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

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-worhty views. Here is a list of some of the top 12 cafes in Manali to stop by:

1. Cafe 1947 - Best Cafe 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. One of the coolest places to enjoy brunch while looking at the hustle and bustle of 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 a candlelit 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. Richik's Cafe

Richik's Cafe, Cafes in Manali

Got a couple hours to kill and need a laid-back place that won't mind if you hog a table for long? A place that is literally and figuratively warm, all courtesy of the wonderful man who owns this little place, Richik's is so welcoming that you forget you are on a trip. Slow country music playing, soothing interiors and a damn chill host, isn't that we all we truly need in a cafe? Food is tasty and value for money. You can even enjoy fancy flavoured sheesha while you're here.

Must try dishes: Pasta, Pizza, Biryani
Location: 300m from Old Manali Bridge
Cost for two: INR 600 (Without sheesha)
Timings: NA

9. Casa Bella Vista

Casa Bella Vista, Manali cafes

This alluring cafe in Manali 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 to 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

10. 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

11. Cafe Ave Maria

Cafe Ave Maria, Cafes in Manali

This place could quickly be given a pass if one were to judge from the outside; until one enters and tastes the food. Head here if you are craving some chicken wings and the money's on us if you return disappointed. A small joint run by some very lovely people, Ave Maria, has some of the best Italian to offer. Food is tasty, fresh and the cheese they use is nothing short of being magical.

Must try dishes: Trout, Chicken Wings, Pizza, Pasta
Location: Aleo, Manali Naggar Road
Cost for two: INR 800
Timings: NA

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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 travelers 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

15. Martins


Popular among locals and travellers alike for their specialization in brunch, this cafe gets you 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

16. 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

17. River Music Restaurant and German Bakery

River Music Restaurant and German Bakery

One of the most famous German Bakeries in Manali that serves bakery products and pastries at budget-friendly prices. Situated right on the Manaslu river, the restaurant gives you a great view of the river-side while you dine on your favourite pastries.

Must Try: Cakes, Toasted Sandwiches
Cost for two:  INR 400
Location: Old Manali, Manali
Timings: 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM

18. People Art Cafe

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 surely 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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