Cafe hopping in Manali- part 1 Old Manali

Tripoto

We spent 2 months in Manali, often working out of cafes to get our daily caffeine fix. Here’s a list of our top cafes in and around Manali to work and play from.

Manali has some of the best coffee shops and cafes and depending on the time of the day some of them are just quiet enough to work and day dream from. A word of caution though- these are popular tourist hotspots and weekdays during peak season tend to get pretty noisy and crowded. So if you have work calls to attend it’s best to work out of your own hotel or homestay.

And if you drink as much coffee as us, you can simply join us on a cafe hopping adventure at our favorite places. Depending on the part of town you are visiting here are our top recommendations.

Old Manali:

Arguably the most happening place in Manali. Do visit for excellent grub, live music and local souvenirs.

Pro tip- if you are coming from Manali Mall road, walkthrough the beautiful Deodar lined Van Vihar- a surprisingly serene wooded path in the heart of the city.

Cafes in Old Manali:

Evergreen Cafe- A bustling cafe overlooking the river. It’s got quite the vibe but carry a jacket since it can get chilly out on the deck with the river flowing underneath.

GyGi recommends- the carrot cake is a must try.

Evergreen Cafe, Old Manali

Photo of Cafe Evergreen Manali, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

Johnson’s cafe- part of the Johnson’s lodge and spa this is quite the place. A gorgeous property with hydrangeas in bloom all summer, come evening the place hosts some of the best gigs in town. Though on the more expensive side, the menu is extensive.

GyGi recommends- the vegetarian burger is one of the best in Manali

Johnson's Cafe & Spa, Manali

Photo of The Johnsons Hotel Cafe & Bar, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

The Lazy Dog- though technically more of a restaurant than cafe, the place is fun to hang around in the evenings. The USP is definitely the outdoor seating area facing the river and luxurious weeping willows.

GyGi recommends: arriving early in the evening to grab the river facing tables.

The Lazy Dog Cafe, Old Manali

Photo of The Lazy Dog Lounge, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti
Photo of The Shed, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

6. Cafe Black Pearl- Another Old Manali cafe overlooking the river, we particularly enjoyed savouring the sunshine after a quick morning trek to Jogini falls.

GyGi recommends- spending a leisurely morning taking in the view.

Cafe Black Pearl, Old Manali

Photo of Cafe Black Pearl, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

7. Rocky’s cafe- Nestled high up on the hill near Manu Temple, if you’re on foot the climb will definitely help you work up an appetite. We enjoyed working and reading here on a weekday afternoon. On clear days you can spot Jogini waterfall and the view from the terrace is glorious. Pro tip- the place transforms into quite the party hub in the evenings. So if you’re planning to work from here the best time to visit is in the morning and afternoon.

GyGi recommends- spend the day soaking in the view here or come around later in the evening if you’re in the mood to party.

Photo of Rocky's Cafe, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

Mingma Cafe- we’d go far enough to suggest that this tiny, unassuming shop in Old Manali serves the best coffee. They only serve coffee and desserts though and if you are on a workation a take-away would work best.

GyGi recommends: the chocolate chip cookies are to die for.

Mingma Cafe, Old Manali

Photo of Cafe hopping in Manali- part 1 Old Manali by ThoseGypsyGirls- Asmi & Smiti

The Shed- right opposite Mingma on Old Manali road, is the happening bar The Shed. Again not quite exactly a cafe, we enjoyed our beers and live music on weekend evenings.

GyGi recommends- the ditzy Wai Wai salad which is essentially-you guessed it- Wai Wai noodles with onion, tomatoes and a dash of lime.

@those_gypsygirls