So, you’re in the capital city and your tummy starts a-grumbling… don’t panic, we’ve got you covered! One great thing about Nepal is that the food is so cheap so you can try one of everything! Here is the definitive Earthbeats list of best eats in Kathmandu.
Best “International” Restaurants:
Incredibly fresh and authentic Vietnamese cuisine. This place was right around the corner from our house and we ordered takeout/walked down to the adorable restaurant on a weekly basis.
An absolute staple in Lalitpur, you’re sure to run into every person you know at least once at this popular breakfast place. With everything from eggs florentine to fresh fruit, curd, and muesli, Cafe Soma is the place to be on a Saturday morning. Excellent coffee and tea selection and the friendliest staff you could imagine!
Located right in the heart of Thamel, OR2K is a super trendy hangout spot for expats and tourists. They’ve got an extensive menu of vegetarian and vegan options to suit every possible craving and an excellent drink menu as well. The place is super groovy… that’s the only way to put it.
Fresh fish flown in daily from Japan and trained Japanese sushi chefs! Need we say more? And you can eat your fill of some of the best sushi we’ve ever sampled for as little as $20 CAD.
Places is another Thamel staple. Whatever you do, try the pumpkin momos with chocolate chili dipping sauce. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Grab a board game to play while you eat and you’re sure to make some friends.
When visiting Nepal, you’re going to eat some amazing local food but for when you’re feeling a little homesick and just craving a greasy burger and fries, Burger Shack is the way to go. Better than McDonald’s and our only regret is not discovering it sooner!
With a killer rooftop patio in the most hoppin’ part of Kathmandu, Mezze is a nightlife must do! The food and drinks are great (there’s sangria….) and the atmosphere can’t be beat!
Best “Local” Restaurants:
Mustang Thakali Kitchen
When we think of food in Kathmandu (Lalitpur), this is the first place that comes to mind. A thirty second walk from our apartment, we spent more rupees at Mustang Thakali Kitchen than anywhere else in the city. Probably more time here than we did in our own kitchen to be completely honest. For only 200 rupees, you’ll get more scrumptious dal bhat than you could possibly hope to eat.
Wednesday night (and most others nights too) Tandoori became a thing for us when we discovered this hole in the wall. Right in the entrance to Thamel, this little place is starting to gain some popularity. The enticing smell coming from the tandoori oven sitting in the street out front will bring you in and the incredibly cheap and delicious curry will keep you coming back for more.
Ghangri Cafe became a quick favourite as it was super close to work and had a very unique specialty: open momos. Momos are Nepali dumplings that we’ll teach you how to make in a later post but Ghangri Cafe did it right with an open style dumpling that allowed you to fill them to the brim with special dipping sauces. Just thinking of this place makes our mouths water. Also try the Thai Pakoras for a flavourful twist on a classic dish!
*Dal bhat is the most common Nepali meal that you’ll find in pretty much every restaurant. The price will vary between about 100-350 rupees depending on the area of town/variety of ingredients but the best thing about it is that they always offer you more in an “all you can eat” formula. They tend to offer triple portion of rice for the quantity of veggies but nonetheless it is a super balanced, nutritious meal that will give you energy for a while. Most Nepalis will eat dal bhat twice a day, for breakfast and dinner. This is so important to them that don’t be surprised if you are asked “have you had breakfast” instead of “how are you” in the morning!