What Does Nepalese Food Taste Like? 9 Delicious Nepali Meals and Drinks

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Nepal is not widely known as a foodie destination. In fact, many of the most common or typical dishes you find in Nepal are not actually Nepalese, because the country’s cuisine is heavily influenced by Tibet, India and Thailand. But, if you know what you’re looking for, you can find some truly great Nepalese food.

Visiting other places in Nepal? See our other guides:

  • Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal
  • Nepal: More Than Everest
  • A Walking Food Tour of Kathmandu, Nepal


This dish originated in Tibet but is now a staple food in Nepal and is easily my favorite thing to eat when I’m there. Momos are steamed (or fried) dumplings that can be filled with anything from buffalo meat to chicken and potatoes to cheese and spinach. Every day I was in Nepal, I ate these at least once a day, sometimes three times a day. Momos are without a doubt my favorite Nepalese dish.

Chili with buffalo

This chili is distinct from the one I’m accustomed to, which is more like a stew. Strips of dried buffalo meat are pan-fried with onion, peppers, and garlic before being garnished with cilantro in the Nepalese version. I’ve had some that were nearly too tough to chew (akin to jerky), while others were fork delicate. Personally, I favor the more sensitive variety.


Thukpa is another cuisine popular in Nepal that originated in Tibet. This soup will most likely remind you of the American chicken noodle soup you’re used to. The thicker-than-average soup is packed with shredded chicken and veggies, and you can spice it up with chile if you like!

Chaat concoction

Chaat may be prepared in a variety of ways and serves as a foundation for other ingredients. In reality, another form of chaat will appear later on this list.

This version, which originated in India, was sold as street food from a cart, which made me hesitate to buy it, but I’m happy I did.

Crunchy chunks of fried dough at the bottom of the dish are filled with a boiling combination of peas and potatoes before being topped with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of coriander. I like the variety of tastes and textures in this one dish.


This was perhaps my favorite new dish I encountered on my recent Kathmandu walking food tour. Bara are hot lentil cakes covered with a spicy sauce and served with potatoes and peas. These are something I could eat every day! Definitely one of the greatest Nepalese restaurants.

Mustang Espresso

I’ll confess that this is the one item on my list that I didn’t like, but I don’t like coffee in the first place, even though I know most people do.

Mustang coffee is a popular drink among trekkers who visit Nepal. It’s a concoction of coffee, sugar or honey, butter, and raksi, or Nepalese moonshine or rice wine. I didn’t enjoy it, but I believe everyone should try it since it’s so popular. You can’t visit Nepal without trying Mustang coffee!

Set Thakali

Apart from momos, the Thakali set was perhaps my favorite dinner in Nepal. It revolves on Nepal’s most popular staple meal, dal bhat. Dal bhat is cooked rice accompanied with lentil soup. Dal bhat is served with accompaniments like as spinach, a vegetable or chicken curry, pickles, spicy sauce, and potatoes in a Thakali set.

The nicest part of a Thakali set is that the restaurant owner comes around and refills your plate while you eat, like some grandma who never believes you’ve had enough to eat. After you’ve eaten your fill, you actually have to stop them from adding more to your plate!

Puri Dahi

Another chaat-based meal, dahi puri is one of the most intriguing Nepalese dishes I’ve eaten. Flour-filled mashed potatoes are topped with chutney, yogurt, and red chili powder in this recipe.

You’re supposed to eat them in one bite, which some in our group found challenging, but not me! I like the blend of textures and flavors, which were sweet yet somewhat spicy.

lemon ginger honey drink

Finally, while I’m in Nepal, this is my favorite drink. I’m not sure whether this drink came from Nepal, but I’ve only seen it offered in Nepal and India. Sometimes it’s hot water with a bag of lemon tea in it, and other times it’s lemonade. In either case, honey is put on the bottom of the glass, then fresh ginger is shredded into the drink.

When it’s raining, I like to get a glass of this and relax in a café enjoying this hot drink as the storm passes.

What are your thoughts on Nepalese cuisine? Is there a food you’d want to try or one you’d never contemplate eating? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!

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