I first visited Gangtok on the Christmas Eve of 2015. There was something about the charm of that evening... the fairy lights along MG Marg, the sound of the carols being sung by artists on the streets and the freshly-baked lemon cheesecake at Cafe Fiction – these memories make me think of Gangtok again and again.
It's almost unbelievable how this small city is home to countless great cafes and restaurants. Whenever the city calls me back, I'm most excited about food and bakeshops dotted all across this small city.
One of the oldest bookstores in Sikkim is a special place for locals and if you're looking for good cafes in the city, the people of Gangtok will take you by the hand to Rachna Books. Below the bookstore, there's Cafe Fiction, where you can spend time sipping the piping hot coffee skimming through the fresh copy of a book you just discovered. The earthy decor, the smell of Sikkim's local Temi tea and freshly baked bread wakes you up to the beauty of this city.
Try: Lemon Cheesecake
Where: Below Rachna Books, Jeewan Theeng Marg, Development Area
MG Marg in Gangtok is the hub of all the activity in this small town and in this street lined with great cafes and restaurants, Baker's Cafe takes the cake for its amazing location. On a misty day in this hill town, a cup of local tea at this small cafe with freshly-baked desserts would make for a perfect afternoon in the hills. The radiantly lit space with the overwhelming view of the city across the window is just what you need to relax here during the afternoon.
Try: Soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls
Where: MG Marg, Arithang
If music sets the evening right for you, head to Cafe Live & Loud. It's said to be northeast's first and only acoustically-designed live music club and has gradually become a popular hub for live club gigs. While most places in the city close down by 9pm, this cafe serves food till 11.30pm and becomes a late night hangout space for good food and music.
Try: Pork ribs in traditional oriental sauce
Where: Tibet Road
Thakali is the traditional cuisine of the Thakali people of the Thak-Khola Valley in Nepal. The restaurant Thakali in Gangtok serves authentic Nepali cuisine that offers value for money. There's a team of brilliant bartenders too serving incredible Irish Monk, sex on the beach and other cocktails and word has it that it's the best in town.
Try: Veg/Non Veg Thakali Thali
Where: MG Road | Oberoi Building
This Korean restaurant is located at the end of MG Road and walking up almost 90 stairs all the way to the forth floor to this cosy corner is definitely worth the effort. Tastefully-done interiors will take your breath away even before you taste the food. The locally-sourced organic vegetables promise a healthy and nutritious bite in every food item you choose on the menu.
Try: Korean BBQ of Bulgogi
Where: Namnang Road, Opposite Sikkim Express
Looking for the best pizza in town? Head to the Coffee Shop where the relaxed ambience and the courteous staff will receive you with unforgettable warmth. Apart from the great coffee and Darjeeling tea, it is a favourite spot for continental food in Gangtok.
Try: Hazelnut latte and the pizzas
Where: MG Marg | Anola Building
Infinity Futsal Arena is indeed making some noise in this town of football lovers. With a stunning view of the lofty hills on one side of the futsal arena, the place is a treat for sports lovers. Along with good food, occasional match screenings and futsal tournaments at the stunning futsal arena make it a unique spot for visitors who want to discover the combined local passion for food and sports.
Try: Tiramisu Martini
Where: Roof Top, Mount Simvo Complex, Opposite Krishi Bhawan
The smell of the freshly-baked pastries, cakes and mini cupcakes is the magic that'll stay with you if you've been to this bakeshop in Gangtok. The attention to detail in every dish on the menu is impressive and it's surely one of the cafes in town that raise the bar high.
Try: Blueberry cheesecake
Where: Development Area | The Nettle and Fern Hotel
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