Foodguide Nepal – 1o dishes you have to try!

Nepal has besides the highest mountain and the greatest people also culinary a lot to offer. We dedicate this post to the food in Nepal and have written a small food guide for Nepal. Thereby we take a closer look at the classic dishes. The Nepalese cuisine is also super suitable for people who maintain a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Since we as backpackers try to be as close as possible to the life of the local population, prices and dishes are based on what we ate at street food stalls, local restaurants and street snacks. If you are interested in a trip to Nepal we have also written a post about it.
Some of the pictures are from my good buddy Prashant from Nepal.

Food waste in Nepal

Since Nepal is not necessarily one of the highest-income countries in the world and the Nepalese generally lead a rather modest lifestyle, the issue of food waste is also very present. Nevertheless, of course, everyone should be full. Dal Bhat is actually eaten daily by most Nepalese. At first, you get a manageable portion, but you can get as much more as you want. So nothing is left over and everyone gets full. This does not apply to the meat and not for all dishes but for the classic.

Dal Bhat

Foodguide Nepal – How much does a meal cost in Nepal?

For a traditional Nepalese meal on the street or in a small snack bar you will never pay more than 2 €. Mostly rather between 1 € to 1.50 €. We don’t really know the prices for western food, as this was also rather irrelevant for us. For an Indian meal in a similar location you have to expect prices between 1.50 € and 2.50 €, because to the dish still comes accordingly naan or chapati.

Foodguide Nepal – our favorite dishes

In general, the Nepalese cuisine did not seem particularly diverse to us but very tasty! Our motto is simply to try everything at least once and then decide what tastes good to us and what rather less.

Dal Bhat

THE classic of Nepalese cuisine must of course not be missing in any food guide to Nepal. Equally popular with young & old, as well as travelers. Dal Bhat, Khana Set, Thakali Set – all these are terms for the classic lunch of the Nepalese in different variations and with different side dishes. The dishes are available as vegetarian options or with chicken or buffalo meat. Dal Bhat is also the perfect meal for all trekkers and hikers. You’re also bound to come across the saying “Dhal Bhat Power 24 Hour”, which the Nepalese laugh their heads off about even after 845745949 times. The combination of rice, lentils, potatoes, something spinach-like, pickles and if necessary meat gives you the necessary energy, especially if you do one of the longer treks such as Annapurna Base Camp you will notice how well Dal Bhat works as an energy dispenser. Meat is optional here. Since you can eat as much as you want, you will never go hungry. Meat, however, is not replenished.

Nepalesisches Dal Bhat
Dal Bhat


Probably the most popular meal among travelers. The delicious dumplings are available with chicken, vegetable or buffalo meat filling. Momos are remotely reminiscent of Maultaschen, Gyoza, Raviolis and co. You can find them on every corner in the cities. They are usually served with a spicy sauce. The pockets are available steamed, fried and in a soup. Momos cost usually for a plate (10 pieces):
Vegetables: 90 rupees
Chicken: 120 rupees
Buffalo meat 150 rupees
Momos are our favorite food from Nepal.

Nepalesische Momos


The Nepalese noodle soup can also be found in almost every restaurant. In the end, it is a relatively simple vegetable broth with vegetables, noodles and possibly egg or meat, depending on your preference. Usually a lime is added, which gives the soup a slightly tangier taste. You can also go for the vegetarian/vegan option here, although you should still ask what broth it is exactly.
The thukpa with noodles and vegetables usually costs around 100 rupees and was, especially in the cold regions, a wonderful and warming meal.

Veggie Thupka

Khaja Set

Also a popular dish from Nepalese cuisine. Similar to dal bhat, the dish consists of various small side dishes. Instead of the conventional rice, there is puffed rice here. In addition, there are meat, nuts, pickles and vegetables, but there are also just as vegetarian variants. Like chatamari, the khaja set comes from the Newari culture.


Also called the “Nepalese Pizza” is a dish of Neva from the Kathmandu Valley. It is a rice crepe topped with various (meaty) ingredients. Seen in the picture below in the middle (the one with the green and orange vegetables on it) and below.

Kaja set, Chatamari, Bara and local alcohol


The fermented leafy vegetables are very popular in Nepal. I had it as a soup and can say that it is definitely not one of our favorite foods. But still something you should try!


The Nepalese interpretation of the Chinese fried noodles. Is probably the cheapest warm dish what you can find in Nepal. However, we found this to be quite tasteless and boring. Often it is really just the fried noodles with very few vegetables.

Chowmein in Nepal


Chatpate is a very popular Nepalese street food. It consists of puffed rice and uncooked instant Chinese noodles mixed with various spices, coriander, chickpeas and a few other ingredients. Chatpate is often relatively spicy and is often handed out wrapped in newspaper.

Chatpate from Nepal

Pani Puri

Pani Puri is a popular street food in Nepal, northern India and Pakistan. You get a hollow, baked dough shell. A hole is pressed into the top with your thumb and then the dough shell is filled with a watery filling and then eaten by the morsel. I found it quite salty but definitely an experience. You pay an amount and can eat quite a few.

Pani Puri

Chana Aalu

Also a very popular Nepalese food is Chana Aalu. The bottom line is that it is a curry consisting of black chickpeas and potatoes.

Chana Aalu

Indian food in Nepal

Of course, it is not surprising that especially in Kathmandu you can also find numerous inexpensive Indian restaurants. Even if this does not really fit into a food guide to Nepal, variety is always welcome. The prices are minimally more expensive than those for the classic Nepalese food but sometimes a change is of course also really good.

Shahi Paneer
Shahi Paneer in Kathmandu

Breakfast in Nepal

Traditionally, there is no real breakfast in Nepal, because you eat only 2 real meals. However, since these are so rich in nutrients, this is also completely sufficient. The day is started with a cup of tea and, if necessary, fried dough balls. Gwaramari (fried dough balls with various spices), Sel Roti (fried sweet rice curls) are normally served on special occasions, but can also be found in some corners for breakfast. These dishes serve to satisfy hunger until the first real meal of the day.

Drindks in Nepal

Chya/Chiya/Cha – Nepalese milk tea

Probably the most popular drink in Nepal is the Chiya. Tea powder boiled with milk and sugar. Nepalese drink a few cups of it every day. We also fell in love with the delicious tea and adapted to the usage pattern of the locals. Different kinds of tea like masala or cardamom are used.

Fresh juices

Especially in the cities, there are some stands that sell freshly squeezed juices. Most often you can find orange, pomegranate and grape. Often there are other varieties to choose from like watermelon, pineapple, banana or apple. We fell in love with a blend of orange and pomegranate.

Leckere Säfte gibt es überall am Straßenrand

Beer in Nepal

In Nepal, there are also 3 types of beer to choose from in many restaurants/bars and pubs. The most popular varieties are Gorkha, Nepal Ice and Everest. For a 0.5 l bottle you pay around 2 € which is quite expensive for Nepal.

Food compatibility & hygiene

Since we think that you can’t really get to know a country without eating like the locals, we ate for 2 months only on the street or in the mountains with locals. In fact, Naomi had food poisoning once and that was from western food in a hotel.

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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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