Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is perhaps the top gourmet destination in the country. Sure, little villages and teahouse hikes can provide authentic and geographically unique Nepali classics, but Kathmandu is where domestic and international influences collide, resulting in some fantastic results. In Kathmandu, you may get a hearty lunch of dal Bhat (Nepal’s staple rice and lentil curry) or some renowned foreign cuisine.
Although several of the top selections listed below can be found elsewhere in the city, the neighborhoods of Thamel, Jhamsikhel, and Lazimpat—as well as the region surrounding Boudhanath Stupa—have the greatest concentration of eateries. When dining out in Kathmandu, keep in mind that the city is notorious for going to bed early. Most places will close by 9 p.m., apart from a few nightclubs in Thamel. Dinner should be served at 7 or 8 p.m.
1. Chez Caroline
Since 1997, Chez Caroline has been serving leading French cuisine in the refurbished old palace of Babar Mahal, and French ex-pats have flocked here. Fresh baguettes with jams, fried eggs, and plunger coffee in a pleasant courtyard setting make the weekend breakfasts legendary. The à la carte lunches, dinners, and desserts, on the other hand, are not to be missed. After you’ve finished your leisurely dinner, visit the Babar Mahal complex, which is one of Kathmandu’s most upscale shopping locations, to browse the neighboring boutiques and art galleries. The waiters are fluent in English, Nepali, and French.
In Kathmandu, vegetarians will have little issue finding decent food, but OR2K makes it much easier. They don’t simply provide Nepali food; they also serve European-style fare as well as Israeli and Middle Eastern classics. Hummus platters and shakshuka eggs are very filling. If you have the opportunity to visit their Pokhara outpost, do so: It has floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning lake views, making it a must-see when you’re in town.
3. The Bakery Cafe
The Bakery Cafe, which has multiple sites throughout the city, is a social company that employs deaf Nepalis who may find it difficult to find a job in Kathmandu. On the tables, there are notices requesting that you write down your order so that the waitstaff can assist you. The Bakery Cafe is partly responsible for introducing fast casual-style food to Kathmandu, yet don’t expect the burgers and fries to be served quickly because they’re all made fresh. The Bakery Cafe also provides Nepali staples such thukpa noodle soup and momos, in addition to burgers, sandwiches, fries, and milkshakes.
4. Taza Treats
Taza Treats is the first Syrian restaurant in the Kathmandu Valley, specializing in Middle Eastern sweets and savory snacks such as baklava, fatayers, zaatar, suksseh, and warbats. While they have a facility in Labim Mall, you should go to their original store in Pulchowk for sit-down service.
Notwithstanding the seeming difficulties of finding fresh fish in a landlocked country far from any coastline, Kathmandu has several excellent Japanese restaurants. On Lalitpur’s “Restaurant Road,” DanRan is a genuine location to unwind with a bento box. In the summer, the outdoor patio sitting is shady, and the indoor spaces are genuinely Japanese, complete with floor cushions, tatami mats, and paper screens.
6. The Village Cafe
The Village Cafe on Pulchowk Road is another fantastic social company that employs mostly women from the Newari ethnic community. Before coming upstairs to dine indoors or on the balcony, browse the Sabah Nepal store for a variety of handicrafts. This is among the few sit-down restaurants in Kathmandu serving Newari food, which differs from Nepali cuisine in that it is meat-heavy and spicy. Bara, yomari, chatamari, and samaye baji are among the menu items. Expect slow service, but it’s a nice spot for a leisurely lunch on this side of town.
7. Le Sherpa
Le Sherpa is a Kathmandu institution located in the Lazimpat district, which is home to several foreign embassies. The fine-dining restaurant delivers high-end world food inspired by French and Italian cuisine, prepared using fresh ingredients acquired locally or cultivated on-site. On Saturday mornings, a farmers market is held where you may buy organic fruits and vegetables, European-style cheese, and other artisan delicacies.
8. Dhokaima Cafe
Dhokaima Cafe features pleasant outside sitting in a lush courtyard, hidden behind the red brick walls of the Yala Maya Kendra function building at Patan Dhoka. Tandoori chicken sandwiches, paneer sheesh kababs, rich chocolate brownies, and the best Irish coffees east of Dublin are among the highlights of the fusion menu. Come here for a late-afternoon drink and explore their cocktail menu, which includes unique concoctions like the “Nepatini.” It’s a great place to unwind while touring Patan, and there are often new editions of “The Nepali Times” laying around because the English-language newspaper’s offices are directly adjacent.