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Tucked away in the by-lanes of Varanasi's Old City lies the Vishnu Tea Emporium whose hand-painted signs are seen on almost every wall of the ghats area and its alleys. Young Vishnu who speaks a smattering of French proudly discusses how he explains the tea-making process to French tourists in their own language. Home-made spices and coffees are up for sale, while those wanting to sample a hot tea before buying it can do so too.
Bona Restaurant or Bona Cafe serves some of the best Chickenkas and Jabchaebab along with rice and salad. Chickenkas is served with spicy gravy chicken and potato soup whereas Jabchaebab is made up of Korean potato noodles. It is served with few veggies, sticky rice and mushrooms. This restaurant has a very different menu so if you want to try something new; this is the perfect place to come to. They cater mainly to the foreign bag packer crowd and that is why they have a variety in their menu. The decor is inspired by Korean culture and the cuisine is a mix of Korean and Indian cuisines. It is also one of the most posh cafes in the city of Varanasi.
Perched on the rooftop of Kautilya Society, Filocafe is a neighborhood bistro frequented by the society's residents. The breezy terrace coffee shop offers an exciting selection of hot and cold beverages, frappes and light bites. Apart from the delicious espressos and cappuccinos, it also serves up about 45 different kinds of teas.
Aum Cafe is located near Assi Ghat and is considered to be one of the healthiest options in the city. It serves pure vegetarian food that comprise of soups, starters, Lassi, organic Herbal Tea and a number of breakfast items. It opens at 7a that makes it ideal to have breakfast after your morning walk. The menu includes Idly, oatmeal, fresh fruits, eggless omelets and so on. It also serves herbal pasta, Veggie Burger and Mozzarella Cheese Pizza and sandwiches. The cafe believes that each one of their customer should eat healthy while eating out, thus taking care of their health first.
The Open Hand Shop and Cafe is an oasis of sorts for Westerners seeking solace in the familiarity of smoothies, frozen yogurts, mouth-watering muffins, steaming hot cappuccinos, fruit plates, crunchy salads, freshly-baked pastries and more. You can also pick up some free-trade merchandise, post cards and bookmarks made by locals at competitive rates. Rhyne the manager will charm you with her knowledge about Varanasi and little anecdotes to match. Free internet available!
Flavours Cafe is located near Banaras Hindu University. It serves great snacks, desserts and beverages. To start with they have some amazing signature drinks such as Masala Mocha, Masala Latte and Masala Cappuccino. The beverage menu includes fruit punch, desi drinks, fruit juices, iced tea, smoothies and milkshakes. The snack menu consists of pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, French fries and rolls. A visit to this cafe is incomplete without trying their Chocolate Danish Pastry, Banana Muffin and Caramal Mocha Cake. The menu is quite affordable and the quality of food is sure to bring you back again and again.