15 Best Restaurants That One Must Not Miss in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj (2023)
There are many eateries in Dharamshala and Mcleodgunj which are not to be missed by any tourist whether you are a foodie or not. There are many restaurants to try when in Dharamshala and you will want to go back to each one of them for the scrumptious food they serve. In addition to the natural beauty and blissful hills, the amazing food served at restaurants in Dharamshala is a major reason to go back to this hill station over and over. Dharamshala is a culturally diverse place where people from different parts of the country have come and settled. It is home to many Tibetan people. Dharamshala is also home to Dalai Lama, the Gaddi folk, even Nepali and Kashmiri people settled here a long time back.
Businessmen from around the country have also come and settled here over time. The local eateries are also affected by the type of tourists visiting the city away. In addition to the restaurants, Dharamshala has a huge variety of street food which should not be missed as well if you enjoy street food. The diverse culture is visible in the street food or food offered at several cafes and restaurants in Dharamshala. A walk in the mountains always increases the appetite but the good news is there are several options for you to enjoy the delicious food the city has to offer.
15 Best Restaurants That One Must Not Miss in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj
Mentioned below are the best restaurants to try when in Dharamshala and Mcleodganj:
1. Tibet Kitchen: Tibet Kitchen serves the best Tibetan cuisine in Mcleodganj. If you want to eat the authentic Tibetan cuisine, make sure you visit Tibet Kitchen. The lip-smacking food served here is incomparable to any other restaurant. They also serve authentic Bhutanese cuisine which you do not get very frequently in India. Make sure you do not miss the vegetarian steamed Momos, Thukpa, Cheese fried Momos, Mutton momos are too juicy you can taste the fat on your first bite. The place is always flooded with tourists and the locals as well. Make sure you visit Tibet’s kitchen as it will be the best Tibetan food you would have ever had.
Timings: 12 PM – 9:30 PM
2. Nick’s Italian Kitchen: Nick’s Italian Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant that serves multiple cuisines. Although the name is Italian kitchen since it was opened with the help of an Italian chef but is now being run by local Tibetans. They serve the best thin-crust pizzas and vegan kinds of pasta in Mcleodganj. The Tibetan cuisine served here is next to delicious. They serve all the local Tibetan vegetarian and vegan dishes including Lhampa, thukpa, momos, etc. The coffee served at Nick’s is amazing too which you can try with scrumptious snacks like Tofu chips. They also have an outside where you can sit, enjoy your coffee, food with the beautiful view of the mountains and valleys. Do not miss eating at Nick’s on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 7:30 AM – 9:00 PM
3. Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen: Jimmy’s Italian kitchen is another Italian restaurant that offers good Italian food. The best thing about Jimmy’s is that it offers 18 different varieties of sauces for the kinds of pasta they serve. You can choose from a lot of different sauces. The typical pasta is served with a topping of authentic parmesan cheese. The thin crust Pizza is to die for as well. The lasagna at Jimmy’s is a specialty and you should order the lasagna when here. They also serve the best shakes in town. You can choose between the high stool seating along the windows to enjoy the view outside or you can take a regular table and enjoy your food. Pay a visit at Jimmy is to enjoy the amazing food when in Dharamshala or McLeodgunj.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM
4. The Clay Oven Restaurant: Clay oven is one of the best restaurants to try when in Mcleodganj. The best thing about clay oven is that they cook the food including the pizza in an open fire oven made of clay. The oven is on the restaurant’s premises and the customers can see their pizza getting cooked in the open oven. The restaurant is located in the main market which makes it easily accessible. It is a nice play to enjoy any meal be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The authentic Tibetan cuisine is also delicious. People like to try the steamed momos served at clay oven with a glass of peach tea which is the specialty at clay oven. There is cozy inside seating and a small outside seating where you sit and enjoy the warm food in nice weather while looking at the hustle and bustle of the city downstairs.
Timings: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
5. Crepe Pancake Hut: Crepe Pancake hut is a small and very cozy eatery in Mcleodganj. They have multiple cuisines to offer. You can go there for a continental breakfast, Bhutanese breakfast, or a typical Tibetan breakfast. Their specialty is crepes and pancakes and they serve them in different varieties. They have vegan crepes and pancakes too on their menu. If you are a vegan, this is the right place to enjoy a scrumptious meal. They also serve delicious vegetarian sushi. They have a cozy sitting arrangement at the eatery where the customers are supposed to leave their shoes outside in a safe shoe rack and then they are allowed to enter inside. They have tables as well as very comfortable ground seating. Make sure you pay a visit to the Crepe Pancake hut restaurant on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 8:45 AM – 8:00 PM
6. Common Ground Café: Another cozy and quaint restaurant café located in the hills of Mcleodganj is Common Grounds Café. It has cozy seating options available for a few people where you can sit for hours, enjoy your food, and the laid-back life in the hills. They serve dishes ranging from Chinese to the Himalayan cuisine and their specialty being Taiwan style tofu, Szechuan hotpots to Tibetan sha tag which is a rich meat-and-veg stir fry. They also serve all-day continental breakfasts and have good coffee too. Make sure you visit a Common Ground Café on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
7. Woeser Bakery: Another quaint café located in a small and cozy space in Mcleodganj and is very famous among the locals and tourists for the scrumptious desserts they offer especially their carrot cake. They serve vegan cakes which make them very popular among the vegans too.
This tiny little gem in Mcleodganj is not to be missed if you have a sweet tooth and you enjoy a good cup of coffee. You would get the best handmade cappuccino at this small bakery and the best part is they bake the cakes right in front of your eyes. Make sure you go and enjoy the scrumptious desserts at Woeser bakery.
Timings: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
8. Lung Ta: Lung ta is a very popular and authentic vegetarian Japanese restaurant in Mcleodganj. One of the best things about this restaurant is its daily changing menu which would force you to visit the place over and over if you have been here and have enjoyed the food here once. Rest assured you will have the best authentic vegetarian Japanese meal of your life at this restaurant. It is a good change from the surrounding north Indian and Tibetan cuisine. It is also fine to visit the restaurant for its authentic miso soup, okonomiyake which is a Japanese veg omelet, and the excellent kariage-egg-don which is tempura-style veg on rice. For a great little dessert, you can try the biscuit topped with tangy lemon curd. There is outdoor seating as well which looks beautiful in the night where you can enjoy your meal in the middle of the mountains in the fresh air.
Timings: 12:00 PM – 2.30pm & 5.30 PM-8.30 PM
9. Café Illiterati: To all the book lovers who enjoy good food, a good collection of books, and having an option to enjoy both of these with an amazing view of the mountains and valleys, Café Illiterati at Mcleodgunj is your place. You can sit at the café for long hours and enjoy your reading in this lad back café. The outside area has an amazing view of the hills which looks brilliant during the sunset. They make the dream of enjoying the meal in the middle of the mountains possible.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM
10. Lobsang’s Four Season Café: Lobsang’s four-season café is a small and cozy café located on the main road and serving the authentic Tibetan cuisine. They serve several varieties of momos and the specialty being the spinach cheese momos. The sauce with the momos at Lobsang’s is to die for. You can get authentic Tibetan herbal tea at Lobsang’s at nominal prices. Other specialties include the regular Indian Tea, Masala Omelet, Chicken Kothe Momos, Chicken Thupka, Chicken Grilled Sandwich, and Chicken Noodles.
Timings: 8:00 AM – 9:30 PM
11. Morgan’s Place: Morgan’s place is a famous café located in Dharamkot in Mcleodganj. It is very popular among tourists. You will get to enjoy the scrumptious food with a beautiful view of the mountains at this place. Morgan’s place serves authentic pizza and pasta which is something you would not expect in the far away Himalayas. Make sure you visit Morgan’s place on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM
12. Peace Café: Peace café is a small and quaint eco-friendly café in Mcleodganj. They have the best drinks to offer in the town. The best part about the café is that they serve the drinks with steel straws. They also have open seating that overlooks beautiful mountains. They also serve very delicious pancakes and the serving is quite big which is enough for two people. It is a nice place to enjoy breakfast with your friends and family in the middle of the mountains. You can also choose to have an early breakfast here as the café opens as early as 7 Am. Make sure you visit this small eco-friendly eatery on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
13. Carpe Diem: Carpe diem is a very famous eatery in Mcleodganj located on the main road and it is not very difficult to find the place. They offer multi-cuisine lip-smacking food. The restaurant is located in the main market which makes it easily accessible. It is a nice play to enjoy any meal be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The authentic Tibetan cuisine is also delicious. People tend to enjoy the local Chinese food items as well as pizza at this place. Make sure you visit Carpe Diem on your next visit to Mcleodganj.
Timings: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
14. Shiva Café: Located amid mountains on the way to Trihund is this famous café which during the season is loaded with the tourists. The cafe is located just a few meters above the Bhagsunag waterfall and you can enjoy your meal listening to the sound of water falling and they also paly amazing trance music which is quite an experience to enjoy in the middle of the hills. It is a must to go to Shiva café if you are visiting Mcleodganj.
Timings: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
15. Namgyal Café: Namgyal café one of the most famous cafes among the tourists and especially among the Buddhist monks. The place is especially famous for its vegetarian pizza which they serve in different varieties. It is set within the Dalai Lama’s temple and most of the waiters are volunteers from a school for Tibetan refugee children. It gives you an option to lounge on the sunny roof terrace and admire the view or enjoy the sunset and a view of the mountains. You can also read the Tibetan literature and books kept at the restaurant. They have quite a cozy interior which gives a slight hint of Tibetan architecture.
Timings: 7:30 AM – 8:30 PM