As you know, I’m obsessed with researching places before I visit them – I make my itineraries after gathering all the information I can from friends, family, Instagram, other blogs, travel books and more. I put together this mini-guide on where to eat and shop in Jaipur after visiting twice this year: once for a wedding and once for a short family getaway. I found that on the surface, the city exudes richness (and so does the local food). But there’s so much more to it than that. Jaipur is a magical place – I love the juxtaposition of old and new the city has without losing its charm – with its restaurants, cafes, local stores stocked to the brim with textiles and artisanal goods.
I discovered a few places for light and healthy meals made with farm-fresh ingredients. The vibe of the restaurants isn’t a kind of modern that would be blasphemous in a place like Jaipur, while still offering a comfortable experience and delicious food. And – it turns out Jaipur’s roads are fairly well-planned (even in the Old City) compared to other Indian cities so it is easy to get around in a car for some retail therapy post a mid-morning coffee or lunch. I like to buy local so my mother-in-law and I scoped out perhaps too many places that have artisanal clothing and home goods in block prints and earthy fabrics. I’ve chosen the best ones to share with you in my “where to shop in Jaipur” list below!
Where to Eat in Jaipur
Yes, I’m obsessed with this place that’s attached to the Anokhi store. If I could eat there every week I most definitely would. The menu is innovative and has something for everyone + their greens (which come as a side to most dishes) are the freshest I’ve come across in India. Much of what they serve at the restaurant is organically grown on their farm. Must-order items on the menu: hummus with whole-wheat pita bread, eggplant-pesto pizza, carrot cake, walnut tart, salad with fig and olive tapenade and feta. If you’re like me and don’t like your coffee overly sweet and milky, they’re willing to give you their iced coffee without the add-ins so you can DIY! It goes perfectly with the carrot cake. You can also request them to make your pizza on a whole-wheat base. Their menu is all vegetarian; they have some vegan food as well.
My husband and I discovered this spot on our first trip after we had already eaten lunch and saved it for our next trip. Also attached to a store, the restaurant is warm yet minimalist-modern with an outside section for nice days. We were mesmerized by the menu, which features salads, pastas, pizzas, a whole quinoa section and more. What to eat: the quinoa pad thai, pesto pasta, queen’s quinoa salad with rocket, pomegranate and goat cheese, and any pizza. They serve non-vegetarian food as well.
The newly opened Baradari is set in a beautiful courtyard at City Palace so you can stop by after visiting the old Palace. The menu is an eclectic mix of Indian fusion, Mediterranean and Italian. We tried the mozzarella kachories, spaghetti aglio olio, mushroom barley risotto and a vegetarian thali platter. While this place is less health-focused than my other two choices above, it makes up for it in its creativity and ambience. Plus, you’re on holiday right? I went during the day but I would recommend going at night to enjoy the outdoor section. They serve non-vegetarian food as well.
I didn’t have a chance to check them out but Taruveda Bistro and Bar Palladio were also on my hit list. Let me know what you think of either in the comments below if you’ve been!
Where to Shop in Jaipur
Since you’re going to the cafe anyway, you might as well stop by the store while you’re waiting for a table or after lunch. Anokhi is the most established of all the block-printing shops with a presence in many Indian cities – so you might think, why bother. I found that they have more stock (and more products) in Jaipur than the other stores. The mats, napkins, casual clothing and nightwear are my favorite items here.
While Rasa has clothing like kurtas and dresses in their collection, their home textiles are where they really shine. The sheets, blankets and rugs are a class apart in comparison to everything else you see in Jaipur. The designs are contemporary and can hold their own anywhere in the world.
You can spend hours at Ratan – they have everything from kitchen napkins to cushion covers to aprons to well-tailored pants to pretty cotton shirts to kurtas that can double as dresses. They also have excellent high-quality cashmere and wool knit shawls at reasonable prices (keeping in mind the quality; you can trust that you won’t get ripped off here).
This store is an amazing find for all those ceramic bowls, plates, cups and household knick-knacks. Their reasonably priced designs are beautifully finished in muted colors. The best part? They wrap everything up even better than you can yourself (if you’re OCD like me) so you can take your ceramics home without a worry.
For address information, hours, phone numbers and more, click the name of the restaurant/shop above which is linked to their webpage.