Paragliding is the soul of the Himachali town of Bir, the world’s second highest spot for this adventure sport. Over the years a number of cafes and restaurants have opened doors offering not just lip-smacking food but also gorgeous views. When hunger pangs strike, take your pick from these.
Paloma Café and Bistro
Their breakfast options are quite massive. Take your pick from avocado toast, chickpea and onion omelette, eggs benny to Italian, French and Viennese options. This is also one of the few cafes to have a variety of vegan items on the menu including pizza, burgers and more. Even the desserts, except for cheesecake and croissants, are eggless. The view from the rooftop terrace is quite amazing with paragliders going above you.
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Silver Lining Café
This cosy eco-friendly cafe is one of the best places for breakfast. It has a limited menu but whatever you order will be fresh and tasty. The pancakes, French toast and waffles are ideal breakfast staples. You can take a cup of coffee and sip it while reading a book. If you forgot to bring yours, pick one from a shelf here.
If you are craving for South Indian food, the only place to head to is Avva’s Cafe. With a gorgeous view of the Dhauladhar Range and terrace farms, this is the only one in Bir that offers everything from crisp dosas, piping hot vada to idli and uttapam. Munch on channa and sip hot rasam as you wait for your order. On a rainy day nothing can beat sipping filter coffee as you gaze at the mountains.
This is the best place for those delicious wood-fired oven pizzas. With just six pizzas on the menu, two pasta bakes and waffles, you can be assured that whatever you bite into will taste really fantastic. The cabanas in the garden are inviting as you can watch gliders fly over you and come down from the take off point. The ice tea is not heavy on sugar, and while you wait for the order try your hand at a few games kept here.
June 16 Café
This charming café with colourful interiors offers some of the best desserts in Bir. If you are wondering about the name – it’s the date when the owner Sumit confessed his love to Ritu. The happy couple serves good food and chats with the customers. Desserts like carrot and lemon cake can’t be skipped. They even have a few vegan dishes on the menu – omelette, pancakes – but if you love eggs then go for shakshuka, rosti with fried eggs and eggs Kejriwal. The pancakes and waffles are also worth a try.
Ara Cafe, Parvatah
If you like sampling local fare, then go for the Himachali thali at this charming rooftop cafe. This is one of the few places that offer this delicious thali consisting of the local dishes. But, if you would rather stick to tried and tested ones, then opt for pakodas, pizza, biryani and devil momos (they are dunked in Schezwan sauce). Everything is presented well and the view from here, especially at sunset, is to die for.
True to its name, this place follows the concept of pay what you want to. With three wooden tables, it is not very big, and has just four items on the menu (wraps and sandwich) and a few shakes, fresh juice, coffee and tea. Vikrum, the owner has placed a small bowl and you can put in whatever you feel like. You pay for the experience and not the food – that is his philosophy.
Musafir Traveller Cafe
What attracts people here is the freshly plucked home grown mint that makes its way to your glass when you order Lemon Mint Ice Tea. It’s a tall glass of something so refreshing that you will surely come back for it. Their menu is huge – it includes 10 types of pancakes, Maggi and special sandwiches.
No matter how many cafes come up, nothing can beat digging into a meal of Tibetan and Chinese food. This happens to be one of the best eateries for this cuisine. The momos, thukpa, fried rice and chowmein are delicious. But be careful, if you order something spicy like chilli chicken, it is going to be extra hot.