A Street Food Tour Of Shimla
Image Credit: Dal Makhani | Image Credit: Freepik.com

Featuring a subtropical highland climate, Shimla is predominantly cool in the winters and moderately warm in the summers making this anideal hill station or vacation spot for those trying to escape the otherwise hot and humid plains of India. During the 18th century, most of what is today called Shimla was a dense forest. In 1806, BhimsenThapa of Nepal captured the area. After the Anglo-Nepalese war from 1814 to 1816, the British East India Company took control of the area according to the Sugauli treaty. In 1864, the British declared Shimla as the summer capital of India. Post India’s independence, Shimla was the capital of Punjab and then was made the capital of Himachal Pradesh for good.

The cuisine of the state of Himachal Pradesh whose capital is Shimla, is a combination of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes that use generous amounts of spices and dairy products like buttermilk, ghee and yogurt to impart a distinct taste and flavour. Himachali cuisine is also known as ‘pahadi’ cuisine or cuisine of the mountain people. With tourism dominating the local economy, a rich culture of delicious street food has sprung up in Shimla. 

Let us look at a few of the Street food joints that are absolute must tries when in Shimla as a tourist.

1.    Sita Ram And Son

Complemented by a special Lassi, their ChanneBhature is hot and satiating. Tikka Chole and CholeKulche are also delicious here. However, they run out of food quite fast, which is testament to their popularity and necessitates an early presence to sample their food.

Address: M.C. Complex, Ridge SanjauliRoad, Near Regal Building, Lakkar Bazaar

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Price for two:INR  150

2.    Aunty KaDhaba

In operation for more than 35 years, this place has served authentic Chinese food and has maintained quality. While one won’t regret ordering anything on their menu, their Chopsuey, Manchurian, Dumplings, Singaporean noodles, Thukpa and fried and steamed momos are highly recommended by patrons.

Address: Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla

Timings: 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Price for two:INR  300

3.    Embassy Restaurant

Famous for their Apple Cake and Biriyani, they serve Chinese, Indian and Continental food. Their ice creams, smoothies and shakes are also popular with the Nutty Chocolate cone being the most popular. 

Address: Mall Road, Bernloi

Timings: 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Price for two:INR  600

4.    KewalKaDhaba

In business since 1931, this place is a favourite of the students from the nearby university. Popular for their tea and Butter Buns, their menu includes a few other street food staples like MaskaBun, Bun Jam, Pakoda etc.

Address:Near Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, ChauraMaidan

Timings: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Price for two:INR  500

5.    Bihari Lal Sharma And Sons

Established in 1948, this is the oldest fruit chat seller in Shimla. People going to the Jakhoo temple stop here for a break regularly as mere INR 30 can get you a plate of chopped fruits.

Address: Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla

Timings: 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Price for two:INR  500

6.    Pappi Da Dhaba

Ideal for a nice and hearty breakfast, this place serves all kinds of Parathas and cold coffee. Patrons swear by their Dal Makhani and TawaRotis.

Address: Shop no. 1, Bhogal Villa, Sanjauli

Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Price for two:INR 350

7.    Anna’s Café

Serving the best Maggi in Shimla, this café is extremely small located near the golf grounds in Annadale. After exploring the Army museum, one can relax here eating freshly cooked Maggi while sipping Rhododendron juice.

Address: Annadale road, Annadale

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.(shut on Mondays)

Price for two:INR 200

8.    Café Argyle House

After a long walk around Johnnie’s Wax Museum, this is just the place to rest and enjoy some great pizza. Omelettes, soups, pancakes and perfectly cooked waffles are some other dishes that regular patrons recommend. With colourful and catchy interiors, both the quality of food and ambience are good.

Address: The Lift, Mall Road, Bemloi

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Price for two:INR 500

9.    Sharma Chat Shop

Easily visible from Mall Road, the place is always busy with tourists and locals alike. With a menu having only  Chaats, Samosas, Lassi and CholeBhaturethe quality of the food is good at a very reasonable price.

Address: 48/3, Mall Road

Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Price for two:INR  200

10.    Krishna Bakers

When hunger pangs come calling while strolling The Mall, this bakery is the ideal place to alleviate them. With quick service, great taste and good quality,their soups are the most popular. Apart from soups, they also serve cookies, pastries, cakes, patties, momos, stuffed kulchas, burgers and pizzas. Established in 1928, their professional bakers also bake egg less cakes. 

Address: Ground floor, Exchange Building, Mall Road

Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Price for two:INR  150

While a tourist or explorer generally comes to a place with the goal of exploring the place and the local cuisine, when roaming the streets of the said place, some fast street food is almost always in order. It is no different in Shimla. For a traveller who might come to Shimla to escape the brutal heat of the plains and below, there are plenty of options in the city centre to satisfy one’s hunger and taste buds with  a quick bite at the above mentioned locations.