10 Cosy Himalayan Cafes That Are Perfect To Chill In The Hills

Tripoto

This is my eat-and-destroy-yourself list, a guide featuring some of the best mountain cafes in India that you need to try the next time you hit the hills. Go forth – and eat all the things!

Shimla

1. Wake & Bake

If you are looking for great food and great people, don’t miss Wake & Bake on your next visit to Shimla. With an open-minded approach to food, it is Shimla’s answer to the very hip joints of Kasol and Manali.

Photo of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: 34/1, Mall Rd, The Mall, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Must try: Hummus with Falafel & Pita Bread, Shepherd's Pie, Chicken, and Hot Chocolate

Contact No. +91 177 281 3146

Old Manali

2. Drifters’ Inn & Cafe

Tucked in the quaint village of Old Manali, Drifter’s Cafe is a cozy place and a home away from home for ‘drifters’. Free WiFi, a library of books, board games, guitar and some really exciting ideas will keep you entertained.

Photo of Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Manu Temple Road, Old Manali Village, Himachal Pradesh

Must try: Himachal-style lamb curry with rice, Neapolitan pizza, potato gnocchi in creamy tomato sauce served with garlic bread, and waffle combo.

Contact No. +91 9805033127

Rishikesh

3. 60's Cafe Delmar/ Beatles Cafe

Combine dramatic views with fantastic music, a 60's theme and excellent food; this is Cafe Delmar/Beatles Cafe for you.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Paidal Marg, Tapovan Sarai, Near Hanuman Mandir, Rishikesh

Must try: Spinach salad, Chocolate pancake roll, and onion and spinach stuffed gram flour pancake served with tangy tomato salsa.

Contact No. 089795 82527

Kasol

4. Stone Garden Cafe

Its popularity comes as a result of the comparably flexible closing time. During peak season, the cafe is open till the wee hours. While you're there, enjoy the trance music and the beautiful scenic view.

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Manikaran Road, Near Shiva Mama Cafe, Kasol

Must try: Fresh Himalayan trout fish

Contact No. 088949 82686

Darjeeling

5. Glenary's Bakery & Cafe

Dareeling is known as the queen of the hills and Glenary has been its reigning restaurant for 100 years now. While the floor at the road level (i.e. the ground floor) is where the bakery and cafe is located, Glenary's Multi-cuisine Restaurant is located upstairs which you can access through a stairway inside the cafe or from outside the building. And at the basement is the Buzz Bar, which is a modern pub.

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Glenary's is located on Nehru Road that leads to the Chowrasta Mall. As you walk along Nehru Road, you won't miss this two-story white building on the left. The mall is less than a two-minute walk from here.

Must try: Fresh Cinnamon buns with Darjeeling tea, meat pies and sizzlers are some of the other impressive offering of this bistro.

Contact No. 0354/ 2254122, 2254315

Nainital

6. Sakley's - The Mountain Cafe

True to its name, the “Mountain Cafe” is everything you would imagine a cozy cafe in the hills to be. Its legacy dates way back and the place is almost always full. They serve everything from continental, Italian to Indian food. Even if you don't dine here, you just can't miss their legendary desserts.

Photo of Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Mall Road, Nainital

Must try: Thai curries, honey chicken, roast lamb, pepper steaks, and plenty of Chinese dishes, pizzas and sizzlers. All cakes and pastries are fantastic!

Contact No. 097920 37482

Gangtok

7. Rachna Bookstore & Cafe Fiction

This bookstore in the quaint capital of Sikkim has defined itself as a hub of the best activities in town. From frequent book releases to musical events, Rachna Books is a sure place to visit when in Gangtok.

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Gunjan Upreti

Location: Development Area Rd, Sungava, Gangtok

Must try: Grilled chicken sandwich and coffee

Contact No. 03592 204 336

Mcleodganj

8. Nick's Italian Kitchen

The narrow road that cuts through this high hip town leads you to a cosy corner almost at the end of the town. Evergreen is a secret paradise and those who step in, come out with stories and a full stomach.

Credits: Abhishek Jindal

Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Bhagsunag Rd, McLeod Ganj

Must try: Zerusalem platter

Mussoorie

9. Café By the Way

Cafe By The Way is one of those places where the ambience just can't go wrong, anytime any day. The place serves the best coffee in town and the innovative decor of the place will put you in a good mood right away.

Photo of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Cafe By The Way, Opp. Baskin Robins, 1st Floor, The Mall, Mussoorie

Must try: Oreo shake

Contact No. 0135 263 2154

Leh

10. Bon appetit

South of the Changspa Road, Bon Appetit is an answer to the fantasies of a weary traveller in this Himalayan Desert. On offer is a minimalist Ladakhi architecture, a well-chosen menu and wonderstruck travellers opening their hearts to you.

Credits: Lee C Tai

Photo of Leh by Gunjan Upreti

Where: Chang Spa Road, Opposite Moravian Mission School, Leh

Must try: Fried aubergine-stacks, sublime cashew chicken and succulent tandoori grills.

Have you discovered a travellers' spot in the hills? Tell me in the comments below, or click here to write about it.

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