Perhaps, Nepal to most people is only synonymous to Mt. Everest, the roof of the world.
Or probably, first time travelers and tourists would think of Buddhist and Hindu temples,
Durbar Squares and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While it is true that this incredibly
fascinating South Asian country boasts of exotic cultures and rich traditions, Nepal is little known
to be a gastronomic paradise. I myself was surprised to find pizza, burgers, dumplings, noodles
in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan and Nagarkot when I went there with my family last August
Indubitably, travels & tours are best enjoyed when you're with locals. In our case,
my family and I tried our very best to communicate with the few people we met from streets
We arrived past lunch time in Kathmandu, so immediately after checking in at our hotel in Thamel,
we headed to Kathmandu Durbar Square. However, prior to being mesmerized by the grandeur of the temples built mostly in 1700s, we satisfied our hungry growling tummies with these Nepalese cuisine. Behold. These were our first bites in Kathmandu...
Momo, the Nepalese (Newar) dumplings. Of course, we chose to taste local food as early as our first meal. We ordered Momo in two ways, fried and steamed. We opted for vegetable momos instead of chicken or buffalo. Oh and by the way, we had them at a rooftop restaurant just a few steps before Kathmandu Durbar Square called, Cosmo De' Café!
Another remarkable Nepalese dish we had from Cosmo De' Café was their Cosmo Special Noodles. It reminded us that we're still in Asia. It tasted like Pancit Bihon from the Philippines and Singapore Beehon from our neighboring ASEAN country. Delicious, actually!
If you like coffee, and you're in Kathmandu, it's a must for you to try Himalayan Java Coffee at Basantapur Durbar Square, just a few steps from Kumari's Palace (the living Goddess of Kathmandu).
It's always good to taste local blends when traveling to a new place!
For our dinner on our first day in Nepal, we had simple plates from a restaurant tucked in Mandala Street in Thamel. We had Fish and Chips, and some Fried Chicken, all washed down with red wine that came with it and Pineapple Juice for our kid.
On our second day in Nepal, we spent and enjoyed Bhaktapur Durbar Square and its laterals. We dined our brunch at Shiva’s Cafe Corner (Authentic Kitchen). We wanted to taste more authentic Nepalese dishes so we ordered their breakfast specialties – Dragon’s meat and dinosaur’s eggs. Of course, the last part was a big joke! We had these plates of continental breakfast plus hot coffee with milk and chocolate for Gabby. Everyning’s fine except for the bacon strips. It has a little taste that our tastebuds disagreed. It must be buffalo’s; we regret that we didn’t ask.
For lunch, we were around Nyatapola Temple, still in beautiful Bhaktapur, so we decided to try the local's recommendations, Nyatapola Café.
We had Mixed Chow Mein, Macaroni and Cheese for Gabby and Clubhouse Sandwich that had buffalo instead of chicken. This time, it’s for real that we had buffalo on sandwich. I prefer it rather than chicken because there’s outbreak of bird flu virus in Kathmandu during our visit. For dessert, we had the famous yoghurt of Bhaktapur. Creamy, tangy and cheesy. Delicious! Huge servings and affordable too!
Third day was spent in Patan Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal. Where did we eat? We chose another rooftop restaurant with an overlooking view of the plaza and a place where our kiddo could have something he pleased. We dined our first meal of our third day at Café du Temple in Patan.
The meal was apparently simple, yet what made it remarkable was the experience of looking at the priceless view while you sip your coffee and dunk your fork at your fried eggs and toasts.
On our next day, we headed to Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambunath. At Boudha, there were several options for you to eat in. As for us, we preferred another rooftop restaurant called, Café Himalayan. It gave us a great view of the stupa in its glory! Café Himalayan also served us our refuge during the slight drizzle. We ordered light snacks like pizza, mixed fried rice (Nepalese style, of course) and sweet hot banana (or what we call locally in the Philippines as banana cue).
On that same day, we savored our dinner back in Thamel. We found this restaurant called, Café New Orleans with laid back and non-intimidating ambiance and surprisingly affordable prices on the menu. Presentation and servings were impressive and huge. Highly recommended!!! Two thumbs up!
At Café New Orleans in Thamel, would you believe our palates and taste buds were delighted at the most tender and tasteful Beef Steak, Pork Steak, and Mongolian Beef and Noodles? And for our thirst-quenchers, we had Mango Iced Blended drink, Tropical Fruit Juice and Chocolate Drink for our son. Everything was refreshingly good!
Before we departed Thorong Peak Guest House, our hotel in Thamel, and prior heading to Nagarkot, we had our breakfast of course. The hotel menu's simple and we had satisfying plates.
Everything's OK for me, except for the cheese in Nepal. Most of the restaurants and eateries we dined in used yak cheese. So it's so Greek to my taste buds, nonetheless was part of the Nepalese experience!
Our last two days in Nepal were spent in Nagarkot, an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level! We stayed at Peaceful Cottage & Café du Mont.
Coffee for us, particularly at a chilly weather up at 7,000 feet was a must! Definitely a must!
Pizza, Mixed Fried Rice, Chapatti and Nepalese platter of dahl and curry. Yum!
Dessert we shared : Warm & creamy Custard Pudding with Mushroom. Totally new to our taste buds! With due respect to Nepalese, I was used to and still favor something cold and chilled for dessert.
Our last dinner in Nepal was simple plates of noodles, fried rice and club sandwich, still prepared Nepali style of course. Something we're proud we've tasted! Nothing comes close to authentic Nepalese cuisine!
When traveling to a new place, one must really sample local dishes for a complete sensory experience!
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people,
you might better stay at home.”
- James A. Michener
*For Ultimate Travel and Tours Experience in Nepal, this blog recommends WithLocals.Com