Imagine this, you’re sitting by the crystal clear blue lake that doesn’t seem to end. Around you are tall mountains that have watched countless years go by but haven’t changed one bit. They are covered with a blanket of green trees. There are ducks swimming by and birds in the sky. The air is chilly, not too much and not too little. In the distance you can hear temple bells ringing and can feel your soul smiling. Your spirituality is getting restored. Nanital promises you food for the soul but what about the body? They’ve got that covered too. Here’s a list of places you must eat at on your Nainital Holidays:
Sakley’s Restaurant & Pastry Shop
Life is too short to wait until the end of the meal to eat dessert. Sakley’s offers everything continental – Thai curries, honey chicken, roast lamb and pepper steaks. The place is spotless and easy to find since it’s a very popular joint. Especially if you’re a meat lover, Sakley has a wide variety to choose from. But what this place is really known for is its sweets. Indulge in their much talked about dark chocolate cake or chocolate truffle. No better way to end the day than treating yourself. Not in the mood for a whole meal? Ditch it and go straight for the best part.
Giannis Pure Veg Restaurant
Looking for good Vegetarian food in Nainital? This is the place to be. They serve a wide range of soups, which make it very comforting given the weather. Everyone recommends the thaali here. It consists of naan, rice, dal, two different types of subzi, raita, papad and Gulab Jamun right at the end. Thaalis are filling, has a little of everything and is usually a good option when going in big groups because it keeps everyone happy. They’re known for their paneer butter masala.
Another place to head to for quality Indian food is Embassy. It’s wood-lined chalet interior and well-dressed staff are so welcoming that once you’re here, you might not want to leave. The restaurant has the experience of 40 years and a menu to show for it. Though continental with its options, it’s known for the Indian food. The place is flooded with tourists and regulars alike with them both swearing by the Daal that is served here. To rehydrate yourself, their rosewater lassi is highly recommended.
Chandi Chowk Restaurant
Delhi’s famous Chandi Chowk is filled with some of the country’s best food. Why not enjoy that everywhere? Nanital’s Chandi Chowk attempts to take that spirit and bring it to life among the hills. The décor is swanky, it imitates the lanes of Chandi Chowk and the food is great too. Chaat here is to die for. The restaurant also offers a wide range of North Indian food, so you can’t really go wrong. But what they are really known for is the fresh Jalebis that come out piping hot from their kitchens. Many even claim it’s the best the country offers. Sceptics leave here as believers.
Sonam Chowmein Corner
Tucked away in the tiny Tibetan market, this ‘Dhaba’ puts together some of the best local Tibetan food. It’s fast, clean and cheap. Going to Nanital and not eating momos is like going to Mumbai and eating no Vada Pav. Yes, the place will become a part of you, but you won’t become a part of the place. What to eat in Nainital is always answered with momos. And Sonam Chowmein Corner is the best of the best. They also serve Chowmein, which goes well with your momo adventures.
Who doesn’t enjoy Punjabi food? It’s reliable, filling and very rich. On Mall road, opposite Nani lake sits Sher-e-Punjab with its full brown, Punjabi only menu. What to eat here depends on who you ask, while the non-vegetarians swear by the tandoori chicken and butter chicken, the herbivores can’t stop talking about the dal tadka. But you are going to have to decide for yourself. It’s like stepping into Punjab for a few hours and then stepping out. All this, with a lake view.
Right on Mall road, overlooking the lake, is Machan. A restaurant established in 1994, it serves Chinese and Indian food. They are well equipped to cater to large groups of people. Machan is loved by the locals and is on every tourist’s itinerary, so add it to yours. They have a pretty view and an outdoor sitting area from where to enjoy it. Too lazy to get out of bed? They’ll even deliver. All that and add the fact that for some reason they have Wi-Fi. Maybe Instagram that lake view?
What is a holiday if not an elaborate effort to pamper oneself? Located on a vintage property, Café Chica is a papering time machine. One has to call prior and make a booking, since they don’t entertain too many people in one go. You will feel like royalty as you sit among the hills, away from the nosey city tourist filled city and sip on warm soup. The entire café is outdoors, giving you a 360 degree view of the mountains. Start your day here, it is known for its English breakfasts. Not a breakfast person? Give homemade croissants, crepes, pasta, roast chicken, soups, fried fish, grilled ham or a range of salads a shot. Shout out to their Ham croissant.
While momos and thukpas are very comforting on a chilly day, the Indian in you is going to sooner or later crave that hard hitting masala our food is known for. When that does happen, head to Lucknow Restaurant and get into a line. Known for its Mughlai delicacies, this place is a real value for money. Head straight for their Tikkas and Kababs because that’s what they do best. The food is known to be a little spicy, so be prepared. This dhaba style eatery must be on your list.
True to its name, Panorama serves your meal with a view. Slightly on the expensive side but worth it, the staff is known to be super friendly. The restaurant is part of a much larger hotel which is equipped with a spa as well. One could make a whole days holiday here. It is perfect for a dinner for two as the setting is very romantic and they even do candle lights on request. The interior is old – fashioned and the view of Nainital valley is breath-taking.