Place to visit in sikkim

Sikkim, the northeastern jewel of India, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant food scene. While momos and thukpa are the hallmark dishes, Sikkim offers a diverse culinary experience that goes far beyond these popular favourites. From hidden food spots to lesser-known local delicacies, exploring Sikkim’s food culture is a journey of its own. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to visit in Sikkim for a culinary adventure that transcends the usual momos and thukpa.

Gangtok: The Heartbeat of Sikkim

Gangtok, the capital city, is not only the gateway to Sikkim but also a hub of culinary delights. Here are some must-visit food spots in Gangtok:

MG Marg

MG Marg is the main commercial street in Gangtok, buzzing with activity. It’s an excellent place to start your culinary exploration.

  • Taste of Tibet: While famous for momos, this place offers a variety of other Tibetan dishes like gyathuk (Tibetan noodle soup) and shapta (stir-fried meat).
  • Baker’s Café: Perfect for a quick coffee break, this café offers a range of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.

The Local Café

A favourite among locals and tourists alike, The Local Café is known for its cozy ambiance and diverse menu. Try the local snacks like sel roti (a traditional ring-shaped bread) and churpee (hardened cheese), which are great alternatives to momos.

Nimtho

For an authentic Sikkimese dining experience, head to Nimtho. This restaurant offers a range of local dishes, including gundruk (fermented leafy greens), kinema (fermented soybean), and sishnu (nettle soup). These traditional dishes provide a unique taste of Sikkim’s culinary heritage.

Pelling: A Culinary Retreat in West Sikkim

Culinary Retreat in West Sikkim

Pelling, known for its stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range, is also home to some delightful food experiences.

Melting Point Restaurant

Located in Pelling, Melting Point Restaurant offers a mix of Indian, Tibetan, and Nepalese cuisines. The restaurant is known for its phagshapa (pork fat stewed with radish) and sael roti with aloo dum, a traditional Nepali dish.

Evergreen Restaurant

Evergreen Restaurant is a hidden gem in Pelling, offering delicious local Sikkimese dishes. The restaurant’s cosy ambiance and friendly staff make it a great spot to relax and enjoy traditional food.

Yuksom: Sikkim’s First Capital

Yuksom, with its historical significance, also offers a unique culinary experience.

Yak’s Milk Cheese and Butter

One of the hidden gems of Sikkim’s food culture is yak’s milk cheese and butter. These products are made in the traditional way by the local communities. Visiting a local dairy farm in Yuksom gives you the opportunity to taste these unique dairy products and learn about their production process.

Local Homestays

Staying at a local homestay in Yuksom offers an authentic culinary experience. Hosts often prepare traditional meals using locally sourced ingredients. This is a great way to try dishes like churpi soup, buckwheat pancakes, and millet beer.

Lachung and Lachen: Culinary Adventures in North Sikkim

The northern regions of Lachung and Lachen are known for their natural beauty and distinct culinary offerings.

Snow Lion Restaurant

Located in Lachung, Snow Lion Restaurant serves a variety of local dishes. The restaurant’s specialties include shaphaley (Tibetan meat pastry) and churpi with spinach. The hearty meals here are perfect after a day of exploring the beautiful Yumthang Valley.

Traditional Homestays

In both Lachung and Lachen, traditional homestays offer the chance to enjoy homemade Sikkimese food. Dishes like ningro with chhurpi (fern with cheese) and phing sha (glass noodles with meat) are commonly served, providing a taste of local life.

Ravangla: Serenity and Flavours in South Sikkim

Ravangla, a peaceful town in South Sikkim, is known for its serene landscapes and delightful food spots.

Kookay Restaurant

Kookay Restaurant in Ravangla is famous for its local and Tibetan cuisine. The restaurant’s menu includes a variety of dishes such as gyathuk, thenthuk (hand-pulled noodle soup), and fried pork with bamboo shoots.

Local Tea Shops

Ravangla’s local tea shops are great places to relax and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Sikkimese tea. Pair your tea with local snacks like shay phaley or aloo dum for a complete experience.

Namchi: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity

Namchi, with its cultural landmarks and panoramic views, also offers a range of culinary delights.

Taste of Sikkim

Taste of Sikkim is a popular restaurant in Namchi that offers a variety of traditional dishes. Their thali, which includes an assortment of local foods, is a great way to sample multiple dishes in one meal.

Golden Tips Tea Lounge

For tea enthusiasts, the Golden Tips Tea Lounge in Namchi offers a selection of premium Sikkimese teas. The lounge’s serene ambiance makes it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the flavours of Sikkim.
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Hidden Culinary Gems of Sikkim

Beyond the popular food spots, Sikkim is home to several hidden culinary gems that offer unique and authentic food experiences.

Dzongu: A Lepcha Food Experience

Dzongu, a protected area for the indigenous Lepcha community, offers a unique culinary experience. Staying in a Lepcha homestay allows you to try traditional dishes like saag (wild spinach) with churpi, ningro curry, and millet beer.

Zuluk: Old Silk Route Flavours

Zuluk, a small village on the Old Silk Route, offers a taste of traditional mountain cuisine. The local homestays serve dishes like chhurpi ka achaar (pickled cheese) and local meat dishes cooked with traditional herbs and spices.

Borong: Rustic Culinary Delights

Borong, near Ravangla, is known for its natural hot springs and rustic culinary delights. Local homestays offer dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the homemade buckwheat pancakes and fresh river fish cooked with local spices.

Rinchenpong: Authentic Sikkimese Fare

Rinchenpong, a peaceful village in West Sikkim, offers authentic Sikkimese fare. The local restaurants and homestays serve traditional dishes like gundruk ko jhol (fermented leafy green soup) and kinema curry, providing a genuine taste of Sikkimese culture.

Conclusion

Exploring Sikkim’s food culture is a journey that goes far beyond momos and thukpa. From the bustling streets of Gangtok to the tranquil villages of Dzongu and Zuluk, Sikkim offers a rich tapestry of flavours and culinary experiences. Whether you’re dining at a local restaurant, staying at a traditional homestay, or visiting a hidden culinary gem, the diverse and delicious food of Sikkim is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that showcases the hidden gems of Sikkim.

To learn more about places to visit in Sikkim, click here: https://sikkimtourism.org/places-to-visit-in-sikkim/ 

By David

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