Shimla, once the summer capital of the British in India, is now among the most popular hill stations in the country. At approximately 350 kilometers from Delhi, the city offers scenic views of snow-capped Himalayas and direct access to dense deodar forests.
While famous for its colonial architecture, the Mall Road, and fresh air, the many cafes and restaurants in Shimla also have a massive following among visiting gourmands.
As with living arrangements in the vicinity that cater to all budgets, places to eat in Shimla range from cozy family-run eateries to fine dining restaurants in some of the best hotels in the region.
Devicos Restaurant & D Lounge Bar
Address: 5, Mall Road, Vijaya Bank, The Mall, Shimla
Located on The Mall, Devicos is a gastropub with more than 40 years of history. Regarded as one of the most eclectic places to eat in Shimla, the eatery receives plenty of family guests by day but transforms into an upbeat party destination at night.
Boasting a cottage-like facade, the restaurant on the ground floor serves multiple cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Continental. With subtle hints of Rajasthani decor, the dining hall has several digital art panels in bright tones.
The menu includes everything from Mysore masala dosa to club sandwiches, pav bhaji, and kathi rolls. On the other hand, the bar on the first floor has contemporary interiors. It serves a range of alcoholic drinks and mocktails.
Address: Hotel Willow Banks, Mall Road, Shimla,
Running since April 2015, Cafe Simla Times is one of the top-rated Instagram-able cafes in Shimla, with live music during evening hours.
The all-in-one café-bar-Biergarten gets its name from the first newspaper publication of the region – The Simla Times.
Here, visitors can enjoy a panoramic town view and watch the sunset over the valley. A part of Hotel Willow Banks, the cafe has a vast menu with Chinese, Lebanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, and Indian dishes.
Recommended dishes at Cafe Shimla Times include wood-fired pizza, chili mushroom, hummus & pita, and Thai curry. The popular beverages on the menu are freshly ground coffee, apple cider, mango beer, and thick shakes.
Guests can opt for terrace seats beneath a curved transparent ceiling with foliage by the sides or indoor seating with comfortable sofas and counters. The inside hall features ceiling and wall graffiti, marking top tourist places in the city.
When visiting the cafe, don’t miss out on noticing the quirky art and parked Ambassador car for a photo-op.
Address: Chaura Maidan Road, Nabha, Shimla
With colonial architecture and halls that once used to hold ballroom dances, The Restaurant in Oberoi Cecil is among the most famous and luxurious places to eat in Shimla.
The restaurant showcases a classically Victorian-era aesthetic with dark wood wall panels and vintage chandeliers.
Dedicated customer service and customized recommendations from the head chef are some of the factors that make dining here memorable.
Moreover, guests can opt for private dining rooms or sit by the window tables to enjoy picturesque Shimla Valley and Cart Road views.
The Restaurant serves Indian, Asian, and other international cuisines, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options.
Guests can also savor regional dishes like sepuwadi – a lentil dumpling cooked in spinach gravy and yogurt, and chha gosht – lamb cooked with coriander and yogurt.
However, remember that Oberoi Cecil adheres to a dress code with full-length trousers and a closed-shoe policy for men.
Address: 54, Mall Road, Middle Bazar, The Mall, Shimla
Situated in the Middle Bazaar, Himachali Rasoi is where you want to go to have delectable local recipes made with loads of love and passion.
Here, visitors can taste authentic dham – the traditional vegetarian meal of Himachal Pradesh often consumed on special occasions.
Built inside a small shop with simplistic wooden interiors, it exudes a loft-like rustic ambiance. The space seems cramped, allowing only 10-15 people to sit simultaneously. Instead of dining furniture, Himachali Rasoi has floor cushions and low-level benches.
The menu explicitly focuses on Himachali dishes, including sidu – steamed wheat bun with either sweet or savory filling and rehru – warm spiced lassi.
For full-course meals, go with Kangri Dham Thali on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays or the Mandyali Dham Thali on the remaining weekdays. Both thalis include several lentils and chickpeas curries, with the addition of a dry fruit sweet for dessert.
Address: Ridge, Middle Bazar, The Mall, Shimla
With a gazebo-like setting and excellent views of The Ridge, Goofa Ashiana is one of the landmark restaurants in Shimla, run by the Himachal Tourism Department.
Given its high-rise ceilings and intimate seating structure, the eatery maintains an elegant British-influenced look with wooden interior decor.
The restaurant consists of two separate spaces merged into a single establishment, with Ashiana on top and Goofa on the bottom.
Ashiana is ideal for visitors wanting to enjoy valley views in an open-terrace dining setting for hearty family time. On the other hand, Goofa is a restaurant bar set up in the basement and tends to be a bit more atmospheric.
Goofa Ashiana serves authentic Himachali, north Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental food. Breakfast here is apt for chilly mornings. Try the vegetable pakoras, cheese sandwiches, omelets, cutlets, and butter jam toast, and you are good to explore the mountains.
Address: Mall Road, The Mall, Shimla
Cafe Sol is one of Shimla’s buzzing culinary destinations, specializing in international cuisines with energetic music and a refreshing ambiance.
Located near the lift, the eatery is a part of Hotel Combermere and offers unrestricted views of Mall Road on one side and the mountains on the other.
Decked in bright shades of yellow and orange, Cafe Sol’s semi-circular ceiling is a bright light source and gives the entire space an eclectic vibe. One side of the dining hall has multiple glass counters in line, displaying fresh confectionary items for sale.
Cafe Sol serves various cuisine platters like Thai, Tex-Mex, Lebanese, Italian, and Continental. Must-try dishes include basil paneer tikka, Mexican fajita roll, cheese sticks, taco veggie, greek salad, and lemon cheesecake.
Address: No 1, The, Mall Road, Lower Bazar, Shimla
Established in 1957, the Indian Coffee House on Mall Road is one of the busiest and budget-friendly places to eat in Shimla.
The eatery maintains a humble appearance from the outside, like any other shop in the lane. The interior is equally simplistic, resembling an old mess hall from government institutions.
However, the place makes up for its lack of elegance by serving fresh South Indian dishes and beverages. In addition to being popular for its filter coffee, the masala dosa takes the crown as the most-liked dish in the restaurant.
Other food options include sandwiches, jam toasts, omelets, pakoras, and burgers.
Given its pricing and food quality, Indian Coffee House is a hotbed for the locals to meet and discuss everything from films to politics over a cup of coffee.
Address: Khadi Bhawan, 70, Mall Road, Middle Bazar, The Mall, Shimla
Honey Hut is the town’s eco-friendly one-stop shop for organic food and honey products. Initiated by a group of entrepreneurs in 2007, this is among the most unique cafes in Shimla, a nature-friendly project aiming to educate the masses about the nutritional benefits of honey.
Visitors can purchase honey jars, soaps, lip balms, and tea gift packs here. Additionally, various honey delights like chocolates and tonics are available for sale.
When it comes to food, the cafe serves Italian, French, and Himachali cuisines, along with various desserts and beverages made with honey.
Our top recommendations include masala tea with herbs, blueberry crumble pie, and a paneer-grilled sandwich.
Located on Mall Road, Honey Hut offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The space inside has a teal and white color scheme, with the center wall depicting a large infographic explaining the various benefits of honey.
Address: 34/1, Mall Road, Middle Bazar, The Mall, Shimla
Right in front of the Town Hall, Wake and Bake Café is a double-story cafe run by the owners of Himachali Rasoi.
At first glance, it looks more like a hole-in-a-wall establishment with plain blue and yellow outer decor. However, looking inside at the wooden interiors quickly changes the entire perception.
The dining space has multiple tables on both floors, and the window panes provide excellent views of The Mall. Overall, the cafe exudes a rustic cabin-like vibe with graffiti on the walls.
The menu is quite eccentric, with English (bacon, beans, and toast) or Israeli (hummus, shakshuka, and laffa bread) breakfast combos till noon.
There are also by-the-slice hand-tossed pizzas, crepes made with buckwheat and flour, pasta, and salads.
Furthermore, different flavors of milkshakes, cold drinks, tea, and freshly brewed coffee are some available beverages.
Address: Goodwood Estate, Lower, Bharari, Shimla
A part of Radisson Jass Shimla, Valley Vue is an on-site restaurant serving Indian, Asian, and Continental cuisines.
The premium establishment is open to outsiders as well as resident guests.
The indoor seating has a contemporary atmosphere, with elegant low-light interiors. At the same time, the outdoor terrace seating has clear views of evergreen forests and the valley.
Several wooden tables and chairs are on the deck, some with optional overhead umbrellas for shade.
The menu has several à la carte and platter options to choose from. Recommended dishes include chili garlic noodles, thukpa, pan-seared herb crepes, Himalayan trout fish, and mushroom and spinach lasagne.
Not to miss are Cafe Valley Vue’s desserts, ranging from warm brownies to pineapple and mint tart and walnut pie.
Address: M.C. Complex, Ridge Sanjauli Road, Lakkar Bazar, Shimla
Sita Ram & Son is an age-old eatery in Lakkar Bazaar at a short walking distance from the Ridge. The sixth generation of the family that started the restaurant currently runs the shop.
There isn’t much seating space inside, but street benches are available on the other side of the road. As one of the best places to eat in Shimla, it always stays busy and showcases the local’s love for no-fuss good food.
Sita Ram & Son serves selected items, with lucchi chole being the most popular dish. Lucchi, a similar version of bhatura, goes well with pickled onions and chutney. The menu also includes tikki chole, tawa patties, and other snacks.
The shop receives plenty of locals and tourists, so visit before 3 or 4 PM, as that is when typically the day’s stock finishes.
Address: Gian Estate, Near Jakhu Temple, Shimla
Situated on Jakhu peak at 8000 feet, Cafe Under Tree is the amalgamation of rustic architecture and modern vision come to life. Also known as one of the highest cafes in Shimla, the establishment has clear views of the dense Deodar forest on three sides and a stone wall on the fourth side.
With floor-to-ceiling glass panes acting as the facade, the cafe almost seems like a part of the mountain itself.
Entirely made with reclaimed Deodar wood, the cafe’s interiors resemble the look of a countryside cabin.
From hanging lights to tapered ceilings, everything maintains the essence of geometrical symmetry. Potted plants and crockery on display make the space seem more welcoming.
The menu includes a Tree Special section with top-recommended dishes. Guests can order various items like coleslaw or Greek salad, hummus-pita, basil & thyme masala dosa, and beetroot halwa. For beverages, there’s pahari chai, cappuccino, and virgin sangria.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to reach Shimla
The nearest airport to Shimla is in Jubbarhatti, which is 22 kilometers away from the city. Additionally, one can reach here via Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses from Delhi ISBT or Chandigarh. A drive does take longer, but with the promise of panoramic mountain views, pleasant weather, historical attractions, and international cuisine, a trip to Shimla is almost always worth the effort.
What is the famous dish of Shimla?
Madra is one of the most loved and famous dishes of Shimla. It comprises boiled chickpeas, cooked in various spices, and served in a yogurt-based gravy full of distinct flavors. You’ll find it in most of the best places to eat in Shimla that serve local pahari recipes.
What is a popular street food of Shimla?
Babru is a familiar yet unique street food of Shimla. It comprises deep-fried disc-shaped dough with grounded black gram resembling a savory kachori. Although available in some restaurants and cafes, nothing beats having babru from a street vendor.
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