Happy 2017 y’all! My first post this year is about Fooood!
If you’re following me on Instagram, you’re probably aware that I spent New Year’s Eve in one of the most visited hill stations in India – the land of the Gods as they call it, Kullu Manali.
Manali is about 10-12 hours drive from the capital, New Delhi. To be honest, India’s Himalayan stations have amicably surprised me over the few months that I’ve been travelling around, from the Wildflower hall in Kufri-Shimla to my most recent adventure in Kullu-Manali.
The best part of this place is actually the food, thanks to the backpackers who have majorly influenced the area. Honestly, it’s not about how great their Chef’s were but more like “where else can you have fresh fried fish next to a magnificent river, overlooking snowcapped mountains?”
During the winter months, a lot of restaurants in Manali shut down until April so I decided to come up with a post to help travellers this season.
Here are some places that I personally discovered by talking to the locals and by patiently trying new restaurants everyday.
Johnson’s Bar and Lounge
There are two Johnsons’ restaurants (and hotels) in Manali located right next to each other. One is amazing for Italian dishes (Jameson) and the other is one of the best restaurants in the country for trout (Johnson’s Cafè). Don’t get confused.
Both restaurants are super nice with fireplaces and cozy sofas.
P.S. I stayed at both the Johnson’s hotel just to see the difference. The verdict shall be kept for later! 😉
2) Raj Cafè
We found this place by accident while walking around Old Manali. I was shocked when I found out the Thapa’s (the couple running the restaurant) are actually known for their momos and Thukpas in Manali. So I went back and had a little chit-chat with the owner, they usually run out of momos by 6 so make sure you come early. 👀👅
3) Bella River Banks
This is one of the riverside restaurants you would come accross on your way to Manali. They honestly have the best fried trout ever. I personally vouch for it.
Again, the discovery was accidental. I was initially put off by their dirty restrooms – to which the owner immediately fixed so we gave it a try. And I’m so glad I did!
The best place to have a bonfire and enjoy fresh fish by the river. P.S. They were also featured by Highway On My Plate.
4) Snake ‘Park’
This is a bit hard to find, but if you do find it, its worth it! This is something your will never find on the internet.
I’m not sure whether its Snake Park or Snake Bar, either way works. I found out about this place when I was talking to one of the local drivers. It looked really shabby at first, it’s one of those roadside tiny shacks that would make you assume eating there would lead to food poisoning. But don’t worry, I have a pretty sensitive stomach and nothing happened to me.
It doesn’t have a sign board, its just a plain restaurant made of bamboos, one that could probably fit less than 20 people at once but the kind aunty that runs the place makes the BEST mutton momos in town + sheep soup.
I think it’s quite popular with the locals, not so with tourists because it’s not just far from main Manali but also hidden!
How To Find:
Ask anyone in Patlikuhal for Shivaji’s Mandir. It’s on the same line, 2nd shack from the left. You’ll see something made of bamboo. Go inside!
If you’re more into the ambience of a place, then this one is for you. It’s a hip Italian joint with hand tossed pizzas and lasagnas plus shisha lovers can enjoy huff and puff by the river!
6) Mount View
This one is right in the middle of the mall road. Very easy to find and very yummy ‘kothe’ (half fried momos). This was my favourite stop for momos!
P.S. They also serve really nice Thukpas. 🙂 Stick to their Tibetan cuisine.
7) Cafè Amigos
Looking for Yak Cheese? Walk a couple of steps ahead of mall road and voila, you got yourself a super peaceful bakery where you can also get coffees, late night!
I realised Old Manali has a really good string of restaurants, you can easily hop to one from another. Drifter’s Inn is amazing for breakfasts, it’s one of the places you should go to if you just want to chill on your laptop/chitchat with your friends and have a good meal.
Bonus: Golgappa Stall
Last but definitely not the least, my favourite. Golgappas! Cannot ‘not’ have them panipuris when in India, right?
There’s a stall at the end of the mall road, right accross the post and before the crossing. I forgot the name of the place but they truly have nice golgappas – even better than the ones I’ve had in most urban cities.
That’s all, folks. You can thank me later 😉
PIN IT FOR LATER! <3