Food With A View: Scenic Cafés In Manali

Savour the splendour of the mountains, valleys and rivers of Manali by eating in these cafés and restaurants
A café in the Solang Valley of Himachal Pradesh
A café in the Solang Valley of Himachal PradeshKrishna8412/Shutterstock

Tourists are starting to flock to Manali, a once sleepy town in the Beas river valley of Himachal Pradesh. Nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike love the place for its natural beauty, friendly people and rich cultural traditions. The newly-opened Devlok-Manali amusement park will add to the charms of Manali, a hill station where life takes on a slower and gentler pace.

Head to these picturesque locations in Manali for some soul food and soothing views when hunger strikes.

Café 1947

Café 1947 is situated near the Beas river
Café 1947 is situated near the Beas riverCafe1947/Facebook

There’s a reason this place frequently tops lists of “most beautiful cafés in Manali” and that’s because it is situated right next to the Beas river. It exudes a cosy vibe and its outdoor seating is popular with customers looking to enjoy their pizzas, pastas and continental cuisine with a background score of flowing water and a lush green landscape as far as the eye can see.

The café also hosts live music events so make sure you catch a performance or two the next time you’re there.

Address: Near Nehru Kund, Leh Manali Highway Vpo Bahang, District, Manali 175103

The Johnson’s Hotel Café and Bar

The outdoor area of Johnson’s Hotel Café and Bar
The outdoor area of Johnson’s Hotel Café and Barjohnsonscafe/Facebook

Visitors travel to Manali to get some peace and quiet in a setting with picturesque views and The Johnson’s Hotel Café and Bar has that in spades. Serving Indian, Italian and continental cuisine for over a decade, customers can sample dishes like Korean fried chicken and trout fish. With snow-capped mountains for company and the option to eat outside in their floral garden, you won’t want to leave. Their rustic wooden furniture and retro music album posters add to the ambience.

Address: Circuit House Road, Siyal, Kullu, Manali 175131

The Lazy Dog Lounge

The Lazy Dog Lounge's outdoor area
The Lazy Dog Lounge's outdoor areaTheLazyDogManali/Facebook

A labour of love begun by two adventurers who fell in love with the Himalayas of Manali, The Lazy Dog Lounge prefers to keep things simple by selecting the freshest produce every day and preparing their food with care. Whether you’re tucking into their breakfast menu or kicking back with a relaxing drink in the evening, this place, situated on the banks of the Manalsu river, offers an outdoor seating area with stunning vistas. They serve Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai cuisines but their falafels and chicken salad is a particular favourite of customers.

Address: Manu Temple Road, Old Manali, Manali 175131

Fat Plate

The Fat Plate is a dreamy place to tuck into some indulgent desserts
The Fat Plate is a dreamy place to tuck into some indulgent dessertsFatPlateCafe/Facebook

Lodged amid green apple orchards that offer an awe-inspiring view of the valley, the Fat Plate is truly a hidden gem. They are mostly known for their indulgent desserts that are served in all shapes and sizes. Try their apple pie and warm chocolate cake after a meal of chicken burger with fries. This café is worth visiting on a warm and sunny day.

Address: Shuru, Kullu - Naggar - Manali Road, Manali 175131

Rasta Café

Customers can see the Rohtang Pass from Rasta Café
Customers can see the Rohtang Pass from Rasta Café Rasta-Cafe-Manali/Facebook

If you’re desperate for a café with a picturesque view of the Rohtang Pass but won't burn a hole in your pocket then Rasta Café should be your first choice. Situated near the Vashishtha Temple, this al fresco café offers a nine-course meal both sumptuous and light. Travellers from all over the world drop by to chill and relax as shows and movies blare in their dedicated TV room. There are also artworks scattered all over the walls which add to the cosy ambience of the place. Try their wood-fired pizzas and momos.

Address: Near Vashishtha Temple, Manali 175103

Il Forno

This building was constructed in 1860 in the kath kuni architectural style
This building was constructed in 1860 in the kath kuni architectural stylemanaliilforno/Facebook

This family-run restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine in an apple orchard with stunning views of the Himalayas. The building is constructed in the kath kuni style complete with wraparound balconies and verandas. Visitors can eat indoors or al fresco in their garden and munch on pizzas, lasagne and calzones. Most of Il Forno's ingredients come from their garden kitchen while the rest are sourced locally from the region.

Address: Hadimba Temple Road, Siyal, Manali 175131


A meal with a view at Martins
A meal with a view at Martins Martinshcs/Facebook

This is an exclusive place to dine in because it opens only on Sundays so reserve a table well in advance. It is popular with locals and travellers alike for its brunch specials. Customers can tuck into grilled chicken and smoked trout against a backdrop of breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The place is named for the eponymous Austrian chef who launched the café.

Address: Village sganag po bahang, Manali 175101

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