Food in Nepal - 17 Iconic Nepalese Cuisine Items You MUST Try

Nepalese cuisine is one of the most beautiful things about their culture against popular belief. They have a number of dishes that are a blend of amazing flavours that are lip-smacking. Nepalese cuisine takes influence from its neighbours India, Tibet and China. Nepalese cuisine is supposed to be healthy and cooked in less fat. The common dishes involve soups, lean curries, vegetables, salads, lean meat, pickles, and curd. The ingredients include tomatoes, chillies, coriander, garlic and mustard oil.

We've listed down 17 most iconic food in Nepal you must try when you're in the Amazon of Asia:
  • Dal Bhat - The Famous Staple Food of Nepal
  • Momos
  • Wo or Bara
  • Sel Roti
  • Samosa
  • Everest Beer
  • Yomari
  • Dhindho or Dhido
  • Gundruk
  • Gorkhali Lamb
  • Juju Dhau
  • Chatamari
  • Thukpa
  • Samay Baji
  • Choila
  • Tongba
  • Indian snacks

1. Dal Bhat - The Famous Staple Food of Nepal

The staple food of each Nepali household, Dal Bhat is mainly rice served along with lentil soup and vegetable curry or chicken (or meat). This meal is the most beloved one amongst Nepali people as it's wholesome and provides with the needed nutrition.

2. Momos

Momos in Nepal
The next very popular dish is Momos. This is one of the favourites for tourists and is a must try for everyone visiting Nepal. Momos are small envelopes of white flour stuffed with veggies or minced lamb or chicken. They are served with different kinds of sauces and mayonnaise which makes the combination a delicious snack. This food in Nepal has taken India by storm and is a popular street food across many countries as well. 

3. Wo or Bara

Wo is a kind of pancakes made by the Newari people of Nepal. The Newaris are an indigenous group of locals in the Kathmandu valley. Wo is made with ground lentil (green or black) batter during the 'Sithi Nakha', a Newari festival. These Dal patties are light and perfect for snacks. For non-vegetarians, Bara can also be added with minced chicken and battered egg.

4. Sel Roti

Sel Roti
A fusion of doughnut and bagel, Sel Roti is one of the most sought after snack in Nepal during festivals like Tihar and Dashain. It is a circular rice flour bread which is deeply fried to make it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is crispy and sweet and tastes best with yoghurt or veggies. Being a popular festival food in Nepal, this dish is a must on your culinary bucket list. 

5. Samosa

Samosas are typically a famous Indian delicacy but you get them fresh onto your plate in Nepal as well. It is a spicy dish and is a mixture of mashed potato and spices stuffed in a triangular envelope made of white flour. This is then fried to make the shell crunchy. If you're not a fan of spicy food, you might want to take a nibble and taste it first. These delicacies are served with a sweet red coloured Chutney and you might want to have them fresh off the pan.

6. Everest Beer

Everest beer
This local Nepali beer is made with rice and is a cheap buy. You might want to give it a go if you are a beer fan. There is also another local alcohol called Raksi which is the traditional beverage of Limbu people and it is normally served with pork or beef meat.

7. Yomari

A sweet dish prepared from rice dough and stuffed with a sweet paste made of coconut, sesame seeds and molasses, Yomari is a festival food in Nepal, made only during the festival of Yomari Punhi. This festival is celebrated each year in the winters to thank the Gods for a good harvest. This dish is very famous is Kathmandu and you might also find its spicy version made with lentil. 

8. Dhindho or Dhido

Look into the corners of Kathmandu and in the Thamel region, you'll find a hidden delicacy, the Dhindho or Dhido Thali. It is actually a thick porridge prepared by boiling stone-ground cornmeal, buckwheat flour, millet flour with salt in water. It is the staple diet of the rural areas and is eaten with butter, vegetable curries, pickles, buttermilk and yoghurt.

9. Gundruk

This is a condiment or a side dish often accompanied by Dhido. It is considered as the national food in Nepal. It is actually fermented or pickled green and leafy vegetables. It is made by storing mustard, radish and cauliflower in an earthen pot which is then left to be pickled until the veggies inside release acidic juices and have undergone fermentation.

10. Gorkhali Lamb

Gorkhali lamb
It is a collection of assorted flavours all stuffed into one package. Gorkhali lamb is essentially a curry dish which is prepared by slow-cooking the lamb in the curry along with potatoes and onions. It is then removed from the curry, grilled and covered with a layer of spicy chilli mix giving it the intense flavour. It is then put back into to curry to cook for a bit longer. Lamb is one of the favourites of the Nepalese and this dish will surely be something worth trying.

11. Juju Dhau

Also known as the 'king curd', Juju Dhau is a type of yoghurt. It is a creamy, thick and sweet dish normally preferred as a dessert. Made with buffalo milk, this dish is very famous among the Newaris people and is a must try if you are visiting Bhaktapur. You'll find a lot of street-side vendors selling Juju Dhau in Bhaktapur.

12. Chatamari

Normally referred to as the Nepali Pizza, this Newari snack is actually not so close to a pizza when it comes to taste. It's rather a rice flour crepe cooked with toppings including coriander, minced meat, eggs, chopped onions, chillies and a lot of spices. It is only because of its round shape and appearance that it is referred to as a type of pizza. Quite a different dih amongst other food in Nepal, this one is a must try. 

13. Thukpa

It is a noodle soup, served in the mountains of Nepal during winters. It can have meat, egg or simply just vegetables. It is normally served along with a dish called Momos. This dish carries along with it a lot of inspiration from the Tibetan and Chinese cuisines. The meat used in Thukpa can be goat, lamb, chicken or even yak. This dish is more like a survival kit against the shivering cold on the mountains. Along with a great taste, it provides the locals with the perfect nutrients they need.

14. Samay Baji

Samay baji
One of the main dishes in Nepalese food, the Samay Baji is a gourmet dish that has been passed on along the generations of Nepali people. It is a platter containing barbecued buffalo meat, boiled egg along with beaten rice and spicy potato salad. It is a traditional dish that is served on auspicious occasions in the Newari culture. This dish is a must try in Nepal, if you are a person who loves perfectly cooked meat and spicy dishes.

15. Choila

Also a part of the extensive Newari cuisine, this food in Nepal is a spicy one made with water buffalo meat. There are also other variants of Choila that use duck meat or normal meat. This is a hot and spicy savoury dish served with rice flakes. This is also a part of the Samay Baji and is a very famous dish during festivities.

16. Tongba

Better known as 'Tibetan Hot Beer', this is a very famous local beer that you'll find people sipping from a cast like vessels through bamboo straws. It is millet-based alcohol and is also a traditional drink in Nepal. It is a warm beverage and is normally consumed in large quantities.

17. Indian snacks

pani puri
A lot of Indian origin snacks like Pani Puri, Jalebi and drinks like Lassi are also available in Nepal. So if you're looking forward to trying some of the most famous Indian snacks and drinks you'll surely find them being sold by street-side vendors in Nepal. I'll advise you to consume these from clean and hygienic stalls where the food served is fresh.

These were the 17 must-try food in Nepal and almost all of them are available everywhere in Nepal and so they won't be hard to find. Try them all and you won't regret missing anything in Nepal.

This post was published by Swetanshu Subhrajit

Share this post on social media
Google +

Nepal Packages

Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free

Related Articles

Travel Tips

Visiting Nepal in August: A Guide to Weather, Festivals and Things to Do

Food & Drink

Beer in Nepal: Quench Your Thirst with Nepal's Exclusive Brews

Art & Culture

Dresses of Nepal - 7 Beautiful Traditional Nepalese Dresses


20 Beautiful Places In Nepal That Will Leave You Wonderstruck


Shopping In Nepal - What to Buy & Where to Buy From


List of Airports in Nepal

Art & Culture

37 Facts About Nepal - A Guide to Staying Culturally Conscious

Art & Culture

Religions in Nepal - The Repository of Ethnic Mosaic


Complete Guide to the Perfect Wedding in Nepal

Art & Culture

Culture of Nepal


6 Rivers of Nepal That Have Breathtaking Views!

Art & Culture

Traveller's Guide To The Languages of Nepal - Go Local & Feel Welcomed!

Art & Culture

Handicrafts of Nepal - Best Handmade Crafts from the ‘Roof of the World’

Art & Culture

11 Stunning Marvels of Architecture of Nepal and its 3 Styles

Art & Culture

Music of Nepal: The Variety Of Music One Can Find In Nepal


Nightlife of Nepal: An Exhaustive Guide To Nepal's Stellar Nightlife


Diwali in Nepal - Celebration of the Gods, Mother Nature and Oneself


9 Landscapes of Nepal Which Will Take Your Breath Away


Complete Guide To Camping In Nepal - The 10 Best Camping Sites!

Fairs & Festivals

Holi in Nepal - How The Beautiful nation Celebrates the Festival of Colours

Travel Tips

Renting a Car in Nepal

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Nepal - 12 Fun Things to Do in Nepal To Welcome 2020

Wildlife & Nature

National Parks in Nepal To Explore The Wild Side of The Himalayan Country


Historical Places in Nepal

Travel Tips

Nepal in January - Weather, Top Places & Festivals During January in Nepal

Hill Stations

Stunning Hill Stations in Nepal


Temples in Nepal

Art & Culture

History of Nepal - The Past That Shaped the Beautiful Nation


10 Best Adventure Activities In Nepal Beyond Mount Everest!

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in Nepal - A Vibrant Spread of Nepali Culture

Travel Tips

Nepal in February - Weather, Top Places & Things to Do in February in Nepal

Comments on this post