In Shimla -Manali itinerary,generally, Manali follows Shimla or sometimes vice-versa. It all depends upon the route followed from Chandigarh onward.
Shimla to Manali( NH-88) -
Tourists tend to commence their journey early morning from Shimla to reach Manali well in time. For sure, there would be a halt for taking breakfast or lunch.
Following places are famous for taking stop-overs for decades as the Himachal Road Transport Corporation(HRTC) buses used to stop at these points-
-Jharna ( 43 km from Shimla)
-Chamakri pul (51 Km from Shimla)
-Bhararighat (56 km from Shimla)
-Hara Bag (85 km from Shimla)
All these places have budget Dhaba's. One such place is Veshno Punjabi Dhaba (or recently they have also named it "my space restaurant"). I have been having food here very frequently because it's old(since 1991) and a family-run Dhaba.