To know the culture of a destination, you have to experience their food and lifestyle. If you want to feel the oneness with the place, the best option is to visit the local markets and try their foods. There is no better way to feel connected with the community than to be present at the places they frequently visit and savor their preferences.
We roamed around the local markets on the very first day itself. But I kind of felt like it went extremely fast and it felt more like a walk than an exploration. So I went there again on the last day of our stay. I managed to look around the Tibetian market and explored the local shops. And bought a little souvenir from the tribal handicraft showroom. It was quite expensive over there. But still got 2 handmade copper bracelets for me and my brother and purses for my mom and aunt. And I loved it. We went around the buzzing local market where locals and restaurants usually buy their ingredients and meats. It gives me a more real feel and at times made me feel at home.
In my case, since I am a Tamilian, the food in Ooty is quite normal for my palette. Besides being there for just 4 days didn’t get me exposed to many restaurants as I was having food at my aunt’s which was very delicious and safer for my weak tummy. Still, I managed to savour some of the specialities of Ooty and got 4 favourite places to recommend for you guys.
First of all, when it comes to buying chocolates in Ooty, it’s more of a headache because there are too many options. Wherever you turn, there are chocolates. But thankfully, in the Westbury Road where I was staying there was already the best place to buy Chocolates – Cocoapods. They have so much variety, price is a bit higher compared to other shops but quality exceeds. Besides they also have various other chocolate-based products. The staffs are friendly and the ambiance was so good. I felt bad that I missed visiting the Cafe inside it which I got to know about it later. Maybe next time.
The next best place to try chocolates, cakes, and ice cream are Moody’s, this bakery started in 1951 and is on Garden Road and very close to the Botanical garden. There is also a movie theatre next to it. I wanted to visit Moody’s on the first day but made it successful only on the last day. Tried amazing ice cream, and bought a Japanese cake for my brother which surprised me with its texture and taste. Moody’s is also very famous for Ooty chocolates. As I was busy trying their icecream and mini pizza I failed to take photographs.
Next is the Buddies Cafe which is situated in the Tribe India RCTC Building. The cafe has a nice interior and offers almost 150 varieties of tea. They also had pizza and other snacks which I didn’t get to try but tried their Egyptian Camomile Tea and Nilgiris White Tea. These teas are on the expensive side. But I loved the Camomile tea with Varkey (the most popular Ooty snack) and I definitely will be trying it again. They serve it with Kettle and a sand clock. It is nice and different. We also bought honey and sandle oil from there. Honey is very delicious. And I will be ordering it again. Not kidding.
Then on a rainy evening, I ordered a Chef Spl Jalapeno Cheese Ball with Cocktail sauce in LBB CAFE WHIPPED AND WHISKED through zomato which was a bang and the most memorable one. Especially, while watching the rain from the window view and savoring it all by myself… Wonderful feeling. I am going to visit that cafe next time. But from the taste, quantity, and quality of the dish plus the weather. It was class. I would love to do it once more.
I didn’t know much about Varkey before visiting Ooty. Varkey is a must-buy and must-try. This crispy bakery delicacy when paired with a warm cup of tea… is enough to feel your soul feel relieved. I tried my first Varkey in Buddies Cafe. But we asked around and heard about Impala Bakery, which we got to know as the most popular one in the town. So we went there. I noticed that it was noon and already the stock is getting over at a faster rate. We waited and as soon as another stock came we got 1 Kg for our home and another 2 Kg for my colleague who paid me to buy some for his family. “Huge” from my first impression. Because the one I had in Buddies was small and best fit for my mouth. This one… huge. Still, I tried it and realized why it was famous.
All the walk around the market and after trying all these foods I felt closer to the Ooty itself. But still quite eager to learn more during the next visit.
Make sure to visit @asolivagantsshoes Instagram Page to see more photographs, videos, reels, and highlights.