Dehradun is one of the most beautiful and popular hill stations in India, which often serves as a corridor to even more exotic locations of Uttarakhand. Dehradun is that rare type of tourist location that makes you feel at home, and whether it is your home or you are there to chill out after a long tiring season of work, cafes are always a go-to spot for all occasions. All of us have been to various cafes in our cities innumerable times, but there is something different about having your waffles and hot chocolate in a cafe that is peeking over at pearl white frozen peaks of mountains.
Cafes in Dehradun
Imagine a cold breezy January morning in the hills of Dehradun, and you’re feeling cosy in the presence of faded and ineffective sunshine, every colour around you looks vivid even though you’re still on a hangover of fatigue from last night’s trek. You don’t want to enjoy breakfast on your bed like a lethargic impassive sloth, so you set out in search of a cafe in the neighbourhood that matches your cosy and happening vibe. The ambience should be harmonious enough to let you relax before the adventurous day ahead.
The edibles should be able to satisfy your sweet tooth as well as give you proper nourishments to be energetic throughout the day without being a blow to your budget. Well, if your mouth is already watering and your mind is hovering across Dehradun in search of this perfect cafe, here is a complete list of classy, melodious, and aesthetic cafes in Dehradun.
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1. Kalsang AMA cafe
Located in Chander Lok colony in Rajpur, this Tibetan-themed cafe, open from 10 in the morning till 10:30 at night, is a must-visit place for mountain lovers. It makes you feel like you’re lost somewhere in Leh-Ladakh, riding your masculine bike, going where the roads are headed without the tension of worldly affairs, and then you stumble upon this little hut giving out warm food and drinks to passengers on the way.
Everything making up the ambience looks authentic and organic as if the structure of the cafe itself is a part of mother nature. The polite and smirking staff is no different from every other soft-spoken local in Dehradun; it almost feels that they are delighted to serve you the best cuisine they can in a way that is beyond business.
Speaking of the food itself, everything has a slight Tibetan touch, and there is much more than everyday snacks to enjoy while looking out at the scenic view from the window seats specially organized for sightseeing. Pizza served here in that typical Tibetan fashion is highly recommended, along with a freshly brewed cappuccino. For those of you with a sweet tooth, blueberry cheesecake tops my recommendations, and of course, thick death by chocolate shake will make every moment in this cafe worth it. If you are someone with a soft corner for red hot spicy food, this place can fulfil your demand with their special “Dragon momo”.
The average cost for two people to spend a beautiful morning here while satisfying their hunger is around 600 bucks, which is a bargain for such a heavenly experience.
2. Sunburn Bistro tea cafe
Located on old Survey road, it is a paradise for tea lovers. They offer 128 different varieties of tea!!! The best part is each tea costs the same at 70 INR. You can pick from different categories like herbal tea, Ceylon tea, relaxing tea, fitness tea, flavoured tea, English tea, special tea, and Indian tea, which include traditional styles of tea from Kashmir Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Assam. If you claim to be a tea fanatic, you should visit Bistro tea cafe without a doubt.
First impressions of this cafe are unbelievable; the architecture is made to complement a bright sunny day. The seating arrangement is very spacious, and the entire place feels like an open-air balcony. The interior is decorated with hundreds if not thousands of artworks comprising sketches, movie posters, music album covers, portraits, and modern art. The crowd is good, and as a tea lover, it feels proud to be surrounded by other tea-heads. It feels like being a car enthusiast at an auto expo.
Apart from tea, they also serve delicious snacks. Particularly recommended is the cheese sandwich. The place is a legend in itself and yet budget-friendly.
The average cost for two tea-heads to enjoy the real aroma of tea leaves along with some snacks is 500 bucks. 500 buck for a tea haven like this one is worth every tea leaf soaked in your cup of tea.
3. First gear cafe
This hill-top cafe is located in Khalsa gaon in Malsi and will provide you with the real experience of a typical mountain cafe. The major attraction of this cafe is not the treat for your mouth but your eyes. The open-balcony-like structure makes it a perfect viewing deck for the Doon valley and shiv mandir. In a way, the entire Dehradun can be summarized in the view from First gear cafe.
Wondering why it is called first gear cafe? No, it is not a car-themed restaurant. It is called so because to get to this cafe, you need to manoeuvre your car in first gear because of the steep slope you need to climb. The slope gradient is worth it when you reach the top and treat your eyes to the breathtaking foggy valley. It is highly recommended to visit this cafe during the monsoon season because the vibe of rain pouring down while you are sitting on a hilltop with boiling hot Maggi and misty scenery is unmatched.
The place is famous for its momos and Maggi, but they also serve mouth-watering honey chilli potato and red sauce pasta. It offers the service from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, but it is highly recommended to visit during the light of the day as the view of the valley is much more pleasing than the food or cafe itself.
The average cost for two people to enjoy their meal while absorbing the beauty of Dehradun through their eyes is around 700 bucks.
4. Cafe de Piccolo
It’s time for the hidden gem on our list. Cafe de piccolo, as the name suggests, is an Italian-themed cafe, but this is an understatement. Located on Raipur road, this cafe speaks for itself in that it was carefully crafted by someone eager to express love. It gives out the vibe of that innocent, blissful, pinkish-hued love we all want in our little fairyland.
Cafe de piccolo is not a lavish and flamboyant 5-star restaurant you want to be in with your weekend date; it’s a dollhouse where you want to go with your first love. The interior is crafted as if a teenager poured every tickling thought of her mind in the finest way possible. At first glance, you can spot every rainbow colour in the decorations. White wooden furniture, dark-coloured wall-hanging lamps, and teal cupboards of English taste all add up to a classic ambience.
One wall glitters with birdhouses of all vibrant colours. Another wall is covered up in a painting of what seems to be a sketch of some catholic school. It is hanging adjacent to it are linen white curtains contrasting with subtle brown wooden stairs mixing into the background of floral painting like it belongs there. To top it all off, are the golden rice lights sprinkled all around the little room provide an innocent yet intimate aura. It almost resembles the central perk from FRIENDS, just a lot more vibrant. On the exterior, it is shaped exactly like the houses we used to draw in pre-school with one rectangular door, triangular roof, and square windows.
Just like its appearance, the food here is simple, satisfying and absolutely everything you could wish for. Nutella and banana crepe and white chocolate latte are the best sellers. A hot Belgium waffle sandwich with choco lava dripping from within totally matches that fulfilling vibe of cafe de piccolo.
This celestial experience would cost only around 400 INR for you and your loved one.
5. Cafe Cibo
Out of the fairyland, we are now entering the wilderness of cafe Cibo. Located on east canal road, Cibo has a unique approach to its interior and food. Cafe Cibo is famous across Dehradun for its chicken lasagna so if you’re a lasagna fanatic, Cibo is your happy place in Dehradun.
The cafe carries a rough and tough theme as it has glass walls on three sides, beyond which lies the beautiful lush garden maintained all year long for nature lovers who want to enjoy their lasagna while surrounded by greenery. The ambience revolves around the adventurous colour scheme of brown and olive green. The seating is extremely comfortable with big, round, wooden sofas that look and feel like bean bags but without struggling to get up with a squat. The spacious sofas almost imply that they are not meant to sit up straight but rather to lay down your back and cuddle up in the seat.
The place serves amazing coffee, hot chocolate, lush plants, and a dark colour scheme resembling a drizzling day on an outdoor camping site. It is open from 11 am to 10 pm and has outdoor seating if you don’t want a sheet of glass to distance you from mother nature. Food recommendations apart from lasagna include chicken salam-e-Ishq and veggie carnival pizza prepared in a clean and tidy kitchen visible from indoor seating.
The average cost for two people in this food caravan amidst a blooming jungle is around 800 bucks.
6. Valley Retreat
This cafe is truly one of its kind, and it might as well be the only cafe in Dehradun with a pool. Yes, Valley Retreat is equipped with a fully functional pool available for visitors at a minimal cost. Lush green mountains surround the cafe itself on all four sides, and the view from the outdoor seating is surreal. The scenic view goes far and beyond the mountain ranges of Dehradun, with fog wrapping up the region and a narrow stream of river lined with pebbles as it’s an outline of the scenery.
The seating arrangement is made in a very spacious manner with the interior being completely void of walls, giving a hint of an open-air cafe. The shape of the birch on which the cafe is made resembles the second half of a boat protruding into the pool beneath. The place is perfect for having small get-togethers and poolside parties. Valley retreat is famous for its Hakka noodles and shakes and is located near Tapobhumi ashram. The interior lightens up in the evening, making it suitable for dinner dates in dimly lit ambiance and wooden roof.
Your mouth-watering delicacies can be served directly to the poolside, and for those opting for indoor seating, arrangement for games like carom, chess, and even snooker is made. The place is more like a resort to plan poolside parties lasting all day.
The cafe offers its services from 8 am to 10 pm, and the average cost for two people to have a soothing meal by the poolside is around 750 INR.
7. Y cafe
Located in Karanpur, this dipped-in-white cafe has served hand-beaten dalgona coffee since the pre-lockdown era. It is also famous for crispy and lemony chicken wings served with a special crimson dip. The Interior is painted white with white furniture, a white door, and white decorative elements. They write the specials outdoors on a blackboard like good old days, and the cafe gives out a European vibe as intended by the owners. On the exterior, it is the most typical hill station cafe you can imagine, and the food served is like what grandma used to serve on happy Sunday mornings with a taste bearing years of experience and precision cooking.
The ambience is as lively as it gets anywhere in Dehradun, with spacious seating arrangements and melodious live music by local artists. Small square windows on all three walls are covered individually with miniature curtains tied down with a pink ribbon. A special mention for a black-coloured wall clock with roman numerals contrasts with the place’s white theme. Many books are available that can go well with your coffee, and the gentle aura of this place will make anyone with a classy taste fall in love.
The modern essence kicks in with the fusion shakes and smoothies on the menu. The English vibe is also stretched out, with good Mexican and Italian dishes up for grab. One of their cutest traditions is giving out adorable little cupcakes on Saturdays. Y Cafe is a cafe that will take you down vintage memory lane and make you feel content from within. This cafe is one of the oldest cafes in Dehradun, and once you visit this place, Dehradun will always be linked with the picture of this cafe in your mind.
The place is open from 12 noon till 10 at night, and the average cost for two people is a courteous 500 INR.