Back in the day all a restaurant needed to make it big was good food, great music, courteous staff and maybe some free WiFi. Now, things are a bit different. As the marketplace evolves in every way imaginable to cater to every single whim of millennials, so does the lengths business have to go through to get that sweet post pubescent cash. This time it’s by luring people to their businesses with Pokemon Go by paying actual money to put up lures and Pokestops. This has been met with controversy because it seems just plain evil to pay to have people’s behaviour manipulated in such a way by what’s essentially a phone app.
The Pokemon Go players, or Gobots (as nobody calls them) of Mumbai are lucky that restaurant owners here aren’t nearly as insightful and evil as the ones overseas. The trend of using lures to literally trap players in places of business hasn’t quite caught on. Yet. But this can be a problem if you’re a Pokemon Go player who’s too lazy to actually walk around and catch things. The good people of Mumbai don’t have the luxury of sitting down with a cold drink only metres away from a Pokestop and farming Xp, Pokeballs and Health Potions. We have to actually work for our XP. At least that’s what the liberal media wants you to believe. If you know where to go, you can do just that.
1) Tap: Linking Road, Bandra West
Price of a Kingfisher Pint: Rs. 110
Tap has the loudest, most unnecessary music anywhere on earth. If you don’t care much for your sense of hearing it’s, a nice place to chill and play Pokemon Go, not just because it’s a Pokestop but also because you have a pretty decent chance of catching some good Pokemon. The food’s fairly average but at least it’s reasonably priced.
2) ZOOBAR: Near McDonald’s, Vile Parle West
Price of a Fosters Pint: Rs. 175 for 2 (They don’t serve Kingfisher)
Any pub with an all Caps name in Vile Parle is destined to be exciting. ZOOBAR has not one but two Pokestops. It doesn’t serve Kingfisher for some reason so you’ll have to make do with Fosters, which I maintain is piss in a bottle. As far as pubs go ZOOBAR is gigantic and all in all a pretty great place to hang out, even for non Pokemon related gatherings. Also, they have Karaoke on Mondays.
3) Starbucks: Linking Road, Bandra West
Price of a Tall Cappuccino: Rs. 170
Starbucks is the definition of gentrification. Its coffee is expensive, tastes terrible and it’s always full of hot people way richer than you are. All the minor discrepancies aside, Starbucks does have the four things every Gobot craves; coffee, shelter, free WiFi and one rather lovely Pokestop.
4) Cafe Mondegar: Near Regal Cinema, Colaba
Price of a Kingfisher Pint: Rs.220
Cafe Mondegar is one of the oldest, most renowned restaurants in the city. Despite the numerous reports in 2015 that it was shutting down, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. If you’re looking to ogle at white people while you farm Xp, Cafe Mondegar is the place for you. The food’s quite expensive, but definitely worth it, especially the Minute Steak (Rs.410).
5) Cafe Coffee Day: Near Shivaji Park, Dadar West
Price of an Irish Coffee: Rs. 141
This may come as a surprise to many, but Cafe Coffee Day still exists. It’s doing quite well, even though people stopped thinking it was cool back in 2005. The problem with the Cafe Coffee Day in Dadar is that it’s in Dadar, which means it’s crowded and noisy, not that either of those matter when you’re playing a video game which requires absolutely no skill set.
6) Coffee by Di Bela: Tulsi Pipe Road, Dadar West
Price of a Large Cappuccino: Rs. 155
When you overlook the pretentious name, Coffee by Di Bela is actually a quaint little cafe with some of the best waffles in town. It’s rather quiet, which is shocking for Dadar and a fairly decent place to just lay back and play Pokémon Go. Get the Chocolate Explosion Waffle (Rs.250). Thank me later.
7) McDonald’s: Near Andheri Station, Andheri West
Price of a Large Coke: Rs. 75
McDonald’s made billions of dollars selling people toxic waste masquerading as food. To visit a McDonalds and ingest its food just so you can farm Xp and Pokeballs at a Pokestop shows a level of depravity even I’m uncomfortable with. There are two McDonald’s at Andheri station. Both of them are terrible, but only one of them has a Pokestop.
8) Purnamal, Near Mithibai College, Vile Parle West
Price of Water: Rs. 0
Purnamal is an exclusively vegetarian restaurant where all the cool kids of Mithibai college presumably hang out. I would under no circumstances advise my readers/ reader to go to a vegetarian restaurant but I’m willing put aside my personal beliefs for the greater good. I hear wonderful things about Purnamal from my token vegetarian friends so it can’t be all that bad, but not wonderful enough for me to actually go there,
9) Sante, near Holy Family Hospital, Bandra West
Price of a Kingfisher Pint: Rs. 190
You’d have thought that a restaurant on Hill Road with a pretentious French name would be way out of your measly budget. You’d be wrong. Sante isn’t just not pretentious, it actually overcompensates by selling popcorn and crispy chicken, which as far as my culinary knowledge goes isn’t particularly French. Either way Hill road has some pretty decent Pokemon lurking about as well as a crazy number of Pokestops, and Sante is one of the better places to chill.
10) Shiv Sagar, Nehru Road, Vile Parle East
Price of a Fresh Lime Soda: Rs. 70
Over the years Shiv Sagar’s managed to sneak its way into my icy heart through my unsuspecting stomach, which is saying a lot for a restaurant chain that’s so fanatically vegetarian it doesn’t even serve egg. Still if you ever find yourself East side of the tracks and are looking for some good South Indian grub and a Pokestop, Shiv Sagar is the place to be. Don’t forget to try out their Mysore Sada Dosa (Rs. 85).
11) Goa Bhavan Canteen, JVPD, Juhu
Price of A Sol Kadi: Priceless
Goa Bhavan is an amazing little seafood restaurant in a random building in Juhu. It’s surprisingly clean and quite a nice place to drop by for lunch. I’d recommend their Bombail Fry (Rs.140). They have not one but two Pokestops with the chance of catching a Psyduck.
12) Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden, Hill Road, Bandra West
Price of A Pint of Indian Pale Ale: Rs.273
Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden is a charming little microbrewery right opposite C’est La Vie on Hill Road, it’s a bit on the pricey side but it’s definitely worth it considering they have Karaoke Thursdays and some of the finest brews in all the land. Don’t order the Belgian With though, it tastes like the backwash from a fingerbowl at a South Indian restaurant.
If you know any Pokestop restaurants and cafes that we haven’t yet covered, feel free to let us know. We just might invite you to join us on our next adventure.
Photo credits: Zomato