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Cafe Coffee Day: For that latte you are missing...
Ah, the trappings of western life have a way of migrating East, from malls to KFC. So I guess overpriced coffee had to be part of that trend.
Coffee Day is the local version of Starbucks (almost down to the detail, including the shelf with mugs and teas for sale) - a nice, almost luxurious chain by indian standards (although some infrastructure things still betray the local customs, such as the nice water heater visible on the way into the cafe on Richmond Road at St Mark's). And while you can get your coffee fix, the customs are different and more posh. You can sit down on a couch, order, someone will bring the coffee and whatever you decide to nosh on to your table, where noone will rush you and you can have a nice time chatting with your friends, reading a book or whatever suits you. So the ambience is a bit sanitized. Phew, tell it to the non-believers and bring me another latte...
Seriously though, although Coffee Day is more expensive than the norm here (we are talking 35 or so rupees for a latte, or less than 1 dollar, where regular coffee on any regular street place will be 3-5 rupees or so), there are two things to say for it. One, the place is very comfortable and relaxed, which is very welcome especially after listening to car horns for an hour or so. And two, the food is safe, if somewhat generic (the cakes, I found, were the same ones offered by Sodexho at my office's break room) so you can quickly eat something if you want to get any hunger out of the way, and not have to fear Delhi Belly.
As with Starbucks, not all Coffee Day shops are made equal and some are nicer than others (though in general they are ALL nicer / cleaner than most Starbucks back in the US). I found the one at Vittal Mallya Rd at Lavelle was pretty popular on a Sunday evening around 7-8 PM with the young and trendy in their scooters, so check it out.
Favorite Dish: Very good coffee - got my lattes with 2 shots of espresso (which is appropriately named a Red Eye Latte here), the milk was foamy and supple, the coffee not bitter in any way. For a quick dash of spice you can order a samosa, otherwise the cakes are alright (pineapple being the best)
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Cafe Coffee Day and surrounding stalls: Airport food
If you find yourself at Bangalore airport, do not worry good coffee and tasty snacks are available. I cannot remember exactly what we ate, but the food was from the food stalls that surround Cafe Coffee Day. I do remember that it was cheaper and that there was more choice than from inside the domestic terminal.
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