A holiday in the rustic hills of Manali will cast a magical spell on you as you explore the scenic marvel nestled in the Himalayas. The picturesque setting will feed your soul, but what about your stomach? There was a time when food in the hills was associated with Maggi, momos and tea. But today, the food scene in Manali is quite the opposite. The hill station is also home to some of the best Ski Resorts In India that cater to the adventurous spirit of both Indian and International tourists.
Hidden along the steep turns of the hill station are some of the best cafes in Manali. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet meal alone while admiring the picturesque snow-laden peaks or sit amidst pleasant notes of music set against the rustling rapids of river Beas — either way, Manali’s best cafes whip up lip-smacking treats that are a must-try, when in the area.
7 Instagram-worthy cafes In Manali
1. Backstreet Cafe
A famous cafe in Manali, Backstreet Cafe is an unmissable gem that has beautiful outdoor seating in a secluded corner of the hill station. Enjoy a cup of coffee and fresh sandwiches as you sit on their rooftop area, watching the hills and listening to the river gently flowing through Manali’s dense foliage. Read a book, immerse yourself in nature and take an Instagram-worthy selfie against their graffiti-laden walls as a fond memory etched in time.
2. Cafe 1947
Among the best cafes in old Manali, Cafe 1947 is an iconic landmark in the area. Located at the start of Old Manali, it exudes a warm and welcoming vibe, perfect for an intimate date night under the stars. If you book in advance, you might be lucky enough to get a secluded spot on the cafe’s open riverside patio, where you can eat your slice of thin-crust pizza listening to live music and nature’s eerily humming silence. Though the warm wooden interiors, with muted yellow lights, also set the tone for a cute IG picture.
3. River Music Cafe
Dining at this riverside cafe in Manali is an adventurous experience to indulge in when visiting the hill station. Just imagine, a seat by the flowing river where the rustling sounds are muffled by all the chatter around you, and a slice of fresh tiramisu waiting to be devoured. Oh, and amid it all, over-enthusiastic tourists zip-lining over the river. Soak in the vibrant scenic setting, and then request someone to take a candid shot of you dining by the river!
4. Casa Bella Vista
Disguised as a cosy cottage, Casa Bella Vista is the best cafe in Manali. You’re not going to find this spot on any map, so ask around because their warm ambiance and scrumptious food are too good to miss. Grab a table by the window to enjoy a view of the verdant hills as the warm rays cut through the cool mountain air filling your heart with a frenzy of gratitude toward life. While you order from the cafe’s extensive menu, do try their homemade cheesecake and extra cheesy pizza, you won’t regret it.
5. The Lazy Dog
The best cafe in old Manali, Lazy Dog looks straight out of a Pinterest image with its raw wood interior and striking blue sofas. A perfect spot to click Instagram-worthy pictures, The Lazy Dog is nothing fancy, but it is the location and food which win your heart. Set amidst the vibrant greenery of the hills, an outdoor table at this cute cafe will bless you with pleasant whiffs of mountain air as you slurp on a plate of their steaming hot and cheesy white sauce pasta. And if you look up, you might spot an adrenaline lover soaring in the distance, after all, Manali is one of the most sought-after Paragliding Sites In India.
6. Drifters’ Cafe
You cannot make a list of old Manali cafes and leave out Drifters’, it’s a crime. Nuzzled in the nooks and crannies of the lanes in Old Manali, Drifters’ Cafe is among the few pet-friendly spots in the area. Straight off, head over to their deck to get some sun-kissed pictures for the ’gram. And if you’re lucky, you might get to play with a few furry friends who frequent the cafe.
7. The Johnson’s Cafe
Are you looking for a fancy spot for your date night? Johnson’s is the best cafe in Manali that transports you to an exquisite cabin-style cafe in the hills. Their wood-fired pizza, comfortable seats, open-air seating and perfectly manicured lawns will ensure you have the best time at the cafe. A top-notch cafe at Mall Road Manali, Johnson’s offers the perfect culinary experience as you witness the buzzing nightlife in the hills.
Whether you are travelling solo, with your spouse or with family, an enriching culinary experience can enhance the quality of a vacation. So, the next time you visit the mystical hills of Himachal, check out these Instagram-worthy cafes in Manali to enjoy a delicious meal there. Do keep in mind the hill station of Manali is one of the coldest places of India and faces extreme snowfall during winter, so plan your holiday accordingly.