Pondicherry offers plenty of exciting places to drink, across all budgets. It has never disappointed me with the widespread concoction of spirits it offers. Though best for its cocktails and beer, there are enough options for liquor such as whiskey, vodka or even wine. These are my favourite places in the French Quarters or White Town of the colonial Union Territory.

L’espace – for a social evening

A lively evening at L’espace
A lively evening at L’espace.

I was immediately drawn to L’espace because of its intriguing name (meaning ‘space’ in French.) The décor kept my interest. The tastefully done interiors of this semi-open terrace invites interaction amongst its visitors, with a combination of tables for solo travellers as well as friends in big groups.

I found myself here until the bar neared its closing hours. What kept me involved? The exotic cocktails. Initially, these very pretty drinks can be deceptive. I wish someone had warned me against their potency levels. L’espace has their menu on a whiteboard. To avoid reading in drunken haze, it may be suggested to order food before the second round of drinks. Hic!

Must tries: Classic Mojito, Fried chicken and the forever favourite French fries.
Where: La Bourdonnais Street, White Town, Pondicherry. (Map)

Read: Shisha Jazz Café, Pune

Rendezvous – for all-day drinks

Chilled beer on a hot day in Satsang.
Chilled beer on a hot day.

My lunch at Rendezvous was too big for my appetite but that did not stop me from cooling off with a beer. And I was pleasantly surprised at how fantastically chilled my green bottle was! I am afraid I might have not done justice to my chicken meal because I was beer-thirsty.

Must tries: Beer and seafood; the lobster is fresh and worth a try.
Where: #30, Rue Suffren Street, Bussy Street, White Town, Pondicherry. (Map)

Satsanga – for lazy lunches and drinks

Greeted by greenery as I entered Satsanga.
Greeted by greenery as I entered Satsanga.

I was welcomed by a beautiful green garden as I entered Satsanga. Popular for its cultural events, this place offers a good mix of social gatherings and great lunches. It is famous for its French and Continental cuisine. And a lesser known fact is that it serves some of the cheapest drinks in town. The slow service may be a bother for some, but I was in no hurry that afternoon.

Must tries: Chilled beer, a shot of tequila, any of their steaks.
Where: #54, Labourdonnais Street, Pondicherry. (Map)

Le Club – to get your spirits high

Colors of the French Quarters, on the way to Le Club.
Colors of the French Quarters, on my way to Le Club.

Here I was spoilt for choice. Le Club serves some scrumptious food and great spirits. But what surprised me was the prompt service and the well-informed servers, unlike any other place in Pondicherry. After a distasteful Coconut Punch, I decided to chat with the bartender and get his suggestions. The Long Island Iced Tea was better than anything I have tasted in the country. Though I must confess, I concluded the night with my favourite beer.

Must tries: Anything but the coconut punch! Try their seafood starters.
Where: #38, Dumas Street, Beach Road, Pondicherry. (Map)

Lighthouse, The Promenade – for a romantic night out

A view of the promenade in Pondicherry.
A view of the promenade in Pondicherry.

Lighthouse is a rooftop restaurant at The Promenade, a boutique luxury hotel. It overlooks the Bay of Bengal and is ideal for a fine dining experience. Popular for its grilled delicacies, it may be worthwhile to sit by the sea and sip some fine wine.

Must tries: Any of the white wines, pizzas and barbecues.
Where: The Promenade, #23, Goubert Avenue, White Town, Pondicherry. (Map)

Read: Top 5 Cocktails Bars in Kolkata

Which bar do you frequent in Pondicherry?

This post was originally written for Travelyaari and you can read the edited version here

Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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