The Ideal Shillong Café Trail
“One cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Shillong, the Scotland of the East and also the Rock Capital of India has its streets lined with cafes, ensuring that one has a true culinary experience while enjoying the serene beauty of Shillong. Check out some of my recommendations for the Shillong Café Trail:
Located in Laitumkrah, this homely café serves some delicious food ranging from Chinese, Continental, and Indian and of course to the local food. We happened to go there right on our first day in Shillong, which marked a great start to our Shillong Café Trail.
We tried out Smoked Pork Noodles, some Chicken Noodles and the Chicken Lasagna. The food was remarkably awesome and the noodles were served wrapped up in banana leaf. Full marks for presentation and full marks for the scrumptious taste!
The live music made the dining experience a memorable one.
Set in a quiet neighbourhood right next to St Edmund’s school, Dylan’s Cafe, is aiming to reinvigorate Dylan’s memory among local enthusiasts.
Dylan’s Cafe serves brunch, lunch, dinner along with coffee, snacks and an array of desserts. The menu is a good intermixture of hearty American comfort food along with some local favourites.
Dylan’s Cafe regularly hosts live music gigs to support independent talent and also hosts literary events like book launches, book and poetry readings and interactive sessions with artists.
Dylan’s Cafe also has a balcony with a lovely outdoor view of the rustic life of the locals– where one can even bring work – for that added inspiration.
Located just a few metres away from Cafe Shillong is Munchies. Not the typical cafe with a classy decor, Munchies is al-fresco all the way. Started by Anand Lobo, a mechanical engineer, along with his wife Tania Marak in the year 2011, Munchies offers Lebanese, Russian, Italian and Mexican food. The food is budget friendly and being located in the hub of all educational institutions, the place sees a lot of student population, this, qualifying to be a must try place during the Shillong Café Trail.
Happened to visit this on our last day in Shillong, primarily to have the taste of some authentic Manipur food.
Phunga means ‘fireplace’ in the kitchen area for cooking, as well as a gathering place for family to talk and pass time leisurely. And they have ensured that the place is welcoming and homely with a fireplace, albeit without the fire. From seating arrangements, décor and food plating, it all exudes a sense of a home with a tad bit of over-doing the bamboo and woodwork all around. Seating arrangements are spread out across three rooms and a balcony seating at the entrance of the restaurant. One can choose to sit on a high table dining area or low where one can sit with legs folded in yoga form and enjoy their meals in an authentic way or even choose to sit on Khasi murrahs (stool) on a low table.
With spacious, well done up interiors, the décor stole my heart away. Though they had some noodles and stuff too, but we opted for traditional dishes like Chicken cooked in bamboo shoot and it was delectable and at the same time different too, from the traditional chicken curries that we have in north India. The Menu consist of a variety of dishes – Chinese, Khasi and dominantly Manipuri. We recommend the Manipuri veg or non-veg Thalis (Fish/ Chicken /Duck). Manipuri indigenous mushroom items, Singju (Salad snack) and the Manipuri smoked fish are other standalone dishes worth trying.
Dejavu serves Chinese cuisine and also has a separate lounge area where one can wine and dine. Located in Laitumkrah, the restaurant is easy to find as it right next to the taxi stand.
It has made a name for itself since its establishment and has been known to serve the best Chinese food in town. The ambience is relaxing and the decor is absolutely stunning with attention to detail.
Dejavu is like a Mainland China for Shillong, and is a must visit during the Shillong Café Trail to satisfy the Chinese food craving.
Already been to Shillong? Do share your experiences in comments, and feel free to add on to the recommendations.