One of the things that Western tourists look forward to when visiting tourist attractions in Asia are the aromatic and spicy foods. Eating and drinking in Kathmandu is not an exemption. A typical Nepali meal includes a tasty serving of rice, dhal (dried lentils, peas or beans), curry (vegetable or meat), vegetable dish, chutney and curd. This is available in all restaurants within the tourist district of Thamel. Perhaps the most popular local food is the momo, a dumpling that is similar to those offered in the Tibetan mountains. Chicken momo or buffalo momo is perfect with steamed rice, vegetables and beer. Also popular is chiya, a milky spice tea that is perfect when relaxing.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. It is also the largest and busiest. The city’s center for tourism is the district of Thamel, where you can find dozens of upscale restaurants and local food joints. Aside from the delicious, cheap and bestselling Nepali meals, Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian and Mexican dishes are also popular here.
Some of the leading restaurants in Thamel are the following. Helena’s Rooftop Restaurant, which is the tallest rooftop restaurant in the capital city. It is widely known for its breakfast and many say that it is the best in the city, chicken tikka masala, excellent menu and very friendly service people. They also serve Western dishes. Food here is not as expensive as those in the nearby Thamel House Restaurant, which is another highly recommended restaurant. Inside this restaurant is a cozy and relaxing garden. This hotel is known for its rice wine that perfectly blend with the delicious dishes.
For tourists looking for international choices, the restaurant and café chain of Aqua Java Zing is perfect. They serve Italian pastas and pizzas, and Thai curries and vegetables. They are also famous for their coffee and the wide range of lovely desserts. The best Thai food, however, is served at Krua Thai restaurant found at the outskirts of Thamel, while the best Italian foods are in La Dolce Vita.
For coffee and a light snack, popular joints are Ace Café and Bar, which serve a good mix of Indian, Nepali, and Western dishes, Cafe Kaldi, Galleria Café, Just Juice and Shakes, which is popular with Israelis, Roadhouse Café, which is an upscale coffee place, Café Mitra, which is known for their delicious European meals, and Northfield Café, which has live traditional music. Northfield Café is frequented by English teachers and expats. Nepal is also one of the world’s leading coffee-producing countries, although the country is more popular for its tea.
For other dining options, nearby are Tashi Delek, a Tibetan restaurant that also serves Mexican and Italian dishes, New Orleans, which is famous for its pasta and salads, Third Eye, an Indian restaurant, Himalayan Java, best known for its paninis that are considered the best in Nepal, Fu Ru Sato, a quiet Japanese restaurant, KC, offering vegetarian dishes, Ciao Ciao, frequented for its wood-fire pizza, Electric Pagoda, an easy-going, eclectic music bar, and Alchemy, an Italian restaurant, among many others. Also, leading restaurants outside Thamel are Freak Street, Angan, Wunjala Moskva, Chez Caroline, New Natraj Tandoori, and Pizza Express.
Finally, to complete your fun experience of eating and drinking in Kathmandu, get the best drinks by visiting the city’s leading bars, which include the House of Music, Everest Irish Pub, Irish Pub Lazimpat, Maya Cocktail Bar, and Jump Club. Locally produced beers are Everest and Gorkha Beer.