Leh is a world of its own!
Once you get there – you will realise. Specially if you are from a metro, you will feel like it is in a different league altogether. The markets, the hotels, the cars, the drive, the dust – yes its like it was 30 years ago! Everybody talks about must visit places in Leh – we all know Khardungla Pass, Pangong Lake, Nubhra Valley et all, but being Punjabi, food is always a matter of concern. I can get depressed if the food is not good and thats what led me and my friends to discover some of the best places to eat in Leh. The problem is that with no internet and no coverage, your Zomato won’t work – so you have to start searching and learn by making mistakes!
If you are a foodie and want to try different cuisines, places and would love to venture out even in Leh Ladakh, then read on –
This place tops my list for a couple of reasons –
a. Ambience – gazebos, white canopies, sunset view – you name it and it is there. Never thought there would be a place like this in Leh, but, wow!
b. Food – small menu but each dish is good – we went here thrice so tried almost everything. Their local cuisine and dishes were full of flavour and totaly lip smacking! Trust me when I say this – the blueberry cheesecake was better than most cheesecakes I have tried!
c. Service – a bit slow, but very courteous and helpful!
Must Try – Yarkhandi Pulao & Cheesecake
P.s. – You reach there via a high end Kashmiri boutique.
2. World Garden Cafe
The best location ever! Right in the middle of the market, its like a small garden with chairs and tables – gives a feel of a hill station joint. But don’t be fooled – the food is great! Specially the Israeli. A special mention goes to the Mint Cooler – very very refreshing and yum. This cafe also has the most extensive menu from all the places we went to – hence, there is a lot to choose from and there is something for everyone.
Must try – Mezze Platter & Mint cooler
Also an interesting experience as we had cats and dogs for company but once a herd of cows also passed the restaurant – entering from one door and exiting the other!
3. Coffee Culture
Well, for all you coffee addicts out there, yes there is CCD in the market but if you are into fancier coffee – this your place! They give wi-fi access and have a small, very well made seating as well. The dry tea cakes are nice but the vast choice in coffee makes it very popular
Must Try – Cold Coffee & Chocolate and walnut cake
4. La Piazzetta
Now we are getting serious, the more we explored, the fancier places we found. This place is a little in the inside of the market but is well known. We got to know that they have a wood fire oven which is installed by an Italian who comes every 2-3 years to keep a check on it too – goes without saying we tried the pizza 😀 One of the few places who also gave us beer options and low seating. Full chilling scene. La Piazzetta also seems very very popular with firangs!
Must Try – Any pizza, Chilli potato and Chicken momos
5. Bon Appetit
The hidden gem! We found this place on our last evening there but well, if you are able to find this place, you will just keep sitting here. The walk to Bon Appetit is quite secluded, through narrow lanes, passing by small houses and quite in the middle of nowhere. Even as we entered it felt as if no one was there but as soon as we approached the seating area – voila! This restaurant is buzzing with foreigners, has a big balcony overlooking the mountains, people sunbathing and a nice wooden interior restaurant. Very fancy! Spoilt by choice in food as well as wine – I have to say! 3 of us sat here a good 4 hours just eating, drinking and making merry!
Must Try – Chicken Katsu (Japanese style chicken) and Khambir Bread
6. The Original Ladakh Cafe
This cafe makes up for the lack of any other young and quirky cafes. Bang in the centre of the Leh market, it has quirky interiors with grafitti and doodles on the wall and the best wi-fi that there is! The Original Ladakh Cafe also has small gigs by musicians in the evening and is buzzing with the younger crowd. Mostly has cafe style food but we went there only for the waffles!
Must Try – Nutella Banana Waffle
With this I sum up the best places to chill and eat in Leh! But if you are an ice cream person I would give a mention to the Janta Ice Cream parlour – it is always full and has a long line. I tried the paan ice cream and is was delectable. Attached some pictures with boards of the restaurants/cafes (makes it easier to spot them in the market) – do tell me of any other places that I might have missed!
If you want any details on Leh, travelling there, itinerary – anything at all, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a nice trip you all!