So you’ve taken the yogic plunge. You’re heading to Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, to attend classes and maybe even a teacher’s training course or two. But even though yoga will be the focus of your trip, you’re still pondering the all-important question - where shall I eat?
Choosing where to eat can be a time and energy-consuming experience, so to help you focus on your yoga practice, rather than on your stomach, I’ve scoured the town for the top organic and vegan places to nourish all you burgeoning yogis. Try them out and then get back to your asanas!
1. Zorba Organic Café & Restaurant
Venture upstairs to Zorba cafe and you’ll find one of the most complete, healthy menus in all of Rishikesh. From smoothies to detox juices to detox shots to vegetable grills to raw salads and Ayurvedic breakfasts, Zorba is a one-stop shop for the health-conscious. To top it all off, it has perfect views of the Ganges River.
2. Soul Kitchen
Tucked away at the south end of Laxman Jhulla, Soul Kitchen is nestled on the second floor of the Om Shanti Yoga Teacher Training School. Although small in size, this place is away from the crowds and decked out with comfy lounges, making it the perfect place to get intimate with another or just with your self. The menu includes a whole host of fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, raw snacks and even coconut chai - a blessing for those who are lactose-intolerant!
3. Babylon Café
Walk around Rishikesh and you’ll notice that there are many places selling baked goods and desserts. But out of all of them, there is one that stands out - Babylon Café aka, the German Bakery. To find it, just look for the crowd of hungry travellers on its doorstep drooling at the display of treats. Whether it's their protein balls, chocolate brownies, cashew nut cheesecakes or full loaves of bread, each is labelled as either vegan, egg-, dairy- or gluten-free.
4. Ayur Pak
Ayur Pak is a small café in Tapovan which specifically serves Ayurvedic food. Based on India’s ancient medical system of Ayurveda, these meals follow the sattvic diet. This means that they are naturally vegetarian, sometimes organic and designed to quieten the mind and cleanse your soul. Each meal provides a healthy balance of six different tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.
Location: Tapovan, Rishikesh, India
5. An Ashram
From the giant 1000-room Parmarth Niketan in Ram Jhulla to the tucked away Akand Prakash Ashram in Tapovan, to the backpacker haunt of Shree Sant Sewa Ashram in Laxman Jhulla, Rishikesh is full of ashrams. Aside from being the perfect place to practise yoga and meditation, ashrams generally offer two to three sattvic meals each day.
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