There is something about the hills and mountains that continue to enthrall us. The silent lanes, the natural environment and the cool weather make us want to step away from the humdrum and monotony of life. But what fascinates us the most and makes us want to go back to hill stations again and again are the cafes. Cafes that sit atop mountains entwined amid the woods and bring travellers together to enjoy the weather, munch on a piping hot meal and engage in gripping travel tales.
Here we present nine cafes across India that’s just perfect for that much needed escape from the heat.
1. Illiterati, McLeodganj
A beautiful café with a good collection of books, Illiterati café also gives you the serene view of the Dhauladhar range. Take a sip of freshly brewed coffee, read an interesting book or play some board games while sitting in the balcony and enjoying the view.
2. Lazy Dog, Old Manali
Be it an early morning breakfast with your family or a relaxing evening drink with your buddies, this café has something for everyone. Located on the banks of the Beas rive, Lazy Dog café is decorated with touristy knick-knacks from all over the world. The hammocks, bean bags and wooden chairs enhance the laidback vibe of the café.
3. Beatles Café, Rishikesh
Overlooking the beautiful Ganga, this café is dedicated to the Beatles, an English rock band in the 60’s. From pictures of the fab four, to a huge wall panel done up with vinyl records, this café spells old world charm like no other place in Rishikesh.
4. Pahadi Café, Auli
Walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life as Pahadi café hits the right groove with it soothing music, warm service and pleasing staff. Dig your forks into the hearts of fluffy pancakes as you sit amidst snow enjoying a view of the Himalayas.
5. Café Shillong, Shillong
Calmly perched on the beautiful hills en route Tripura Castle (the summerhouse of Tripura’s royal family) is Café Shillong Heritage, a quaint little eatery. Soak in the magnificent view and dig into a plate of their famous momos as you feel the cool breeze brushing against your face. Or go for a cup of hazelnut coffee and a book by the fireplace for a confluence of serenity and authentic flavours.
6. Willy’s Coffee Pub, Ooty
With a cosy library, friendly staff and delicious food, Willy’s Coffee Pub is a great place to relax deeply. Savour the crusty pizzas, rolls, sandwiches, cakes and more. The café has an old world English feel, especially with the breakfast options adhering to the English way of dining.
7. Hot Stimulating Café, Darjeeling
Perched on the edge of a steep drop, surrounded by greenery is this cosy eatery on Hooker Road. The walls of this café that serves only tea and momos is adorned with photos of Bob Marley. They even offer informal momo-making classes for a small fee.
8. Chai Jaai, Srinagar
Located on the banks of Jhelum river, this café has exquisite interiors, tastefully embellished walls and is inspired by a British home. The café channels the Kashmiri love for chai and offers a variety of infusions in traditional Kashmiri samovars and papier-mâché teacups for you to enjoy.
9. Café Ivy, Landour
Here’s your perfect little den to escape from the heat. The vintage furniture, fireplace and contemporary style naked bulbs instantly win over your hearts. Sit outside, get lost in the serene valley view as you sip a steaming cup of coffee, listen to music or play some fun games.