Notes from Nepal: Eating out in Kathmandu, my way

Nina & Hager’s Philly Cheesesteak

Kathmandu might not be known for its restaurants and bars, but trust me there are places worth trying. And once you get to know these places, you might just consider making it your favorite food joint.

During the past two years, I’ve tried and tasted the menus of Kathmandu’s many eateries. But then there are some places that I visit more than often—for me, these places not only provide good food but also serve as a point where I can sit and reflect on the times I’ve spent in this chaotic metropolis that is a home to more than a million people, including myself.

Early start

It makes me happy to wake up at past 10 am. But Chikusa gives me a reason to wake up at 7 and get going.

Breakfast at Chikusa in Thamel is a great way to start off the day. The invigorating smell of Nepali coffee coupled with banana crepes or a simple breakfast set or sandwiches are a good reason to be here.

Early morning work meetings, discussing story ideas and trying to plan the week ahead of our weekend paper, we have done if from Chikusa. I must say, our editorial meetings have proven to be productive after our half-awake minds are kicked to work after that dose of caffeine.

Do not forget to try Chikusa’s iced coffee with its signature coffee ice cubes.

Lunch

I’m not a lunch person—maybe because I have an erratic work schedule or I just prefer not to have a fixed eating habit.

So I am not sure about places to go for lunch. For me, our local eating joint behind our office seems to be the best places to grab some lunch. NS Café, as one is called, serves the best momos, at least I think so. It is as local as it could get—a small place congested with people, often from our office talking anything from politics to social affairs and celebrity—and also office—gossips.

Dunch

One of my friends tells me that we should make this word popular. She claims to have coined this word: it means something in between lunch and dinner. I would like to call it my lunch for we often have our lunch or “dunch”  between 4pm to 5pm.

So if you ask me a perfect place to dunch, I would say Nina & Hager in Maharajgunj.

Nina is a friend and she runs this amazing place. If you are craving for some best sandwiches in town, this is the only address.

Philly Cheesesteak and iced tea is what I dig for.

Now at a new location next to Salesways departmental store, opposite to the US Embassy, do not forget to step in and say hello to Nina.

Coffee

Late afternoon Americano at La Dolce Vita in Thamel: I dig this place the most for cups of late afternoon coffee and conversation.

Try and sit at one of the couches facing the main street on the second floor. If not, try the terrace on the same floor. I think it is one of the best places to people watch in Kathmandu, if you like doing that.

Dinner

There is only one place that I absolutely love spending my evenings: Café Mitra.

Along with a close group of friends, we have made this place our own. We end up at Café Mitra literally every night—sometimes for dinner, other times just for a drink, and if not only for hours of endless conversation. The owner of the place is not only a wise man and a good host but a great friend who we all admire.

And do not even get me started on the menu—those chicken wings, minced mutton and rice, spinach crepes and oh, the desserts!

Café Mitra is undoubtedly my favorite spot in Kathmandu.

For me it is a place full of memories: great memories of Christmas and New Year, lazy Saturday afternoons, after-parties, and bonding with my favorite people.

After hours

It is tricky, but if I had to choose one place then it would be Sam’s Pub in Thamel. It really reminds me of my university pub and the atmosphere is amazing: tourists chilling, locals socializing and there’s always some weird people (at least we have always met some while we are here).

The graffiti on the walls and the messages will keep you entertained if you are by yourself. I should say, Sam’s also has a great play list.

If you are thinking of dancing, it is even trickier. It has been quite a while that we have not gone out dancing—it has been random as a matter of fact because we cannot find a good place. But one upon a time, Factory in Thamel used to be the place. You can give it a shot.

Unfortunately, Kathmandu’s nightlife ends at midnight. And then you are constantly on a hunt for the after party. If you are lucky and know some people, you might end up somewhere. If not, you might just call it a night.

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