Y'all probably know by now what a big foodie I am (you DON'T? OMG babies, what you doin', go follow me on Instagram right away and SEE me going crazy about food almost every single day!
I think food is a huge part of the culture of a place, and it actually forms a huge part of travel for me! Travel is incomplete without food, so I make it a point to sample the local cuisines and specialties wherever I go.
I've put together a list of places you MUST visit when you're in McLeodganj and Dharamshala, and this list has been sourced with the help of travel junkies, locals, and my own experimentation. Have fun with it ????
Best. Cappuccino. Ever. I avoid caffeine, but I downed 4 cups in 2 days. The Tibetan mother-daughter duo running this place work their magic on the cappuccino and vegan desserts. The carrot cake is super famous too, but I really enjoyed their Paradise Bar. You will want to return again and again and again and eat EVERYTHING you see.
If you put it on Google maps, you'll find it a little elusive to locate, so look for Black Magic Restaurant. This is located in the basement of the same building, on Jogibara Road itself ????
The Tibetan food is DELICIOUS. I had the Thukpa - a simple noodle soup, classic Tibetan, and the flavour is mind blowing. And the momos, OMG!
Kunga and Nick's Kitchen
Go here for the desserts, and have these - Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Carrot Cake. Thank me later, babies ????
Also, you might read a LOT about how Nick's has the best pizzas in all of Mcleodganj and Dharamshala. It doesn't. Have the desserts, but skip the rest.
Trek and Dine
The Italian food here is AMAZING. It's also got a little area where you can sit cross-legged, plug in your laptop, and get some work done.
This one is located closer to Dharamkot. I totally got lost on the way to finding it, but it's quite close to the main street that leads from McLeodganj main market to Dharamkot.
You might miss this place, because it's tiny; so tiny that there's no door, there's only a curtain covering the main entrance, and I had to very tentatively move it aside to make sure I wasn't intruding. Turns out, that's the place! Great Tibetan food. The thukpa is excellent, and I've heard the momos are fantastic as well (if mutton is your thing).
Of course I will mention Illiterati. I spent so much of my time there, with coffee, books, and my laptop, staring out at the mountains more than anything else! It's the prettiest cafe EVER, the walls are lined with bookshelves (I was sold the second I entered); this little cafe faces the Dhauladhar range, and serves some of the best coffee around. And their chocolate dessert is decadent, don't miss it. I have a special affinity for their grilled cheese, though, I think it's one of the best things on the menu! Why would I ever want to leave?
Moonpeak Cafe serves the best cappuccino (AFTER Woeser, of course, that place is in a league of its own) and has a great selection of desserts. The restaurant by the same name right next door serves a Himachali Thali, and it doesn't get more authentic than that.
Rooftop dining, dim lighting, kickass selection of food, and great prices. Are you sold yet?
Blossoms Village resort, Sidhpur
The food here is pretty good, and they also have a 24×7 bar and lounge. Much needed, eh? It's a rooftop gig, and they've got lots of fun stuff planned all week, from happy hours to ladies nights and lots more.
I LOVED the momos here so much that I went back twice JUST to have those! They've got an incredible spread of desserts as well (WHY, dear god, we'll all get fat, but that's okay, we'll all be happy :P) The staff is really friendly too, and that's ALWAYS. good thing ????
Other places recommended to me, but I didn't get a chance to try-
Lhamos - croissants are said to be excellent
Bodhi Greens - an organic, vegan place with great vibes. Location: Dharamkot
Clay Oven - Thai food
I hope you get to try everything Mcleodganj and Dharamshala have to offer! If you do manage to try any of these, send me a picture on Instagram ????