A Dinner at Cafe Leopold

By Mridula Dwivedi February 9, 2011 9 Comments ,
Beer Pitchers at Cafe Leopold, Mumbai
Beer Pitchers at Cafe Leopold, Mumbai

On one of my recent visits to Mumbai, I had a dinner at Cafe Leopold. When I came back home and told this to Brat 1 (my elder nephew) he immediately remarked, ‘Shantaram.’ Wikipedia also confirms that there are extensive references to Leopold Cafe in the novel Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. When we went there the cafe was absolutely packed. We were suggested that we may try and find a place upstairs. So we went up and gave it a look but we didn’t like what we saw, the place was quite dark and cramped. My nephew said that in the novel Shantaram this cafe is used by characters from the underworld to hold their meetings. Not sure if any of it is true or not. But by the time we came time, we were led to a table for four. The seating space is cramped but part of the charm. What I found particularly fascinating was the tall beer pitchers that I saw on the next table, that tall glass like structure in the picture above.

Bullet Holes at Cafe Leopold, Mumbai
Bullet Holes at Cafe Leopold, Mumbai

And then there were these two bullet holes, the reminder of the attacks on the cafe during the November 2008 . We were seated right next to these holes, not a very comfortable position to be in to enjoy your meal!

And food? We were three vegetarians and only one non-vegetarian on the table. So we ordered two main and a side dish amongst the three of us. And the portions were large, we were not able to finish even two main dishes even though the food was quite good. We went with Chinese (with me around there are high probability of that) and I enjoyed everything that was on the plate. We also ordered a mocktail  but next time I think I will avoid it. I am not much of a mocktail person, I am more of a soup and a tea coffee person.

Overall, give a chance I would certainly visit the place again and let me see if I can pick up Shantaram and read it too.

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9 thoughts on “A Dinner at Cafe Leopold”

  1. Having landed in Mumbai in the early hours, I had breakfast at Cafe Leopold last year in July (after which same day later I took a flight to Indore, then Mandu). I too thought the seating arrangement was cramped, and it wasn’t a great place either, yet intend to go again!

  2. One of the popular places in south Mumbai. :)

    It is the ambiance of this place which attracts people there. You can see mostly foreigners inside. And yes, Shantaram too. It’s a 700+ pages novel, Mridula… just to give you a hint. 😉

    And they’ve kept the bullet marks in remembrance of those who died.
    I have many photos of the place.

  3. I LOVE those charming old places dripping with history. If I miss anything here in Canada it’s the old cafés that one can find all over Europe. I could do without the crowd though;)

  4. Cafe leopold and many others on that road are legendary! There is Leopolds, Mondegar’s ( i like the comic strips lining the walls very much!), churchill – all backpacker haven’s; some also made eternally famous by Shantaram!

  5. Celine thanks for sharing your thoughts, I guess there is something about it that makes us want to go there again!

    Tarun 😀

    Nisha the novel is lying at home, so I may pick it up one of these days but then I am currently reading Feluda by Satyajit Ray and enjoying it thoroughly. 😀

    I know Fida, and I agree 100% about the crowds.

    Thanks Ms.N. for the run down on the other places.

    Yes Chitra the place was quite lively so I enjoyed. 😀

  6. One of the most crowded but yet one of the best places in Mumbai… The chicken Sandwich is awesome. The best part – those long test tubes. Of course 😉 And yes.. the first floor is not that great.. though people who were sitting there on 26/11 would have other views!

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Travel Tales from India

I am Mridula Dwivedi and I started blogging on 'Travel Tales from India' in June 2005. Within a few months of the launch my travel blog found a mention on both the BBC and The Guardian. I also featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video.

I quit my job as a professor in May 2015. I am having a blast ever since. I do not miss my work but sometime I do miss my salary! Somewhere along the journey I ended up acquiring a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur! I now wonder why?

You can write to me at mridulablog at gmail dot com For advertising queries please check out my advertising page.

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