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As a big time foodie and a traveler, I often try new foods and cuisines wherever I travel. But at the same time, I look for restaurants and food joints which are good and budget-friendly at the same time. And when you are looking for a good food place, ambiance matters as much as the food quality.
So, I decided to search for the best eating spots in Shillong to make my stay more comfortable and enjoyable here. And well, to my surprise, Shillong is a haven for food lovers. There are so many amazing cafés and restaurants which serve the most delicious dishes. And if you ever come to Shillong, make sure that you try their local Khasi cuisine if you want to get a feel of the authentic Meghalaya.
Here are the top 10 food places which I have tried and found to be worth including in your Shillong itinerary.
Top 10 Places to Eat in Shillong
Where: Near Don Bosco Square, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 100 – 200 INR per person
Best Dish: Lebanese Shawarma, Chicken Burger, Iced Tea.
One of my favorite food spots in Shillong has to be the Munchies Shillong Café in the Laitmakurah region. Trust me, I ate here around 3-4 times during my 5-days stay in Shillong and each dish was delicious and properly cooked. This is a small café with an open and rooftop setting and isn’t really as fancy as other places in Shillong.
A perfect hangout place for chilling, Munchies Shillong has a small menu which includes wraps, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and so on. While you might not find a large range of variety in food here, each dish served here remains to be delectable and mouth-watering. Personally, I tried their Lebanese Shawarma, Beef Burger, and Chicken Burger and found each of these dishes to be amazing.
Their food is delicious, there is no doubt about it, but at the same time, it is filling as well. Most of us would order just one main dish and a drink and we would be done for the next couple of hours. And you know what the best part is? This place is easy on your pocket as well so a meal here would cost you somewhere around 150 – 200 INR per person. Also, this is one of the few places which remain open till 10 p.m. so if you are craving something at night, this is the place to head out to.
Ideally, you will have to wait somewhere around 20-30 minutes to have your food served.
Where: Don Bosco Square, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 80 – 150 INR per person
Best Dish: Khaasi Thaali (Ideal for Non-vegetarians)
One of the best and cheapest places to eat in Shillong, Jadoh is perfect for all the budget-travelers out there who are big foodies as well. This is the place where you can enjoy the authentic Khaasi cuisine which includes rice, pork, beef, chutney, daal, etc. Honestly, the meal might look a little too heavy and complicated but it tastes really amazing. Personally, I had a meal which consisted of the rice (which is made up of pork), pork intestine, pork head, daal, dry fish chutney, and potato chips. And the whole thing cost me just 80 INR.
Yes, that’s right! It is super cheap but that doesn’t mean that you will continue to feel hungry. The meal is quite satisfactory and will keep you full for the next couple of hours. The best part about this meal is that you have an option to choose your dishes so you can choose vegetables, pork, beef, etc. in your meal. But whatever you end up choosing and no matter how much quantity of food you end up having, the cost won’t exceed more than 140 INR.
So, if you are looking for an authentic ‘Jadoh’ then make sure that you check it out at its namesake in Shillong! Also, since most of the things are already ready, it just takes 5 minutes to get your food which is a much quicker service than most other places.
Phunga Manipuri Restaurant
Where: Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 150 – 200 INR
Best Dish: Manipuri Thali
Another favorite place of mine in Shillong where you can get authentic North East Indian dishes is Phunga Manipuri Restaurant. This place is just a few buildings before Cafe Shillong and is known for both its ambiance and delicious food. They have the entire place decorated with bamboo and local accessories like drums, bow and arrow, paintings, etc. As a result, when you reach this place, you feel like you have actually been transported to Manipur.
Apart from their amazing decor, they also have an amazing food selection and have a dizzying amount of food options available. So, you can choose from Manipuri, Arunachal, Assamese, Khaasi, etc. cuisines and can have a delicious authentic meal. If you are traveling alone then make sure that you choose a mini thali as it is quite filling and reasonably priced at the same time.
I had a Manipuri Mini Thali for 150 INR here which included Bamboo Shoot Chicken Curry along with rice. Trust me, it was so freaking delicious and heavy that I couldn’t even think about anything else for a long time.
So, if you want authentic North East Indian dishes then Phunga Manipuri Restaurant is the perfect place for you.
Want a plan for your trip Meghalaya, read our guide here – Meghalaya Travel Guide
Where: Malki, Shillong
Cost: 300 – 500 INR per person
Best Dish: Mississippi Mud Pie, Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich, Pigs in Blanket.
Although this is not an inexpensive place for eating, Dylan’s Café is a must if you love desserts. The best thing about this café is the decoration and the games which they offer here to their customers. The moment you enter the café, you will see bright lighting during the night and the walls decorated with musical geniuses and records. Once you enter the café, you will again be blown away by the colorful décor along with proper lightings which gives this place a really happening vibe.
The ceiling is painted with artists and abstracts which gives a bohemian feel to this café. As I mentioned, they have games like Scrabble, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, UNO, etc. which you can play with your friend to pass the time while your food is prepared. Trust me, you can easily spend 2-3 hours here, chilling out with other people or playing games with your friend. In fact, you can work here on your laptop in the corner too while you wait for the food.
As for the food, it is delicious and made in decent quantity. We ordered 1 pasta, 1 Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich, 1 Pig in Blanket, and 1 Mac n Cheese for 5 people and it was still too much. Also, they offer a wide range of drinks including shakes, mocktails, etc. so you can have your pick. As for the dessert, their Mississippi Mud Pie with Ice Cream is to die for. It just melts in your mouth and isn’t too sweet as well, a balanced dessert flavor.
The only thing is that it is slightly expensive but apart from that, it is a good choice if you are planning to splurge a little for a single meal.
Cost: 100 – 200 INR per person
Best Dish: Pork Burger, Chicken Cheese Rolls.
Another amazing café in the same area, Hashtag is located near the Munchies Shillong and is also another option for having amazing food here. Here, they serve you burgers, fried rice, momos, etc. so you can take your pick. And most of the dishes offered here range between 70 to 200 INR so it is well within your budget as well.
The café is on the first floor so you can watch the vehicles passing by on the road and the café setting is quite nice and simple. Most of the dishes served here (except for the snacks) have decent quantity and are perfect for a one-time meal. I had their Pork Burger combo which included fries and coke and kept my tummy filled for the next few hours. Apart from the burger, I also tried their Chicken Cheese roll which was really delicious and amazingly cooked but it won’t satisfy your hunger completely.
Ideally, it takes them around 20-30 minutes to serve your food.
Where: Don Bosco, Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 300 – 500 INR per person
Best Dish: Pork Sandwich, Chicken Burger, Brownie with Ice Cream.
Another awesome café in Shillong with a good ambiance is Café Shillong which is just before the Munchies Shillong Café. Similar to Dylan’s Café, this place is slightly on the expensive side but has a tasteful décor and outdoor sitting which makes the cost worth it. They also have live music sessions on Wednesdays so you can enjoy a happening time in Shillong here.
Apart from the ambiance and the décor, they serve a wide range of dishes, mostly fast food though like sandwiches, burgers, etc. But each dish is tastefully cooked and is served in a huge quantity which will certainly make it hard to have anything else. I had a pork sandwich here which included at least 3 bread pieces with 2 separate layers and was quite big for a single person. But it was delicious and completely worth the 270 INR that it cost. Apart from sandwiches, they also make amazing burgers and generally have more Non-vegetarian options than vegetarian ones.
As for the dessert, the chocolate brownie with Ice cream which we ordered was definitely mouth-watering but since the main course was heavy, 4 of us had to finish the dessert together. Overall, it is a good café for dinner and entertainment. Yes, it is slightly expensive but you get your money’s worth of food and environment here.
Where: Nongkynrih, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 150 – 200 INR per person
Best Dish: Ham and Bacon Burger.
Another chill café that you can try out in Shillong is the Zest Café which is a few buildings before the Appa Restaurant. This cafe is best-known for its ambiance and has a beautiful interior decor for which a lot of people visit in order to take photographs. And they have two floors so you can choose to sit in the lower level or the top level and can have some fun here.
They also play amazing music for entertainment and also have Karaoke sessions on some days. So, if you love to sing then this is the place to head to in order to show your talent. On the top level, they have a few dessert options also displayed for you to choose from and you can have a lot of fun with other people here. But if you are looking for some peace and quiet to work then the lower level is the best place to hang out.
Apart from the decor and ambiance, they also offer several food options including momos, burgers, Chinese, etc. And most of the dishes are reasonably priced so you won’t end up spending too much. I ordered a Ham and Bacon Burger here which cost 160 INR and was quite filling and delicious.
So, if you are looking for a happening cafe scene in Shillong then Zest Cafe is THE place!
Hong Kong Restaurant
Where: Police Bazaar
Cost: 100 – 200 INR per person
Best Dish: Pork Fried Momos, Chicken Steamed Momos.
For momo and Chinese food lovers, Hong Kong Restaurant is the best place in Police Bazaar where you get delicious varieties of momos, wontons, etc. Here, you also get a wide range of soup, noodles, etc. options that you can choose from and is ideal for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The place is quite simple and you will find a lot of locals hanging out here, especially students.
In this restaurant, you will find all kinds of momos including pork momos, chicken momos, mutton momos, and so on. And in the momos, you will have an option of choosing the fried momos or the steamed momos. I personally loved the fried momos although they were a bit oily but, they were really delicious. Apart from momos, you have both vegetable and meat soups, wontons, noodles, etc. that you can choose from.
Overall, it is a good place if you are interested in trying out the Chinese people.
Where: Police Point, Laitumkhrah
Cost: 150 – 200 INR
Best Dish: Chicken Paratha, Dosa.
If you are craving some North Indian or South Indian cuisine in Shillong then Appa’s Restaurant in Laitmukrah is the perfect place to check out. This place is situated just at the junction of Laitmukrah and is just above the Nat’s Chinese Restaurant. They have a simple setting but their entire place is decorated with Bollywood posters and play nice Bollywood music for their customers to listen to.
The place is open and spacious and includes a lot of windows so you can also look out of the restaurant to pass time. They also have a wide range of options available in their menu including South Indian, North Indian, Continental, etc. And most of the dishes are reasonably priced and include a decent portion for your consumption. While I haven’t tasted their Dosa myself, I have heard that it is supposed to be pretty good.
Apart from the dosa, their Chicken Paratha is something that I can vouch for. They prepare a single huge paratha which they serve in 4 triangular pieces along with pickle and a vegetable. The parantha was scrumptious and filling and perfect for breakfast snacking.
So, if you want a light yet filling breakfast then Appa’s Restaurant is the best place to head out to.
City Hut Dhaba
Where: Police Bazar
Cost: 500 – 800 INR per person
Best Dish: Smoked Chicken, Tawa Pepper Bhuna Chicken
Finally, if you are craving some Indian dishes then City Hut Dhaba is the best place to visit. Sure, it is a little on the expensive side but you can enjoy a proper main course meal here which will be delicious and satisfactory. They offer a large range of cuisines for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians so you won’t have trouble in choosing a good dish for yourself.
You can order a proper meal here including soup, starters, main course, butter naan, etc. And the ambiance of this place is quite peaceful and nice as well. One thing to note is to avoid ordering chicken wings as they keep it marinated for a long time so it ends up too soft and mushy from the inside.
Overall, it is a decent place for having Indian cuisine if money is no bar for you.
Honestly, I didn’t expect Shillong to have such amazing food places with such a unique variety of cuisines. But Shillong genuinely surprised me with its food collection and I am so glad I got a chance to try it.
If you are staying for a day or two in Shillong then make sure that you try the local cuisines here and maybe 1-2 cafes as well. Trust me, a trip without having amazing food in Shillong is a trip incomplete.
Also Read: 5 Offbeat Places in Meghalaya