One the of the biggest surprises while travelling in Nepal, was how much they embraced different cuisines. The selection of Western food was incredible, and the quality very good. Additionally I was in Nepal for 2 months, and did not get food poisoning once! Of course there are also plenty of places to try Nepali and Tibetan food too. Here are a few to try in Thamel (the tourist area in Kathmandu).
Traditional Nepali meal is Dal Bhat – a rice based dish served with curries, pickles and curd. Many of the tourist restaurants serve Dal Bhat, but are often overpriced. A good place to try your first Dal Bhat is Thakali Bhanchha. They have an English menu available but many locals eat there. It’s all you can eat, but be warned you will have to ask them to stop, otherwise your plate with overflow!
Fire and Ice Pizzeria
It might have been because I went there just after 15 days trekking in the Everest region, but Fire and Ice did one of the best pizzas I have ever had. I mean ever. And I’ve been to Italy 7 times! It was absolutely delicious – I also went back the following evening and had an even better one.
They sell a good selection of wines – I had an actual Sauvignon Blanc, rather than the typical vinegary ‘house white’ I’d found elsewhere in Nepal.
It unsurprisingly gets very busy, so book ahead or get there early (I mean half 5 for dinner early). They even have a security man on the door to manage to the queue!
You’ll be glad that branded coffee shops aren’t present in Thamel when you visit Himalayan Java. There are two branches, one near North Face and another on the walking street (the latter is my preferred one). They do excellent breakfasts and the drinks are delicious – try the honey latte. The staff are friendly and you will keep going back.
If you have yet to try momos (Tibetan dumplings) get to Yangling now. They have a good selection, both steamed and fried. Veggie and non-veggie. They also do other Tibetan dishes such as Thukpa, a yummy noodle soup. Their banana lassi is perfect for washing down the good food.
Chick n Falafel
This takeaway hatch is part of the OR2K restaurant. The restaurant itself is nice, but if you’re after a quick and cheap meal, head for the hatch. They sell falafel wraps for 180NPR and chicken wraps for 220NPR. You can also get a bowl of chips and falafel, but the wraps are better. It’s always busy, meaning a high food turn over, and it’s on a good corner to chat to fellow backpackers.
Don’t feel guilty sampling the western food in Nepal. Unless you’re there for a passing 3 day visit you will get bored of Dal Bhat (delicious though it is). Plus when the western food is as good, if not better, than the food at home, and way cheaper – why not treat yourself?