Great Restaurants & Cafes in Gangtok
Unless I'm staying far away from the town center or main localities of Gangtok, I would always take a hotel accommodation on EP plan (room only). The reason is, there are so many great options of eating out here. Why get stuck with the hotel food?
Most good eateries, restaurants and cafes are located on MG Road or nearby. This is where most tourists come to dine as there are so many choices from pure vegetarian restaurants serving north & south Indian dishes to those serving non-veg food of Indian, western, Chinese, continental & other cuisine. There are also nice cafes on MG Road.
Here are some great restaurants and cafes that are our favorites since long:
Cuisine: Bakery & Cafe, Price: Mid Range
The main outlet main outlet of Baker's Cafe is on MG Marg. It's a modern coffee house serving excellent classic coffee of different types along with snack items. They also have a branch in Deorali opposite to the Institute of Tibetology and you get similar stuff out there as well. However here I'm talking about the one on MG Marg.
Baker's Cafe upstairs, MG Marg, Gangtok
Walk up the stairs from MG Road and enter through the door, look around and you know that you have entered a nice cafe that exudes class and charm. Turn left and take a table next to the window overlooking the MG Road, enjoy a great coffee, some snacks and see the world go by below.... it's a great experience.
I love the smiling staff at Baker's Cafe
Mostly confectionery items are served like cakes, pastries, patties, muffins, paninis, Danish, bread rolls, toast & eggs made to order, sausage, bacon, ham, sandwitch fritters, pancakes, burgers & stuffed grilled sandwiches, Pizzas etc. In beverages you get great tea, hot & other chocolate drinks, and all types of classic coffee. One of my all time favorites here is cappuccino with BBQ Chicken & Mozzarella Panini.
Look at my Cappuccino at Bakers Cafe
Prices are reasonable. Coffees range from Rs. 50-80 per cup, snack items range from Rs. 55 - 120. You can come here in the morning for breakfast, in the afternoon for a relaxed lunch, or in the evenings for light snacks.
Bakers Cafe, MG Road, Gangtok. Phone: 03592/ 220195
Taste of Tibet
Cuisine: Tibetan, Price: Budget/Mid Range
This is the place to go if you want to have authentic Tibetan food that is reasonably priced, comes in good portions and served fresh and hot. No wonder most times you need to queue up to get your table. It's a budget restaurant which is extremely popular with both locals and tourists.
It's quite prominently located on MG Road near the corner where the road turns towards New Market area. Look up and you will see a long curved red board on a green building with name of the restaurant written in white. The board also says 'Family Restaurant & Bar'... so they also serve alcohol but there is really no bar, the drinks (beer and spirits) are served on the table. But it is the great Tibetan food for which it's most popular.
Taste of Tibet, Green Building
You need to climb a steep narrow stairway, pass by a clothing shop on the first floor and go further up to get to the restaurant in the second floor. Try to grab a window-side table (difficult to get as there are only three of them) and you can see the sea of people walking below on MG Road. The small cash counter is in one corner and the owner lady is usually stationed there. The staff are all local lads who are efficient but seem to be little indifferent, but who cares, you have come here for good food and that's all what you care for.
Inside Taste of Tibet
The food menu is quite exhaustive. You get various preparations of chicken, pork and even beef. Vegetarian dishes too exist but limited in number. You can start off with starters such as veg/cheese/chicken pakoras, honey potato chili, French fries, masala papad, golden fried babycorn or crispy mushroom chili... these are actually popular items to go with alcoholic drinks. There are also various kinds of soups including chicken wanton, veg mushroom soups and lot more. There are also chicken/pork/beef thukpas. Starters and soups range from Rs. 120 - 200 per plate.
Then there are fried or steamed momos (pork, chicken, beef), spring rolls (pork, beef, egg, veg), fried rice, noodles, chopsueys of various types, as well as chili chicken/pork/beef etc. The momos come with a bowl of clear soup. The complimentary clear soups were quite bland though and without any salt... we had to mix salt & pepper. They also offer a complimentary portion of shredded onion mixed in pickles. Noodles, chopsueys, fried rice range from RS. 200 - 250 per plate.
Our fried and steamed momos served with soups
Overall the atmosphere is lively, but this is not a place where you would come for a great ambience... there would be lots of noise as tables are full with locals and tourists talking amongst each other. This is more like an eatery where you come for some quick food at reasonable price and move off. Likely there will be others waiting near your table to get their turn.
Although they offer beer and other alcoholic beverages, this is really not the place where you can enjoy a great bar ambience, because you will find people voraciously eating in all tables instead of drinking. Accompanying your food with a local Dansberg beer won't be a bad idea though.
Taste of Tibet, MG Marg, Gangtok
Phone: +91 91631 22020
Cuisine: Indian (Vegetarian only), Price: Mid Range
This is an excellent pure vegetarian restaurant located right on MG Marg. Food is good and ambience nice for a mid-scale restaurant. You know that it's a popular place the moment you walk in, you will seldom find it empty. Most times when you come during the lunch or dinner time, you will struggle to find a table. But inside the space is good enough to accommodate many families.
Parivar Restaurant, Gangtok
I was amazed to see the long list of items in the menu. Sometimes so many items could get a bit confusing. What to eat? While they have comprehensive vegetarian Chinese and South Indian items, Parivar is best known for its north Indian vegetarian dishes, although the other cuisines are quite good as well.
But one of the most popular here is the Thali which includes Butter Paneer Masala, Mixed Vegetables, Daal Makhani, Butter Naan, Butter Chapati, Pulau, Raita, Salad, Papad, Achar... awesome!. If you want to go for a lighter meal, you have a choice of mini Thali where number of items are lesser. They serve snacks, beverages, soups, salads, and raita as well.
Inside Parivar Restaurant
Items in the main courses range from Rs 80 to 120. The Thali costs Rs. 190/-
Parivar Restaurant, MG Road, Gangtok. Phone: 03592/ 207409
The Dragon Wok
Cuisine: Chinese, Price: Mid Range
This is another favorite of mine and located on MG Marg. As you walk towards the Sikkim Tourism Center along MG Road, look up towards right and you will see two large dragons on a building just above the Bata shoe store. There is a narrow and steep stairway to climb and then you get to the entrance of this restaurant which also offers bar service.
The Dragon Wok Restaurant & Bar
If you are looking for the earlier restaurant known as Gangtalk, it no longer exists. It was replaced by The Golden Dragon, and now The Dragon Wok and it has a new owner.
While there is an inside dining room, I always prefer the balcony that overlooks all the activities on MG Marg. While the earlier cushioned wicker seats and the glass topped tables in the balcony have been replaced by less-appealing red sunmica topped wooden tables & chairs, the balcony is still a great place to enjoy a meal and watch the flow of people below. If you happen to be on a festival day in Gangtok like the holi color festival in March or the Food & Culture festival in December, this balcony would be an ideal place to watch the carnival activities down below.
Balcony, Dragon Wok
The restaurant serves nice Chinese cuisine (both veg and non-vegetarian). The menu is quite comprehensive and you get all standard Chinese dishes that you may expect. You get different types of soups, starters including momos (steamed and fried), wantons, onion rings etc, and in main courses fried rice, chowmein, chopsueys, and a range of side dishes in chicken, prawn, veg etc. Try out the prawn in hot and chili sauce.
The bar is well stocked and you get all types of standard spirits and beer.
Inside Dining, The Dragon Wok
The service can be little laid back, but the staff are friendly. The toilet is well maintained. Overall a very enjoyable ambience at moderate prices. A couple would spend approximately Rs. 700 + taxes on food plus cost of drinks. The restaurant is open 11am to 11pm daily.
The Dragon Wok, MG Road (above Bata Shop), Gangtok.
Phone: +91 832 784 4700
Cuisine: Indian (Vegetarian only), Price: Mid Range
Another great Vegetarian restaurant located at one end of MG Road and adjacent to the Sikkim Tourism Center. As you walk up the stairs and enter through the door, the classy interiors with window side tables overlooking the MG Marg gives you a feel that it's a relatively upscale restaurant compared to ones like Parivar. So the prices are a bit higher but not by a great margin much though.
So what type of food do you get here? They have a comprehensive menu of north Indian vegetarian food and the preparations are quite good. They also serve Jain food. The Jain thali here is known as Rasoi Thali.
Young Rasoi staff at the counter
In breakfast you get items like toast & sandwiches, corn flakes, paratha, chola bhatura, pau bhaji, club kachori etc. Beverages include milk, tea, coffee, soft drinks, fresh fruit juices etc. They also make South Indian dishes as well as pizzas, rolls, burgers, soups, salads, raita. You will also get veg momos here. Desserts include items like hot gulab jamun, cold kheer etc. So over all a good place for vegetarians. Prices in main course items range from Rs. 120 to 150.
Rasoi, MG Road, Gangtok. Phone: 03592/ 200146
Cuisine: Snacks/Momos, Price: Budget
This is not a restaurant. A small take away counter located on a narrow lane and off MG Road. And guess what, it's probably one of the most popular eateries in Gangtok which makes only vegetarian rolls & momos, that's it. You won't get non-veg items here, but the kind of veg rolls and momos they make are good enough.
And no wonder you will almost always find this small place crowded... people standing there to get their delivery. Try out the Paneer or special roll and the momos ... absolutely delicious. Good value for money as well. Average cost: Rs 40-45.
Roll House, Gangtok
However it's easy to miss this small gem. Look for the board on MG Road or ask a store keeper. You will then need to go a few stairs down a narrow alleyway and the eatery is on your right. Look up and you can see another board on top of the eatery.
Tangerine Lounge & Bar
Cuisine: Asian/Continental, Price: Upscale
This is an upscale restaurant, part of the hotel The Chumbi Residency and located on Tibet Road, about 7-8 minutes uphill walk from MG Road. From the hotel lobby you will need to climb down the stairway for 4 floors to reach the restaurant. So when finished, you will need to climb up 4 flights of stairs.
The hotel is of 3-star category and therefore expectedly the restaurant also has matching aura of class and ambience. It serves Indian, Oriental, Continental and Sikkimese dishes. You get Tandoori (earthen oven grilled) items as well. Our favorites here are murg boti kebabs and tandoori chicken. The oriental dishes are prepared in Hunan and Cantonese style. Overall nice food.
Tangerine Lounge & Bar, Gangtok
You can sit inside or outside in a lovely garden setting. The sofa type seating arrangement is quite comfortable. They put on music (mostly Indian music). However the service can be a bit slow at times but friendly. The restaurant is hardly ever crowded.
Tangerine, Tibet Road, Gangtok. Phone: 03592-206618/206619
Few More Great Eateries in Gangtok
Cafe Culture located below Hotel Pandim on ground floor (below Royal Palace), Bhanu Path, on Secretariat Road - This is a family run budget eatery... great traditional food like Sikkimese, Tibetan, Bhutanese, and Nepali cuisine and even great Chinese & Thai dishes. Momos are excellent too. Portions are large, food is delicious and tastes like home made, and the family is very friendly. You get marvelous views of Gangtok city and the mountains from here. And of course the tea and coffee are great too. A great place to have authentic family run local food at a cheap price.
Apna Dhaba at MG Marg - north Indian food
Little Italy at Deorali (SNOD complex, walkable from MG Marg) - Nice pizzas with live music... they have lots of varieties. You get momos as well as Chinese dishes too like chili chicken, chowmein etc, and of course beer. A nice place for couples. Price is relatively on the higher side.
Allen's Kitchen near hotel Hungry Jack (NH 31A) - Great Momos.
Cacao at New Market, MG Marg - Great coffee. Some prefer it over Bakers Cafe.
Cafe Tibet at MG Marg - Good coffee and snacks.
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