Forget about the coffee chains – the real places to spend an hour or two are the independent cafes. They are quirky, characterful and serve better than average coffee.
At the very end of Hauz Khas Village is Maison Des Desserts, whose tiny interiors are dominated by an enormous pastry counter groaning with Pavlova, mousse au chocolat, lemon meringue tart, chocolate Nutella cake and much else all made with real butter and fresh fruit. There are crepes and other eats too, but coffee and a cake is the best you can do here.
There are not too many cafes in Noida and Theos would stand out anywhere in the city. Even though its enormous cake display includes bottled cold coffee, we advise you to take a seat in the next room, order a pastry of your choice (though chocolate is their forte) and have it with a cappuccino.
Kunafa is the only Middle Eastern sweet-shop in the city. With its trademark mural that depicts life in a qahwa-khana in the Levant, the colourful store is crammed with trays full of baklava made in a variety of ways and studded with pistachios and almonds. Sit at the lone wooden counter and order a Turkish coffee while nibbling on a kunafa.
If there was ever an English tea room in this city, it would be Rose Café with its pale green and rose theme. Run by two ladies, there is a choice of coffee here, along with a Charlie consisting of scones, dainty tarts and savouries. The little grassy courtyard is great for fine weather, but the vibe of the interiors is unmissable.
Biker’s Café has a motorbike just outside the door and the accessories inside all relate to a motorbike. Their cappuccino is a treat. Just order a waffle, sandwich or pancake and play a board game or just enjoy the music and the vibe.