A mecca for yoga lovers and spiritual pursuers, Rishikesh is a holy city on the Ganges river in northern India. As it is a religiously sacred place, non-vegetarian food has been banned in the city for many years. During my one month studying yoga in Rishikesh, I was easily able to stay on a vegan diet. I ate no meat, fish, or even eggs. And guess what? I did not miss those things one bit. My yoga school provided a delicious and nourishing meal plan for us during the weekdays. And on the weekend, I explored the ample cafes and restaurants around town. Here is a list of best places to eat in Rishikesh, organized by different categories of awesomeness. Enjoy!
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Top restaurants in Rishikesh with river views
Tat Cafe is the biggest cafe out of several cafes on Lakshman Jhula Road that offer views of River Ganga. You can sit indoor on one of the sofas and bamboo chairs or outside on the balcony cushions. It’s a nice spot to read a book or watch the white water rafters that often pass by on the river below. Tat has an extensive menu with many scrumptious options. I highly recommend the spinach mushroom burger and don’t pass up on the decadent oreo smoothie!
A colorful cafe with cozy floor cushion seating, Shambala is a great place to chill especially during sunrise or sunset. The bamboo ceiling and vibrant wall hangings give off a retro vibe. There are many pillows to snuggle with. Indian music is always playing in the background. Some nights there are also live performances. The staff are friendly and very genuine. I asked one guy what I should order from the menu, and he actually told me straight up what’s good and what’s not so good. Kudos to him for his honesty. I recommend their Spanish omelet and pumpkin platter.
This cafe is a little hard to find as it is behind a jewelry store. There is nothing but a little sign pointing towards an alleyway from the front which does not exactly look inviting. But once inside, you will be delighted by the refreshing energy of the place. There are two floors in the cafe, both opened completely to views of the Ganga River. Another breathtaking spot to make you forget all your worries, just like the cafe name “Shanti Shanti”, which means “peace peace”. The food selection here is good but really, people come here for the excellent drummer who creates amazing vibes almost every evening. My friends and I would come here to dance so often that the restaurant staff came to recognize us.
Good restaurants in Rishikesh with garden views
My friends and I loved coming here during our lunchtime breaks for some quiet studying. There is a big mango tree in the center of the yard accompanied by some sweet swing chairs. Food here is healthy and so creative. Try their chickpea wrap and yummy brownies. They also have some great detoxing juices and teas. I like their golden milk with turmeric, which sounds gross but is actually really good. On Sunday nights, there are usually live music performances and it’s a good vibe always.
Pure Soul is very spacious. There is a lovely outdoor patio from where you can see a pool. I’m not sure if guests can swim in there though. I visited once and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the cafe. It was so nice to sit here on a sunny morning and look out to the mountains. The service here was friendly and relatively fast. I tried the breakfast plate with scrambled eggs and it was delicious.
The name will tell you the theme of this hotel/restaurant: 60’s retro feel and very green. Set in a beautiful garden with exotic plants, 60’s Green Hills is like an oasis in a busy city. During the day, it’s nice to sit outside, but during the night, the salon with moody lights and old records on the wall will make you feel as if you have traveled back in time. The food is mostly American. Burgers, pizza, lasagna, pancakes…You name your craving, they probably have it. As I mentioned, this is also a hotel. The photos and reviews both look pretty great. If you are searching for accommodation in Rishikesh, why not check it out here.
This is actually the cafe at my yoga school. It just newly opened in December 2019. For us students, we were over the moon for this convenient place to grab a coffee and do some studying without going too far from the ashram. I came here almost every day. The barista whip up a great Americano and their carrot cake, homemade by the owner’s wife, is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. The only downside here is that they still did not have free wifi when I visited since it was brand new. Hopefully, they have it all set up now.
Best places to eat in Rishikesh that are cheap and yummy
I probably would not have stepped foot in this restaurant in town if someone didn’t take me there. From the outside, it does not stand out, but the food here is 100% authentic and yummy. Not too mention super affordable too. My friends and I got several curry dishes, rice, and nan for lunch. Between the six of us, we spent about $2 each. A good cheap meal does not get any better than this.
Walking into Ira’s Kitchen feels a bit like walking into someone’s yard, in a good way. The little cafe gives off a homely feeling. Gautami, the owner, is super friendly and always making sure the guests are happy. The food here is generously portioned and very tasty. Everything on the menu is quite good but I would recommend the Masala Oats bowl and the pancakes.
Tattv Cafe is upstairs from the Pundit General organic store on the main road. It is not to be confused with the Tat Cafe near Ganga River. I came to Tattv a couple of times and always enjoyed the experience. The cafe is clean, comfortable, and has a nice ambiance. I loved sitting outside where they have lots of cute plants. The food selections are well-priced with lots of vegan and gluten-free options.
Best restaurants in Rishikesh serving Foreign flavours
There are a lot of Italian restaurants in Rishikesh. One that is popular amongst yoga students is A Tavola Con Te. Even though it’s tucked away from the main road, people come here for the beautiful courtyard setting and absolutely bomb firewood oven pizzas. Apparently, the pasta, olive oil, cheese and canned peeled tomatoes are all imported straight from Italy. The menu also includes pastas, bruscetta, and classic Italian desserts like tiramisu and panda cotta. Drools….
I was so surprised and happy to find this little Japanese restaurant. Who would have thought of its existence in Rishikesh, India! Some of you know my special love for Japanese food since I worked and lived in Japan for two years. This small charming restaurant is quite special. First of all, its name “Okaeri” means welcome home. Aw! Second of all, all the food here are vegetarian versions of traditional Japanese cuisine. The sushis are filled with colourful wholesome veggies instead of fish. I loved it! The lady working here is also very kind and smiley. I would definitely go back here again if I have the chance.
Ganga Beach Restaurant is near the famous Laxman Jhula bridge. You can sit right by the water and enjoy a diverse selection of cuisine on the menu. They have Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Israeli cuisine. So if you are not sure what you are in the mood for, this is the place to come for a bit of everything.
Hope you enjoyed this list of best places to eat in Rishikesh! Looking for a place to stay in Rishikesh? Book here:
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