15 Best Cafes in Manali That'll Make You Want to Revisit

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Snow-covered, awe-inspiring heaven. You just cannot take your eyes off this charmer of a place called Manali. Whether it is to escape the summer heat or be lost in the bliss of snow, you just cannot resist visiting this exquisite hill station. Imagine walking under tall pine trees and relishing in the never-ending beauty of the mountains juxtaposed against the snowy-white clouds.  

But wait.. what was that? Did your tummy grumble? Well, fret not as this gorgeous place also has some equally gorgeous cafes to give you that Instagram-worthy views.

Here is a list of some of the best cafes in Manali to stop by:

1. Cafe 1947 - One of Best Cafes in Manali

Cafe 1947, Cafes in Manali
Nestled beside the flowing Beas river and dotted with colourful yet tiny little trinkets, the very vibe of this place is enough to keep you coming back. By appearance, it is a quaint, cosy little cafe on a corner of the Old Manali Bridge. You may opt for outdoor seating as well but if you do settle inside make sure to choose a seat by the window so that you can enjoy the surreal view while relishing some of the best continental cuisines that Manali has to offer.

Touted as one of the top cafes in Manali, they also serve cold beers and sheesha, the quality of which is found to be above average. Also, do chance upon the live music here because it takes evenings spent here to a whole different level!
Must-try dishes: Pizzas, Pasta and Burgers
Location: On the way to Manu Temple, Old Manali
Cost for two: INR 500
Timings: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day and 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Wednesday

2. Johnson's Cafe

Johnson's Cafe, Cafes in Manali
Set against a picturesque backdrop of snow-capped mountains, this quaint Manali cafe has one of the best ambiences in town. Giving you an option to dine outside, a lush green floral garden greets you in the daytime.

If you like evening time better, a dimly lit area with a bonfire will welcome you. Inside, rustic wooden furniture and retro music album posters form the highlights. The menu is limited but has some of the best European classics. However, the prices are a tad bit on the higher side.
Must-try dishes: Trout fish
Location: Circuit House Road
Cost for two: INR 800
Timings: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM

3. Drifter's Cafe

Drifter's Cafe, Manali cafes
Now this one is a hidden gem that takes very good care of your breakfast woes. Again an Old Manali champ, it even gets a local band to play Hindi and English classics in the evenings. Lovely interiors, great food and board games to kill time - what's not to like?!

A pro recommendation here would be to visit during the peak season to experience the delightful warmth that a cosy cafe fireplace can bring to you. A separate bar menu is available for all you cocktail fanatics.
Must-try dishes: Chicken Stroganoff, Egg Benedict, Trout, Pizza
Location: Manu Temple Road, Old Manali
Cost for two: INR 500 (excluding booze)
Timings: 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM

4. Born Free Cafe

Born Free Cafe, Cafes in Manali
If you want to enjoy the best live music in Manali, come to Born Free. The live music that they play in their lounge is probably what your soul needs after a tiring day of sightseeing. If that was not enough for you, this place also happens to be a hostel as well as co-working space. It provides affordable rooms to travellers from across the globe (all you solo travellers, listen up!).

It also has that hippie vibe to it - that typical Old Manali charm is reflected through beautiful graffiti on its walls. All types of cuisines starting from American to Himachali are available here making it one of the most visited cafes in Manali.
Must-try dishes: Pasta, Hummus
Location: Old Manali Bridge
Cost for two: INR 500
Timings: 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM

5. Dylan's Toasted and Roasted Coffee House

Dylan's Toasted and Roasted Coffee House, Manali cafes
This one is for all the hardcore coffee lovers. It's the best place to kick back, enjoy a coffee while munching on freshly baked cookies and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one. Dylan's is one of the coolest places and certainly the best cafe in Manali Mall Road. It also stacks up books in a mini-library for you to curl up with. Good music, good vibes from fellow travellers and all things Bob Dylan - the perfect recipe for an afternoon full of daydreaming.
Must-try dishes: Turkish Coffee, Fresh Cookies
Location: Old Manali
Cost for two: INR 800
Timings: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM (closed on Sundays)

6. Kilta Cafe 

Kilta Cafe, Cafes in Manali
Another rare find if you want to have the best taste of pure coffee in the whole of Himachal. You can smell the blissful aroma of the coffee from at least a kilometre away. The coffees are hand-brewed by the owners themselves who happen to be some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

They even have some delectable desserts to go with your cup of coffee. You can sample some mocha for home as they also sell roasted coffee. This is indeed one of the fewer coffee cafes in Manali making it hugely popular for that big smoking cuppa in the Himachali cold!
Must-try dishes: Coffee, Cakes, Cookies
Location: Nagar Road, VPO Aleo, New Manali
Cost for two: INR 500
Timings: 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

7. The Lazy Dog Lounge

The lazy dog, Cafes in Manali
If you want to whisper sweet nothings into your beloved's ears while enjoying candlelight dinner at a riverside cafe, this Manali cafe is for you. The Lazy Dog's location makes it perfect for an outdoor seating area which is surrounded by lush greenery. The alcohol is a bit overpriced here but the food and ambience definitely make up for it.
Must-try dishes: Spring rolls, Sushi, Trout
Location: Manu Temple Road, Old Manali
Cost for two: INR 800-1000
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM

8. Casa Bella Vista

Casa Bella Vista, Manali cafes
Among the most famous cafes in Manali, Casa Bella Vista makes pizzas that can very well draw in Italians. Its alfresco seating and location make you admire the beauty of the hill town more (if that's even possible). Late in the evenings, you can hear the sound of the river flowing nearby. Add that too lovely decor and a lip-smacking Italian menu isn't it just heavenly!
Must-try dishes: Pizza, Ravioli, Cheese Cake
Location: Log Huts Road, Off Old Manali Road
Cost for two: INR 1000
Timings: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM

9. Sunshine Cafe

Sunshine Cafe, Cafes in Manali
Famous for its Israeli cuisine, this entrancing Manali cafe does not stop at that. The staff is super-friendly, and the crowd is anything but mainstream. With ample options for vegetarians, the food is not only delicious, but the portion sizes are more than enough. Interiors scream of a rustic old cafe with black & white paintings adorning green-bricked walls.
Must-try dishes: Thin Crust Pizza, Salad, Hot Chocolate
Location: Tempe Road, Manali
Cost for two: INR 500
Timings: 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM

10. Fat Plate Cafe

Fat Plate Cafe, Manali cafes
Let's end the list of the heavenly cafes in Manali with a place that has exceptional desserts to offer. Go for the desserts and the perfect location which is sure to give you an experience you will remember. Slightly on the outskirts but worth visiting on a warm and sunny day.
Must-try dishes: Desserts
Location: Shuru, Naggar Road
Cost for two: INR 800
Timings: 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM

11. Cafe Amigos

Cafe Amigos
If you feel like eating along to some soothing guitar tunes and really good hippy decor, this cute little cafe that serves German cuisine will take care of that for you. This cafe is great for some quick bites and even provides free Wi-Fi.   
Must try: Apple Pies, Chocolate Ball
Cost for two: INR 400
Timings: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Location: Circuit House Rd, Siyal, Manali

12. Cafe Meraki

Cafe Meraki
Are you looking for that quick comfort food or just plain starving? Cafe Meraki offers some of the best in town cuisine that ranges from burgers to momos and much more. The Hotel Antarctica on Manu Temple Road houses this beautiful cafe where people from different places come together and make music from time to time as they even provide music equipment. With their distinct attention to detail and amazing customer service, they have made a name for themselves among the locals and travellers alike.
Must-Try: Momos, Burgers
Cost for two:  INR 400
Timings: Monday - Friday: 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM; Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Location: Hotel Antarctica, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali

13. Martins

Popular among locals and travellers alike for their specialization in brunch, this cafe gets your amazing food with breathtaking views to go with it as they have an al-fresco laid back seating system that fully takes advantage of the amazing location. Run by an Austrian chef, whom the cafe is named after, the cafe has a very large cult following. But, before you go make sure you reserve a table as they are usually packed during brunch hours on the only Sunday they are open.
Must-Try: Grilled Chicken, Smoked Trout
Cost for two: INR 1000
Timings: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM (Only Sundays) April to November
Location: Shanag Village, Himalayan Sports Club, Manali

14. Rasta Cafe

Rasta Cafe
Located near the Vashisht Temple, Rasta cafe is THE hangout spot for travellers with their low-table and cushion seating and budget-friendly food. A great place to chill and relax while you watch your favourite shows and movies as they even have a dedicated TV room. The cafe also features artworks from across India and the world on its walls as the owner really encourages artists to express themselves.
Must-Try: Greek Salad, Trout, Pizza
Cost for two: INR 500
Location:  Near Vashisht Temple, Vashisht, Manali, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM

15. People Art Cafe & Lounge

People Art Cafe
Located right opposite to the Lazy Dog Cafe, this cafe lets you enjoy an amazing meal with a side of hookah if you so, please. With live music and cuisines from over 5 countries, this cafe is sure to assault your palate with all kinds of flavours.
Must-Try: Pad Thai Noodles, Sushi, Burgers
Cost for two: INR 500
Location: Hotel The Conifer Manali Road, Old Manali, Manali
Timings: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Now that was gastronomy on point! We have given you so many delightful stops to make on your journey - pick one and unwind.

However, bear in mind a few things:
  • Check with the cafe for the timings because some of them remain closed during off-seasons.
  • Always carry extra cash as some of the cafes may not accept cards/e-wallets.
  • Roads stay crowded in the daytime in the peak seasons.
  • Check the reviews before entering a cafe to avoid disappointments.
Happy hogging!

This post was published by Manisha Panda

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