Chandigarh is India’s first planned city, serving as the capital of not one but two states: Haryana and Punjab. It is known as “The City Beautiful” because it was designed by French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Over the last decade or so, the cosmopolitan city has changed before our eyes, and it is now renowned for its perfectly landscaped parks, a network of immaculately designed avenues, links to international fashion, and, of course, its food and beverage offerings. Though butter chicken is unavoidable, the city has a lot more to offer in terms of unforgettable meals—it is home to a plethora of fine dining restaurants, quaint cafes, and secret gems.
1. Pal Dhaba
Pal Dhaba, one of the city’s most famous restaurants in Chandigarh, should be on any tourist’s bucket list. The restaurant serves delectable chicken and mutton kebabs, as well as a butter chicken that never fails to impress. To round out your meal, order some of their rich, creamy lassi.
Address: SCO 151 & 152, Sector 28 D, Sector 28, Chandigarh
2. The Willow Cafe
The Willow Cafe exudes beauty and comfort with its old country-inspired decor and lovely open terrace. The menu features both Western and Indian cuisines, as well as a large variety of coffee. We suggest the parathas with a huge dollop of butter on top if you’re looking for a hearty Punjabi meal. Don’t quit without trying their cold coffee; it’s made to order and can be customized to your preferences (strong, light, less sugar, sugar free).
Address: Shop No. 01, Azaadi Rte, 10D, Sector 10, Chandigarh
3. Nik Bakers
Nik Bakers is a must-see restaurants in Chandigarh for anyone visiting the city. The bakery, which has eight locations across the city and serves everything from cakes, pies, quiches, and tarts to burgers, wraps, omelettes, and waffles, as well as their signature bread, was founded by Australian chef-turned-entrepreneur Nikhil Mittal. Cinnamon Crisps, Lemon Tea Cakes, and Lamington Cakes are all must-tries.
Address: Sector 22-C Eating House Hotel Aroma Chandigarh India
4. Virgin Courtyard
Are you looking for a romantic dinner spot in the city? Make your way to Virgin Courtyard. The restaurant is reminiscent of the Mediterranean countryside, with white and blue furniture, a pebble stone pathway, and a breathtaking courtyard. The restaurant’s extensive range of fine wines is the restaurant’s pièce de résistance.
Address: SCO 1A, Madhya Marg, Sector 7-C, Sector 7, Chandigarh
5. Puzzles at The Cove
Puzzles at The Cove is a stunning rooftop restaurant with an elegant and modern style that is illuminated by beautiful fairy lights and fountains. The menu features North Indian cuisine with a modern twist; try the Paneer Tikka Quesadilla, and carnivores will enjoy the mouthwatering Chicken Salami Tacos. From the Puzzles Exclusive portion of the menu, order the Pull Apart Cheesy Bread and Tandoori Chicken Dimsums. With the Peanut Butter and Nutella Spring Rolls with Ice Cream, you can finish your meal on a nice note. Pro tip: If you’re visiting Chandigarh in the winter, request outdoor seating to take advantage of the pleasant weather.
Address: SCO 1 & 2, Sector 5, Panchkula, Haryana
6. Backpacker’s Cafe
Backpacker’s Cafe, as the name implies, attracts a lot of hungry visitors for breakfast. The decor is also influenced by travel, with quirky souvenirs such as books, travel magazines, guides, and toy vehicles lining the shelves. Their all-day breakfast and delectable burger selection are highlights. They also have a range of smoothies and vegetable blends that will complement your meal perfectly.
Address: SCF 16, Inner Market, 9D, Sector 9, Chandigarh
This one will look great on your Instagram feed. Cafe JCs is a charming cafe with outdoor tables, artefacts strewn about, and a beautiful ambiance. The cafe serves a delectable menu that includes items such as the Greatest Grilled Cheese and Glazed Chicken Wings, making it a perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in the area.
Address: Shop No. 2 & 3, Coal Depot, Sector-10D, Chandigarh