• Laksh Arora

Best bars on Shimla Mall Road, Himachal Pradesh

Shimla mall road has come a long way and offers some great watering holes. Catering to different kinds of people, and since I can transform into different kinds of people when it comes to drinking, I thought I should utilize this passion of mine and recommend you my favourites.


Simla Times Cafe and Bar


At one end of the Mall Road, Simla Times is a beautifully done up place. There are a lot of quirky elements along with some classic architecture to give the place a modern vibe, yet doesn't seem to be overdone. They serve a wide variety of drinks, but this can vary daily according to availability. Probably my favourite bar in Shimla, so if you have time, stop by!


Pros: The view, Wood-fired Pizzas, LIVE bands on weekends

Cons: On the more expensive side.


Brew Estate Shimla


The new kid on the block is here with a bang! A huge space with fresh beer - It's actually Himachal's first and only brewery - right next to the Church. What more could you ask for in Shimla! You can find 2-4 varieties of beer along with lots of options for cocktails, wines, and spirits. The food menu is extensive too. The only downside of all is that it doesn't feel like Shimla anymore since the charm of our town is kinda lost. That said, Brew Estate come close to Shimla Times as one of the two best watering holes of Shimla.


Pros: The fresh beer, hygiene

Cons: It feels like Delhi or Chandigarh


Himanis

Blink and you will miss it! Located in the center of the mall road, Himani's is a seasoned bar in Shimla. You'll love it or hate it instantly, but here's my guide for the former. Head straight to the second-floor balcony, and grab a bench overlooking the mall road. The view is spectacular, one could spend hours watching tourists and locals pass by. In terms of drinks stick to beer or spirits and don't except anything fancy - avoid wines, cocktails, etc.


Pros: The location, Nostalgia

Cons: Hygiene, food, washrooms


Scandal Delights Bar

I haven't been to this place much but must admit that the terrace tables (just 2, so grab them if you get them), offer some of the nicest views of the mall road and the city. The food was well made and we stuck to beer. They do, however, have a nice collection of spirits that I must try soon.


Pros: Food, View from the balcony

Cons: Inside Area


Cloud 9 Bar

Combermere's rooftop bar is huge and offers all possible drinks, food, and amenities. The place is kinda hidden and you need to pass through or around the Combermere Cafe but once in, it's a great lounge with live music on weekends, good service, and a view.


Pros: LIVE Band, Cocktail, spirits, and wine variety, Ceiling Heaters

Cons: Expensive, Washroom


Rendezvous

Like Janta is to Mumbai, and My Bar is to Delhi, Rendezvous is to Shimla! The focus is on one thing - To drink without thinning down your wallet. Located at Scandal Point, you won't find a lot of tourists inside but instead locals. My favorite part was the conversation with the steward who refused to serve us small pegs in jest, insisting large is the need of the hour! As expected, we had several rounds of large vodkas that night.


Pros: Pocket-friendly

Cons: Everything else


I am yet to visit Devicos Bar and I found The Marina's bar more of a discotheque so not keeping it in this list.


Disclaimer: I run my own bar at The Nilaya, Mashobra. But, I am sort of an alcohol affection-ado and don't consider Shimla mall roads bars as competition, instead as a second home when I am not close to my own bar. All views are personal.