Best foods to try in Nepal

THE BEST NEPALESE FOOD AND DRINKS TO TRY

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 the 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 is available while you are trekking in Nepal.

Nepalese Food

Dal Bhat

Delicious dal bhat 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

chilli chicken and vegetarian momo in Nepal

Momo’s are a steamed dumpling 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 were the chicken chilli momo’s from Yangling Tibetan Restaurant in Thamel.

Pakoras

Food on the Annapurna Base Camp trek pakora

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!

Gurung bread

Gurung bread for breakfast on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

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

Potato curry in Nepal

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 bhal, 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!

Vegetarian noodles

vegetarian noodles in Nepal on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

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!

Pizza

Pizza in Nepal

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

Buffalo sausages in Nepal as an alternative to beef

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.

Snacks

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

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 a hot chocolate.

Other snacks

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.

Nepalese Drinks

Mustang coffee

a nice cup of mustang coffee in Nepal

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’s 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

Warming hot rum chocolate on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

I wish I had the recipe to this drink. I ordered it one night at Ghorepani and it was so delicious and smooth. It 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!

More on food

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More on Nepal

Nepal Tourism Board
Annapurna Base Camp packing list
Annapurna Base Camp trek in March
Annapurna Base Camp trek vlogs

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A list of the best food in Nepal

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8 thoughts on “THE BEST NEPALESE FOOD AND DRINKS TO TRY”

  1. So hungry looking at these images. I have not tried nepalese food, but now will have to track down a Nepalese restaurant near where I live. Thank you for the inspiration

    1. Nepalese food is amazing. I can’t wait to go back again to get more! I live in a regional town and the closest Nepalese restaurant to me would probably be 250km away!

  2. Give it ALL to me, I LOVE Asian food and these all look amazing! I have had the chance to eat at Nepalese food while living in the San Francisco area, but never actually in Nepal – maybe one day!

    1. Same!!! Seriously the food is 50% why I love travelling! The other 50% is people and culture, but food *drool*.

  3. I grew up just 400 km from Nepal yet have not visited this country as yet! Such a shame, need to get on it soon! So much of the food is what I absolutely love – pakoras and memos, yum!

    1. Nepal seems to have an amazing influence from Indian and Chinese food. It is delicious and I can’t wait to get back again.

  4. I would have never thought to see pizza on the menu! I would love to try Dal Bhat as I have heard about it a few times. I always enjoy dishes that have plenty of rice with some sort of soup and side dishes.

    1. Dal Bhat is so, so good! Perfect hiking food too! If you like these type of dishes, you won’t be disappointed!

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