Mussoorie, nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Himalayas, is a popular destination for tourists seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. While the Queen of Hills is well-known for its stunning vistas, lush landscapes, and colonial charm, it also boasts a thriving cafe culture that often goes unnoticed. Here, we take you on a journey to explore 3 hidden cafes in Mussoorie that offer more than just delectable food and beverages; they provide an unforgettable experience.
Located at Hathi Paon, a mere kilometre and a half away from the George Everest Lodge, the Seegreen Café delivers true to its moniker, an opportunity to see the lush green oaks and deodars that dot the surrounding hillsides. They also have rooms to rent if you’re keen to stay away from the melee. Grab an alfresco table, pick up a board game or a book from their selection, and prepare to while away a lazy afternoon along with their adorable dogs as you wait for your food. They even provide a cute little bell you can ring if you do end up getting impatient.
The beverages on their handwritten menu features hot chocolate, ginger lemon tea, and if you’re nursing a cold, their special pahadi chai is guaranteed to clear your sinuses right up. The home-style kitchen prepares everything from scratch (no pre-made sauces are used), and most of their ingredients are locally sourced. Besides the regular Maggi and fries one craves on wet, rainy days, they are well-known for their authentic Garhwali cuisine. Pizzas, pastas and warm, gooey brownies are also favourites here.
This charming space, located in the vicinity of the LBSNAA, and housed in a heritage building boasts of an eclectic collection of books for you to choose from, as well as an array of comics and a nice children’s selection. They prefer if you buy your books before you eat, though (for obvious reasons). So, if you’re not in the mood to purchase a tome and just want to peruse it while you sip your coffee, there is a special section for you. The owners are incredibly knowledgeable, will help you find any obscure titles you might be searching for, and are always happy to chat. On our visit, we were lucky enough to find signed copies of Ruskin Bond’s latest collection, "25 Greatest Stories for Young Readers" (the Mussoorie-based author, once a familiar fixture has off late stopped making regular public appearances at book signings). We also came across local resident Cynthia Meera Frederick’s book "Queenie of the Hills, A Dog’s Royal Life in Mussoorie," which turned out to be a wonderful satire on life in the hill station through the eyes of a resident canine.
Their old-school menu features a variety of delicious sandwiches, mouth-watering potato wedges, fluffy pancakes and their famous Charleville Jumbo Breakfast with bacon and sausages, but it is their superlative hot chocolate that steals the show.
We had heard buzz that there was a restaurant serving pizzas in Happy Valley, so we searched for it. Located right next to the Buddhist Temple, Café Anahata opened its doors this January and has picture glass windows and a wrap-around balcony for alfresco dining. When we got to this rustic-style eatery, it was misty, and then it started pouring (the sound of rain pelting on a tin roof is an experience in itself), but once it cleared up, the views of the temple and fluttering prayer flags was incredibly serene.
It’s difficult to choose from their extensive menu, but the authentic Tibetan fare must be sampled, and the delicious wood-fired thin-crust pizzas are some of the best I have ever tasted. Round off your meal with their fluffy Nutella-filled pancakes and a hot cup of coffee before you head back.