There is something about the hills that continues to enthrall us. And even more about the quaint surroundings that push us to scale the heights and make it there. The effervescence of a laid back retreat and aroma of unexplored cuisines make hill station cafes in India so loved and popular. Cafes that sit atop mountains entwined amid the woods and rocks bring nomads together to share a drink, munch on a piping hot meal and engage in gripping exchange of travel tales
On that note, I bring you the 20 top hill station cafes, going from Himachal to Uttarakhand to Sikkim, then West Bengal and then Tamilnadu. Sit back, initiate an impromptu, drift along nature’s magnificence, and soak in the laziness around- that’s exactly how you like it! Eh?
Best Cafes in Manali
1. Drifters’ Cafe: It’s all about good food & great alcohol
The cafe serves some lip-smacking American, Continental, and selected Indian dishes. Along with a dedicated breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, the cafe has a fully stocked drunkard’s corner.
Must try: Espresso with brown sugar and a shot of whiskey topped with cream
Website | Timings: Summer – 09:30 am – 11:00 pm, Winter – 09:30 am – 09:30 pm
2. Cafe 1947: Lip-smacking Italian delicacies
At Cafe 1947, they serve some of the most exquisite Italian dishes prepared with ethnic Italian cheese and spices. Pizzas and Risotto are a Must Try. They have routine music nights as well, thus making hanging out there all the more fun!
Must try: The Burger of Bodom, Vegeta, UFO, the Slayer Pizza, and the Metallica Pasta
Reviews | Timings: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Best Cafes in Shimla
3. Wake & Bake: Arise, awake, and hog!
Wake & Bake brings you an array of Italian cuisines, Middle-Eastern delicacies, fast foods, and plenty of beverages to choose from. It is one of those places to initiate good conversation with a stranger, read a book, play or listen to music along with all the surreal thoughts going on in your mind.
Must try: Crepes, hummus, pita, and waffles
Website | Timings: 09:30 am – 10:30 pm
4. Cafe Sol: Good food complimented by great ambiance
Cafe Sol is a throbbing place with a range of food menu from across the world. The cafe is popular for authentic Mexican and Italian food. Seafood fans have the option of Grilled Fish, which is served with spicy finger chips and semi-roasted vegetables.
Must try: Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken served with fresh lettuce, parmesan cheese, oregano croutons (rebaked bread), and Caesar dressing
Reviews | Timings: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm (Monday closed)
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Best Cafes in McLeodGanj
5. Shiva Cafe: Coz they follow the path once walked by Shiva
Key motivation to tread the narrow trail leading to this cafe is the brilliant views the path offers. A doper’s paradise, it is ‘the’ place to sway to some awesome Trance music and mingle with fellow backpackers.
Must try: Chinese and Tibetan dishes
Reviews | Timings: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm
6. Moonpeak Espresso: A laidback pitstop for backpackers
The cafe boasts of a beautiful sunset view. Himachali thali is a Must Try; top it with an amazing coffee and you get a memorable experience. Some say the coffee served here is the best in the town.
Must try: Apricot Mutton and Iced Hibiscus
Reviews | Timings: 07:00 am – 09:00 pm
Suggested Read: 10 Monsoon Getaways That Will Make Your Honeymoon Last Forever
Best Cafes in Kasol
7. Stone Garden Café: Brace yourself for a trippy ambiance
Trippy music is the highlight at Stone Garden Cafe. Located near the main Kasol street, this cafe gives you more reasons than just dining. But what wins you over is the music and the ambiance. Food is run-of-the-mill; tasty nonetheless.
8. Shanti Cafe: High by the woods
Stoners harness special love for food. It happens more in Kasol because the place breathes hashish and thanks to the irrepressible hunger that arises after a couple of a few puffs. Non-smokers enjoy the food too because food in Kasol is pretty much awesome! Thanks to cafes like the Shanti Cafe that serves warm food.
Best Cafe in Kasauli
9. Cafe Rudra: Cosy and quality are the words
Cafe Rudra is a very simply done, small cafe around one corner of the main Kasauli market. It presents you some delicious snacks along with the steaming cup of coffee and rejuvenating music for your ears. It is indeed one of the most trusted places in Kasauli to grab a quick bite.
Reviews | Timings: 09:00 am – 09:30 pm
Best Cafe in Lansdowne
10. Lansdowne Trip – Travel Cafe: The quirky retreat
A cute little cafe situated by the highway, Lansdowne Travel-Trip Cafe has a small seating area, gramophone, a few books, walls decorated with quirky pics, and an antique store. Sounds like fun for travelers passing by!
Must try: Pomegranate tea and chicken sausage
Reviews | Timings: 09:00 am – 07:30 pm
Best Cafes in Rishikesh
11. Ramana’s Organic Cafe: Behold the lush spectacle
Enjoy a wide range of organically grown salads and vegetables, homemade soups, and fresh baked goods at Ramana’s Organic Cafe. All the vegetables and most of the fruits served there are grown in their surrounding gardens.
P.S. Closed now because of the off-season. The cafe reopens in October.
Must try: Kale Lasagna and Pumpkin Ravioli
Reviews | Timings: 11:00 am – 04:00 pm
12. Bistro Nirvana: A foodie’s ultimate nirvana
And all this while, you’ve been wondering, how having a good food is synonymous to nirvana! You will continue to do so until you’ve visited Bistro Nirvana – a go-to place for all the foodies traveling to Rishikesh.
Must try: Avocado Quesadillas with pineapple sauce, hummus, and pita
Reviews | Timings: 09:00 am – 10:30 pm
Best Cafes in Mussoorie
13. Little Llama Cafe: Living in the fast-food lane
Little Llama Cafe is your quaint little space where you can easily spend a couple of hours sipping the Hibiscus Ice Tea or nibbling on a variety of salads. With beautiful mountains evoking creativity in you, it is an exceptional experience to be here and enjoy a delish meal.
Must try: Pork ribs, berry shake, and spiced frappe
Reviews | Timings: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm (Closed on Tuesday)
14. Kalsang Friends Corner: Taste of real Tibet in Mussoorie
The eatery is run by a bunch of funky guys from the North-East. Chinese-Tibetan ambiance, soothing music, hearty food, and quick service distinguishes this food joint from the others in the area. Some profound sayings by Dalai Lama have been framed and keep there and it can be seen adorning the cafe’s interiors.
Must try: Tibetan dishes
Reviews | Timings: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Best Cafe in Nainital
15. Cafe Chica: Where nature comes first and food, second
The cafe is known for its endearing property tucked amid the mountains. Italian, Asian, Grill, Indian, European, British dishes make a perfect menu for the cafe. Dine under the stars to savor the real allure of the place.
Must try: Ham, Cheese Croissants, and Baked Chicken
Website | Timings: 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm
Best Cafe in Gangtok
16. Cafe Live & Loud: Taking a dip into the frenzy
Discotheque, myriad of colors, and groovy music – you get all of these at Cafe Live & Loud. And that’s exactly what you seek!
Reviews | Timings: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm
Best Cafes in Darjeeling
17. Glenary’s: Of imperial, history and tickling delicacy
One of the prominent landmarks of Darjeeling since British colonial days, the Glenary’s specialize in serving amazing sweets and delicacies that have become the hallmark of excellence. Go on and tickle your tastebuds!
Must try: Chicken chili and sausage rolls (pork and chicken)
Reviews | Timings: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
18. Hot Stimulating Cafe: Music, mist, & lots of masti
Once in a while, you run across a cozy and funky cafe straight out of the ’60’s, with food that will leave you wanting for more! Such is the Hot Stimulating Cafe in Darjeeling.
Must try: Momos and masala chai
Timings: 08:00 am – 07:00 pm
Suggested Read: 8 Spectacular Places Near Mumbai People Didn’t Know About
Best Cafe in Kodaikanal
19. Cloud Street: It’s all about a quaint place, food, and fireplace!
Savor every bite of your wood-fired pizza, with spicy Goan sausage as you sit by the warmth of the fireplace, while paintings on the wall will catch your fancy for sure.
Must try: Baked fish in mustard sauce and lasagna
Website | Timings: 09:00 am – 09:00 pm
Best Cafe in Ooty
20. Willy’s Coffee Pub: Cosy cafe in the heart of Ooty
Located on a small side street off commercial road, on the first floor of a small arcade, the Willy’s Coffee Pub is a perfect sojourn for travelers. The cafe houses a small library which makes an ideal pair with freshly brewed filter coffee. Often frequented by youngsters, this is a great place to relax.
Must try: Filter coffee and chicken cutlets
Reviews | Timings: 10:00 am – 09:30 pm
Well, I know that’s a small part of the huge list of awesome hill station cafes in India, and I promise to add more soon. Till, then where are you planning your next pit-stop?
Frequently Asked Questions About Hill Station Cafes In India
A. The Evergreen Cafe serves the best-chilled beer and delicious food. This is actually one of the best hill station cafes in India and you can’t miss this.
A. Honey Hut, Cafe Sol, and Wake & Bake are the best cafes in Shimla. A few play live gigs and serve great food and have a mini library for a read.
A. Hot Stimulating Cafe is the best cafe you can visit for the famous masala chai and is surrounded by greenery.
A. Cafe 1947 has beautiful interiors and offers delicious burgers, pizzas, and multi-cuisine food. Drifter’s Cafe is popular for espresso coffee. Stay away from the noise and enjoy food and hot beverages at this cafe.
A. Shiva Cafe and Moon Peak Espresso are popular in Dharamshala. Taste the Himachali Thali at the Moon Peak Espresso. This is also the best place to get a view of the sunset.
A. Jim Morrison Cafe in Kasol is popular for playing music, serving delicious vegetarian food, and giving a beautiful view of the river.
A. Ramana’s Organic Cafe serves delicious food made from organic produce. Bistro Nirvana is another place for foodies to relish delicious continental food.
A. Willy’s Coffee Pub serves the best coffee and has a small library. Chicken cutlets are the best here along with filter coffee.
A. Cafe Chica is surrounded by beautiful lush green and scenic views. Nestled in the beautiful mountains, they serve a variety of international cuisine. Enjoy relishing Asian, European, Italian, and British dishes.
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