Shillong serves as a gateway to Meghalaya and the town aptly justifies its name as "Scotland of the East". Due to its mesmerising beauty, westernized culture, and jovial people, cafes in Shillong have recently become some of the best-kept secrets in India. To keep up with the pace of growth of tourism, many cafes and eateries are sprouting in Shillong.
These are our picks for the 10 best cafes in Shillong:
1. Dylan's CaféUnarguably one of the most famous Shillong cafes, Dylan's café lies opposite the St. Edmund's School in Risa Colony. This dreamy and cozy café offers delectable food and its theme is a tribute to Bob Dylan. Dylan's is not just limited to tasty food but also includes board games, great live music, or even the option to paint a tile to adorn the ceiling of this place. The softly lit ambiance coupled with the variety of food will leave you asking for more!
Timings: 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Location: Risa Colony
Must-try: Chicken wings, Mississippi mud pie
2. Café ShillongSituated in the Laitumkhrah area in the L.P. Building, this sophisticated café offers an array of continental dishes. The live music here is some of the best in Shillong. Often flocked by a really attractive crowd, this enchanting café in Shillong offers great food that can spice up your evenings. The local bands playing here often help the visitors to relax after a hectic day. Hop on to this café to dig in some delicious cafe fare.
Timings: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Must-try: Roasted pork ribs, Irish coffee
3. ML 05 Café
Celebrating love for bikes and rides, this comfy café in Shillong pays tribute to the biking culture of the city. Although it is situated a bit far from the city center, every attribute of ML 05 makes it distinctive and unique from a lot of the other cafes in Shillong. As soon as you step in, you will feel like entering a garage. No one can ever forget the gleaming Harley Davidson set in its middle.
Timings: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Location: Before Eastern Air Command
Must-try: Bombay Chicken wings, Pasta. Fried rice
4. Swish Café
This eatery can be noted as the first café to be opened in the entire state of Meghalaya. It was the café to initiate the coffee culture in Shillong. Swish Café was started by Mary Tariang in 2003. Placed at the Laitumkharah Beat House, Swish café has a very hippy ambiance and is frequented by youngsters. Its relaxed aura and cool vibes have been luring many visitors since the day it has opened. It is also frequently visited by musicians due to its artistic vibes. This Shillong café has a mini library, a television, and live music being played at almost all hours of the day.
Timings: 11:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Must-try: Mac-n-cheese, Coffee, Roast chicken, Smoked pork fried rice
5. Café Shillong HeritageCafé Shillong Heritage is nestled in the serene backdrop of Tripura Castle. It is the sister café of Café Shillong and offers a very quaint setting for visitors. Larsing Ming Sawyan along with William Diengdoh started this café in 2012. This cafe in Shillong is extremely famous for its visual appeal and relaxed ambiance among travelers. The star dish of this restaurant are their dumplings, which are served with some tangy dips to further enhance their flavors.
Timings: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Must-try: Dumplings, Hazelnut coffee
6. Bread CaféHome to some delectable cheesecakes and brownies, this café-cum-bakery is heaven for foodies. It is located in the commercial hub, Police Bazaar, and was one of the earliest cafes in Shillong to have sprung up. Offering decadent German pastries and a variety of other bakery products, Bread café provides relief from tiring shopping sprees in the bazaar.
Timings: 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Location: Police Bazar
Must-try: Chicken Danish, Coffee
7. Little Chef Café
Posing as one of the coolest Shillong cafes and a haven for people with sweet tooths, Little Chef café lies at Police Point. They offer an extravaganza of pastries and pizzas to sink your mouth into. This cafe has a rustic atmosphere and warm vibes and is easy on the pocket. So, just dash into this café and ask for some piping hot coffee with savory croissants to go with it!
Timings: 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Closed on Sunday
Must-try: Chicken Patties, Crepes, Coffee
8. MunchiesA must-visit for the cheese cravers, Munchies is just a few meters from Café Shillong. They offer Mexican, Lebanese, Italian, and Russian food at reasonable prices. Don't expect a glitzy ambiance with plush interiors, as this quaint Shillong café has a more relaxed vibe to it. It was started in 2011 and has been exuding youthful energy since then.
Timings: 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM, Sunday: 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Must-try: Burger, Hand-beaten coffee, Strawberry smoothie
9. Café Coffee Day
This outlet belonging to the renowned chain of Café Coffee Day Global Limited is a hit in the city of Shillong. Popularly known as CCD, it is located in Police Bazaar and is a quiet place to savor a cup of coffee. It is an apt place for meetings and discussions as the ambiance here is quite peaceful.
Timings: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Location: Police Bazar East
Must-try: Devil's Own Coffee, Frappe
10. Open Up Café
This cute Shillong cafe has earned quite a name for the hotdogs and the superb theme incorporated in its environs. A delight for the comic buffs, this café is beautifully designed on the theme of various comics like Batman. The place offers some amazing burgers served along with spicy and tangy dips along with the usual range of coffee and snacks.
Timings: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PMThese cafes in Shillong cafe are perfect to nibble on some local cuisine while chatting with your pals. Some of these have fancy interiors while some offer a backpacker's experience. The dreamy town of Shillong is best explored by strolling through its bazaars and lanes, stopping just to dig in some delicious food and a cup of coffee at any of these wonderful cafes.
Location: Mawlai, Mawroh
Must-try: Hotdog, Momos