day, you have a choice of tables in the cool shaded restaurant or in the sun kissed garden. While in evenings, the garden lights come on and turn it into an enchanting dinner venue with occasional musical performances. Menu is small, dominated by seafood and oriented towards milder tastes.

 WHAT TO EAT:

  • Seafood and more seafood. Given their access to fresh catch, go with simple preparations like grilled or flash fried allowing the fresh seafood to stand out.
  • If you are not a fish-etarian, then the salads are good and so is the beef fillet.

MAIN CUISINE: European

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year, preferably make reservation if going for dinner. PHONE: 0484 221 8006

BEST RESTAURANTS IN FORT KOCHI

Kashi Art Café at Burger Street

Possibly the best known cafe in Fort Kochi, it actually lives up to its reputation of fresh good food and quirky arty ambience. You enter the café through the art gallery with paintings and installations. The totem like statue of the heads fascinates me. Service is slow but is part of the organic charm of this peaceful cafe.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • Chocolate cake, cold coffee, iced tea, farmers omlette, French toast are the popular orders here. You won’t go wrong with them.
  • Breakfasts are available till 6:30 pm so if you are looking for an inexpensive yet yummy meal that’s a good option.

MAIN CUISINE: European

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE: 0484 221 5769

BEST RESTAURANTS IN FORT KOCHI

Fort House restaurant at Calvathy Road

Not one of the popular “names” in Fort Kochi but its trump card is its utterly charming setting on an unused pier with an unhindered ocean view. The restaurant is housed in the Fort House hotel.  The menu stars Kerala cuisine but is toned down to suit the milder tastes of overseas guests.  Go for dinner to enjoy the waterside setting but carry repellent or ask them to burn a mosquito coil next to your table.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • Prawn mango curry, appams, fried calamari
  • For dessert, try the stewed figs with vanilla ice-cream.
  • They don’t have an alcohol license.

MAIN CUISINE: Indian, Kerala

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE: +91 484 22 17 103, +91 484 22 17 173

Best restaurants in Fort Kochi

Teapot Café at Peter Celli Road

Teapot café is all about the décor. It’s a quaint old-fashioned island home filled with teapots of every size and shape. And if you’re lucky, you might spot a kitten or two peeping in through the old fashioned wooden windows. There’s an even an attic converted to a seating area up a steep flight of stairs.

They have a tiny food menu with cakes, a few Kerala dishes and sandwiches.  My advice is skip the food and stick to a cup of tea or cold coffee. The good and bad thing about Tea Pot café is its service. It is slow and takes a while to get your order but on the other hand, that makes it the perfect place to catch up, read a book, write your diary, and especially to daydream about future visits to Fort Kochi.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • A good range of teas. I liked their house blend.
  • I’ve heard the sandwiches are not bad. I’d say skip the cakes.

MAIN CUISINE: European Cafe

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE: 0484 2218035

BEST RESTAURANTS IN FORT KOCHI

Vivanta by Taj at Willingdon Island

A meal at Vivanta by Taj (better known by its old name, Taj Malabar) would in all probability be rated as your “fanciest” meal in Fort Kochi. With a superlative harbour view location, this five star hotel has several options but I would include Dolphin’s Point and Rice Boat in my list of best restaurants in Fort Kochi. Dolphin’s Point is an open air restaurant by the sea, perfect for an early evening drink and nibbles or a barbeque dinner. The Rice Boat is their seafood specialty restaurant with a show kitchen. They will prepare fresh catch the way you want. No matter which restaurant you choose, the star of the show is the ocean view. Even if you don’t want a pricey meal, my tip is go for a drink and have your fill of the view.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • Seafood all the way

MAIN CUISINE: Indian and International

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE:  +91 484 664 3000

BEST RESTAURANTS IN FORT KOCHI

Dal Roti at Napier Street

If you have been in Fort Kochi for a while and are craving a change from the local cuisine, Dal Roti is a good option. Finding authentic rotis, parathas and curries in Kerala is not very easy so Dal Roti’s food comes as a pleasant surprise. To add to the pleasure, it is very reasonably priced. However, the inevitable crowds are to be expected at such a popular place. Decor is simple but sweet.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • Kathi rolls
  • Thali

MAIN CUISINE: North Indian

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE: +91 9746459244

David Hall near Parade Ground

David Hall is an anomaly in both the categories it occupies, art gallery and café because of its the limited variety but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve a place in the best restaurants in Fort Kochi. David Hall is even more relaxed than the norm in laidback Fort Kochi. The exposed brick décor, blackboard menu, garden setting complement the wood fired pizza oven, which is the centerpiece of the limited menu. It’s a great place for a non-fussy dinner or afternoon tea.

WHAT TO EAT:

  • Earth Pizza or any of the thin crust pizzas
  • Iced tea, quiches, fish tacos
  • Skip the cakes and doughnuts

MAIN CUISINE: European

SPICE LEVEL: European palate

INFO: Open all year. PHONE: 0484 2218298

David hall restaurant in Fort Kochi

End Note: There are many more restaurants deserving of the tag of best restaurants in Fort Kochi but I haven’t yet munched my way through all of them. That’s a great reason to go back and stay in my new favourite hotel in Fort Kochi with a private pool, no less!

And oh! If you are catching the end of the Goa season, this Goa restaurant guide should be a useful addition to your holiday planning.  Thank me later, no problem.

Cheers

Sudha

USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT FORT KOCHI

Best places to stay in Fort Kochi

Things to do in Fort Kochi

About Kochi Muziris Biennale


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Posted by Sudha at 2:29 am
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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
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