Nested in the Himalayas amidst the towering mountains, Manali is undoubtedly the most beautiful place in Himachal Pradesh. Being a tourist destination, tens of thousands of tourists visit Manali every year. Situated in this picturesque and breathtakingly beautiful town are a number of cafes, which are amust visit, the next time you hit this trail.
1 Café 1947
The year in the name of the place would definitely remind you about the year India attained Independence. And yes, you have connected the strings right, as this café is based on the theme of ‘Freedom’. A visit to the eatery is actually ‘freeing’ as it’s an escape from the stressful life of the city. The ambience of this place, the live gigs, the music and the food are all perfect to transform you into a new world altogether!This place serves some of the best Italian foods – Cheese Bruschetta, Pizza and Pesto, something that should not be missed. Apart from Italian, you have a wide variety of cuisines to choose from – Israeli, Continental, and Indian.If you are in Manali, Café 1947 should definitely be on your must-visit list. Our pick: their Slayer Pizza, Vegeta, the Metallica Pasta, UFOand the Bodom. To satisfy your sugar craving, we recommend you to try their Tiramisu and Fiametta.
2 Drifters’ Café
If you are in a mood to laze around, then this surely is a place for you. Drifter’s serves the best breakfast in the town- Eggs Florentine and Egg Benedict, Pancakes and Waffles drenched in luscious Maple Syrup that will uplift your soul. They even serve Italian, Indian and Continental, so you have a variety to choose from. Once you are at Drifter’s, we bet you won’t leave early as the café also provides vivid range to leisure around. You can play board games, read books in the library, and get in touch with the fellow travelers and know their story.Want more? You can even rejuvenate yourself in the melodious music as they hold the best musical nights in town! And if you are in a mood to try some hookah, Drifter’s has that option as well.
3 Johnson’s Café
A terraced garden with a lit bonfireand majestic mountains in the backdrop; pleasant temperature accompanied by performances by a live music bands and to top it scrumptious food! What else do you need in life? One of the oldest and the best cafés in the valley, Johnson’s should definitely be on your must-visit list. The café has a multi-cuisine menu –Mughlai, Classics, Continental and Pan Asian but if you are at here, don’t forget to try their trout. They have eleven different ways to prepare the fish. Our pick: wood oven baked trout with roasted Almond Sauce. The fish is perfectly cooked, soft and succulent and just melts in your mouth. The Sauce is icing on the cake; it’s so good to be true. You can even try the trout curry with Himachali Red Rice and steamed Spinach or the pan-fried trout with Lemon and Garlic.
4 THE LAZY DOG
Don’t we all want to be like the lazy dog; eat, sleep repeat.Justkidding!This place is apt to hangout with your family and friends and the setup here is so casual- the bean bags hammocks and the wooden chairs gives you a total relaxing and a laidback kind of a vibe. Food here is suited for everyone.They offer Thai, Korean, Chinese, Indian and Japanese cuisines. The most ordered is the Indian Thalis, Butter Chicken and Chicken Curry. Want to try something international?Then Pumpkin and Coconut Soup, oven-baked Trout and Thai Rice bowls are our pick for you. And don’t forget to try their grilled Trout with a glass Cocktail or Wine.It’s totally worth it.
5 CASA BELLA VISTA
Located at the most scenic place in Old Manali, Casa Bella Vista is a small Spanish café run by a Spaniard and her Indian husband. You need to hit this place, the next time you are in Manali! Sit calmly on the tables carved out of the tree trunk, admire the scenic beauty while sipping on your super-thick Coffee shake and see yourPizza being rolled out in the wood fired oven. While Pizza baked in the wood-fired oven is a must try item, don’t miss out on their French Onion Soup, Green Ravioli, and the very yummy Chocolate Coolant with Molten Chocolate.
6 Café Amigos
If you are in a mood for some light snacks, Café Amigos is the place for you. The Café serves some of the most mouthfuls of treats that you shouldn’t miss. The Café has a simple sitting arrangement, perfect for a cozy and a relaxing evening. We recommend you to try their Pizzas, Enchiladas, Nachos, and Pizzas. Enjoy your evening here with your family and friendsand order that hot coffee with the Creamy Pizza and the Nachos and indulge in a hearty conversation with your Amigos.
7 Fat Plate Cafes
Located in the small sleepy village,Suru, a few kilometers from Manali, Fat Plate Café is a place for you to just find your inner peace and be lost in the soulful atmosphere and the fresh crispy air of the mountains. What’s most exciting about the café is its picturesque location, amidst colorful flowers with the mountains in the backdrop.Let’s not forget their food! The café serves some delectable hot and steamy Trout with Plum Sauce. Every veggies you get here comes from the café’s own garden, adding that extra flavor to the dish. Our pick for you is Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Plum Sauce Served with Carrots, Zucchinis and Potato Wedges.
8 La PlageManali
A sister unit of La Plage Goa, this eatery offers you every luxury on this earth. Situated on a steep hill amidst the apple orchards, this place should be visited for its perfect ambience. When in La Plage, do indulge in Trout Carpaccio or French onion soup. But that’s not the end, equally irresistible is their Chicken served with Morel Sauce and Mutton Caillettes with Potato Gratin, and the overnight cooked Lamb. And for the desserts, treat your taste buds to their Chocolate Thali.
Just a 5 minutes’ walk from Hadimba temple, Il Fornohas the perfect locationamidst the Apple Orchard and the breathtaking view of the mountains. This Italian Cuisine Restaurant will remind you of the Old European Café. Do visit this place for its Calzones and Wood -Fired Oven Pizzas because that’s what it’s known for. Indoor seating is available but we recommend you to sit outside,grabbing the soulful food in the tranquil atmosphere.Add a Tiramisu to complete this heavenly experience.
This small and cozy cafe will remind you of Tibet. The ambience is simple yet captivating. A BhavaCakra (Tibetan wheel of life) wall hanging, snow lion flag on the wall, a photo of the Dalai Lama and Laughing Buddha on a shelf, adorns the cafe. The eating joint gives you the feel of small Tibet in Manali. ‘Chopstick’ as the name suggests, servesAsian cuisine. It is a good mix of Tibetan, Japanese and Chinese dishes. Who wouldn’t enjoy the warm Thupka in the chilly weather of Manali? So while you are here do try theirGyakok. With this yummy and savoring soup, you can enjoyTofu, Chicken, Noodles, Bok Choy, Vegetables, and boiled Egg. We also recommend you to have Momos,Thukpa and Sizzlers here with some Jasmine Tea.
11 Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted
Dylan’s isthe Central Perk of Manali where a lot can happen over coffee. Started by three friends who loved Coffee and wanted to give the gift of this creamy soulful drink to the ones who visit the town, Dylan surely is the most iconic place in this small town. Visit this place and just get mesmerized by the cozy and warm ambience and that great Coffee prepared specially by the Beans brought from Chikmagalur and Coorg. The café uses only the Indian Coffee Beans and you’ll be surprised to know that the owner himself roasts the Coffee Beans. Other than Coffee you can try their Munchies, Yogurt Drinks and Toast.
12 Rose Garden
The restaurant lives up to its name because as you enter the café the sweet scent of the roses just wafts up. Run by an Italian lady RosalbaLucioli, Rose Garden is a perfect place if you are looking for solitude. The owner gets the Meat imported from Italy and to add to it she has her own gardening area where she grows her Herbs, Fruits and Veggies. Just lay back and relax watching your Pizza being kneaded and freshly baked in the oven. We recommend you to try the famous Poire Belle Hélène-Vanilla Ice cream with lushWarm Poached Pears. It surely as scrumptious asit sounds.
13 Martin’s (Himalayan Sports Club)
Located in Shanag village, five km away from Manali, Martin’s is only for those who would be spending a weekend in the Himalayan town. Well, the café just opens on a Sunday. Yes, you heard it right- A Sunday. And it doesn’t end here. The café is open only from noon to 5p.m and you need to pre-book it. But Martin’s is an experience in itself as its serves you the best grilled Chicken! And if you miss out on it (as their menu changes on a weekly basis), you can try their Smoked Trout or just pick up something from their great Pizza collection.
14 German Bakery
German Bakery is the best spot to hit for baked products of this Himalayan town. Situated in Old Manali, It serves the bestCakes, Chocolates, Tea and Cookies.
15 Pizza Olive
Just as you enter the café, aroma of the freshly baked Pizza will make you crave for some. The ambience of this place will make you feel that you are enjoying the creamy, cheesy Pizza in Italy! The interior is warm, cozy and captivating yet quiet chic and sleek. They have both the indoor and garden setting where you can enjoy the creamy Pizza and Pasta with the old country music with just one thing on your mind –It’s a Wonderful World!
16 Sa Ba
Enjoy Sa Ba’s tender & juicy chicken while enjoying the view of the mall road. Though the place has simple ambience, the food served here is really good. Try their Chicken Sizzlers or the Chicken Burger, the flavors just melt in your mouth!
17 Mom Kitchens
If you are missing home-cooked food,don’t worry as Mom’s Kitchens is at your rescue, serving food that is finger-licking and homely. Mom’s Kitchens serves the bestcontinental food in the town. Though small and simple, this cafe serves the best Baked Potato. Do try their Pizzas and Desserts. A wide variety of Desserts are available and we bet you’ll be confused what to choose.
If you in a mood to relax,enjoy a hearty talk with your friends and family, then Khyber is the place for you. The ambience is cozy and captivating. They serve a variety of cuisine- Continental, Mughlai, Chinese and Indian. The non-vegetarian food served here is tender, juicy and luscious. Our pick: Punjabi Meat Afghani Chicken and Tandoori Trout. Try these with a bottle of Fruit Wine, Cold Beer or a Cider.
19 Cafe Cabana
Yummy Food served with a range of Classic Cocktails and peppy Music;what else do you require on a break? You can enjoy your meals indoor if you want to but they even have a rooftop sitting area where you can enjoy your meals watching the snow-covered mountains. Though they serve variety of cuisinestheirIndian cuisinesarejust perfect to satiate your taste buds. Do try their Chowmein with Mushroom Paneer.
20 People Art Cafe and Lounge
Located in Old Manali, this place has a chill vibe attached to it as you can meet new people here and become friends. The café has a roof-top area too from where you can enjoy some good view of the valley, soaking in some music. The Grilled Trout Fish at People Art Café and Lounge will make your heart melt.