Tawang: 5 Cafés You Must Visit In Arunachal’s Mesmerising Monpa Town
Image Credit: Facebook/@tourism.tawang

One of Northeast India’s most popular tourist destinations, Tawang is blessed with cool climes, dazzling glacial lakes and magnificent mountains. The valley also receives snowfall between December and January. Home to the country’s biggest Buddhist monastery, the ‘Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse’ is the oldest and second biggest monastery in Asia. A treat for your eyes, this mesmerising Monpa town is situated about 10,000 feet above sea level. It lies in close proximity to Tibet and Bhutan, while the distance between Tezpur and Tawang by road is about 334 km. To enter Arunachal Pradesh, Indian citizens are required to have an Inner Line Permit (ILP).

The ‘celestial paradise’ aside, Tawang has a culture of its own and food is an integral part of that. People of the Monpa tribe are said to be quite fond of millet, while they also eat rice, wheat, barley, buckwheat and pulses. Various seasonal vegetables and meats form part of their staple diet. Like in other states of the northeastern region, people here love chillies and are fond of spicy food. Among the popular rustic dishes of Tawang are Zan (millet porridge), Puta (noodles), Khura (buckwheat flour pancake), Gyapa-Khazi (rice dish), Bresi (sweet rice dish), Thukpa (soupy noodles) and momos. 

Keeping in mind the tourist footfall that Tawang receives every year, the town is also home to a few interesting cafés that are known for their good service, delicious food and some incredible views of the surroundings. 

Here’s a quick guide to the five best coffee shops in Tawang that you must visit on your next trip to the holiday destination.

Facebook/@dharmacoffeehouse; a view of the coffee shop

1. Dharma Coffee House and Library

Fresh and tasty food and books to read amid breezy environs are the USPs of this beautiful café in the Monpa town. Try their white pasta, sandwiches and salted caramel. Located close to the famous Tawang Monastery, this cosy coffee shop is a good place to stop by for a quick bite with family and friends or indulge in some reading with a hot cup of coffee. Dharma Coffee House and Library also serves a variety of cakes and confectioneries.    

Address: AIR Gompa Road, behind PHED Office, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh - 790104

Timings: 9am to 5pm

Facebook/Phun’s Café; chicken steak served with sautéed butter veggies, fries and dinner roll.

2. Phun’s Café

Looking for soothing music and some delicious food? We suggest you head to Phun’s Café. Their menu is elaborate and pretty enticing. From grilled chicken/fish, baked fish, steaks, stroganoffs and salads to pancakes, pizzas, sandwiches and an assortment of beverages - they have it all! When at the coffee shop, try their cakes too. And yes, their dreamy, warm décor is too attractive to miss.  

Address: On the way to New Market, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh - 790104

Timings: 9am to 8pm

Facebook/@@Soinamshouseofcakes; Doraemon Squad Cake

3. Soinam’s House Of Cakes

Your go-to place for masterfully decorated delicious cakes, the café at Soinam’s House Of Cakes is also quite popular. Warm lighting, wooden flooring and blue-white accents make for the perfectly comfy ambience to hang out with loved ones. Their pizzas and ginger-lemon-honey tea deserve a special mention on the menu. 

Address: Old Market, Gonpa, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh - 790104

Timings: 9am to 7pm

Facebook/Yangke’s Café; interiors of the café

4. Yangke’s Café

Cutesy décor, friendly vibe, mini gigs and an interesting menu of lip-smacking eats, Yangke’s Café is a great place to rejuvenate yourself. Crispy chilli potato, mixed sauce pasta, burger, pizza and coffee are among the popular foods they offer. The café is pocket-friendly and is usually frequented more by the young crowd. It’s also a great place to enjoy the scenic views of snow-capped mountains from.   

Address: Parade Ground, near Old Market, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh - 790104

Timings: 8am to 9pm

Instagram/@northeast.flavours; a peek into the café

Timings: 10am to 9pm