When you have spent an entire day walking through the web-like alleys of Patan, admiring the architecture marvel that it is, you need to lie back, and enjoy the sight that unfolds during the evenings. Located on the sixth floor of a complex building, Aila Restaurant and Lounge is the best spot to do just that. The terrace opens to a near 360-degree view of the valley; charming under the sun, a glittering jewel at night. Pair the awe-inspiring view with good company, a refreshing glass of Mojito or a cold beer, and unwind.
Go for: Dinner
Recommendation: Spicy Chicken Tender with Honey Mustard sauce has just the right amount of heat!
Location: Trimurti Bhawan, Kumaripati, Patan
2. PIANO B
If you are looking for a slice of Italy in Kathmandu, Piano B is the place to be. Tucked away in an unassuming lane in Ekantakuna, Piano B is slowly gaining the attention for all the right reasons. Their herbs and ingredients are locally procured and else they are imported from Italy. With their menu changing every other week, one never knows what to expect, but bet your last penny that everything dished out from the kitchen will be delizioso! Owned by an Italian couple, they know what they are doing with their food. It doesn’t get more authentic than that.
Go for: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Recommendation: Tenderloin steak with tastefully selected Italian wine.
Location: Opposite the DFID office, Ekantakuna Road, Patan
3. SHANGRI - LA RESTAURANT
Away from the busy streets of Boudha, Shangri-La is true to its name. The décor of the eatery boasts Tibetan culture, and if you didn’t already guess, so does its menu. You can choose from a varied assortment of Tibetan and Chinese dishes, or book a table for a four-course meal. It is worth waiting to see what the kitchen staff will put up on the plate, knowing that everything will be delicious.
Go for: Dinner
Recommendation: The Tibetan Hot Pot called Gyakok
Location: Hotel Tibet International, Boudha.
4. THE GHANGRI SUI MAI
You haven’t really seen much of Kathmandu, if you haven’t had a taste of the famous open momos at The Ghangri Sui Mai. Located in Teku, it is one of the oldest restaurants in town, and thus has mastered the skill of producing juicy, yet structurally intact momos, which is a go-to snack/food for most Nepalis. Take a chance to savor their momo, and we bet you won’t be able to stop yourself at just one plate. The dish is paired with three types of dips; all equally genius and complimenting.
Go for: A quick bite for lunch
Recommendation: Stick with the momos.
Location: Teku, Kathmandu and Pulchowk, Patan
5. CAFÉ NINA
If you want to take a break from the Nepali food then head down to Café Nina for the finest burger in Kathmandu. There is no two ways about it. Although located in the part of town that people don’t frequent for food, there is a reason why Café Nina is thronging with people all day. Maybe the reason is their Big Daddy Burger, our tongues are salivating already!
Go for: Lunch
Recommendation: Big Daddy Burger and chocolate cake.
Location: Maharajgunj (a few meters in the entrance to Chundevi), Kathmandu
6. BHOJAN GRIHA
Dining at Bhojan Griha (literally meaning 'food house') will make you feel like you are dining in a palace. The amazing hospitality, ambience and the experience is nothing less than royal. The authentic Nepali four- course set meal kicks off with a peg of aila – a traditional home-brewed alcohol. A cultural performance of live singing and dancing await at the end of each meal, which means you have ample time to enjoy your dinner and the company you are with. BhojanGriha plates up not just Nepali food but also a wholesome Nepali experience.
Friends Café and Bar has the potential to take you on a journey to middle-east and Spain solely through its delicious food offering. Everything on their menu, from the Tapas to the Sloppy Joe is perfection on plate. Don’t voyeur in alone because the food here is designed to be enjoyed in packs. No wonder the bohemian décor screams of lazy Saturday brunch with friends (pun intended).
Go for: Brunch
Recommendation: Try their Magic Hot Pot.
Location: Mandala Street, Thamel
8. CAFÉ SOMA
If you long for a relaxing and quiet breakfast, Café Soma in Jhamsikhel is a well-deserved break for anyone who has been in the city for too long. Pick up a book from their shelf while you enjoy your order of eggs benedict and a cup of coffee, or go for a quick sandwich in the afternoon.
Go for: Breakfast
Recommendation: Try the luscious brownies and their local apple juice isn’t bad either.
Location: Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur; and another branch in Baluwatar (opposite the Russian Embassy), Kathmandu
9. CAFÉ SWOTHA
Unlike the ubiquitous rooftop restaurants in the Patan Durbar Square vicinity, Café Swotha is tucked away in an unassuming alley at the Swotha Square, not 2 minutes away from the main attraction. The location and the ambience here is a breath of fresh air. Choose to sit in the outdoorsy backyard setting, or opt for a seating next to the glass walls for a distinct street view. But the ambience isn’t the only thing that helps this café be in this list; their food is nothing short of brilliant too.
Go for: Coffee and cakes
Recommendation: Their cheesecakes are praiseworthy!
Location: Swotha Square, Patan
10. THE VILLAGE CAFÉ
Head to this restaurant if you are looking for a Nepali experience sans the usual dal bhat. Representing Newar ethnic culture, the kitchen prepares gorgeous culture food such chatamari, yomari, bara, and samay baji (all available in vegetarian options as well). You will leave with the taste, sight and smell of new Nepali dishes. If you are in the Kathmandu Valley for the first time then this should not be missed.
Go for: Dinner
Recommendation: Enquire if they will be organizing a voye (Newari feast) anytime soon. If the answer is an affirmative, you have to be a part of it.
Location: Pulchowk, Patan
Besides the grand monument and decadent history, also discover the side of Kathmandu that is vibrant, young, adventurous and keen to map the world. Discover the diversity of the capital with every bite you take at these 10 best restaurants in Kathmandu that we have listed!
Situated in Baluawatar, Mikes Breakfast started out off in Durbar Marg several decades ago when Mike decided he wanted to live in Nepal. Not wanting to spend his whole time working, he opened a restaurant which operated around breakfast time – hence the name. Unfortunately, Mike passed away a few years ago but his legacy goes on with American and Mexican food being served in an outdoor setting throughout the day. Breakfasts are still the specialty!
Garden Kitchen, Boudha $
Behind the main kora round Bouddhanath stupa there is a lovely restaurant serving traditional Tibetan fare. It is always full with monks, students of Buddhism and locals. Go upstairs for a more comfortable seating area and to view a few handicraft items for sale.
Alice Restaurant, Gairi Dhara $
A fantastic family restaurant catering mainly to middle class locals, this restaurant offers a wide range of food from Nepali and Indian to Japanese. In fact the owners used to work in Japan and came back with a Japan inspired idea for a restaurant. There is a children’s playground inside the restaurant itself but plenty of nooks and crannies for business dealings or lovers chats. Extremely busy at the weekends with families attracted by the playground. Book ahead.
Rato Mato, Lazimpat $
This first floor restaurant and small bar is a little hard to find – it is situated directly across the road from the City Hotel on Lazimpat. When you enter up the narrow stairs you will be thinking “momo and dal bhat”. You could not be more wrong. The menu is varied from chicken sate, potato skins, grilled prawn skewers to pork chops, gnocchi and tofu steaks. Laid back live music is provided on a Friday night.
Thamel and Durbar Marg Area
This is reportedly the first café in Kathmandu to serve ‘proper’ coffee and has a reputation for great coffee and good food. Situated across the road from Fire and Ice, it is conveniently located and good for social or casual business meetings.
Not a café as such, but anyone who serves soy lattes in Nepal deserves another mention!
Situated at Nag Pokhari, this café serves better food than coffee but it is also a great meeting place and the western food is of high quality.
Just opposite the British Embassy is a lovely, friendly café serving a range of items from Eggs Benedict; beetroot, carrot and humus dips; chicken sate, to pizza and pastas. Run by a musician, this café often has evening events check their FB page.
Tings Tea Lounge
As the name suggests, this café is really a tea lounge and a boutique hotel. Situated off Lazimpat this is the place to come if you like different teas served correctly. It also services beer and wine and a limited menu of Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisine. Burgers on Saturday! Closed on Mondays.
This café serves delicious cakes prepared by its sister concern, Lakuri, situated in the Café Soma branch in Baluawatar (opposite the Russian Embassy). Unlike its other branch, Café Soma in Jamsikhel does not have a garden but is never the less very popular.
Not far from Café Soma is a café named Higher Ground which is very popular with expats.
Situated in the Moksh complex, just under the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, this café was set up as a social initiative – you pay what you like for the coffee.