Nepal is renowned as the budget-food capital in Asia. There is a range of dishes that you can discover if you are willing to experiment. The food here varies according to the culture and people. There’s a vast range of flavors just in Daal-Bhaat (a traditional Nepali food).
In Kathmandu Valley, you will get to experience the unique cuisine of the indigenous Newars. Their dishes usually consist of spicy meat and vegetable dishes. The Indian curries and sweets become prominent as you get around the low-lands, Terai. Lastly, noodle soups, potatoes, and toasted flour are daily meals of the Himalayan people.
You’ll find food in Nepal relatively inexpensive. If you get in one of the roadside restaurants on your way, it costs as low as NPR.500 for a simple meal with drinks.
However, the larger cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara are a bit expensive since you get a variety of foods and great service. Expect to spend around NPR.1,000 for a good meal with drinks and all.
Where to eat in Nepal?
To understand which restaurant or taverns to pick for the food that you are craving is important. There’s a high chance that you will not get a menu beside the tourist restaurants. But you should not worry since the food is usually being cooked in front of your eyes, all you need to do is point them out.
Here are the types of places to eat in Nepal along with their specialty:
- Tourist Restaurants – Known for a variety of local and western cuisine with quality service
- Nepali diners or Hotels – Known for fast-food and snacks
- Teahouses (Chiyapasal) – Known for masala Tea and basic snacks
- Street vendors – Known for fruits, roasted corn, and momos
Food in Nepal
You might have known by now, the most popular meal in Nepal is daal-bhaat tarkari, which means rice, veggies, and lentils soup. The day of an average Nepalese start with tea in the morning along with a light breakfast, daal-bhaat at around mid-morning, snacks in the afternoon, and again the delicious daal-bhaat for the dinner.
Usually, you’ll be able to supplement a plate of daal-bhaat with a small side dish of maasu (meat), either chicken, goat, or fish. The cities in Terai are inspired by Indian cuisine, therefore you will find similar dishes, but spicier.
Sukuti (dried, spiced meat fried in oil), sekuwa (spicy kebabs), taareko machha (fried fish), dhedo (a toasted corn, millet, or wheat flour dough), gundruk (a pickled, leafy green vegetable), are some of the worthy foods to try out in Nepal.
Drinks and Alcohol
A glass of water is commonly served in hotels and restaurants. However, you might want to order bottled mineral water just to be on the safer side.
Soft drinks (chiso) are popular and can be found everywhere. Coca Cola, Fanta, Pepsi, Lemon Soda, are some of the common soft drinks that are widely available in Nepal.
For a Nepali, it’s either one of the mentioned soft drinks or the masala Tea. Tea-joints (chiyapasal) are also great to spark up a conversation with the locals.
For alcoholic beverages, Beer is a fine accompaniment to Nepali or Indian food. They are relatively expensive. A bottle of beer costs NPR.400 on average. Nepal Ice, Gorkha, Everest, Tuborg, San Miguel, and Carlsberg are some of the popular beers in Nepal.
Tip: While trying out Newari food, instead of processed beers try out the home-brewed sweet beer (chyang) which are often made from rice or millet.
The food experience in Nepal is great but only if you can identify the places and their specialties. That is why we recommend you to take a guide along on your food-hunting quest.
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