The age of sipping on a cup of artisanal coffee has intersected with art spaces. Today, cafes are a space for artists to spend time at leisure and broaden their creative horizons. They are also being used as spaces to organise art and craft events and bring in the displayed paintings from local or world-famous artists to function as an unconventional exhibition and gallery wall. What’s more, is that these add to the decor and aesthetics of the establishment. Over the years, cafes have emerged as venues for performance and the hybrid space of cafe-cabaret saw a phenomenal increase.
The burgeoning dining culture in the country has given rise to some of the most beautiful cafes in India that are going beyond the conventional café culture. Incorporating a creative element into cafes the introduction of the sip-and-paint culture in India ignited a spark amongst millennials. In the recent past, India has become home to several art galleries that double up as cafes. Acting as spaces for quiet contemplation and creative stimulation, art cafes in India offer delicious food with a side of an artistic paradise. If you appreciate art in its different forms, we’ve rounded up a list of art cafés in the country that will rekindle your creative spirit.
You & I Arts Café, Shillong
Nestled in the stunning city of Shillong, the You & I Arts café takes a hands-on approach to inclusive creativity by placing a whiteboard for visitors to doodle and rekindle their creative side. They also have a small space for indulging in doll-making, hand-puppets, and other crafts that often use different senses and experiences. The café also features handicrafts made by local artists that can be purchased as souvenirs. You & I keep its doors wide open for young, budding artists who wish to display their work.
A not-for-profit initiative that runs on a sustainability model, the cafe offers over 110 flavours of tea, with rosella flower tea being the most sought-after. The menu brings traditional Khasi food. And the woodsy, rustic interior, has our heart. If you want a bit of added fun, they also have old-school board games placed across the café. The interiors are earthy and made from bamboo, and the woodsy, rustic interior. However, the café does its bit for the environment by using eco-friendly materials.
Located in the heart of Koramangala, DYU Art Café is built as a Kerala-style bungalow focusing on Tharavadu architecture. Stone benches decorate the veranda by the entrance, and an art gallery adjoins the space with paintings by international artists decorating its walls. DYU Art Cafe is a vibrant space without being loud and relaxing without being boring.
The café was inaugurated about seven years ago and now the art pieces are refreshed every three months with works from around the world. On the walls, you can find paintings by famous Indian artists like Ram Achal and Roshani Ingole. The café is a gallery, with works from children as well as local and international artists and the space also hosts art workshops and exhibitions. Every corner of this café speaks the language of art. Highly recommended options from the menu are French croquettes, tuna melt sandwiches, chicken Florentine, cold mocha, chicken salad sandwiches, and vegetable stroganoff.
Making your way into The Gallery Café in Hyderabad is like stepping into an artist’s paradise. From the minute you enter to the moment you exit; this cafe is a visual and sensory treat. Your eyes are driven towards a tree that is the centrepiece the cafe has been built around. This is the quintessential art café, a living-breathing fountain of creativity.
Everything in the café demands a picture and the interiors are beautifully decorated with literature, modern art, and pictures that have been chosen thoughtfully. Staying true to the artistic spirit, each piece of furniture is hand-painted, and the furnishing choices are equally unique. The huge space is enhanced by creative elements like curated books, contemporary art, and photographs. But what really sets the gallery apart is that you can buy anything you like, including the furniture!
Address: H. No, 8-2-465, Street No. 4, Green Valley, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana 500034
Art Café, Brigade Gateway, Bengaluru
Food, drink, and art intersect at the chic corridor which is located on the 4th floor, on the sky bridge connecting Sheraton Grande Bangalore with World Trade Centre. The bridge is very symbolic of the space. Apart from literally bridging two very different buildings, an office, and a hotel, it bridges two very different ways people spend their time – business at the office tower and leisure at the hotel. It also bridges food with art. A part of the luxury hotel, this venue hosts a different experience as you’ll be surrounded by art.
Art Café features works from artists such as Madhuri Kathe, Basuki Dasgupta, Dinkar Jadhav and Laxman Aelay. The floor-to-ceiling windows on one side overlook the concrete beauty of the metropolitan, while on the other side, rows of paintings hang as far as the eye can see. Creating a high-energy space where one can sip on a glass of bubbly beverage or catch up with friends over a cup of coffee while snacking on a quiche and listening to hip-hop; all while enjoying high-quality art in a space where one can relax and rejuvenate. One can enjoy treats like the fig and arugula salad, grilled salmon, pizzas, baklava and the chef’s signature tiramisu. On booking, the Art Café can host guided art walks by Priyanka Pal, Art Supervisor at the Art Café.
Address: Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, Bangalore
The Palette Café, Delhi
Located in Chhatarpur, this cafe is a haven for art lovers and foodies. Boasting contemporary interiors and scenic outdoor space, the Palette is an art-themed cafe that offers European delights for you to savour along with a contemporary aesthetic. And the outdoor seating and charming ambience exemplify its beauty.
But the best part about this new cafe is that you spend an afternoon while indulging in a therapeutic colouring and sketching experience during your meal. Making the expensive seamless, the cafe provides a canvas and colours for you to bring out the artist within you. Be it a date with your girlfriends or significant other, this experience will surely be one for the books. Be it a refreshing sip or artistically presented food that channels delectable flavours, this gem in the capital is a haven for creative individuals — and even those who are not. For those who don’t wish to be alone, you can even get your furry friends to accompany you!
Address: 287, Dhan Mill, 288, 100 Feet Rd, Chhatarpur Hills, Pocket D, Dr Ambedkar Colony, Chhatarpur, New Delhi, Delhi 110074
The Project Café, Ahmedabad
Built inside a stunning yellow house, this café isn’t one to miss. The Project Café is a unique blend of the visual, the tactile and the culinary. A café completely designed by artists; it has artwork hanging all over. In fact, everything in the café from the tables to the cutlery has been an artist’s canvas! The owners of this café have been welcoming to all kinds of artists, from traditional and contemporary to doodlers, their works are exhibited and kept on sale. The café has collaborated with over 150 artists to date across the realms of art, design, music, culinary arts and literature. The Project Café provides a unique experience of dining on the premises of an art gallery, where everything including furniture and crockery is for sale. You can buy not just the artwork exhibited at The Project Café, but also the cutlery and clothes designed by their many artists.
Open to both budding and established designers from across the country the café welcomes retail exquisite designer lifestyle products and collections viz. lighting, furniture, décor, upholstery, jewellery, fashion accessories, apparel, stationery etc. The designers’ displays make for unique spatial experiences. ” The Project Café began, in Ahmedabad as a belief and experiment in collaborations of art, design, performance and food. We are inspired by the thought of living a simple life, creating a community where we are eager to build a minimal system for a rooted modern audience. The entire ambience is a bohemian experience conjured up by the collaboration of our expert curators and various artists from both, home and abroad and building symbiotic enterprise models around them. By hosting diverse talks, workshops, events and off-sites, The Project Café has come to be known as a delectable and vibrant melting pot of the creative eccentricities of the city, introducing it to new and otherwise rarely known ideas and concepts,” says a quote on their official website.
This creatively designed café is nestled in Fort Kochi, Kashi Art Café is where art, food and conversation meet. An open space which boasts a tropical environment, artwork that’s pleasing to the eyes and food that satiates cravings, Kashi Art Cafe is a delightful spot to spend an afternoon. This is a joint where you come to meet new people and discover new artwork. Being a place that is frequently visited by artists, visitors get to interact with the artists themselves. The art gallery has a separate section which boasts of the works of local artists as well as those from all over India. Established in 1997, this spot is housed within the picturesque seaside region of fort Kochi. Strictly serving fresh juices and coffee made from freshly ground beans and some snacks, this is one place you wouldn’t want to miss a visit if you are in Kochi.
Address: Burger St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala With such cafes blossoming around the country alongside Art festivals in India, we can surely say that the art scene of the country is going to flourish immensely in the coming years.