7 Book Cafes in Delhi For The Word-Thirsty

I don’t know why people read. As for me, all the textbooks that they made me read in school and college are enough. Now that I have a great job and am on a growth track, reading is just about the last thing that I want to do, except if it’s the film reviews that you’re talking about.

This being the case, I believe you can certainly appreciate the pains that I went through to entertain my book-loving cousin when he visited last week. This being his first visit to the nation’s capital, he wanted me to take him to all the book cafes. I tried to persuade him to visit other places-Delhi is not short on tourist attractions. But my cousin wouldn’t hear anything of it. So I gave in, consoling myself that at least, there’d be coffee and snacks where we are going.

Just the other day, my cousin-who is now back in Mumbai-sent me a list of the places he liked the most-the best book cafes in Delhi, that was the subject line of the e-mail. I took a look, if for nothing else, to see how much I endured for him. Here are my impressions.

1. Cha Bar

Cha Bar
Cha Bar

The interior of this place rocks! The Cha Bar is part of the Oxford Bookstore. White, black and blue are the predominant shades of the place while a singular lighting piece which you wouldn’t be able to miss hangs from the ceiling. An interesting fact is that they serve over 100 types of teas. I had a few good sips of a few of them. And oh, people who buy books from the bookstore often come here with a book to read.

Address: Cha Bar | N 81, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi-01

2. Another Fine Day

Another Fine Day
Another Fine Day

I liked this place for its simple décor that’s very homely, reminiscent of times when life used to be simpler. They have a well-lit reading room, I only poked my head in there without actually sitting down. I did check out their menu though. Aside from the All-Day Breakfast, the items on the list include platters, tapas, pastas, yoghurt pots..

Address: Ground Floor, MPD Towers, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 43, Gurgaon-11

3. May Day Bookstore & Cafe

May Day
May Day

From the name itself you can make out that this place is run by people with left wing leanings. And indeed, that’s the case since while the front space is a book shop, the back room is the office of the left-wing publishing house that owns the book store. My cousin, who’s leftie himself totally loved this place, especially when he discovered that they sell used books at cheap rates. But I was disappointed when they told me that their small kitchen functions only when some event takes place.

Address: 2254/2A, Ground Floor, Shadi Khampur, New Ranjit Nagar, Shadipur, New Delhi-08

4. Cafe Turtle

Cafe Turtle
Cafe Turtle

This is supposedly one of the oldest book cafes in Delhi. Funny how I’ve been a resident of Delhi for so long and never known that. But then again, maybe it’s not that funny considering the last book that I actually enjoyed was…eh, well, there never was such a thing. The cafe is on the upper floor of Full Circle Bookstore. Apparently, you buy a book from the bookstore, and take it into the cafe and…here’s the weird part- enjoy it?

Address: 23, 1st & 2nd Floor, Khan Market, New Delhi-03

5. Ivy & Bean

Ivy & Bean
Ivy & Bean

Okay, this place is kinda special, even for me. Because they serve authentic Australian cuisine! How cool is that?! Well, cousin loved it that they have a neat little library from where you can either borrow books or replace a book with another.

Address: C11/ 2, SDA Market, Opp. IIT Main Gate, New Delhi-16

6. Serendipity, Claridges Hotel

They have this alcove where you can ‘relax’ by browsing through books. Tell me one thing, how can a group of black printed letters ever be relaxing to you? I mean, goons always wear black in movies, right? And words can be just like that-trying to extort time out of you, and pressurising you with meanings-at least that’s how it was with all those textbooks in college. You have something to learn everyday and it’s never enough to just read, you know, you’re supposed to understand the meaning. Anyway, Serendipity has a cool bakery called ‘Ye Old Bakery’ which serves nice coffee and cakes.

Address: The Claridges, 12, Aurangzeb Rd, Delhi, Delhi

7. Little Yodakin, Hauz Khas Village

Yodak
Yodakin

This little place occupies the same premises as the art cafe- Tattva. They have, according to my cousin, some cool books and also a used book section. They also hold events and workshops every now and then. I liked the organic food they served, though I’m not a huge fan of organic food.

Address: 2 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi 16

Okay, so there you have it. My own impressions of the book cafes in Delhi that are supposedly the points on the map of book lover’s heaven. (Weird people, these book lovers.)

Images from zomato.com and whazzupdelhi.blogspot.com

Note: Even though the places and facilities mentioned here are real, the narrative is fictional

Also see: Oldest Hotels In Delhi

 

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