The Ultimate Guide to Street Food in Nepal: What to Try and Where

The Ultimate Guide to Street Food in Nepal: What to Try and Where

Nepal, a land of stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality, is also a paradise for street food lovers. From the bustling streets of Kathmandu to the serene lanes of Pokhara, the street food scene here is a treasure trove of flavors that promise to tantalize your taste buds. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through the vibrant street food culture of Nepal, highlighting what to try and where to find these delectable delights. So, get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure that will leave you craving for more.

What to Try: The Best Nepali Street Foods

1. Momo

Undoubtedly the king of Nepali street food, momos are bite-sized dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, buff (water buffalo), vegetables, and even cheese. Traditionally steamed, they can also be found fried (kothey momos) or served in a spicy soup (jhol momos). These delightful parcels are usually accompanied by a tangy tomato-based dipping sauce called achar.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Boudha Stupa, Thamel

Pokhara: Lakeside

Patan: Durbar Square

2. Chatamari

Often referred to as the ‘Nepali Pizza,’ Chatamari is a traditional Newari dish made from rice flour batter. It is topped with minced meat, eggs, vegetables, and a variety of spices. Crispy on the edges and soft in the center, this savory treat is a must-try.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Bhaktapur, Patan

Patan: Newa Lahana Restaurant

3. Sel Roti

Sel Roti is a sweet, ring-shaped rice bread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is commonly enjoyed during festivals and special occasions, but you can find it year-round at street stalls. This delicious treat is best enjoyed fresh and hot.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Ason Bazaar, Indra Chowk

Bhaktapur: Durbar Square

4. Pani Puri

Pani Puri, known locally as ‘Golgappa,’ is a popular street snack consisting of crispy hollow puris filled with spicy tamarind water, chickpeas, and potatoes. It’s an explosion of flavors in every bite, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: New Road, Patan

Pokhara: Lakeside

5. Samosa

A ubiquitous street food across South Asia, Nepali samosas are triangular pastries filled with spiced potatoes and peas. They are deep-fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and a savory filling. Samosas are often served with a side of tamarind chutney.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Asan Bazaar, Ratnapark

Pokhara: Market Street

6. Juju Dhau

Known as the ‘King of Yogurts,’ Juju Dhau is a traditional Nepali yogurt made from buffalo milk. It has a rich, creamy texture and a mildly sweet taste. This delicacy is especially famous in Bhaktapur, where it is served in clay pots.

Where to Try:

Bhaktapur: Durbar Square

Kathmandu: Local markets

7. Thukpa

Thukpa is a hearty noodle soup that originated in Tibet but has become a staple in Nepali cuisine. It consists of noodles, meat (usually chicken or buffalo), and vegetables, all simmered in a flavorful broth. This comforting dish is perfect for a chilly day.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Boudha Stupa, Thamel

Pokhara: Lakeside

8. Chhoila

Chhoila is a spicy Newari dish made from grilled meat (buff, chicken, or duck) that is marinated in a blend of spices, garlic, and ginger. It is often served with beaten rice (chiura) and is a popular choice for those who enjoy bold flavors.

Where to Try:

Kathmandu: Bhaktapur, Patan

Patan: Newa Lahana Restaurant

Where to Find These Delights

Nepal’s street food scene is as diverse as its landscape, with each city offering its own unique flavors and specialties. Here’s a quick guide on where to find the best street food in Nepal:


The capital city is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, making it a street food haven. Thamel, Ason Bazaar, and New Road are some of the best places to explore the city’s vibrant street food scene. Don’t miss out on the food stalls near Boudha Stupa and Patan Durbar Square for a taste of traditional Newari dishes.


Pokhara, with its stunning lakeside views, is a great place to enjoy street food with a scenic backdrop. Lakeside is the go-to area for a variety of street snacks, from momos to pani puri. The bustling market street is also worth exploring for local treats.


Bhaktapur is known for its rich cultural heritage and delicious street food. Durbar Square is the heart of the city’s street food scene, where you can find traditional delicacies like juju dhau and sel roti. The narrow alleys of Bhaktapur are also dotted with food stalls offering a range of local snacks.


Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is renowned for its Newari cuisine. The area around Patan Durbar Square is filled with food stalls and small eateries serving authentic Newari dishes like chhoila and chatamari. Newa Lahana Restaurant is a must-visit for a traditional Newari dining experience.

Recreating the Nepali Street Food Experience at Home

If you’ve fallen in love with Nepali street food and want to recreate the experience at home, here are some tips and recipes to get you started:

Momo Recipe


– 2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1 cup ground chicken or buff

– 1 onion, finely chopped

– 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

– 1 tbsp soy sauce

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Water (for dough)


1. In a bowl, mix flour with water to form a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

2. In another bowl, combine ground meat, onion, ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

3. Roll out the dough into thin circles and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle.

4. Fold the edges to seal the momos and steam them for 10-12 minutes.

Chatamari Recipe


– 1 cup rice flour

– 1 cup water

– 1/2 cup minced meat (optional)

– 1/2 cup chopped vegetables

– 1 egg

– Salt and spices to taste


1. Mix rice flour and water to form a smooth batter.

2. Heat a non-stick pan and pour a ladleful of batter to form a thin crepe.

3. Add minced meat, vegetables, and an egg on top. Sprinkle with salt and spices.

4. Cover and cook until the edges are crispy and the toppings are cooked.

FAQ: Street Food in Nepal

Q: Is street food in Nepal safe to eat?

A: While Nepali street food is generally safe, it’s always a good idea to eat from stalls that are busy and have a high turnover of food. Avoid raw or uncooked food and opt for freshly prepared dishes.

Q: Are there vegetarian options available?

A: Yes, many street food options in Nepal are vegetarian. Dishes like vegetable momos, samosas, and chatamari can be enjoyed by vegetarians.

Q: What is the best time to explore street food in Nepal?

A: Street food stalls are typically open from late morning until late evening. However, the best time to explore is during the evening when the streets come alive with food vendors and hungry customers.

Q: Can I find street food in smaller towns and villages?

A: While larger cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara have a more vibrant street food scene, you can still find delicious street food in smaller towns and villages. Local markets and festivals are great places to explore regional specialties.

In conclusion, the street food culture of Nepal is a delightful amalgamation of flavors, textures, and aromas that reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, exploring Nepal’s street food scene is an experience that should not be missed. And with a few simple recipes, you can bring the taste of Nepal right into your own kitchen. Happy eating!

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