Some of the first settlers in the Andaman Islands were African migrants, and it didn’t take long before people from Burma, and other parts of Southeast Asia followed. Today Port Blair is home to settlers from various parts of India and is frequently visited by people from all over the world. Over the years the islands have seen people from all walks of life and this is best reflected in the kind of food that is served on the islands.
Breakfast in Port Blair
Locally, breakfast is mostly eaten at home in the Andaman Islands. The culture of ‘going out for breakfast’ doesn’t really exist in the islands. Even at hotels, breakfast mostly comes included with rooms.
However, travellers can head out to the luxury hotels to indulge in a pay and eat breakfast buffet. Small South Indian eateries near the clock tower and bazaar – Ananda, Annapurna, and Kattaboman serve lip-smacking dosas and vadas among other South Indian specialities.
The Blue Sea Hotel offers a South Indian buffet at approximately INR 125 per person and is definitely worth a visit. Icy Spicy offers Kolkata style kachori-sabji and jalebi breakfast at their sweet shop every Sunday morning.
For those taking an early morning ferry – two small eateries are situated opposite the jetty, and if you’ve skipped breakfast at your hotel, dig into the hygienic and fresh Idlis with chutney on offer.
VEGETARIAN FOOD IN PORT BLAIR
Owing to the land’s close proximity to the ocean, seafood is a major part of the local diet. However, there are a few pure vegetarian restaurants in Port Blair.
Some of the best restaurants serving vegetarian food in Port Blair are as follows:
The restaurant offers cuisines like Indian, Chinese, and Italian. Have their mouth-watering Indian fare or indulge in vegetarian pizzas and pasta. You could also try their cocktails or treat your taste buds to some chaat. While you’re here don’t forget to try their flavourful Motichoor ladoos.
One of the most famous vegetarian restaurants in town, Annapurna is known for their scrumptious South Indian meals. You could also try their Chinese dishes that are a hit among locals.
Kattabomman offers a great variety of South Indian delicacies and is a local favourite. Although the ambience isn’t very fancy their variety of dosas, uttapams, idlis, attract a constant footfall.
BEST SEAFOOD IN PORT BLAIR
With fresh catch available at all times, it’s hard to resist seafood on an island. Although most of the restaurants do a good job when it comes to seafood preparations, following are the one’s that offer the best taste in Port Blair:
New Lighthouse Restaurant
An open-air restaurant in the centre of the city, New Lighthouse Restaurant is known to serve savoury seafood in Port Blair. Crabs, lobsters, and whole fish grilled to perfection are what they do best. With main course prices starting from INR 80, the restaurant is making waves among its diners.
Although not the fanciest place in terms of ambience, the Lighthouse Residency is known for serving the best seafood in town. Pick from the variety of live catch on offer and indulge in some flavoursome delicacies. A hearty dinner here costs anything between INR 40 – INR 200 and their dishes from the tandoor are a great hit among locals and tourists alike.
STREET FOOD IN PORT BLAIR
The street food in Port Blair is highly influenced by Kolkata, West Bengal. Pani-puri/puchka vendors can be found around the city selling Kolkata-style puchkas at INR 1 a piece. Along with that, stalls for Indianised Chinese, momos, ice-cream, etc. can also be seen. The best place to try street food is opposite the Aberdeen jetty. In fact, every evening after 6 pm, many vendors come together to sell burgers, noodles, pav-bhaji and other such street food.
If you have a sensitive stomach though and still want to try the street food – try the sweet and chaat shop at Icy Spicy. From Puchka to momos, samosa to Jalebi you get a variety of items here. Though more expensive than street vendors, the food is made keeping quality and hygiene standards in mind.
Top 5 Bars in Port Blair
There aren’t many places to enjoy a good drink in Port Blair, but the ones that exist are definitely worth a visit.
Amaya at Seashell is a premium rooftop restaurant with live music. They have a reputation of serving great cocktails and even better sizzlers.
Sea Sip at Peerless Inn Portico is a very popular local spot. The bartenders are friendly and the cocktails are heavenly. They have a comprehensive drinks menu.
Pink Fly and Love Garden
Pink Fly and Love Garden at Shompen are both new and well-marketed spots. They see a good crowd of locals, especially Pink Fly. Love garden is perfect for couples looking to enjoy some private time at a rooftop with a candlelight and live music.
Waves is a budget friendly beachside restaurant at Corbyn’s Cove Beach; a perfect hangout for a beer with friends.
Megapode Nest is especially recommended during a cricket match that India is playing. Their in-house bar is well stocked and a good drink in hand while soaking in the beauty of their lawn is sure to soothe your nerves after a long day.
RESTAURANTS WITH A SEA VIEW
Few restaurants in Port Blair are situated on/by the beach, but many have a beautiful sea view. Try the Madala restaurant at Fortune Resort Bay Island, though a little on the expensive side, the view from this place is simply breathtaking. You can see the North Bay Island with the lighthouse that appears on the 20 rupee note.
The restaurant at Sinclairs situated at Marina Park is also recommended. Located right at a curve on the beach, you can hear the waves crashing against the shore while you dine at their ground -floor restaurant with views of the sea. They also organise candle light dinners for couples.
CAFE’S WITH FREE WI-FI FACILITIES
WiFi in Port Blair is a luxury and difficult to find at that. Thus, very few cafes provide WiFi. Brewsberry and Excel Restaurant provide for a slow but free WiFi connection and are mostly crowded.