We love the food, including the trekking food in Nepal! Okay, we love all food! But seriously, it’s possible to eat really well in Nepal. There’s always a huge amount to choose from. You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like and you can eat healthily too. The combination of rice-based meals and vegetables when you’re trekking can help your waistline (I always enjoy getting on the weighing scales after a trek!). But if you’re not worried about that, there are plenty of delicious sweet options too including sweet teas!
Trekking Food in Nepal
Trekking food in Nepal isn’t limited to Nepali dishes. Menus often include Western and Chinese style dishes. You can expect to find pasta, pizza, french fries, chow mein, and many other things you wouldn’t imagine eating in the Nepal Himalaya. These options usually aren’t nearly as good as the real thing, but great if you just fancy a change. In any case, you won’t go hungry!
There are many local dishes that you might like to try. These are Team Nepalorama’s favourite three courses (and drinks)!
Breakfast – Tibetan Bread
When it comes to breakfast, there’s no contest! Our favourite trekking food in Nepal is Tibetan bread. Tibetan bread is a traditional homemade flatbread, available in every teahouse. You can enjoy it cooked plain and served with an omelette or fried egg on top. Or, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, order it fried and served with honey. Whether you want a sweet or savory breakfast, Tibetan bread is the answer – it’s really delicious and filling, the perfect start to your day!
Lunch – Momo
Another traditional Nepali dish is ‘Momo’. A type of dumpling with various fillings (meat or vegetable) and spicy dipping sauce. Great for a snack or side dish, either steamed or fried. When we’re trekking, we try to eat light at lunchtime because it’s much harder to get started again on a very full stomach! But if you prefer to eat your main meal at lunchtime, try momo in the evening!
Dinner – Dal Bhat – the ultimate trekking food in Nepal!
You’ll soon become familiar with the famous phrase ‘Dal Bhat Power 24 Hour’! Dal bhat is the Nepali staple diet. In fact, most Nepalis eat dal bhat twice a day, every day. This doesn’t mean they eat exactly the same food every day. Dal bhat, consisting of rice, lentil soup, curry (veg, meat or even paneer), pickles and often-steamed or fried greens is different every time you order it. It depends what vegetables and meat are available, so you’re always in for a surprise! In the lower mountains, many teahouses have their own vegetable gardens and pick the ingredients fresh for your dal bhat when you order! Naturally the higher you trek, the more basic dal bhat becomes, as it’s much harder to transport fresh ingredients to high altitudes.
You can find dal bhat on every teahouse and restaurant menu. It’s sometimes referred to as the Nepali Set Meal. Traditionally when you order dal bhat, you’re offered a second helping of at least rice and lentil soup, likely some more curry too. So it’s a filling and healthy choice when you’re famished after a hard day’s walk!
I love that Krishna is excited about eating his dal bhat every single day! He sends me a message to say ‘it’s dal bhat time! 😀😀😀’ We both think the trekking food in Nepal is yummy!
Our Favourite Local Drinks
We just love masala tea, also known as masala chai. It’s basically a black tea made with delicious spices, sugar and milk. In Krishna’s village we drank masala tea throughout the day as various relatives stopped by. Krishna boiled fresh milk from his own buffalo to make the tea. We can’t get enough of this stuff!
Rum and Tatopani (Hot Water)
We strongly advise against drinking alcohol when you’re trekking, as it can affect your ability to acclimatise to the high altitude. But if you want a well deserved celebration drink once you’ve returned to a low altitude, rum and tatopani (hot water) is a local favourite and mine too! You’ve probably tried or heard of a ‘hot toddy’, made with rum, hot water and often lemon and honey. So rum and tatopani isn’t that unusual! Yet it’s amazing how the hot water brings out the spicy flavour of the rum. Order a ‘quarter bottle of rum and a pot of hot water’ in any teahouse or bar – it’ll definitely warm your cockles after a long, hard trek!