KATHMANDU

Food & Restaurants

Food & Restaurants in Kathmandu

The most popular food in Kathmandu could be the momo, a dumpling which has its roots in the Tibetan mountains. They are available fried or steamed and stuffed with buffalo, chicken, or veggies. Prices can vary depending on the location and what they are filled with, but expect to pay between NPR150-250 for a dozen. Kathmandu is also a good place to sample traditional Newari and Tibetan dishes.

A Nepali set meal will usually include rice, daal, vegetable/meat curry, a vegetable dish, pickle (achar) and curd. Expect to pay around NPR140-280 at a tourist place, much less at local places. Chiya, a milky spiced tea similar to the Indian chai, is ubiquitous and good for a break to calm one's nerves.

Note that most restaurants that cater to tourists will add a 10% service charge and then a 13% VAT charge (total of 24.5%) to the prices stated on the menu. These additional charges must be clearly stated on the menu.


Thamel

There are dozens of tourist restaurants clustered in the Thamel district serving everything from Middle Eastern to Mexican food. Indian and Nepali dishes are always the best tasting and the best priced. Don't hesitate to state your preference for spiciness. Visitors venturing into smaller places are often rewarded with better prices and friendlier staff.

  • Ace Cafe And Bar. Good mix of Indian, Nepali and Western. Costs generally NPR50-120. Located on the first non-touristy street West of Thamel, across from the People's College.
  • Alchemy a newly opened Italian restaurant. Somewhat expensive for Thamel. Excellent Italian dishes and nothing else. Pizzas from NPR300 and pastas from NPR280. You get wine in 1/4 or 1/2 litre so suitable for dining alone or in two. It's about 100 m before Chetrapati Chowk.
  • Aqua Java Zing A new restaurant in Thamel dining scene. Serving excellent international cuisine, including risottos, pastas, Thai curry and Five-spice exotic vegetables. The dessert range and quality is excellent, and so is the coffee. They also serve Hookahs/Shishas with over 100 flavours. Cost NPR200-350. They are located just next to Helena's and opposite Galleria Cafe.
  • BK's French Fry heaven in Thamel. Opposite Funky Buddha Bar.
  • Cafe Kaldi has a small menu with drinks, salads & snacks as well as free Wi-Fi for customers (please refrain from downloading anything as the connection is limited.) On Mandala Street, behind OR2K.
  • Café Mitra Serves excellent European meals. It is expensive for Kathmandu, but the standard of the food more than makes up for this. 250/13 Thamel Marg.
  • Ciao Ciao this newer place is in Bhagawan Bahal Road, just behind the Hotel Malla. The Italian owner Francesco offers wood-fire pizzas and some very good Italian delicaties.
  • Cozy Restaurant The best buffalo steak and chocolate banana pancakes in the city. New place, relatively unknown, but great food. Chef trained in the US, and is one of the friendliest people in town. As you walk down Tridevi Marg from Thamel Chowk, it's on the right, on the second story by an internet cafe. Meals NPR200-300.
  • Electric Pagoda is a very eclectic bar on Satghumti Road. Specializes in Mexican cuisine and also offers local and continental dishes between NPR100-300. Easy going atmosphere with well rounded music and very friendly staff. Tuborg/Everest beer approximately NPR350.
  • Everest Steak House. Traditional pre- or post-trekking feast: massive steaks costing about NPR300. Just off Chhetrapati, the pagoda-cum-roundabout.
  • Fire & Ice. Popular with westerns for the excellent traditional Italian-style stone-baked pizzas, which are delicious (probably better than Roadhouse). Certainly pricier than most, starting from around NPR580 for a cheese and tomato pizza. Chocolate ice cream with added chocolate on top is definitely to be recommended, and will cost about NPR300 in 2012. Located on the south side of the main road into Thamel (Tridevi Marg) coming from the Palace Museum, next to a temple under Himalayan Bank.
  • Fu Ru Sato. Just past The Roadhouse, beside the second Pilgrim's bookshop, this quiet Japanese restaurant, with Japanese trained chefs offers great food. From Sushi to Udon to Teriaki Chicken, a small restaurant offering amazing food at low prices. Expect to pay 200rs for a set meal, or 400 for fresh Sushi. Fish is brought in frozen.
  • Galaria is a smart upmarket coffee shop, above a bookshop. Serves fantastic 'Illy' coffee, and some great desserts. Less exciting but still good sandwiches.
  • Helena's Rooftop RestaurantChaksibari Marg (From Chhetrapati, pass the Everest Steak House on your right, and turn the next left and walk a few minutes north on JP School Road. Helena's will be on your right),  +977 1-4266979. Excellent food, great service, and modest prices. It is claimed to have the tallest rooftop restaurant in Kathmandu, and the views from there of the city, especially at night, are reported to be worth the climb. Serves Western and regional cuisine. chicken tikka masala will set you back around NPR350.
  • Himalayan Java. Beyond the coffee (see below) there's breakfasts, paninis and pastries. Located across the street from Fire & Ice on the second story of the building nearest the palace wall.
  • Hot Breads. Past Helena's, opposite the right-turn junction towards Fire & Ice. They sell fresh pastries from about NPR60 each, which you can eat on the roof along with a selection of drinks.
  • Just Juice and Shakes. Popular with Israelis and long-timers. Great coffees, fruit juices and shakes. Two eggs on toast: NPR80 in 2012. It can be found 10 m down the alley across the street from the music shop, near Pilgrim's bookshop curve.
  • KC Across street from "Helena's Restaurant", & 1/2 block toward King's Palace from KTM Guest House. Safe salads, vegetarian & brown rice dishes, sizzling steaks, and 'Pumpkin Pie' - not a dessert, but a main meal made with pumpkins & almonds. Outdoor balcony overlooking the street, and indoor dining on 2 or 3 levels.
  • Krua ThaiZ Marg (Located at the outskirts of Thamel, take first the left curve after Pilgrims, then right.).
  • La Dolce Vita - Italian restaurant serving excellent pastas, desserts and speciality coffees all at reasonable prices.
  • New OrleansMandala St, (Almost opposite Kathmandu Guest House.). A good variety of well-made food, including pasta, Nepali and salads. Pleasant Newari courtyard setting NPR200-400.
  • Northfield CafeThamel Marg (A few doors up from Kathmandu Guest House), +977 985-1057697. Basic pub grub and Nepali attempt at Mexican, often with live traditional music. Popular with English teachers and expats.NPR100-300.
  • OR2KMandala St (South end of Mandala Street, opposite the Pumpernickel Bakery & K-Too Steakhouse.), +977 1-4422097. Daily 09.00-23:00. It is Israeli run and has a wide variety of good, safe vegetarian food, especially good if you are craving a salad.
  • Phat Kath - Located off the main street close to Helena's and Weizon Bakery. Good breakfasts from R200. They have a decent lunch/dinner menu with good meals. Service is very good.
  • Roadhouse CafeChaksibari Road, Thamel (One location is about 200 m north on JP School Road in Thamel, another near Bhat Bhateni supermarket and one in Patan), +977 1-4260187. Excellent wood fired pizza. Pleasant decor with good coffee & hot chocolate. Draught Everest beer, when available. A relaxing, upscale place for when you need to escape from Kathmandu for an evening. Free Wi-Fi. Beer: NPR400; Pizza: NPR500-600.
  • Rum DoodleAmrit Marg+977 1-4248915fax: +977-1-4227068, e-mail:. Su-Th 10:00-22:00, Fr-Sa 10:00-00:00.Excellent food at modest prices, including live music on most nights. Carry on straight past Helena's, around the "chicane", where the road bends then straightens out again, and turn the next right. It is signposted but the sign's fairly small. Everest summitters can eat here for free. Extraphone=+977-1-4248692
  • Sandwich Point is a small sandwich bar with a wide range of fillings including beacons, ham, chicken and sausage. To get there, turn left on the second intersection of thamel arriving from Himalayan Java. It is on the left just a few metres down the road.
  • Sandlewood CafePark Ln, Lalitpur (South of Bagmati River). 
  • Shree Lal Pure Veg Restaurant. Tel +977 1-4250417. On Thamel Road, look out for the red scrolling neon letter sign. Excellent Indian food at excellent prices (Indian meals with chapatis NPR150-200), plus friendly owners. No rooftop seating area.
  • Tashi Delek. Tibetan restaurant with extensive menu and good Mexican/Italian dishes. Open late. Across the street from the postcard shop, near HotBreads corner. NPR100-300.
  • Thamel House RestaurantAmrit marg (In front of Hotel Thamel), 4410388.
  • Third Eye. Indian food in a nice building and outdoor garden. NPR250-500.

Freak Street

A few good places to eat, such as the Ganesh restaurant halfway along the street next to a small shrine. Try the cakes at the tiny, bright blue "Snowman" cakeshop.


Near the Airport

If you're looking for a quick cheap snack of tasty curry or momo check out the small roadside stand across the ring road right at the airport. With your back towards the airport its just 200 m left of the Airport Hotel, at the junction of a small dirt road.


Patan

  • Ratomato Organics BBQ BistroJhamsikhel, Patan, e-mail:. Ratomato Organics BBQ Bistro is a continental restaurant which caters an array of nutritious and flavourful delicacies. Most of the produce is sourced locally from an organic farm in Kirtipur and other local farmers.NPR100-500.
  • The Lazy GringoJawalakel Chowk, Patan (near the zoo, across from the German bakery),  2210527. Tu-Su 11:00-21:00. The only Arizona style Mexican food in KTM. Serves burritos, chimichangas, nachos, fried ice cream, thick shakes, and sopapillas. A party of 10 or more gets free chips and salsa. Thursday nights kids eat free with the purchase of one adult size entree. NPR200-300.

Elsewhere

  • Angan, on the corner behind the King's statue roundabout. A good place to have ice cream (NPR35), Indian traditional sweets or freshly prepared Masala Dhosa which is curry in a crisp savory crêpe, NPR65-75. Sweets in the front, fast food restaurant in the back. The bhel poori is spicy. This is the heart of the Nepalis' upmarket shopping district, where New Road and Dharma Path meet. Walk west from here on the pedestrian street to Freak Street, the outdoor craft market, the old 'Red Palace' and the many temples of Durbar square.
  • Bakery Cafe There are several outlets of this chain restaurant all around Kathmandu and Patan. A great place to have momos, beer and sizzlers which is steak with butter sauce and noodles. Can be considered "the McDonald's of Nepal" due to its popularity. Although it isn't fast food, you can find great food here that is prepared within 15 minutes. Most of the staff are deaf, so your money is going to a good cause.
  • Bawarchi Superb Indian and Chinese food, specializing in kathi rolls which are a fried, flat bread wrap with spicy meat, paneer or veg filling. Great for lunchtime snacks or evening meals. Their three locations can be found opposite the Ambassador Hotel on Lazimpat; on the Maharajgunj, near the UNHCR and American Embassy; and in the Barryo Fiesta foodcourt next to Mike's Breakfast. One of the few expatriate-friendly restaurants with delivery.
  • Chez Caroline The place to be seen in Kathmandu, set in Babar Mahal revisited, just off the main Thapathali junction, near the old parliament building. Excellent French food and salads. 700-900 for a main. Ask a taxi driver to find it.
  • Just PassJyatha, Thamel (on jyatha street (near the chikusa cafe)),  +977 14253178. 09:00. great Indian food at affordable prices, situated near the Chikusa Cafe on the Jyatha street. friendly staff and a tummy full of Indian food (including naans) and cheap tea for NPR125. NPR125.
  • Mayur Restaurant CafeGongabu, Basundhara Ring Road (बशुन्धरा चक्रपथ ट्राक उत्तर) (Basundhara Chauki Bus Stop 100 m away). 
  • Mike's Breakfast is a brisk 15 minute walk from Thamel Taxi Stand, but confusing with one-way streets. Take a rickshaw or taxi the first time, & mark it on one of the free hotel KTM maps. The best pancakes in Nepal, and now other meals, too. Mostly outdoor tables under bamboo shelters + available indoor screened dining.
  • New Natraj Tandoori Cheap, plentiful and delicious Indian food. Not to be confused with the Natraj tandoori a few doors down. Opposite the Shangri-La hotel on Lazimpat.
  • Pizza Express While not quite on par with Roadhouse Cafe or Fire and Ice, Pizza Express makes a tasty product from their locations in Lazimpat (216-1212) and in Basantbur Plaza (423-2777). They are unique in that they are the only mainstream pizza shop with delivery in Kathmandu. The fast-food style decor and focus on delivery and take-out are reflected both in their prices and quick service.
  • Roadhouse Cafe maintains locations outside of Thamel in Bhat Bhatteni, one block north of the Bhat Bateni supermarket, and Pulchowk.
  • Wunjala Moskva Tucked away in Naxal district, delicious Newari food in a beautiful setting; performances on the courtyard of the restaurant, and unlimited shots of local booze.

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