We visited the Hide Out Cafe in Shimla twice during our tour of India in September 2022. It can be found on The Mall, opposite the Town Hall as you approach Scandal Point from The Mall. From the street it looks like a take-away for...fancy cakes, which it is, but upstairs is a cafe with about six tables of various sizes. The first time we went, with our guide Sanjay, we had drinks - a mocktail for me and a rather bitter Americano coffee for my husband. He commented on this to to the pleasant young man who seemed to be in charge and the next day when we went he had remembered and served a much improved coffee to my husband.
On this second visit we had lunch. The menu is varied with Indian and European dishes. We wanted something light and opted for the Vegetable Toasts. These were like bruschetta: toasted baguette-like slices topped with pesto, mixed vegetables and olives, which were delicious. One portion consists of six slices and was plenty for the two of us. My husband couldn’t resist a dessert - a brownie with a scoop of ice cream - and this too was scrumptious and enough to share, it obligingly came with two spoons. The total cost for the Toasts, dessert, a mint tea and an Americano coffee was 558 rupees, including taxes which seem to be added to all menu prices in India. That’s around £5!
The cafe has a washroom upstairs for customers, which has a sit-on toilet and is clean and supplied with paper and a basin with soap.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful and remembered us on our second visit. We were amongst the first foreign tourists in India after their Covid lockdowns when businesses and those working in the tourist trade really suffered. We had had trouble with using our UK bank cards in ATMs and many shops and cafes but thankfully they worked in this cafe, just ask for the pink machine as our cards did not work in the black one!
To sum up, this is a clean, busy and pleasant cafe for drinks, a snack or a meal in Shimla, with helpful staff and our UK credit cards worked.More