Filocafe is pure delight. With high quality, Italian style coffees, beautiful panoramic views in every direction, and a lovely, thoughtful atmosphere, this spot is by far the best cafe in the city, perhaps in all of India? After wandering the narrow, bustling lanes of Benaras it is well worth the climb up to this retreat above the city for a relaxing respite from the chaos. When you reach the top you'll find an open and airy space that is just as suited for large gatherings of friends as it is for solo studying or an intimate coffee date for two. If you've come without your own reading material, no worries, there is also a small enclosed library with shelves of books to choose from. You will not find many signs or advertisements for Filocafe, but the cafe's ambiguity is part of its charm. Situated on the roof of the Ram Bhawan Kautilya Society Residence, a Varanasi-based non-profit organization and guesthouse, Filocafe is more than just a typical coffee shop - it is a space conceived for dialogue and one to be owned by its community. Plus the iced cappuccinos are delicious!
Practical considerations: The owner took care to relieve all of us cafe loiterers of the ultimate annoyance - no outlet to plug in the computer! There are more than enough electrical outlets for use near all tables. Each table also comes equipped with a handy stick for deterring curious monkeys. (Last but not least, reliable wifi connection!)
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