Sitting in an unassuming cafe barely deeper than its dessert cabinet, 1,500 meters up at the base of the Himalaya Mountains in Dharamsala, India, is an unpolished block of chocolate and marshmallow. A bar of cocoa, walnut, and caloric magic lit beneath the glowing smile of a middle aged Tibetan who lives in this exile community. I should have gotten his name but in between searching for his most popular creation subtly named ‘Tibet Special’ – and consuming it – all I could think about was how early to get there the next morning, before he sells out. Something that happens everyday in his shop that’s open daily, with exception for closings to honor regular self-immolations occurring in Tibet – a reminder that Dharamsala is a seed of calm amid political chaos.
The $0.70 (yes, you converted correctly) Tibet Special isn’t the only chocolate bar sold in this McLeod Ganj shop and everyone in town seems to have a personal favorite. It is however, a debate worthy of your full investigation. You can find this literal hole in the wall on Jogiwara Road close to Yak Restaurant or get directions from anyone with a sweet tooth worth 45 rupees. Ask for the Tibet Special and simply follow the smiles.
Sweet or salty, where’s the one bite you’ll never forget? We can start a map of deliciousness based on your recommendations in the comments section below.