Listen to your mother, and don’t skip breakfast. Not when there is so much to choose from. Lazy, extended breakfast are now a thing of holidays-a luxury, involving plenty of time, minimal effort, and preferably, a great view. Back home, the first meal of the day for most of us is instant coffee and toast, provided of course, that you have time for the toast. Breakfast is a significant, and more importantly, a delicious start to the day-and some institutions around the country take it very serious indeed. Locate the one very close to you, and treat yourself to a wholesome spread with a clash of nostalgia. Holiday aside, everyone’s allowed an indolent breakfast once in a while.
THE ALL-AMERICAN DINER, DELHI
With its chequered linoleum floors and shiny red booths, this classic diner promises the Great American Meal in genuine XXL portions. Open from 7 am to midnight, and like a true diner, serving breakfast all day, The All-American Diner is one of the favorite breakfast destination in the capital. Bid your diet goodbye and dive into the peanut Butter Malt before moving on to meatier options in their breakfast buffet. From the ultimate Omelette and Baked Hash and corn, to an assortment of truly decadent burgers and hot dogs, comfort food has never been quite so…comforting. Dig into the golden pancakes while Evils and Betty Boop grin out of your latte and the jukebox belts out classic from the 60s.
WOODSIDE INN, MUMBAI
Nested prettily in a 120-year-old heritage building on Colaba Causeway, Woodside Inn can be a riot in the evening with Mumbai’s night owls jostling for space. Breakfasts, however, are a tranquil affair. The music’s mellow with a fondness for the oldies, and for those who must catch up on work before work there’s even free wi-fi. More importantly, their breakfast selection runs over two pages, ranging from numerous egg preparations to full-blown meals such as bruschetta with chicken salami, balsamic racquet, orange French toast, apart from the regular cereal, fruits and choice of breads and beverages. Top it up with waffles or the nutella pancake, and proceed to take the rest of the day off.
Specials: The old Mumbai bicycle tour on Sundays from 7am to 10.30 am, which includes a tour conductor, a bicycle, refreshment at an Irani café and ends with a lavish breakfast at woodside Inn.
CAFÉ MADARAS, MUMBAI
For those craving an Indian breakfast, look no further than Matunga’s legendary Café Madras. This absolute no-nonsence eatery serves strictly vegetarian fare and makes no excuses about its ambience-noisy, rushed and always busy. Land up early, and be prepared for a queue or sharing a table with strangers. From fluffy steamed and fried idlis, paper dosas served with melted butter and a range of breakfast specials such as vada, upma and the spicy, tangy rasam to an assortment of finger-lickin chutneys, the establishment rustles up fare that is more than your money’s worth. Do not leave without trying the celebrated filter coffee-it will make going back to the instant goop you’re habituated to so much harder!
Specials: They sell readymade snacks an savouries over the counter, and have seasonal dessert specials, which are announced through hand–written notices all over the walls. Closed on Mondays.
There’s something about Flurys that makes you mind your Ps and Qs; the overall British ambience seems lifted from an era where one didn’t attack one’s egg, but took firm, delicate bites of it. Graced with high columns and straight-backed wooden chairs, Flurys offers one of the best views of Park Street. The breakfast menu includes eggs made to creamy perfection, bacon, sausages, backed beans on toast, an English triangle sandwich and a pot of tea. For a delightful end, finish up with the rich Belgian hot chocolate and selections from the pastry platter. A true Kolkata cliché if there ever was one, Flurys serves nostalgia with epicurean expertise.
Specials: Don’t even think of leaving Flurys before picking some goodies from their pastry counter for later. The rum ball is celebrated widely, but newer, richer options have also made their way into the glass display.