All through these years, during all my visits to Mcleodganj, one thing that always stood out for me was the many culinary experiences one can have here.
Mcleodganj has always been a cultural melting pot for years, and therefore, with people from all around the world coming and settling here, it’s only natural that they brought their cuisines along as well. And therefore, here are the five culinary experiences you mustn’t miss during your next trip to Mcleodganj:
Israeli Food and Wood oven pizzas of Dharamkot: 2 kms from Mcleodganj, lies Dharamkot. It’s one of the places where you won’t hear much of those touristy noises, won’t find shopkeeper and agents hassling you, and no vehicles as well. Dharamkot is also the place where everyone goes to chill, and thanks to the significant Israeli population here, you’ll find some really nice joints with Israeli dishes on their menu. Friendly Planet for one, is one of the places where you can spend one of the evenings on your Mcleodganj trip. It’s a backpacker’s heaven, where you can enjoy jamming sessions in the evenings along with nicely prepared Hummus and Pita, or you can just go and sit in one of the Pizza places across the street, and enjoy a delicious thin crust pizza with a nice ambiance. And don’t forget to mingle with other travelers here, as Prem Joshua’s music tries to loosen up the environment in the background.
Eclectic Bhagsu: Bhagsu is a mash up of every cuisine you’ll find in the region. From wonderfully prepared continental food to some great Punjabi preparations to vegan delights to some great bakery items, in Bhagsu you can find anything. In fact, they’ve their own indigenous preparation, called Bhagsu Cake. It’s a dessert with layers of chocolate and caramel, and something you must definitely try. While Bhagsu also boasts of some nice cafes by the waterfall, like Shiva cafe, it also has a place named Music cafe. Here along with some nice preparations, you can jam with other travelling musicians, or just sit and enjoy the show.
Tibetan Food of Mcleodganj: Mcleodganj is primarily a Tibetan settlement, and therefore, you can expect some really nice Tibetan cuisines to be enjoyed in cozy restaurants all around the town. There’re places selling delicious thukpas, thenthuks, tingmos, momos etc. You can try the Four Seasons restaurant and Tibet Kitchen on Jogibara road, JJI Exile Kitchen on Bhagsu road, Palsang on Temple road for some of the best Tibetan preparations in the town. Other than that, there are various small Tibetan eateries, which take you right into the setting of some Jackie Chan movie from early 90s, but what you get in return is some authentic Tibetan food.
European offerings of Mcleodganj: Mcleodganj isn’t only about Tibetan food, but you can also find some of the best French, Italian, Spanish etc. cuisines all around the town. To start your day, you can try any of the major cafes in Mcleodganj for farmer’s breakfast, namely Green, Snow lion, Nick’s Kitchen etc. Then there’s Lhamo’s, serving some amazing French food, and moving on you can try Illiterati and Jimmy’s, if you are in the mood to have some Italian food.
Cafes and Bakeries: Mcleodganj boast of some of the most amazing desserts you’ll ever have, from Woeser Bakery’s Tarts to Kunga’s mousse and Banoffie Pie to streetside goodness of Tibetan quality bakery, there’s something for all kinds of desserts lovers in the town. Then there are cozy cafes, where you can sit and read for hours or make some interesting conversations with fellow travellers. Mcleodganj is a perfect place to learn about different cultures, and Carpe Diem, Common Ground, Moonpeak, Coffeetalk etc. are some of the best places to make those conversations over wonderful coffee and teas.