Ooty is synonymous with Varkey and chocolates. So you have to buy these two if you visit Ooty. If you do not take these back home, you sure are going to disappoint family and friends. So we spoke with quite a few locals on the best places to buy chocolates, varkey etc in Ooty. Here is what we learned.
Modern Stores for chocolates:
Modern Stores wins hands down just for the sheer variety of chocolates they have in their repertoire. You will find tons of places selling home made chocolates, in fact the options are aplenty, it sure will confuse you. Most of the shops do not sell authentic home made chocolates. Modern Stores might be a tad expensive compared to other places, but trust me it is worth it. I was hunting for a chilli chocolate. This was the only place where I found it. We bought tons of chocolates here. Oh, I also found a mushroom pickle. Though I am not a big fan of pickle, I had to pick this. Needless to say it tasted awesome, though tad spicy for my taste buds.
Indian Bakery for Varkeys:
If Ooty is famous for varkeys then where would you buy them. Ooty of course, dumbo I hear you say. But wait. Turns out that a quaint little bakery named Indian Bakery in Coonoor apparently sells the best varkey. Thanks to our driver, otherwise we wouldn’t have known this. Oh there is also a tiny shop named Thamizhagam Coffee next to the bakery. We had an amazing coffee here and a plate of hot bajjis. All the waiters were ladies including the one in cash counter. Very friendly service. Another hidden gem we discovered, again thanks to our driver.
We visited Tea Museum. You can buy oils and tea at discount here. But ironically we did not buy tea here, we felt it was overpriced. But we did buy few oils as the price after discount was attractive. It was cheaper compared to what we found in the town earlier. The entry is free and you get some discount on Tea, Oils etc. Beware of what you buy here, as all may not be genuine.
As attractive as the name might be, again my advice would be not to buy chocolates here. They have a huge collection but not great variety. The Modern Stores trumps this place hands down. However, we bought cinnamon sticks, oils, green tea etc. I must say that the quality of cinnamon was way better than what we get in Chennai. It was so thick compared to the brittle ones we usually get in Chennai.