Published By: Jayati

Eat like a local: Must-try traditional foods in Manali

The food in Manali is seriously good—like, you'll want to keep coming back for more kind of good! 

Manali is a hotspot for tourists in Himachal Pradesh, pulling people in from all around. When you're exploring this ancient gem, it's not just about soaking up the history – it's about treating yourself to some seriously tasty local food. We're talking about the spice-packed street food and those heartwarming Himachali dishes. Manali's food scene is like a journey on its own, with flavours as diverse as its breathtaking views. As a traveller, you've got to explore the top-notch bites Manali serves up. It's not just about the sights; it's all about connecting with the place and its culture through the mouthwatering local cuisine.


Khatta is a popular dish in Himachal Pradesh and a well-loved street food in Manali. Made from pumpkin, it's shaped into crispy balls and seasoned with dry mango powder. This street food sensation captures the authentic flavours of Manali and has a sweet and sour taste in every bite! Enjoy it with rice for a delicious experience.


Dhaam is a hearty meal bursting with flavours and nutrients. This spread includes dishes like red kidney bean curry, fried dal, fragrant rice, boor ki kadhi, curd, sweets, salad, and jaggery to satisfy sweet cravings. Typically served at festivals, weddings, and important events, Manali is renowned for offering the most flavorful dhaam. Make sure to explore the restaurants in Manali for a taste of the best Dhaam experience of your life.


Babru might look a bit like North Indian kachori, but the flavours are on a whole new level! This flattened bread is made with wheat flour, and the real star is the flavorful filling made with black gram paste, giving it that distinct Manali touch. Served up with tamarind chutney and a piping hot cup of tea, it's the perfect combo for a satisfying experience in Manali's weather!


Bhey is a crispy delight from Himachal Pradesh with flavours that'll have you licking your fingers—a must-try if you find yourself in Manali! This dish features Lotus stem cooked in a blend of ginger, garlic, onion, gram flour, and other Indian spices for that authentic burst of avor. Whether paired with roti, parathas, or rice, bhey is a treat you won't be able to resist after just one bite. It's so satisfying that even the kids are bound to become fans!


Take a flavorful journey through the heart of Himachal with Madra, a beloved classic that truly warms the soul! This curry, blending curd with a mix of legumes like chickpeas (safed chana), kidney beans (rajma), and black-eyed beans (rongi, lobia), is a genuine Himachali staple. Infused with a harmonious blend of spices, Madra entices with its unique aroma and rich flavour, making it a star at Himachali feasts, where it proudly shares the table with an array of delectable dishes.


Manali is famous for a variety of sweet delicacies, each as authentic and unique as the stunning beauty that surrounds this outstanding destination! One such delight is mittha, a famous and delicious dish. This sweet treat is made with sweetened rice, raisins, and adorned with an assortment of dry fruits. Mittha is a saffron-infused rice dish that captures the authentic flavours of Pahari cuisine. 

Indulge yourself in this popular Manali dessert; Mittha is a must-try delicacy that deserves a spot on your list, especially if you're a first-time visitor. Once you savour its taste, you'll find yourself craving it every time you return to the charming landscapes of Manali!

When we visit a new place, we usually explore sights, wander around, shop, and try the local cuisine. Manali's beauty isn't just in its landscapes but also in its local dishes. You'll truly understand this once you visit and taste the local food yourself!