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Best Cafes in Dharamkot And Bhagsu For Working, Reading And Meeting People

Updated: May 8

Who'd have thought that tucked away up in a little known valley a few hundred meters above Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh India you'd get some of the best coffee, cakes, and delicious international cuisine at the cutest cafes with amazing views?

Last year, I discovered Dharamkot and Bhagsu and documented my awe in a "Dharamkot Guide" for Homegrown. This time though, I gave the place longer, went without an agenda and spent many a lazy morning or noon just ambling into these cafes, having coffee or lunch, laptop and books in tow. Eventually all those cafe dates culminated into the Dharamkot version of my now trending article on 25 Best Cafes In Rishikesh. So whether you're in the area long term, just passing by or plan to settle down in the hills as many have, make sure to check out the top 15 cafes in Dharamkot and Bhagsu to get the most out of your trip. While I did try to go to as many cafes as I could in my limited time, it is not an exhaustive list by any means and I'll keep updating it on my future trips.

Note: When it comes to the cost, I've mentioned the average price of a main like say a pasta and the coffee would be cappuccino with soy milk.

1.The Nook Cafe, Dharamkot Road

Enter Dharamkot with a first stop at the Nook - the latest cafe in the hood. Housed in the patio of the coliving space Nomad Gao, the cafe is a great place to work out of in its own right. With arguably the best views of the Dhauladhar mountain range, working from here represents the quintessential “working from mountains” vibe. Started by Anusha, a marketer who hails from Jammu, the Nook offers multi-country cuisines, with a focus on healthy meals.

The cafe also offers a daily pass or a subscription model which allows one to use Nomad Gao's coworking space for a day as well different meal plans starting at Rs. 450/day.

The Nook also organizes exciting activities for travelers like "sip and paint" noons with free tea on the house, forest walks, live gigs, and others to foster a community.

The mains cost around Rs. 350 and the coffee is 150.

2. Khanabadosh Cafe, Dharamkot Road

Loosely translating to 'nomad', Khanabadosh is the perfect little cafe to eat and work from and is known to pretty much all the Dharamkot old-timers and digital nomads. Started by Nishant Thakkar, an ex corporate from Mumbai who moved to Dharamkot at the peak of Covid, the cafe specialises in Indian fare especially Mumbai popular fast foods like Dabeli and Vada Pav, and South Indian staples like Idli and dosa. For my fellow South Indian hearts, Khanabadosh also stirs up a mean cup of authentic filter kaapi! (IYKYK) The patio offers stunning views of the Dhauladhar mountains while there is a smaller and cosier inner area that's perfect for working from. Khanabadosh also frequently hosts movie screenings, workshops and other exciting events to build and foster a community.

The mains cost around Rs. 200 each and the filter coffee is Rs. 60.

3. Open Heart Cafe, Dharamkot

The charming Open Heart cafe is perched on the first floor overlooking the curve that goes to the main Dharamkot street. The cafe has both indoor and outdoor sections, though the outdoor sections will be best for some people-watching and enjoying the beautiful weather in Dharamkot. Why, this photo was shot when I spent a lazy rainy morning at the cafe writing this article and sipping on my cappuccino and chitchatting with the owner Manish who's been running this successful cafe for the past 8 years. All around me were people on their laptops, notepads or books taking full advantage of the washed out outdoors over their masala chais and freshly baked croissants.

The mains cost around Rs. 250 and the coffee is 120.

4. Crossover Cafe, between Dharamkot and Bhagsu

Other than being a great cafe with vegetarian and vegan offerings, I love the cafe for its eccentric and adorable "canine" themed wall art everywhere. In true Dharamkot fashion, they even have a water bowl for stray dogs outside the cafe. The indoor section offers a nice cosy setup for work, chitchat and some quiet reading time. The cafe opens at 7am -so great to catch that pre-yoga smoothie, if you wish to.

The mains cost around Rs. 300 and the coffee is 150.

5. Bodhi Greens, Dharamkot Road

Bodhi greens has my heart for being an all-vegan cafe -- a daring move in a dairy and meat living Dharamshala region unlike the all veg Rishikesh.

All their coffees and desserts are dairy-free by default and interesting salads and Buddha bowls are on offer for heartier meals. The cafe has both an outdoor section that's more for people-watching and live music and an indoor floor seating section for those who'd like to have some quiet focussed time.

The mains cost around Rs. 350 and the coffee is 150. My only grouse with the cafe was that despite it being a vegan-on cafe, vegan alternatives to dairy were far and few between.

6. Flugers Cafe, Upper Dharamkot

A cute cafe on the steps leading to upper Dharamkot, the Fluger's cafe too enjoys some great views and a front deck sitting which is great to work out of. The cafe makes for a good spot to grab a breakfast or lunch before beginning the Triund trek or after coming down. One of my favourite things about the cafe is the long patio sitting full of cute plants lining their tables.

The mains cost around Rs. 300 and the coffee is 150.

7. Milaan Cafe, Upper Bhagsu

The Milaan cafe is located on the descent down from upper Bhagsu and right next to Aranya Yoga so grab a breakfast after your gruelling Ashtanga class while you start your morning hustle.

The cafe has both lower and chair seating and makes a great place to work and enjoy lush green views.

The mains cost around Rs. 275 and the coffee is 120.

8. Space Out cafe, Dharamkot

Even though the Space Out Cafe may be located partially halfway across the tiny Dharamkot road almost blocking it, and is usually always buzzing with people, I've seen many a digital nomad with their Macbooks plonked up on its outdoor road-facing seats or inside for a quieter time. The cafe offers vegan and vegetarian dishes including some great bakes and coffee and seems to be especially popular with our Israeli friends. Don't miss out on cuddling with the inhouse pooch Lily! (But then, which cafe in Dharamkot doesn't have its own cute inhouse doggo?)

The mains cost around Rs. 350 and the coffee is 150.

9. Once in nature, Upper Bhagsu

Though synonymous with its buzzing weekends with live gigs, Ecstatic Dance and other crowd-moving events, before sundown Once in Nature is just a serene and cosy place that lets you sit, lounge or lie while you work, read or contemplate life. My favourite part about Once in Nature has to be its beautiful wall murals all around with the image of Goddess Saraswati on the stage adding the perfect backdrop to music concerts. Enjoy vantage points with views, cuddle with the inhouse dogs, and some warm soups for that cold or rainy Dharamkot weather at 2000 meters.

The mains cost around Rs. 250 and the coffee is 100.

10. Raku's Place, Bhagsu

Raku's place usually has live music in the evenings but until then, like most other places in Dharamkot and Bhagsu, it's just a fun and arty cafe with a wide variety of beverages, coffee, snacks and mains to settle yourself to work and chill from. One of the few cafes in the Lower Bhagsu area, Raku's place being on the road makes it easily approachable even by a vehicle (which isn't the case with 80% of the cafes in the region!)

The mains cost around Rs. 250 and the coffee is 120.

11. Joy Cafe, Dharamkot

The unassuming Joy cafe hiding in plain sight in the busy Dharamkot road opposite the Sukoon cafe turned out to be a great discovery. Spread out over three levels including two indoor sections and a terrace, choose whatever works for your required levels of quiet. The cafe serves great vegan and vegetarian meals as well choice of beverages. The terrace section is great for views and a good look into the buzzing street below.

The mains cost around Rs. 300 and the coffee is 100.

12. Friends' corner, Upper Dharamkot

Hardly a cafe from the outside, the folksy Friends' Corner is located almost on the top most reaches of Upper Dharamkot before the Triund trek begins, which also makes it a good vantage point to enjoy views over the Dharamkot and Bhagsu valleys. The inside sections are quieter and suited for work while the outdoor patio amidst the boulders is great for chit-chatting with strangers over a sunset.

It's one of the cheaper cafes in the area with mains priced at around Rs. 200 and the (vegan) cappuccino is 110.

13. Chilly Beans, Lower Bhagsu

Like Raku's, Chilly Beans is located in the lower Bhagsu region amidst supermarkets, clothes and jewelry stores. Makes a great starting point on the 15-20 min hike through to Upper Bhagsu and I usually would grab a coffee and reasonably-priced chocolate croissant (Rs. 80) from there. The cafe also has a cosy floor seating and gets busy during the day as people stream in and out of Bhagsu passing the cafe on the way.

14. Prana Cafe, Upper Bhagsu

Located somewhere in the midpoint between lower and upper Bhagsu, Prana cafe is easier to bump into if you take the steps from the ascent into Upper Bhagsu on the steps trail rather than the paved motorable road. The cafe is small, but cosy and its remoteness makes it even cooler. Try their reasonably priced vegan thali (Priced at Rs. 200) for a filling meal at a good price point in a rather expensive place like Dharamkot and Bhagsu.

<Watch this space for more>

What are your favourite cafes or favourite things about the cafes listed on here? Do mention in the comment box below. Are you a cafe and want to be listed? Contact me here.


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 I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession. I'm old school in that I still like to blog and document rather than shoot and post.

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