Namgyal Cafe: Nice Hangout Place!!!
Located just outside the monastery, it's bound to attract you since after a couple of hours inside the temple you suddenly start feeling hungry. The setup looks very good and the menu offers a huge variety. The ambience is its USP with the main sitting area being decorated with hell lot of currency notes from almost all over the Globe. It also had a shelf full with books of all kinds. So one can engage their time reading stuff and sitting at the window overlooking the majestic mountains when on a long vacation to Dharamshala.
It had a white board over the wall displaying the list of current favourites although you can select something from the general menu as well.
Only thing that disappointed me badly was the service. It was too slow and took continuous followups to get what we ordered in more than half an hour even when it wasn't crowded at all (rather we constituted about 50% of the customers at that moment).
Nevertheless, it's supposed to be a very popular hangout place famous for its Pizzas specifically the "vegan pizza". We also tried another pizza (I forgot the name). It was good for me that's it. Nothing special or extraordinary. We ordered Thukpa and Momos as well. Thukpa was too filling and good. We ordered two desserts and I didn't find any of them worth mentioning (although later I heard that Namgyal Cafe is also famous for its desserts...maybe we were plain unlucky that day)
Timings: 10am to 10pm
Favorite Dish: Thukpa and Vegan Pizza equally.
The local flavor of Thukpa is just too good. Although there's an option to eat it with chop sticks but I didn't as I just don't know how to. Maybe I shall learn someday and try it again with them.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen: Italian Fare
Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen, with its byline of, ‘The Best Italian Food in Town’, transports you to the heart of Italy with its gourmet cuisine. You climb a flight of stairs, turn right and an array of tables greet you. The décor is simplistic but effective, the food is superb and the music thematic.
It’s a place to halt for lunch or when you feel peckish. They arrange takeaways also.
- Food and Dining
The Black Magic Restaurant: Impression Counts!
The Black Magic Restaurant is a classier joint. Sedate lighting, glass and chrome affair, ample space. It is a joint for a good dinner, not a hasty meal; a place to unwind after a tiring day of sight-seeing; a place for good music, matured wine, aged whiskey and delectable cuisine.
If you want to celebrate your wedding anniversary, have a memorable meal with your beloved or arrange a tryst, this is the place.
- Food and Dining
McLlo Restaurant: Watch The World Go By
McLlo Restaurant occupies a vantage position in the scheme of things in McLeod Gang: it overlooks the main square for a respectable height. You climb a flight of stairs, grab a seat near the window facing the square, order your favourite beverage and/or dish and watch the world go by below. You’ll never get bored as the scene downstairs keeps changing, people mingling about, tourists studying their maps and consulting their guide books, monks in red flowing robes watching bemusedly, vehicles picking up and dropping off passengers and monkeys leaping from branch to pole, pole to wire, wire to building.
The décor of the restaurant is done tastefully. The bar is well-stocked and the fare superb. What more can you ask?
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Peace Cafe: Not as good as it used to be
I first visited this place back in 2006 during my initial stay in Mcleodganj. My experience was very positive which is what drove me back in for breakfast just a few weeks ago. Time has not been good to Peace Cafe.
We stopped in just after 8 A.M. to a fairly full cafe. We were given menus promptly and our orders were taken quickly. As with many of the Tibetan restaurants in the area you are given a small piece of paper and pencil with your menu. You write down your order and hand to the servers.
A simple order of boiled eggs, muesli, momos and chai was not delivered as ordered. We had to explain the order, not a hassle by any means but a bad sign. The tea was very bland and overpriced...just Rs 4 on the street and much tastier. The muesli was not really muesli but corn flakes spread on curd and some fruit on top. For Rs 60 it was overpriced. Even the momos were disappointing.
As much as I liked this place originally, I have to say skip it for now. Maybe new owners, maybe a bad morning to visit them...but it’s just not worth the money when there are so many great choices in this town.
- Budget Travel
- Religious Travel
Gakyi Restaurant: Best little cafe, neat and clean, cheap good grub
It doesn’t come any easier than Gakyi. The place is neat and clean, the owner is a feisty Tibetan woman who’s personality and comments make for entertainment and the food...it’s just good. The menu consists of Tibetan, Indian, Chinese and Continental food. It’s best to stick to the Tibetan and Chinese fare as this is what they know best.
My favorite breakfast is a plate of the Tibetan brown bread with butter, honey and jam. For Rs 35 it’s a steal. You can find several types of tea and other tasty drinks for reasonable prices and the muesli is tops here. It may be Rs 60 for the special muesli but you get a huge bowl of goodness topped with honey. Skip the chai here as well, can find it cheaper and better on the street. The interior is a no frills place with wood tables, wood benches and a few chairs. Food comes out as it is ready.
Get here early in order to find a seat. This place is busy most parts of the day except for the very off times in-between meals. Part of the fun in eating here is grabbing an empty seat at a table with strangers and getting to know them. You won’t find locals here, everyone is a tourist. Most of the diners are happy to talk and share their stories, very rarely do you find a quiet soul. This past trip I met a middle aged Brazilian woman who had just given up her job at a large TV network, sold her car and gave up her apartment to move to India for 5 months. She had been there for a month so far.
Another gal I met was an Indian girl, 26 yo from Holland who had been adopted from Bombay at a young age and was just returning to India for the first time. She was on a 3 month trek around the country.
Gakyi is well known among the tourists. Stop in to get ideas for side trips, places to stay, other places to eat, what to avoid in town, and of course good cheap food.
Favorite Dish: Tibetan Brown bread for breakfast, Veg Tofu Chowmein for lunch or Dinner, and of course the Spinach/Cheese Momos.
Mmmm..breakfast was never this good!
Just about every restaurant in McLeod serves up a great breakfast...Tibetan bread, huge bowls of fresh fruit yoghurt, eggs, banana pancakes...all add up to one heavy but delicious breakfast!
Try some fresh fruit juice or the famed hot ginger lemon tea (or the million other types) and wake up! The area rises and goes to bed early, so keep up with the routine..dont worry the crisp mountain air will be glad to help! :)
Favorite Dish: Everything's great, and extremely cheap! after a meal, walk the mountains for exercise!
The Peace Cafe: A welcome
This cosy little cafe was a welcome haven for a wet and cold walker!! The food is the cheapest I have ever had, filling and wholesome.
Favorite Dish: The Thenkthuk (I think thats how it is spelt) is a broad noodle dish in a vegetarian broth with plenty of fresh veggies. It was delicious and very filling, perfect to drive away the cold, and at only 30 rupees impossible to fault!!
Hotel India House Restaurant: Fantastic Thali
A really lovely warm and cosy restaurant. The waiters are friendly and helpful and the food is phenomenal.
Favorite Dish: Both the meat and veg thali were the best I had on my whole tour of India and beats a lot of the curry I have had in the UK!!
World Cuisine right here in Mcleod Ganj!
Lots of foreigners= lots of food!
There's a rooftop Israeli restaurant, where we had some good albeit fried chicken! That was the night their electricity went out, so we dined by candlelight. And yes, it was lovely! :-)
Besides this you'll get some Indian/Tandoori, Chinese food etc...but my tip: stick with the Tibetan, once you leave, you'll miss it forever!!
Great food: Everywhere!
Tibetan's sure know how to look after traveller's as far as food is concerned. It's always nice to have a break from the local food and have something different every now and again when it's on offer. The first place I tried out for dinner was Jimmy's Italian Kitchen which is small place on Jogibara Rd. I had a lovely pasta carbonara with bacon but felt rushed as I soon had the place to myself and the waitress then left leaving just me and the cook! I had seen that they did waffles, which are a favourite of mine, and so ordered them, much to the cooks disgust even though it was only 9.30pm. Things up here seem to close pretty early like they do in Shimla. Food was excellent.
Another good place was near where I was staying called Nick's Italian Kitchen (I think you can follow the theme here!). I came here for breakfast a couple of times as they have a great roof terrace with spectacular views over the hills. I also came here for dinner one night and had a great mushroom and veg quiche and steamed fresh vegetables followed by apple pie and custard! The desserts in McLeod Ganj are heavenly and I wish everywhere in India did them!
The Taste of India: If you love Indian food
If you love Indian food, do not leave McLeod Ganj without a visit to "The Taste of India". It's a small "hole in the wall" place run by a family from Mumbai. Great food and great value! If you've got enough time you might want to take the three day cooking course run by the lady who cooks your dinner. People who find this place return to it night after night. For a change of pace try Nick's, and for lunch the patio at Nick's or the Nyamgal cafe in the temple complex.
Favorite Dish: Favorite dish impossible to choose. I'd start with the mixed veg., the malai kofta and then try everything else!
- Hiking and Walking
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Shangrila Restaurant: McLeod Ganj's BEST Restaurant....by far!
If you want to try beautiful Tibetan Mo-Mos then this is the place to eat! Run by monks of the Gyundmed Monastery it has a purely vegetarian menu. It can be forund upstairs in the Shangrila Guesthouse opposite the Gompa on Jogibara Road. The decor is homely with carefully painted floral bordering and portraits of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama adorning the walls.
The food is really cheap with Milk Tea setting you back about Rs.5, Banana Pancakes (for the Wester Touch) Rs. 25, Tomato Soup Rs. 15
Favorite Dish: and the best dish of all Veg Mo-Mos in soup only Rs.15 for 10 tasty momos in a flavoursome soup with plent of Ginger and spice....yum!!....take me back there!
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Food Lover's Paradise
The small family run tibetan restaurants lining the streets of McLeod Ganj are a Foodies's delight. Most restaurants are reasonably priced and serve great tibetan and continental food. The furniture and decor is basic, a few small wodden tables and chairs in some, benches in others, but the food and ambience is just amazing.
Try the Tenyang Coffee House on the temple road for scrambled eggs, grilled sandwiches and the best coffee in town. Gayaki, Snowland and Bhakto - all serve tibetan and continental food and are great options for lunch and dinner. The Indian restaurant at the India House Hotel serves good north indian food.
Favorite Dish: Fresh fruit yoghurt, Museli, Tibetan soups and Momos, Mashed potato, Pancakes, Fresh Green Apple Lassi, Ginger Lemon Tea, Tibetan Sorig Tea ... and the list is long.
Ooh the Tibetan delights!
Lining the main streets are quaint tibetan restaurants (rather sweet, with their small size and benches), where one can feast on such delights as momos (try the mutton ones, and defnitely taste the spicy red sauce!) soupy thuk-pa, pork chilly fry etc..the portions are enormous, price-extremely reasonable and almost every restaurant is good. We did however hear about the famed "SNOW LION" restaurant, but when we looked around we found 3 of the same name!! And in the time that we were there, we tried all three and many other tiny ones.
The quaintness lies in sitting in the balcony of the restaurant (not all of them have em) and taking in the gorgeous view while eating some delicious hot food in the cool weather! You will find all kinds of nationalities sitting on the nearby tables, engaged in animated conversation or just biting into some delicious peach pie and reading a book..oh yes, due to the influx of foreigners, Dharamsala's refrigerators are well stocked on exciting desserts! Do try the pies and cobblers:)
Favorite Dish: Momos !! (kind of like dim sum)