One of my favourite things about travelling to different countries is trying out the local cuisines. I love all food and so I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. Before leaving for Nepal, I completed a brief search so I knew what to expect. What I didn’t expect was how much I would absolutely love Nepalese food. The food is also incredibly cheap, a vegetable set will cost only a few dollars equivalent.
Most of these meals were eaten while hiking the Annapurna Base Camp trek at various villages along the route. So this guide is an overview of the amazing Nepalese food and drinks that are available while you are trekking in Nepal.
Dal Bhat is probably the most famous food in Nepal. It was one of those dishes that I had heard a lot about prior to going. Some posts and videos that I read and watched spoke of it fondly, while others found it boring and couldn’t wait to start eating different foods.
I fell into the first category. I loved eating it and would order it almost every day while on the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Dal is the lentil soup and bhat is the rice. The dish also comes with a selection of pickled and curried vegetables.
Even though dal bhat is a staple meal of the Nepalese, no two will taste the same. Every dal bhat tasted different to the last one. Additionally, it is so filling as you are offered extra soup and rice if you run out. So, so good.
Momos are steamed dumplings with various fillings and sauces. They are amazing and so cheap!
During the Annapurna Base Camp trek, I was fortunate enough to watch one of the guesthouse owners make them fresh. I tried every type of momo I could find, buff filled, chicken-filled and vegetarian filled. My favourite was the chicken chilli momo’s from Yangling Tibetan Restaurant in Thamel.
A pakora is a little bit like a deep-fried vegetable hash brown. But oh, how delicious they are. If you see them on the menu, don’t think twice about ordering them!
I’m so disappointed that I waited until the end of my trek to start ordering Gurung bread with my breakfast. To me, it looked dry and not very tasty. I could not have been more wrong. Gurung bread is fluffy and so yummy. If you see it on the breakfast menu, order it! You won’t be sorry!
Potato curry seems to be served with many different meals, such as dal bhat at lunch and dinner, and also alongside your scrambled eggs for breakfast. While this is generally just a side dish, I feel like it needs to make the list of its own accord. The potato curry, like dal bhat, is different every time you eat it. But that’s ok because it’s all so tasty and good! Delicious and filling, exactly what you need if you are hiking!
Sometimes you get noodles, and sometimes it’s spaghetti, but every time, it’s delicious and filling! In the higher altitudes, it might be a better choice to eat vegetarian than meat dishes as the freshness of the meat can’t be guaranteed. Like most dishes in the tea houses along your trekking route, the flavour is always different. And that’s ok because it’s like trying something new, even when you’re not!
After many dal bhat meals on your trek, you may be looking for something different to eat on the menu, maybe something slightly more ‘western’. You spot pizza and think that’s the perfect meal to fill you up and give you enough energy to keep walking. And you will be right! Just don’t expect your typical chain pizza store pizza. The flavour could be anything depending on what is available.
Buffalo is a readily available meat in Nepal. From breakfast sausages to momo fillings. It tastes similar to beef, except maybe a bit more ‘meaty’. It’s certainly a must-try when you’re in Nepal.
When you’ve been trekking for days and you find a shop that sells chocolate cake, let me tell you, that cake is the best cake you’ll ever taste. So of course it has to make this list. Chommrong on the Annapurna Base Camp trek has a couple of cake stores to choose from. I wasn’t picky and went with the first one I came to because I had sore legs and couldn’t walk any further. It was amazing paired with hot chocolate.
This is more a public service announcement than anything. Don’t bother packing snacks from your home country. Thamel has a number of stores you can purchase snacks at. This is the cheapest option, and they are pretty cheap. Otherwise, you can buy them along the trail if you’re trekking. They are still relatively well priced. So I would avoid the additional weight and just buy snacks as you go.
When I saw this on the menu for the first time, I was instantly intrigued! My guide said it was basically coffee and rum. Again, there are different ways of making it, sometimes it has rice in it and sometimes it doesn’t. All I can say is that it’s pretty lethal. You only need one or two of these to keep you warm and happily inebriated for the evening.
Hot rum chocolate
I wish I had the recipe for this drink. I ordered it one night at Ghorepani and it was so delicious and smooth. I was disappointed that I never saw it on the menu again. But I do have fond memories of this drink. It should be the way all hot chocolate is drank.
So go to Nepal and try all the amazing Nepali dishes. What’s on the top of your Nepali food list? Come back and let me know what was your favourite! My favourite food in Nepal was a tie between dal bhat and momos!