What To Eat and Where to Eat in Bir Billing (Himachal Pradesh, India) | A Food Guide
A Foodie’s Guide to Bir Billing – The Paragliding Capital of India
Bir is a town situated in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Now popular as the “Paragliding Capital of India“, Bir is likewise a prominent centre for ecotourism, spiritual studies and meditation. Bir is also home to a significant Tibetan refugee settlement with several known Buddhist Monasteries . While Billing is the take off site for paragliding and Bir is where the landing site is; collectively it is referred to as “Bir Billing”.
In the past few years, Bir has become quite popular with the travellers, specially with those who are living the Digital Nomad Life. Popular hostel chains such as Zostel, The Hosteller, The Bunker etc have opened up properties in Bir, catering to the demand of the growing travellers, and likewise the Cafe culture has also grown and developed in the past 2-3 years.
A lot of creative minds, who chose to escape the city life and move to the mountains, have made Bir their home now! And the fact that there are direct buses plying between Bir and Delhi on a daily basis, has contributed significantly in the growth of tourism in the Paragliding Capital of India.
All these factors have made Bir Billing not only a popular Weekend Getaway destination, but also one of India’s growing Digital Nomad Hotspot.
I was fortunate to have spent around 2 weeks in March 2020 (Before Coronavirus aka COVID – 19 was declared a Pandemic by WHO), in Bir Billing, getting High on Himalayas, with a bunch of amazing people, and trying out different dishes to Eat in Bir Billing, on a daily basis, which helped compile this Bir Billing Food Guide, highlighting what’s special to Eat in the different cafes and restaurants in Bir Billing.
These places have been listed in chronological order, with respect to their location, as you walk from Choughan Chowk towards Landing Site in Bir.
Steamed and Fried Momos – Ram Bahadur Cafe
If you have a craving for Momos, there’s no place better than Ram Bahadur Cafe !
This small ordinary looking food joint, holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who stays in Bir!
They have got Vegetable / Chicken / Mutton as a filling, which can be enjoyed either steamed, or fried. And my recommendation would be the Chicken Fried Momos, with spoonfuls of the yummy spicy chutney!
PS – Their momo chutney is to die for – just yummmm!
Thukpa and Devil Momos – Nyingma Restaurant
Another few steps from Ram Bahadur Cafe towards Gandhi Chowk, and you’ll find Nyingma Hotel – a bright yellow structure, on the Left side of the road.
This will look like one expensive restaurant, because of the plush interiors, but trust me, the rates are pretty economical, and the food tastes yummy.
While the restaurant serves a variety of dishes, I found the Thukpa and the Devil Momos to be the highlights at Nyingma Restaurant. And Ginger Lemon Honey tea of course.
Unlike a lot of places, where the Thukpa turns out to be either bland, or too spicy, the Thukpa here is just perfectly balanced, and pretty heavy too!
Devil Momos are basically fried momos, tossed and served in a spicy garlic gravy.
If you are looking for a place where you can chat with your friends, while having some really sumptuous food, Nyingma Restaurant is the place to be!
TBH, I found this to be one of Bir Billings hidden gems, with respect to this Bir Billing Food Guide ! You will mostly find locals here, rather than the tourists and travellers!
Hogging on Momos in Bir, be it fried, steamed or the devil momos, will forever remain one of my Most Memorable Experiences in the Himalayas.
Home Cooked Food – Kuckie’s Cafe
Kuckie’s Cafe deserves a special mention in this Bir Billing Food Guide !
Why ? You may ask ?
Well, ask any one who has been staying in Bir for a while, where they go to when they crave some Home Cooked food, and the answer will be unanimous – Kuckie’s Cafe !
The food served by Kuckie Aunty is simple, but yummy, and not that heavy on the pocket. The moment you step in Kuckie’s Cafe, you’ll feel as if, you’ve entered the living room of your house, and having a few words with Aunty will make you feel at home.
Whether you are looking for a quiet place to read a book, or work, or simply have a conversation – Its very easy to find a spot for yourself at Kuckie’s Cafe.
BTW if you are looking for a place to volunteer, Aunty is always on the lookout for a helping hand.
Hot Chocolate – June 16
The strategic location of June16 Cafe, makes it one of the most popular and frequented cafes in Bir Billing, where travellers can be seen throughout the day, sipping a hot beverage like hot chocolate or coffee chatting with other travellers, and Digital Nomads, engrossed in their work, while sipping some yummy Hot Chocolate, which is what I would recommend you to try out as well.
Vada Pav and Cutting Chai – Bombay Local
If you are craving some authentic and yummy Maharashtrian street food, such as Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji, along with the famed Cutting Chai, Bombay Local is where you should go to.
The Vada Pav is economically priced at INR 40, and will definitely take you back to the streets of Mumbai or Pune.
Pasta’s and Fresh Green Salads – Paloma Vegan Bistro
Probably the only Cafe in Bir Billing, that caters only to Vegan Food.
Paloma Vegan Bistro serves some really delectable cakes, pastas and fresh salads, which you should definitely try.
Himachali Siddu – The Northern Cafe
The Northern Cafe is one of the best places to catch the famed sunsets of Bir, with a panoramic view of the landing site in front, and the mighty Himalayas on the back.
While the food is a bit pricey here, its one of the few restaurants and cafes in Bir Billing, where you can have the traditional Himachali Siddu. Also to try are the yummy pakoras, while enjoying the sunset.
Also, if you are a Digital Nomad, and are looking for a quiet place to work, I would highly recommend you to make The Northern Cafe, as your workspace during the day, when there aren’t that many travellers present.
Mint Ice Tea – Musafir – The Traveller’s Cafe
If you are a traveler and are interested in the Indie Music scene, you might be aware about Musicathon Bir. Musafir Cafe is where it all started!
The Mint Ice Tea is sort of a legend, and I highly recommend you try it at Musafir – The Traveller’s Cafe, while enjoying the sunset, with soft Indie Music playing in the background.
If you are an artist, you are going to love the vibes at Musafir Cafe for sure.
I’ve also heard that their chicken curry is also quite sumptuous. So if you happen to stay here post sunset, you might want to check it out.
South Indian Food – Avva’s Cafe
Strategically located beyond the Landing Site in Bir Billing, overlooking the green terraced fields, Avva’s Cafe, serves the best South Indian Food in Bir Billing. Period.
Yes, dining at Avva’s cafe, will be a bit heavy on the pocket, but the moment you’ll have your first bite, you’ll realise, that its worth every penny.
The idlis are going to melt in your mouth, the sambar is perfectly balanced and is neither too sweet nor too spicy, the coconut chutney is something that you’ll keep asking more and more, the dosas will be crisp with just the right amount of filling. And did I forget to tell that, you’ll get Rasam with kaala chana on the house.
Avva’s Cafe has one of the Best views in Bir Billing, from where you can see the gliders fly in the sky, all day long.
Banofee Pie – Silver Linings
Another quaint cafe, famous with artists, digital nomads and the local community is the Silver Lining Cafe, just opposite Avva’s Cafe.
What usually happens is that, travellers have a heavy meal at Avva’s Cafe, and then cross the road and make their way to Silver Lining Cafe, where they just chill, connect with other travellers, and enjoy their cup of coffee!
The Banofee Pie along with Coffee is what I’ll recommend you to try at Silver Lining.
Anything and Everything – Kaafila
Tucked in the bylanes of Chaughan village, amidst bright yellow fields with the backdrop of snow clad peaks is a quaint cafe named Kaafila – from the streets of Bombay that offers you a slice of Bombay in the mountains.
From the iconic Bombay wada pav to pav bhaji and other mouth watering delicacies of mumbai street food, Kaafila serves it all.
Occasionally, you can find artistic souls creating soothing music or just leaving their footprints behind by painting a part of them on their art wall. Also, on bright sunny days they bake amazing sweet treats too giving you a complete experience of a guilty food trip filled with tons of entertainment as you connect with fellow travellers!
They also host pizza and burger nights, live sports streaming nights, BBQ and bonfire nights and gaming nights where the community of travellers meets and interacts with each other.
Musafir Cafe as mentioned above in this Bir Billing Food Guide, was previously where Kaafila, is today.
Vegetarian Thaali – Suryansh Bhojnalaya
This is the only place in this Bir Billing Food Guide, which is not near the landing site in Bir Billing, but on the highway from Bir to Palampur. Its 4 – 5 KM from the landing site, and the best way to go there is in a cab / your own vehicle if applicable.
The speciality of Suryansh Bhojnalaya serving only Vegetarian food is the Himachali Thaali and its pretty simple and straightforward affair. The food is sumptuous, healthy, and very economical.
One Thali for INR 150, is sufficient to feed two people, if they are not that hungry.
Maggi and Chai – Multiple Places
This goes without saying, that the joy of having piping hot Maggi, while sipping Chai, is an experience thats synonymous with getting High on Himalayas.
Any any trip to the mountains is incomplete, if you haven’t sipped hot Chai, and slurped the Masala Maggi, while enjoying the view of the mighty Himalayas.
Getting Maggi and Chai in the mountains, is very easy, and can be found at multiple places through out Bir Billing, but the ones where you’ll have the best experience, are literally in the lap of the Mountains, away from the town.
I hope you enjoyed going through this Bir Billing Food Blog, and found it as a useful Travel Resource for your Trip to Bir Billing. Don’t forget to Pin this Bir Billing Food Guide, for your future trip.
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