I found myself in Kasol after years of enthusiastic friends recommending it for the food and view (among other obvious things). Perhaps it was the hype, but Kasol did little to attract my fancy. The trek from Kasol to Kheerganga was worth the journey, but there isn’t much else this popular tourist spot has to offer. With little to strike off our list of things to see and do before the trek, and with 2 days to spare, we found ourselves gulping down fresh watermelon juice and devouring Iranian food by the bucket load (which also proved rather disappointing). A word of caution though- most cafes in Kasol have the same dim lighting, loud psychedelic music and averagely deliciously food. While it’s easy to get confused between the various cafes in Kasol, if you’re looking for recommendations- here are my top 3, and what to order there:
1. Moon Dance:
Enjoying the cold under candle light, armed with crepes and candle light, and an occasional puppy sitting by your table. It’s the perfect place to end an evening for an after-party with dessert.
2. Rainbow Cafe:
Stroll in on a lazy afternoon, and the vibe is so comforting. The music is soft, conversations flow over fresh juices and there are mattresses and pillows for those who want to plonk themselves in a comfy spot for a light nap or a quick read.
3. Bhoj Cafe:
Shady, crowded, dimly lit, blaring music- but the food is better than at most other places. Stick to the Falafels and the Sizzlers.
Top 5 recommendations:
1. Lemon Ana:
It’s a tad too sour and hits the throat, but we preferred the drink in it’s cocktail form with a little rum tossed in (an experiment we were pleased with). The name tells all but I would call it a very strong mojito- served sans booze. It’s fresh, strong and exclusive to Kasol. Available at most cafes, including Cafe Bhoj
2. Nutella crepes at Moon Dance:
We strolled in late one night, a drizzle in the air and a candle on each table. The cafe was shut but the pancake station was operational, and we sat there a long time conversing over delicious nutella and banana crepes. While the waffles and pancakes were nice as well, the crepes were far better. I didn’t get to try out anything else at Moondance, but the crepes come recommended.
3. Mango Smoothie at Rainbow Cafe:
Less smoothie, more milkshake. But these drinks are available at almost every cafe in Kasol, and yet, Rainbow Cafe serves the most delicious smoothies. They also have Iranian cuisine and some platters. The hummus is fresh as well!
4. Hello to the Queen:
Another Kasol staple, this one comes with cookie crumbs, bananas, chocolate sauce, ice cream and a bunch of other nuts and assortments assembled together to produce a smacking dessert that’s a hit among the sweet tooths of many a tourist.
5. Sizzlers and Falafels at Bhoj Cafe:
My failed experiments with pasta and pizza finally ended when we hit gold at Cafe Bhoj with their falafels and sizzlers. IMO, the falafels were better here than at other cafes by a considerable margin. The sizzlers were a big hit as well.
If new and interesting cafes pop up, drop your recommendations in the comments!