A Food Lover’s Guide to Shillong: Best Places to Eat

Nestled in the picturesque hills of Meghalaya, Shillong is a gem waiting to be discovered by food enthusiasts. Known for its lush landscapes and vibrant culture, the culinary scene in Shillong is equally compelling. From traditional Khasi dishes to modern fusion cuisine, this city offers a diverse range of gastronomic delights that cater to all tastes. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best places to eat in Shillong.

Traditional Khasi Cuisine

1. Trattoria

Located in the heart of Police Bazaar, Trattoria is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience authentic Khasi cuisine. The small, unassuming restaurant is always bustling with locals and tourists alike. The menu boasts traditional dishes such as Jadoh (spiced rice with meat), Dohneiiong (pork in black sesame seed sauce), and Tungtap (fermented fish chutney). The food is flavorful and hearty, offering a true taste of Khasi culinary heritage.

A Food Lover's Guide to Shillong: Best Places to Eat

2. Cafe Shillong Heritage

Situated in the scenic area of Tripura Castle Road, Cafe Shillong Heritage combines a beautiful setting with delicious local cuisine. The restaurant offers an array of Khasi dishes, including Putharo (rice cakes) and Dohkhleh (pork salad). The ambiance, enhanced by the colonial architecture of the Tripura Castle, makes dining here a memorable experience.

Street Food Delights

3. Laitumkhrah Market

For street food lovers, Laitumkhrah Market is the place to be. The market is a hive of activity, especially in the evenings, with numerous stalls offering a variety of snacks. From momos and chow mein to more local flavors like jadoh snam (rice cooked with pig’s blood) and chicken skewers, there is something to satisfy every craving. The vibrant atmosphere and the aroma of freshly cooked food make this market a foodie’s paradise.

4. Police Bazaar

Police Bazaar is another popular spot for street food. Amidst the shops and traffic, you’ll find vendors selling everything from aloo muri (spiced puffed rice) to jalebis (sweet syrupy pretzels). One must-try is the Shillong-style chicken and pork barbecue, served hot off the grill and bursting with smoky flavors. The market is perfect for a casual food walk where you can sample a bit of everything.

Modern and Fusion Cuisine

5. Dylan’s Cafe

Named after the legendary musician Bob Dylan, Dylan’s Cafe is a trendy spot located on Risa Colony Road. It offers a mix of continental and local dishes, making it a great place for those who enjoy fusion cuisine. Their menu includes items like the Khasi platter, alongside burgers, pizzas, and pastas. The cafe’s cozy ambiance, complete with Dylan memorabilia, adds to its charm, making it a popular hangout spot.

6. Cafe Shillong

Another gem in the city, Cafe Shillong is situated in Laitumkhrah. Known for its relaxed vibe and excellent food, the cafe offers a range of dishes from around the world. Their pork ribs and smoked pork salad are particularly popular. The live music sessions held here occasionally add an extra layer of enjoyment to the dining experience.

Cafes and Bakeries

A Food Lover's Guide to Shillong: Best Places to Eat

7. Bread Cafe

For those with a sweet tooth, Bread Cafe in Police Bazaar is a must-visit. This bakery offers a wide variety of cakes, pastries, and breads. Their blueberry cheesecake and red velvet cake are crowd favorites. The cozy setting and the delightful aroma of freshly baked goods make it a perfect spot for a coffee break or a quick snack.

8. ML 05 Cafe

Located on the outskirts of the city near Upper Shillong, ML 05 Cafe is themed around Shillong’s vehicle registration code. The cafe is known for its extensive menu that includes everything from breakfast items to dinner entrees. The hot chocolate and carrot cake are particularly recommended. Its serene location, away from the city’s hustle, provides a peaceful retreat for diners.

Fine Dining

9. The Wok

For an upscale dining experience, The Wok at the Polo Towers Hotel offers a refined menu of Chinese and Pan-Asian cuisine. The elegant decor and excellent service complement dishes like dim sum, sushi, and Peking duck. It’s an ideal spot for a special night out or a business dinner.

10. City Hut Family Dhaba

Located near Ward’s Lake, City Hut Family Dhaba offers a fine blend of North Indian, Chinese, and local cuisines. The restaurant’s rustic ambiance, complete with bamboo decor, provides a unique dining experience. Their tandoori dishes and Khasi delicacies are highly recommended. The family-friendly environment makes it a great choice for dining with kids.

Eco-Friendly and Organic Options

11. Smoky Falls Tribe Coffee

For eco-conscious foodies, Smoky Falls Tribe Coffee in Laitumkhrah offers organic coffee and locally sourced snacks. The cafe is dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and supporting local farmers. Their coffee, sourced from Meghalaya’s own coffee plantations, is a highlight. Pair it with their freshly baked cookies for a delightful treat.

12. Wildflower Restaurant

Situated within the Ri Kynjai resort on the banks of Umiam Lake, Wildflower Restaurant offers an eco-friendly dining experience. The restaurant focuses on using organic and locally sourced ingredients to create its dishes. The view of the lake and the surrounding hills adds to the serene dining atmosphere. Their menu features a mix of Khasi, Indian, and international cuisines, all prepared with a focus on sustainability.

Shillong’s culinary landscape is as diverse and vibrant as its culture. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Khasi flavors, street food, or contemporary fusion cuisine, Shillong has something to offer every food lover. Each dining spot, from bustling markets to serene cafes, tells a story of the city’s rich heritage and evolving tastes. So, the next time you find yourself in this enchanting hill station, let your taste buds embark on a journey through the best places to eat in Shillong.

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