What to eat in Shimla? 5 Food recommendations that you cannot miss.

Shimla is no culinary destination like its sister towns of Manali and McLeodganj – both of which offer much wider variety and choices however the city does offer some decent options to keep you kicking for all those hikes and walks that you would take on the mall road.

Shimla besides being capital of Himalayan state – Himachal Pradesh, also happens to be one of the most famous tourist places in India. The mountain city has a Victorian charm like none other and despite urbanization related problems, remains one of the most pleasant places that you can visit.  Proximity from Delhi along with good road conditions make it an extremely popular weekend destination for residents of Delhi / NCR.
Talking about food have visited the place a few times, though have never had food experiences that I can call ‘exhilarating’. Shimla is no culinary destination like it sister towns of Manali and McLeodganj – both of which offer wider variety and choices however the city does offer some decent options to keep you kicking for all those hikes and walks that you would take on the mall road.  Here are few comments and conversations from our Food communities that would help you understand the food scene a bit while helping you decides where you want to spend your precious appetite.
Kamal Vijhani At the mall road of Shimla prominently… Domino’s, CCD and Sagar Ratna then good old famous Gufaa Restaurant, tried and tested Indian Coffee House for South Indian and Continental Snacks, Gupta ji’s Vaishno Bhojnalya near Gaiety Theatre, near Timber Market Delhi’s famous Sita Ram Bhatoore wala is also there…. There are 2-3 Bakeries too Krishna near Domino’s and Devicos near Telephone Exchange. Have Fun. 
Shashank Shekhar Have breqkfast in Chail palace…it offers gud food and served with class
Also make sure you are visiting that river where u can sit brtween water and have food..i am not rememberingname of place but its qyite famous. It is about 30 mins drive from Chail central. Any taxi vala will take you there.
Sekhar Banerjee Sadhupul is the name of the spot, it is on the way to Chail via Kandaghat
Shashank Shekhar Right..Saadhupul..thanks for tellinh…Aman – Have your lunch at Sadhupul only smile emoticon
Some ppl might sy there that its not very clean water..dont listen to them smile emoticon

Kamal Vijhani Don’t miss to have your refreshments/lunch/dinner or breakfast on the way to Shimla or back home at Giani da Dhaba, Dharampur on Solan-Shimla Road.
Food is impeccable…!!! Even celebs vouch for their food. There can be a huge waiting on weekends here. It also has famous Haveli restaurant bang opposite it.

Sekhar Banerjee The water at Sadhupul is flowing water, it is cleaner in the day but advisable to be avoided after 5 pm
Aastha Kulshrestha In shimla Laxmi hotel mall road mast yummi food
Gonny Kapoor dimsums not to miss near dominos
Sumit Bahl Trishool bakery for pastries (spoonie is awesome) and baljees for gulab jamun and veg food at mall road shimla.
Good Italian food at Cafe sol, combermere. Again at mall road shimla.
Tanya Malhotra Gulab jamun from Baljee’s;
Biscuits and english desserts from tripti bakery;
Breakfast at Cafe wake n bake

Gunjan Mahani Pizzas n tacos r also good at la-pinzo @shimla
Jaskaran Singh Try kurkej! It sounds like a non vegie dish but its an amazing veg snack! Ask anyone on the lower market road about it! Thodi fight maarni padegi to locate the shop as i dont remember the name! But its on the lower market road for sure’
Gunjan MahaniKukrejii…:)i got it jaskaran..yes it’s right there at mall road and shope name is Krishna Baker:)
Anuradha Gupta Wake And Bake Cafe

Akash Mehta Thanks Anuradha 🙂 … Any specific dishes to try there?

Ritasha Kapur Shimla mall road…awesome sandwiches and desserts 🙂

Komal Kaur Yeh puchne ki zarurat bhi ni.. Wo jo mall se stairs niche ja ri hai. Waha corner pe samne and right mrin 2 shops hai.. Ek.mote se uncle waha paranthe banate hai along with other delicacy.. Enjoy there.. Explore yourself 

Amit Saxena Lakkar bazaar ke famous lucchi puri with chhole khaa lo…world famous in shimla hai by gawd !

Jaidev Sanpal Mall road church k paas ek chole bhature waala hai bohot famous .. Pooch Lena .. Nahi khaane to Indian coffee house is the best option ..

Sapna Pundir Do try gulabjamun from baaljees after your meal on mall road.
Amit Saxena After noon snacks should be mom’s (mutton or veg) from krishna bakers, mall road
Ankit Agrawal Wake and bake cafe
Tanuj Malik Indian Coffee House
Amit Saxena Lunch from sher-e-punjab, mall road for some lip smacking Indian cuisine.
Amit Saxena Evening sambhar vada, idli sambhar and filter coffee at Indian coffee house, mall road !
Kshitij Rastogi There is a bakery shop near hotel clarks, awesome pie n cakes to try homemade by elderly couple
Amit Saxena 8 pm drinks @ himani’s or devicos at the mall
Arjun Arora Coffee house….mutton cutlet and coffee
Aman Chowdhry Indian Coffee House
अर्पित गुप्ता Honey hut, bacpkacker’s cafe

Kiranpreet Kaur Wake and bake

Prerna Chawla When u go from rhe lift to mall road there is a cafe which store writings in it will gv u an effect of vintage charm.Warning pls don’t go there .its a big NO

Gonny Kapoor sita ram bhature near skating rink

Prashant Chawla Indian coffee House. …

Akash Mehta Thank you dosto.. Aap logo kä pyaar Dekh Kar aankho me aansu aa gaye..

Akash Mehta Waise mujhe shimla se kalpa k raaste me bhi options Chahiye for lunch and dinner
Akash Mehta Waise mujhe shimla aur kalpa ke beech me lunch and dinner options Chahiye… Uske liye bhi aisa hi kuchh karna padega.? 😉

Kruti Shah Cafe sol.. hotel combermere

Ashish Raghav Indian cafe naam se famous hai mall road pe best breakfast option

Balvinder Singh You should try the Sitaram Chole Bhaturey at Lakkar Bazaar, Mall Road

Binny Babbar sher-e-punjab mall road

Anju Kohli Must visit Woodville Palace- excellent kitchen.

Amit Saxena Ande zaroor khaa Lena mall pe…baarish main accha feel hoga…available at lower bazaar as well as in front of shimla club

ManSi Bajaj Malik How is shimla at present.. the crowd n the weather? I ll be going there next week

Akash Mehta Weather is okay.. Gets cold in the evening..

Akash Mehta The days are hot.. Rains forecasted tomorrow.. Might improve the weather..

ManSi Bajaj Malik N is it too crowded.. ?

Akash Mehta Not really ManSi

Shuchi Sethi Thnks for all the tips guys….me also going to shimla tomorrow

Gurdeep Singh Gyani’s Dhaba at Dharampur.This is between Kalka & Shimla.

hawna SapkaareJust saw the post – Go for hide out cafe its at mall road its just amazing
There seems to be a lot of recommendations in the comments above, and for the convenience sake I will sum up top 5 recommendations here, these are combined from comments above and my own experiences. The list is in no particular order, numbering is just for convenience.
  1. Indian Coffee House : Seems like cooperative restaurant chain’s outlet is one of the most popular joints in Shimla and like every where else in India they would have their standard menu and standard style as well. Mutton Dosa, Cutlets, Coffee etc – almost everything is very reasonably priced and food can range from average to bad – however I am sure Shimla’s weather does the trick and people end up enjoying one of its kind food that you get there.
  2. Giani Da Dhaba, Dharampur : This is not exactly Shimla however it is a super popular Dhaba on the way to Shimla. Have had pleasure of having several meals here – Butter Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Egg Bhurjee etc – honestly speaking not extraordinary stuff, however hot, decent & fresh food which does the trick when you are hungry. If you have not tried it before then do give it a shot, even if it is just to tick of the place for your list.
  3. Wake and Bake Cafe : A new entrant to the scene, this is a beautiful and cozy café located right outside Townhall. You can take the window seat, read a book while having a look at life go by on the iconic Mall road of Shimla. They do serve decent food and the coffee is served from imported machines making it at par with any modern coffee shop. Just a bit cuter.
  4. Momos on mall : There are several vendors on the mall road, some of them do get mentions in comments above. My 2 cents say that you can try almost any of them as long as you see other people eating there. The whole weather and ambiance of mall would make sure that they would taste good.
  5. Gulab Jamuns at Baljees and Kukrej : Though have not tried either personally, however these two items are not on top of my list. Gulab Jamuns because they are Gulab Jamuns and Kukrej because its something that I have not heard or tried before. Which also makes me think that not many of you would have heard or tried this item. Its getting recommended by other food lovers, so must be taken for a spin.

Other notable mentions : Chhole Bhature from Sita Ram near Church – have never had them, don’t think the Super famous Sita Ram Dewan Chand of Delhi has anything to do with this guy in Shimla, however few people have recommended it so you might want to try them. Also Bun or kulcha Chhole do not get a mention here – it is an item you will get on the roads leading to Shimla, they have a unique style and taste, something tourists appreciate and has their own fan following. Another item I remember enjoying was Vegetable Pakodas you get in the lower bazaar. Shimla weather and pakode are made for each other, do take them for a spin.

This is no way is a comprehensive list, and we are keen to hear from you – Please do share your food recommendations for Shimla for benefit of fellow food lovers.

What to eat in Manali? Food recommendations for your vacation in 2016

Manali is one of the most famous and most visited tourists destinations in India. Every year it sees hordes of visitors from Northern Plains looking to escape the heat and just to ‘Chill’ a little. Besides that the town sees a regular flow of tourists not only from all over India, but rest of the world as well. Besides being a destination in itself it also acts as a base for lot of treks and travelers looking to explore Greater Himalayas. And on their way back it serves as a perfect spot to relax a little and rejuvenate their tired bodies.

Though the Hill town is surrounded by many worthwhile places, however I always look at Manali in 3 sections – Old Manali, Vashishtha & Main Manali.

Main Manali houses majority of eating options and that is the part that gets most chock-a-block with tourists and it is not uncommon to see it drowned in an ocean of white taxis ferrying tourists from one view-point to the other. While it remains popular with family audience, the more trendy urban populace of India chooses to hangout in Old Manali.
Old Manali is a different world from main manali – spread around a stretch of incline leading to a popular temple on top – this is a town in its own. Almost all the famous cafes are in this Area and have plenty of options for those who are looking to rub shoulders with some hipster and hippie populace.
Vashishta is a small village around 3 kms from the bus stands in Main Manali. The village has a smaller and less urban feel to it when compared to Old Manali, however it has plenty of guest houses & cafes to keep budget travelers and trekkers happy. Though there are no names that pop-up to my mind from that area, however almost any cafe would fix you a very decent sandwich, omelet, pizza or lasagna.
If you are a North Indian, then avoid eating North Indian anywhere in Manali. To throw more light on eating joints & food areas in the area, do read some of the recommendations that have come from fellow Food Enthusiasts. After these comments you can see my recommendations and some of the food pictures from Manali.
Nitin Shivani Different sandwiches and coffees at Dylan’s Cafe in Old Manali.
I had one with avocado, loved it. Their cookies are nice too.
 Taran Sikka Where’s it exactly?
 Nitin Shivani When you cross the bridge to enter old Manali, take a left and keep moving for around 200-300 metres. It’ll be on your right. If unable to locate, ask locals
 Sonia Chhatwal Redcafehouse
 Pia Jhamb Old Manali has the best restaurants to chill. Please avoid NewManali, its super crowded. Must go to The Lazy Dog, Dylans and Drifters. check this to know more: http://www.eatstory.in/best-restaurants-in-old-manali/
 Pragya Saxena Chopsticks is must on mall road.. Along with that drifter’s cafe, cafe Johnson
 Taran Sikka Must haves at these places?
 Pragya Saxena Taran Sikka.. Chopsticks mainly for non veg.. RestAnchor-Comedian Aman Srivastava will tell u
 Aman Srivastava Try anything you want to at chopsticks.. I don’t even remember the names of the dishes.. Try their springrolls for sure.. Gyathuk was tasty too.. Try Tingmo if you haven’t (it’s a bread).. Ask the waiter for suggestions.. He’ll guide you well.. But all in all, don’t skip Chopsticks.. It’s the top rated in Manali in all aspects..
 Aman Srivastava Chopsticks on the mall road is a must visit but only if you’re a non vegetarian.. Johnson’s cafe, drifter’s inn and cafe 1947 shouldn’t be missed either..
 Manish Jolly Johnson cafe and mum’s kitchen.
 Taran Sikka Must haves at johnson?
 Pragya Saxena Spaghetti pasta n French fries
 Pankaj BhardwajChopsticks, Johnson’s cafe
 Pragya Saxena Chopsticks… Johnsons cafe… Drifter’s cafe
 Khadeeja Memon Janapav for the local thaali
 Naman Yadav River trout with rice in khyber restaurant
 Naman Yadav If you are a lucky one then you can also find red rice must eat
 Shivangi Goyal Riverside cafe ! Johnson’s caFe
 Manish Jolly Mum’s kitchen
 Annkur Kapoor Club sandwich at Gozy restaurant
 Annkur Kapoor Cocktails at Apple country resort
 Sumit Pandey Village Goshani must be on the list… You can fish trout on your own and enjoy by the shore
 Aman Srivastava Cafe 1947 as well.. Chopsticks on mall road is a must visit…
 Saloni Madan Thank you so much everyone for the valuable suggestions. smile emoticon
 Manik Batra You should definitely not miss the freshly made chocolate chip cookies at Dylan’s cafe.
 Sumit Pandey Village Goshani must be on the list… You can fish trout on your own and enjoy by the shore
 Aman Srivastava Cafe 1947 as well.. Chopsticks on mall road is a must visit…
 Saloni Madan Thank you so much everyone for the valuable suggestions. smile emoticon
 Manik Batra You should definitely not miss the freshly made chocolate chip cookies at Dylan’s cafe.
 Tarun Yadav Rivers cafe, cafe 1947, drifter’s inn
 Anurag Sahni Evergreen cafe old manali. Johnson cafe
 Anurag Sahni Casa bella vista old manali.
 Anurag Sahni And do go to il forno if its still open for pizzas
 Anisha Kapoor The food at Drifter’s Inn is exceptional. Also chill at Lazy Dog… Once ur done with these places..try the Bhagsu Cake from any of the German Bakeries, its a 30/- version of our 300/- Banoffie Pie. Once ur done with these…try anything else. Johnson is over hyped and over priced…it just enjoys being the only ‘fine dine’ in the city.
Pradeep KumarDrifter’s Inn >> just grab your ordered food and go right up to the roof top and enjoy with mountains all around you ! The food is quite good, though nothing like “not-to-be-missed” !!!
Conversation and comments above would give you a vague idea of the general opinion, however having visited Manali on a few occasions myself, here are some of my personal recommendations :
  • Visit any of the German or English bakeries that you can spot. They make their own bread and can fix you a mean sandwich at a reasonable price. Also opt for Yak cheese if they have to offer. Avoid the meats as they most probably would be canned, stick with vegetables and eggs. Their other baked goodies might not be as refined as what we see in fancy bakeries these days, but then once you get hand of them, you cannot get enough of them.
  • Drifter’s Inn – one of the personal favorites – have tried Pizzas, Eggs Florentine, various Pastas, breakfast combos, burgers, shakes, rajma chawal etc – they might not be THE best, however mostly manage to hit the spot right.
  • Johnson’s Cafe – This place is an experience in itself. One of the finest done places in India, they have multiple seating areas and options. This restaurant with well stocked bar is one of the most popular places in Manali and having tried their Food, specially baked Trouts a few times – I am not surprised at all. A bit expensive by all standards, however well worth the price.
  • Casa Bella Vista – One word – Pizza. Some of the finest you will taste in India. Do visit the restaurant of this resort run by a European lady to experience genuine food fired oven pizzas done with fresh cheese and pure veg ingredients. I love their outdoor seating or low seating in their main restaurant. Also try their drinks – specially the mint and lemon ones. Very refreshing they are.
  • Fresh Fruits – Just buy them from anywhere – cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches – they all grow in Himalayas and you get to savor them at their freshest best in Manali. Do consider picking few for home – they do sell by the cases – but make sure you haggle hard when buying in decent quantity.
  • 1947 Cafe, Lazy Dog, Bob Dylans – they have their own charm and have food choices to offer. Do visit to experience these places – though have nothing to recommend in particular, however you can expect decent version of almost everything.

And not to forget Maggi at numerous ‘maggi-points’ that you will come across around and beyond manali. There is not much to differentiate one from another, however find your perfect spot and just go for it. The chances are that it would be the best Maggi you will ever have in your life.

Apple Cinnamon Burrito with Vanilla Ice-cream and Chocolate sauce. It has a different charm when you are actually sitting under an Apple tree in an Orchad... :D @ Bee's Knee, Old Manali
Apple Cinnamon Burrito with Vanilla Ice-cream and Chocolate sauce. It has a different charm when you are actually sitting under an Apple tree in a Orchad… 😀
@ Bee’s Knee, Old Manali
Trout done in Indian spices.... @ Johnson's
Trout done in Indian spices….
@ Johnson’s
'Ten Don' at Lazy Dog in Manali. Its a 'Donburi', which is a Japanese word for one-dish meal. Consists of Tempura (deep fried vegetables) & Egg topped on Rice... Quite Delicious it was.. :D
‘Ten Don’ at Lazy Dog in Manali. Its a ‘Donburi’, which is a Japanese word for one-dish meal. Consists of Tempura (deep fried vegetables) & Egg topped on Rice…
Quite Delicious it was.. 😀
Would you believe me if I told you that these were Tacos ?? @ Bee's Knees, Old Manali
Would you believe me if I told you that these were Tacos ?? @ Bee’s Knees, Old Manali
Special breakfast @ Rainbow Cafe, Vashisht Manali. A glass of fresh apple juice and Kerala coffee not in picture. All of this for Rs. 170. And omelet cheese waala hai.. :P
Special breakfast @ Rainbow Cafe, Vashisht Manali. A glass of fresh apple juice and Kerala coffee not in picture. All of this for Rs. 170.
And omelet cheese waala hai.. 😛
A bowl of Spaghetti done in tomato sauce with olives and basil.... @ Cafe 1947, Old Manali...
A bowl of Spaghetti done in tomato sauce with olives and basil…. @ Cafe 1947, Old Manali…
Fresh brown bread, Omelet, Yak Cheese, vegetables and Home made Mayonnaise - AWESOMENESS @ English Bakery, Old Manali...
Fresh brown bread, Omelet, Yak Cheese, vegetables and Home made Mayonnaise – AWESOMENESS @ English Bakery, Old Manali…
Rajma Chawal I had in Manali. While you enter Vashisht area, there is Hotel Bhrigu on your left.. bang opposite that there is a dhaba that claims Rajmah Chawal to be their specialty. They are made in Desi Ghee and costs Rs.60 for the combo. I have no eaten much Rajmah Chawal outside my home, but this definitely has to be one of the better ones.. I guess the beans that are used in that area are different from the ones we use in Delhi.
Rajma Chawal I had in Manali. While you enter Vashisht area, there is Hotel Bhrigu on your left.. bang opposite that there is a dhaba that claims Rajmah Chawal to be their specialty. They are made in Desi Ghee and costs Rs.60 for the combo. I have no eaten much Rajmah Chawal outside my home, but this definitely has to be one of the better ones..
I guess the beans that are used in that area are different from the ones we use in Delhi.
Peanut Cookie @ German Bakery, Vashisht, Manali
Peanut Cookie @ German Bakery, Vashisht, Manali
Pan Grilled Trout @ Drifter's Cafe, Manali
Pan Grilled Trout @ Drifter’s Cafe, Manali
Oregano and Olive Oil Bruschetta at Il Forno, Manali
Oregano and Olive Oil Bruschetta at Il Forno, Manali
Mint tea.. perfect for Manali weather..
Mint tea.. perfect for Manali weather..
Mango Pie for Rs. 60 @ German Bakery, Vashisht, Manali Made from fresh mangoes...tasted just WOW! :D
Mango Pie for Rs. 60 @ German Bakery, Vashisht, Manali
Made from fresh mangoes…tasted just WOW! 😀
And here comes the show stopper. The great Himalayan trout.... Worth every praise that has ever been sung about it... @ Johnson's Cafe
And here comes the show stopper. The great Himalayan trout….
Worth every praise that has ever been sung about it…
@ Johnson’s Cafe
A common Sundae/Dessert across the backpacker trail in India. Can you identify this one ??..
A common Sundae/Dessert across the backpacker trail in India. Can you identify this one ??..
Delicious aloo palak at Freedom Cafe, Vashisht.. by Michelle Rowan
Delicious aloo palak at Freedom Cafe, Vashisht..
by Michelle Rowan
Cherries... had them in Manali last week.. the best I have ever tastedd.. :D
Cherries… had them in Manali last week.. the best I have ever tastedd.. 😀
Burger @ Drifter's Cafe, Old Manali
Burger @ Drifter’s Cafe, Old Manali

Again – this is not a comprehensive list and we consider this as a work in progress, if you have some other eating options to recommend, please do add them in the comments below, would be helpful for fellow food lovers.