Built atop one of the outer boundary walls of the famous Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisal Italy is worth a trip for the location alone, affording its visitors the most spectacular view in town of the historic fort. This vegetarian venue is spread across three expansive seating areas, two inside the restaurant and one outside on the scenic terrace. If you opt for the terrace, you’ll be dining traditionally on cushions around low, square, wooden tables. As the name suggests, Jaisal Italy’s menu hinges on expertly prepared Italian pasta dishes and pizza, as well as tasty after-dinner treats like tiramisu. They also serve a couple of surprising outliers, like Spanish-style tortillas. This is a great first stop on your trip to Jaisalmer, where you can order an espresso after a satisfying meal and gaze out over stunning views of the city’s greatest attraction.
Located near Sunset Point, Gaji’s Restaurant features a full menu of delicious Korean dishes, which you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere in most Indian restaurant scenes. They offer several Chinese and Japanese items as well, along with a few Indian delicacies, but they really shine in their Korean fare like the bibimbap – a signature Korean dish served as a bowl of warm white rice, topped with soy sauce, soybean paste, and any variety of meat, egg, and vegetable ingredients. Their location also provides an amazing panoramic view of the city, making Gaji’s a go-to for both its rare Korean fare and rarified atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a low-key locale where you can enjoy genuine Indian food in peace, Milan restaurant in Manak Chowk will leave you quietly satisfied. Though it may not look like much from the outside, if you venture in you’ll find a homey dhaba-style setup serving unbeatable tandoori, butter chicken, naan, and kebabs. Though their food is phenomenal they keep their prices comfortably low, making this little restaurant one of the best values in town.
Located right next to the fort in Gopa Chowk, Killa Corner offers an international menu of Indian, Chinese, and Italian cuisine, served alongside spectacular views of the Jaisalmen Fort. Whichever corner of the world your dish hails from, you can expect a simple, homespun preparation cooked with a lot of heart. The Italian pastas and pizzas are a smart choice here, as are the Manchurian balls and noodle dishes. The wait staff here is also exceptionally kind and will always go the extra mile to help you feel at home in Jaisalmer, whether you need help arranging a safari or finding a local cobbler to mend your shoe sole.
Killa Corner, Next to Fort, Gopa Chowk, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan +91 94605 85147
Zoya Ka Zqyeka
You’ll find Zoya Ka Zayeka perched on the rooftop of La Diva Homestay. This impressive venue serves an Indian menu of decidedly homestyle dishes and preparations, which is an attractive rarity in Jaisalmer’s restaurant scene. They’re open all day and feature a brilliant breakfast menu – try the aloo paratha with curd, the puri bhaji, or the poha (a tasty porridge dish). There’s no better way to start a morning in Jaisalmer than digging into some comforting local cooking while looking out over the city as it wakes up.
The Bhang Shop looks like little more than a pocket-sized hole in the wall, but this small space has a huge reputation throughout the city. They’re famous for selling lassi and thandai containing bhang, a paste-like mixture of cannabis buds and leaves with milk, ghee, and spices. They sell bhang-laced cookies too, which are unsurprisingly delicious. If you’re tempted but worried about the law, never fear; the Bhang Shop has received the blessing and recognition of the Indian government (as it’s careful to state in big letters on the signs out front), so its roaring business is all above board. Their bhang comes in your choice of medium or full strength, so know your limits and judge wisely when you’re placing your order.
Bhang Shop, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan +91 95718 25008
Well off the beaten tourist track, Chandan Shree is a must-see for any vegetarians visiting Jaisalmer. Stop in for breakfast to sample their kachori (a fried flaky pastry of spiced peas), pakora (Indian fritters), samosas or puri sabzi, then come back at lunchtime for their scrumptious thali. The service here is quick and efficient, so it’s not hard to see why locals love this veggie gem.
Chandan Shree, MDR53, Police Line, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan + 91 94147 60210
Trio draws in bustling crowds with a dreamy triple threat of terrace views, atmospheric live music and delicious Indian food. You’ll find a wide variety of traditional Indian dishes on their menu, including several examples of local Rajasthani cuisine. Ty the chicken stirfry with shredded vegetables and the laal maans, a rich mutton curry. If you’re here in the evening, go for their outdoor terrace seating and enjoy an enchanting view of Mandir Palace surrounded by city lights, Local Rajasthani musicians play soothing strains on harmonium and dholak in the background to complete this dream-like scene.
Located opposite Mandir Palace near the Fort, Golden Roof gives its guests a beautiful, unrestricted view of the fort and the busy market market at all hours of the day, framed by a charming atmosphere of artistic decor and low seating arrangements. They serve a small but highly competent (and vegetarian-friendly) menu of Indian food, packed with flavor from their liberal use of organic local herbs. Try the alu gobi (a dry dish of potato and cauliflower), paneer burji (crumbled paneer cheese in spicy tomato gravy), or the papad ki sabji (papad crisps in spicy yogurt sauce), or order the pizza for a solid Western alternative.
Golden Roof, Bhaskar Mohalla, Sadar Bazar, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan + 91 9782707011
Meat lovers will fall in love with the tender tandoor dishes at Monica, and on the whole it’s the meatier mains that stand out across the range of Chinese, Continental and Indian items offered here. This fort-side restaurant’s tasty thali options are sure to leave everyone at the table satisfied, and their terrace seating provides sweeping, scenic views to make your meal a memorable experience.
Monica’s Restaurant, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001 +91 94141 49496