Which one came first? The Wi-Fi equipped cafe or the internet-leeching freelancer? It’s hard to tell in Bandra, where eateries of every kind – restaurants, coffee houses, snack bars – are altering menus and providing tech support for office nomads. Joining in is Linking Road pub Bonobo that despite staying up late, has decided to rise at noon, with a new tea-coffee menu and free Wi-Fi for freelancers. Welcome to the suburb where everybody knows your name, and you, their Wi-fi password.
The Best Wi-fi Spots
Mini burgers, chai, coffee, beer buckets, soft jazz and free Wi-Fi at Bonobo that opens at noon, beginning August 3. Bring your shades, they say.
Best Beverage: Tulsi tea for Rs 100.
You’ll Begin to Love: Working at a bar.
You Should Know: Valet parking available, separate smoking section, four plug points, no air-conditioner but they have coolers and fans. Prepare to navigate crazy bargain shoppers on the street below.
The Yoga House
Peace and quiet at this church-facing café where shoes (and blues) aren’t permitted. See attached, their yoga class studio and feel-good store.
Best Beverage: Gunpowder green tea for Rs 90 or a shot of pink juice for Rs 50.
You’ll Begin to Love: The 4.30 pm to 8 pm slot when super fit girls and boys flit in and out of the yoga class. Nice view.
You Should Know: Finding a parking spot is almost impossible, smoking is permitted, four plug points available, watch out for cats who slink around the cafe. Also, ants. Work here often enough and you’ll almost definitely buy something random at their store, like a bottle of rose water with crystal top.
Atrium Lounge at Taj Land’s End
Whoa! You must have freelanced your a** off to afford the luxe chairs and Rs 450-an-hour Wi-Fi here (better bring your own data card). In addition to printing facilities, the business centre upstairs offers secretaries on demand and foreign language interpretational services. Never know when you might need those!
Best Beverage: Monkey’s Pick Green Tea for Rs 440.
You’ll Begin to Love: The luxury.
You Should Know: Valet parking available, no separate smoking section, Bandra’s boho dressing is not permissible here and the space morphs into a bar post sunset. Stay for live piano.
The Bagel Shop
Here, you can stretch a cup of coffee to last all day, and you won’t be asked to leave.
Best Beverage: Hot Chocolate for Rs 69.
You’ll Begin to Love: Eavesdropping on interesting conversation.
You Should Know: Parking’s a pain, no separate smoking section, seven plug points available and constant disturbance from a loud smoothie maker if you sit indoors.
Lug your laptop to this all-day Italian restaurant and escape noisy college kids and sometimes, hookah smoke that come with working out of a coffee house.
Best Beverage: Americano for Rs 65.
You’ll Begin to Love: The tiny cups of tiramisu.
You Should Know: Valet parking available, two plug points (with extension cable), the restroom isn’t always in ship shape, and you are at grave risk of choosing wine over coffee.
Bonobo, second floor, Kenilworth Mall, off Linking Road, Bandra (W), call 26055050.
The Yoga House, 153, Chimbai House, opposite St. Andrews Church, Bandra (W), call 65545001.
Atrium Lounge, Taj Land’s End, Bandstand, Bandra (W), call 66681234.
The Bagel Shop, Pali Mala Road, off Carter Road, Bandra (W), call 26050178.
Mia Cucina, 16/17, Gasper Enclave, St John Street, Pali Naka, next to Papa Pancho, Bandra (W), call 66710158.
No Matter What Anyone Says, Avoid These:
Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Turner Road: Plenty of beverages but no functional restroom!
Candies, Pali Hill: Yum snacks, but too many noisy college kids.
Freelancer’s Directory: Numbers to Know
- Neat Gigs: Hill Road Media is constantly on the lookout for freelance writers, photographers, graphic designers, voice over artists. For more information on this Bandra-based content house’s projects visit www.hillroadmedia.com and email your CV to
- Stationery Needs: Helping you look good on paper is Navjivan Book Centre, shop no 248, opposite National College, Linking Road, Bandra (W), call 26422157.
- Business Cards: Durga Arts is quick and reliable. Call Deepak Malhotra
on 98210 27397 / 26515194 / 26516015.
- Old Magazine Delivery: This 20 odd year-old pavement booth delivers old editions of international magazines – from Vanity Fair to National Geographic and everything in between – as well as rare books. No.1, Pali Naka, outside Lemon Grass restaurant, Bandra (W), call 26005642.
- Foreign Language Hub: After hours, St Stanislaus High School’s premises are open to anyone who wants to sign up for a foreign language course taught by reputed institutes like Alliance Francaise de Bombay and Inchin Closer. How do you say ‘between engagements’ in French? 65, Hill Road Bandra (W).
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