Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted | A travellers den!

“Your Manali trip is incomplete if you don’t visit Dylan’s Café” is what everyone kept telling me, all these years. So when I finally decided to visit this uber cool place for travellers, Dylan’s was definitely on top of my list.

The nonchalant vibe of the place, is a direct reflection of the sort of people who visit the café, almost each day. Hugely popular amongst travellers, mostly non-conformists in search of their true calling, this place just lets them be. Or it might be vice versa. The service staff ends up being friends with them, so much so, that not only do they know their order, but also their favourite spot at the café. And let’s just say Raj (the owner) has silently managed to shape up this character, for Dylan’s roasted and toasted.

In the year 2005, for the love of coffee, Raj, along with his friends decided to open a coffee shop called Double Vision. One of its kinds, this became popular in no time. However, a Bob Dylan’s painting on the wall turned this café into Dylan’s, as that’s what the travellers started calling it. So, in 2006, it finally became Dylan’s Roasted and Toasted.

Come 2015, it was my turn to visit the famous coffee shop of Old Manali. Excited for my first meal in Manali, I reached Dylan’s for breakfast. Buzzing with people from various countries, there was hardly any space. My siblings and I shared the table with some travellers, avidly hanging on to their tales. After making some interesting conversation, we placed an order.

  • Cappuccino
  • Mango Juice
  • Set Breakfast (Omlette, Bread toast, Butter, Potato salad, homemade Apricot jam)
  • Shakshuka, Bread toast and Hummus
  • Egg Cheese Sandwich

I have noticed that whether you order a smoothie or a juice in hill stations, you mostly get fruit, blended into a pulp. And I absolutely love it!

My Mango juice was nothing but fruit pulp, exactly the way I would want it. Oh, I miss such little pleasures in Delhi.

Mango Juice -Dylan's Toasted and Roasted
Mango Juice -Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted

Then came Shakshuka, the one dish that sits pretty on almost all the menus in and around Manali. Shakshuka and Lafa are to Manali-Kasol, what Momos are to Dharamsala. Both dishes are taken from the largest community of travellers and settlers, in the areas. So, basically Shakshuka is an Israeli egg preparation, where the eggs are prepared on the bed of caramelized tomato, onions and spices. Served with hummus and toasts this was really tasty and filling.

Shakshuka, Bread toast and Hummus-Dylan's Toasted and Roasted
Shakshuka, Bread toast and Hummus-Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted

The Egg cheese sandwich had a good filling, with mild flavours, perhaps more suitable for the Europeans in town. Since I like subtle flavours it worked for me, however you can skip this if you love your spices.

Egg Cheese Sandwich-Dylan's Toasted and Roasted
Egg Cheese Sandwich-Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted

We had also ordered for Chocolate vanilla sky, a dessert made with Vanilla Ice cream, chocolate syrup and raw cookie dough. The fresh cookie dough was soft and it melted in my mouth. This combination of cold, crunchy and hot was heavenly. Without a doubt this café should be your stop for the best coffee and chocolate chip cookies, which are signature snack of the café.

However, our favourite amongst everything was Apricot jam. Made with fresh apricots and poppy seeds, this was just pure delight! The advantage of living so close to nature, is that you get the best quality of fruits and vegetables.

Set Breakfast-Dylan's Toasted and Roasted
Set Breakfast-Dylan’s Toasted and Roasted

And speaking of quality, Raj makes no exceptions either, especially when it comes to his coffee.

He believes in using only the Indian coffee beans from Chikmagalur and Coorg and insists on making coffee on his own. This is his way of silently answering the big coffee corporates. You’ve got to meet him to realize, how one can be so passionate about what they do. The Cappuccino was definitely the star!

So, walk in to the café to make some interesting conversations over coffee, with Raj, his staff and countless others who bring along their stories from all over the globe.

NOTE: The café has a movie screening room, where you can go and indulge yourself in a great collection of World Cinema. They also arrange a yearly Dylan’s cookies and coffee fan club meet.

For more, Read : Best places to eat in Old Manali 


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