A journey to the cold deserted mountains of Spiti Valley is incomplete without making a pit stop at one of the many dhabas that freckle the raw and barren landscape. “Spiti”, also known as “the middle land” between India and Tibet is situated high in the North-Eastern part of the Himalayas. It is because of this amalgamation, that places to eat in Spiti valley are famous for both Indians and Tibetan.
Here is a list of all places to eat in Spiti Valley that will leave you craving for more!
1. Hindustan ka Aakhri Dhaba:
Overlooking the picturesque mountain edge is India’s last village, Chitkul, of the Sangla Valley of Kinnaur. Here lies one of the last restaurants within the boundaries of the Indian territory, – ‘Hindustan ka Aakhri Dhaba’.
Written in bold Hindi alphabet, on a black, unmissable, plank of wood, the Dhaba serves mouth-watering Indian local food. It is ranked as being one of the most sought-after places to eat in Spiti valley, more so because the roads of India end here.
Although not a part of Spiti Valley, the dhaba is a great place to stop and relax at, before heading off towards Spiti.
The energy of being between the borders of two countries is enticing, multiplied manifold with the grand view of the mountains and the river flowing by. The dhaba boasts of freshly-cooked food. One can enjoy a full-desi meal here such as rice and lentils cooked in different curries, or, an English breakfast of bread-omelet and coffee, as per the menu available.
- Location: Chitkul, Sangla Valley
- Must try: Rajma Chawal and Kadhi Chawal
Note: Since the dhaba is located on the edge of the cliff, there is no parking space available.
Recommended read: Spiti Valley Travel Tips
2. Poonam Dhaba
Kaza, flattering itself in being the largest township in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, has high snow-clad barren mountains, and turquoise-colored streams, perforated with scanty patches of green grass.
Amidst a scanty population, located just a little away from this township is a rustic fast-food restaurant.
Having an old-world charm of its own, and flouted by tourists all around the year, is the “Poonam Dhaba’.
Comprising both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines, the menu of the dhaba subtly includes a few Tibetan dishes as well.
The food quality here is excellent with incredible hosts serving hot food, amid picture-postcard-worthy views.
- Location: Kaza, Himachal Pradesh.
- Must-try: Mutton Momos, Home-made Veg-Noodles, and Mutton Soup.
Note: Be prepared to wait for a bit to get a spot here. It is usually crowded.
3. Chacha-Chachi Dhaba
Dorje Bodh and Hishe Chhomo are almost 60-years old.
Hailing primarily from Manali, they have been playing hosts to travelers on the way between Lahaul and Spiti Valley, at Batal; an isolated and bitterly-cold place, on the banks of Chandra river.
The couple has been running the very famous, “Chacha-Chachi Dhaba”, for nearly 35 years now.
Although a ramshackle structure, the Dhaba is equipped to provide shelter for the night to travelers. The Dhaba is all-the-rage and ranks top amongst Spiti valley restaurants, especially visited by travelers, even at the cost of taking a detour. In the absolute wilderness, the Dhaba is a haven providing warmth and hot-simple food.
It is an absolute delight for travelers to find this pit-stop offering hot tea, snacks, and local Indian food. A few confectionery items like chocolates, juices, chips, etc. are also available at the restaurant.
If you do happen to visit, do try and listen to the many stories, served with love from the mountains by this elderly couple.
Among the many places to eat in Spiti Valley, this off the beaten café is a gem.
- Location: Batal, Himachal Pradesh
- Must Try: Chole Chawal, Dal Chawal
Note: Tissue Rolls and other refreshments are also available at the Dhaba.
4. Spiti Organic Kitchen
Komic, the highest village in the world, is situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It has a minuscule population of 114 people.
The region is cut off from the rest of the country due to frequent bouts of heavy snowfall forcing locals to store enough food to last the winters.
The village is vastly popular due to the verdantly built, “Spiti-Organic Kitchen”, having a pastoral simplicity and offering lip-smacking, limited but freshly cooked food, in the middle of nowhere.
A few of the specialties of the café are Sea buckthorn Juice, made from Himalayan berries, the traditional Spiti thali, comprising the local cuisine Spicy Qu and the very tempting Spiti sandwich, all sourced organically.
The café also provides rooms to guests at nominal rates, with solar lighting inside, and Solar-heated water provided by the bucket.
- Location: Komic, Lahaul and Spiti
- Must Try: Seabuckthorn Juice, Spiti Shahi Thali
Note: One may have to walk a bit far towards the outdoors to use toilet facilities.
Recommended read: Festivals and Fairs of Spiti Valley
5. Somang Dhaba
Nako is a quaint little village located near the Indo-China Border, in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the last major villages one passes before entering the pristine Spiti Valley.
The quiet village is a singled-out destination for travelers wanting to take a night’s halt, before heading towards Spiti Valley.One of the most popular places to stop is the “Somang Dhaba”, located on the main highway close to the entrance of the village.
The dhaba is run by an elderly couple, and also has rooms available to relax with hot fresh food available.
Do dig into the Chicken Curry, and Noodles served hot by Mr. Somang and his wife while enjoying the slow paced life of the village.
- Location: Nako, Himachal Pradesh
- Must Try: Chicken Curry, Spicy Noodles
Note: It is recommended to have lunch here and then spend the night and head to Spiti in the morning.
Lastly, Do keep in mind the very scarce resources in the mountains for waste disposal. Be a responsible traveler, and let the mountains enthrall you!
Dining amid the Himalayas is something that you must tick off your bucket list and so should be that much-awaited road trip to Spiti Valley.