Situated slightly above Lakshman Jhula, Pyramid cafe is a welcome oasis from the hustle and bustle of the main road. A raw veggie lover’s dream, all organic vegetables grown on the property are triple washed in specially filtered water– making the super fresh salads safe to eat. Pyramid bakes their own homemade bread, which accompanied by fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms and a crunchy salad is, in my opinion, the best breakfast in Rishikesh. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy Pyramid’s homemade raw chocolate desserts! Be sure to try the cacao pyramid: mildly sweet, rich chocolaty decadence. Homemade kombucha seals the deal, bringing Pyramid Cafe to the top of my list of best cafes in Rishikesh. Also worth mentioning– on some nights, groups of local and traveler musicians come together to make live music under the stars.
2. Little Buddha– Lakshman Jhula
Little Buddha is reminiscent of a bamboo tree-house overlooking the emerald waters of the Ganges river. A steep metal staircase takes you above a shop on the main road in Lakshman Jhula, past another tiny shop and up a second flight of stairs. The low, thatched ceiling provides a cozy atmosphere and there is plenty of seating in comfortable wicker chairs or in booths perfect for larger groups. Vitamin-rich fresh pomegranate juice is tart and refreshing, and the Buddha veggie plate is bountiful in variety and large enough to share between two people. If you are a fan of spicy food, Little Buddha’s homemade hot sauce is a divine medley of chili, spices and heat.
3. Ramana’s Organic Cafe– Tapovan
Ramana’s Organic Cafe in lower Tapovan is a very special place. The restaurant is an extension of Ramana’s Garden: a non-profit charity, children’s home and school. Founded 18 years ago by an American woman as a result of her spiritual practice in Rishikesh, Ramana’s Garden is home to children who are given a new chance at life through compassion, education and basic material needs. Ramana’s Organic Cafe is a popular place to enjoy food in a happy, vibrant atmosphere. Often served by the children who live there, locally-grown organic veggies are used to prepare delicious meals like vegetable lasagna, eggplant moussaka– and the homemade carrot cake is moist and delightful. Every Monday, the cafe is closed for deep cleaning of the kitchen (presumably, a rarity in India); and Fridays are the most exciting– pizza (with soup or salad) and movie night!
4. New Lucky– Lakshman Jhula, behind Lucky Cafe across from Jaipur Inn
Best ginger lemon honey tea in all of Rishikesh! Run by a group of sweet Nepalese boys, New Lucky sits directly above the Ganges river. Seating is at plastic tables or inside one of two little cabanas with low tables and pillows– shoes off at the entrance. Candlelit evening meals of Nepalese momos– juicy dumplings filled with vegetables, and fresh Yak’s cheese for those who choose, steamed to perfection accompanied by dipping sauce– a perfect way to wind down after a busy day of practicing yoga and exploring the town.
5. Oasis Cafe– Ram Jhula
Oasis cafe is nestled in the upper area of Ram Jhula, left at the intersection by the taxi stand. The peaceful, cozy atmosphere is punctuated by cheeky monkeys toying around the property. My favorite dish here is fried rice with veggies (egg is available). Oasis is a great meeting place for travelers– it is easy to spend hours here enjoying tea, chatting with people from all over the world and comparing adventure stories.
6. Ayurpak– Tapovan
Ayurvedic food made fresh. Ayurpak features a large menu of specially prepared meals following the standards of Ayurveda. A beautiful garden setting and a family-run kitchen makes trips to Ayurpak as healing as they are delicious. Must try: fresh vegetable soup and lemongrass tea.
Children from Ramana’s Garden
My darling Victoria and I enjoying some chai