Leopold Cafe, Mumbai

Leopold Cafe on Colaba Causeway in Mumbai is well known to say the least. It opened it’s doors in 1871 although not always as a restaurant, it had a central role in the novel Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, it was then a centre for his comings and goings and his meetings with the Mumbai underworld. This fact has helped to put it on the map for travelers and tourists when they visit Mumbai, in fact it is mostly tourists in the cafe now. It is also an easily accessible place to buy alcohol, albeit really quite expensive, although Mumbai is expensive anyway, a large beer here costs about four times what it cost in Anjuna in Goa at 400 rupees or 4.40 for 650 ml, but hey, this is Mumbai in a tourist bar!

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Leopold Cafe was also the first place to be fired upon by the terrorists who ravaged the city in November of 2008. There are still bullet holes in the walls to prove this claim to fame.

Leopolds is far from the only place to get a drink in and around Colaba causeway but it has some kind of strange charm anyway, although they could do without the giant branded tubes of beer which hold several pints.

There are stacks of copies of Shantaram which are available for sale as well as leopold tshirts and other merchandise, but you really can’t blame them for that. The manager will show you a picture of Gregory Roberts too if you ask, he apparently comes by occasionally.

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Despite everything, it sure is worth a couple of visits, if only to escape from the madness of Colaba Causeway into a cold beer and decent food.

Despite everything, Slur loves Leopold Cafe.

Lucien Grey

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