The Pizzeria Vatika Cafe deserves all of the acclaim it receives - this place truly dishes out the best Italian cuisine offered in all of Varanasi, and the standards haven't dropped since its inception in 1993. Wood-fired pizzas, focacia, cheesy lasgnas and even Chinese and Indian dishes await you at this cafe ensconced in leafy foliage where obliging waiters attend to you with rapt attention. For dessert, try their much-loved apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon! Pretty views of the river and a chance to catch up with other backpackers is yet another reason why Vatika emerges a winner.
Dolphin Restaurant might look like one of the many roof top restaurants around the ghats of the Ganga, but once stepped in you will realize it is the only one as their tag line says. Amazing views of the river make this place surreal and the cuisine match up to the expectations. The menu is an assortment of different flavors and varied tastes. Friendly and prompt service add to the overall experience at this one-of-a-kind restaurant. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, dining here with the cool breeze will stay in memory for long. Closely located is the Dasashwamedh Road, which is a good bet for some ethnic shopping, or the very famous Kashi Golden Temple, to experience the Indian religious fervor.
Apex Restaurant is the in-house restaurant of Varanasi's charming waterfront, budget hotel - Hotel Alka. Like most others, it serves only vegetarian dishes but no one's complaining. The chefs dish out an assortment of typically North Indian fare as well as Chinese and some Continental dishes. Recommended is the dal khichdi with curd and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Apex has shaded areas as well as alfresco areas but the seating space by the edge offers diners superb birds eye views of the ghats and people going about their daily routine. A good idea would be to catch a meal here on a full moon night - nothing quite compares to surreal sight of silver moonshine gleaming upon the dark waters of the Ganges.
Dishing the usual Chinese, Continental and Indian cuisines like most eateries in Varanasi, the Festive Villa Restaurant still manages to pull it off with the unassuming backpacking crowd. Walk up a flight up steps from across the Assi Ghat, and you will be transported into a relaxed patio-style ambiance. This family-run joint lies right by the more touristy Pizzeria Vatika Cafe, and often serves as a backup to diners who are turned away from Vatika owing to lack of space. Recommended is their paneer frankie which is a sort of wrap that is stuffed with cottage cheese cubes and Indian masalas. Internet available.