In the Himalayan foothills lies the land of yoga and meditation, the holy city of Rishikesh sits on the banks of the River Ganges. Renowned for its temples, ashrams and beautiful sandy beaches, many visitors find a week turns into a month as the charm of Rishikesh is overwhelming.
As a relatively low-traffic, alcohol and meat-free area, vegetarians and vegans alike can find a haven of food. Spend your day cafe hopping and sit on a rooftop with a coffee overlooking the holy river. Made famous in the west by The Beatles love of Rishikesh, a visit to the city isn’t complete without a stop at The Beatles Ashram and Cafe.
In Rishikesh, there are plenty of fully vegetarian restaurants with a number of great vegan options available. Make sure to ask for no ghee, milk or dairy with your meal. A lot of Indian food is cooked with ghee (clarified butter), so remember to ask for it without. Any foodie will be at home in Rishikesh, here are our top five restaurants in Rishikesh to find delicious vegan food for a range of budgets.
1. Cafe Dream
Cafe Dream serves up a range of dishes from Indian and Korean to Israeli and Italian. Vegan chocolate brownies, banana bread and chocolate balls are available at a reasonable price. You can also find a fully vegan breakfast including grilled tofu, spinach, mushroom and tomato. Prices range from around RS 180 to around RS 250 depending on the dish.
Location: 42 Laxman Jhula near the Post Office, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249302
While travelling it can be especially hard to eat healthy and vegan, particularly when you're surrounded by delicious deep fried goodness. At Ayurpak, you can find delicious ayurvedic foods that aid your digestion and taste much lighter. Try the kimchi for something a little different. The staff running the restaurant really understand veganism and will be able to adapt meals as well as tell you what you can and can’t have.
Location: Tapovan, Ayurpak Restaurant, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137
3. Cafe de Goa
Located near Luxman Jhula Bridge, Cafe De Goa offers up a number of Indian and international dishes including a delicious falafel plate including hummus, salad, pita and chips. If you’re a budget traveller, prices are little higher here but it’s definitely worth it as a treat. All juices and salads are made and prepared with mineral water.
Location: Laxman Jhula Road, Tapovan, Jonk, Uttarakhand 249192
4. Mamta Coffee House and Restaurant
Popular amongst both locals and foreigners, the regularly packed out Mamta Restaurant makes a fantastic masala dosa for budget travellers. Two people can easily eat here and be fully satisfied for under RS 250. Other recommendations on the menu include thali, aloo palak, roasted papad and roti. Make sure to ask the waiter for no ghee or butter.
Location: Near New Parking, Laxman Jhula Marg, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192
5. Vegan Baking Cookie Lady
A tea house and bakery found in the heart of Tapovan provides 100% vegan goodies. For those with a sweet tooth, this is a perfect place to visit. Despite not being the cheapest option, you can find some lovely treats here. Menu items include vegan scones with jam and butter, cookies, chocolate cake and muffins.
Location: Near Anand Prakash Ashram Tapovan, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192
Honourable mentions: Revive Cafe, Free Spirit Cafe, Pure Soul Cafe & Organic, Chatsang Cafe, Bhandari Cafe and Tat Cafe. The Beatles Cafe can create a vegan slice of Oreo chocolate cake if you order it the day before for a more pricey RS 350 With so many options for vegan food in Rishikesh, it’s hard to list just 5!
Where's your favourite place to find amazing vegan food in Rishikesh? Let us know in the comments below!