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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!
Run by the amiable Mohammed Ainbosi from Jordan, Hayat Mediterranean enjoys its location by the peaceful Assi Ghat, attracting backpackers and foreigners who've made the city their home. With a relaxed lounge-style seating accentuated by cushions and lighting, one can indulge in their flavored sheeshas while sipping on authentic Middle Eastern drinks. The prices aren't too bad either so stop by for a taste of Jordan in Varanasi, if you ever need a change of palate. Italian and Indian dishes are also served up by the über talented chef!
El Camarom De La India is a laid-back Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant located at the terrace of Assi Ghat's Ganga Paying Guest House. Menu offers an array of Spanish standards like delectable pastas, croquetas, paellas and tortillas. A must-try here is the toothsome churros served with savory chocolate sauce. El Camarom also has an interesting list of Indian beverages and decadent Spanish desserts.
Hotel Premiere Villa's Banana Leaf welcomes gourmands to devour authentic South Indian and North Indian cuisine in an elegant setting. The restaurant offers an interesting selection of breakfast standards like idli, uttapam, dosa and sandwiches. They also have some inviting options under continental cuisine like sizzlers and salads. Service is friendly and efficient and it adds to a memorable dining experience in the holy city.
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.
A respite for motorists in the hot sun, and a fancy place for the tourists to try something native of the locality, Shiv Prasad Lassi Bhandar is a charmer of sorts. With a backdrop of the mounting Fort that proves contrasting to its unassuming manner, this place serves delicious Lassi (sweet curd topped with thickened cream). A highly popular destination in the city, they serve the lassi in small earthen pots, which undoubtedly provides a cooling effect. There are wooden benches in the outdoor setting, but most of the customers are seen standing in a huddle while relishing.