Visiting The Leopold Cafe has been high on my list of things to do in Mumbai ever since reading Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. The main character famously spent a lot of time sitting in the café with his associates. It has been a Bombay institution and was founded in 1871.
The café also made headlines for a tragic reason in the 2008 Mumbai Terror attacks, where gunmen opened fire at diners in this café. You can still see the bullet holes today and the café was resilient and re-opened after a few days following the attack. There is a security presence now which is reassuring but also sad that this is the fear we live in today.
Located on Colaba Causeway, one of the oldest and busiest roads in the city, it has high ceilings with fans, comfortable chairs and is spacious, making it the perfect spot to people watch and grab some food and escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby streets.
I was staying close to the café during my recent trip to the ever buzzing Mumbai. I loved the atmosphere, the choices on the menu and the cheeriness of the staff. It was already busy when we arrived and we were lucky to get a table straight away as soon after we were seated there were queues, testament to its popularity.
It was a particularly hot day when we went and so to refresh myself I went for a Cold coffee, which was delicious. The menu choices for food were overwhelming but as soon as I saw Chilli cheese toast on the menu I was sold. They arrived in quite a generous portion and they were just divine.
Amit went for the garlic basil chicken tikka upon recommendation from the waiter and absolutely loved it.
In terms of prices, it was so so reasonable! They even had Lobster dishes for 900 rupees which is really good.
If you are around the Colaba district, or have read about Leopold café in Shantaram, it is definitely a must visit. It is fun to people watch while in the café and it is a nice break from the busy streets in its vicinity. There is such a diverse range of people who come to the café and it was such a lovely experience.
There are so many different dishes available to choose from too, as well as a superb selection of cakes so it is perfect for a tea and dessert stop too if you don’t fancy a full on breakfast or lunch.
For more information on Leopold Cafe and Bar go here.