Best Cafés in Manali
Quite literally at the top, Road ends at Rocky’s. Located on the hill top ahead of Manu Temple, Rocky’s café has fantastic view of snow clad mountains and wonderful relaxing ambience. Food was decently good, but cheese and spinach momos with green chutney were amazing, emphasis on green chutney. We practically asked for it with everything else we ordered. This was my workplace with best view till date. I sat there from 11am till 5pm while working on my project and embracing the Himalayan range. This café should be on your must visit places in Manali. Go to Rocky’s during day time to enjoy the views. They also have rooms for stay, so if you want to spend a night at this pretty place, just book in advance online or ask at the reception.
The Lazy Dog
It is a café cum lounge with outdoor seating right next to the river, Minalsu. A mountain side acts as a side wall to the outdoor seating while river flows on the side. Sound of waves in backdrop of mighty mountains of Himalayan range makes your experience serene and your food tastier. Snacks at The Lazy dog are really nice. You can also ask for sheesha here. My suggestion is to go here in the evenings while the sun is still out and enjoy the lights coming out while sun sets and candles on the table come to life.
Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted Coffee House
Run by Rajan Dylan Nalwa, Dylan’s is the place to go for best chocolate cookies ever and amazing coffee shake. As I was staying at Zostel which is about 1 km uphill from Dylan’s, the calories in the cookie were well deserved after a walk up and down the hill. I went there 4 days in a row only for those “infamous cookies”; additional calorie intake was just collateral damage. Do try these cookies if you are in Manali. Dylan’s also has an outlet in Goa.
Cornerhouse Manali gave me a special lunch time with Pavane, who has been a traveller all her life and is now running a homestay and a café in Manali. Although I couldn’t visit her café, I will always remember this lunch with her. Her stories are no less than an inspiration to any traveller. I will write a separate post about people I met in Manali. For now, lets come back to food at Cornerhouse. I ordered Veg Hakka Noodle and they were delicious. Although the service was slow, but the corner seat with a view and Pavane’s company compensated for it.
Rasta Café at Vashist Temple Road
This one again has a branch in Goa. Days are quiter and the evenings are soulful with live music and amazing food at Rende-vouz Cafe. I spent a nice quite time with my book here during the day while I came back again (with my hostel roommate) for an awesome fresh pizza baked in front of us and live music played by a local band.
This was close to my hostel and had a rooftop deck seating as well. I preferred the deck but a storm made me go back in. It had decent food but the ambience was nice with many travellers just sitting and chit chatting.
German Bakery in Old Manali
This was a very small café in one of the bylanes of Old Manali and we visited this at night. They did not have any amazing views or any frills of a café but you can meet some really nice travellers from different parts of the world. Menu had basic stuff and food was decently good but people you meet here are fun.