Unless you’re adventurous enough to venture into the little alleys of Kathmandu’s backstreets, it is unlikely that you will have access to the favourite local haunts which remain hidden from the prying eyes of hungry travellers. So it’s always a joy when you do stumble upon Kathmandu street food stalls frequented by locals, but it’s even better if you get to try all of them with the help of a local who will expose the local hideouts through this street food tour. 😉
1. The Mighty Momo
The quintessential Nepali food, be it in the home of a local or on the streets of Kathmandu, this is one dish you absolutely cannot leave Kathmandu without trying. If we had our way, we’ probably put a momo stall right beside the immigration counter at the airport too! :p Jokes aside, these little bundles of happiness are Nepali-styled dumplings that are a common affair in all Nepali households. To the untrained eye and palette it could well be confused for Chinese dumplings but it is anything but – the spices used in the filling plus the chutney (dip) takes the momo to a whole new level. While every Nepali will have their own favourite momo stall, you can’t go wrong with 5 Star Shandar Momo stall in new road and you can sign up for this street food tour to get into the heart of the action!
Locals will often refer to dish as the Nepali pizza but it could well be labelled a taco given that Chatamaris are generally folded and served with fillings. However, what sets the Chatamari apart from pizzas and tacos are the distinct Nepali spices used and the crepe which is made using rice flour. The best Chatamaris are served in ‘Newari Khaja Ghars’ (which translates to Snack house of Newars) and you will find many of between New Road and Thamel.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking, “but isn’t this an Indian dish?”. Yes it is, and if you knew that approximately 30% of Nepalis are ethnically Indian you would know that the samosa is as much a Nepali snack as it is India. 🙂 Best eaten piping hot in a bowl of sweet tomato chutney, you will find the best Samosas that Kathmandu has to offer in the backstreet of New Road beside Tip Top tailors.
4. Choila Set
Perhaps the most well-known Newari dish, the humble choila goes best with the potent Aila (Newari homemade liquor). Choila is essentially is a spiced up and neatly grilled buffalo meat, and just like the Chatamari you can find the best ones in Newari Khaja Ghars. If you would really like to eat Choila like the locals do then you’re better off ordering Cheura (beaten rice) as a side dish – this combo rarely goes wrong and we guarantee that your jaws will enjoy grinding the choila and cheura together.
The next meat-y dish on this list is the Nepali bbq meat, also know as the Sekuwa. Unlike momo stalls and Newari Khaja ghars, Sekuwa stalls on the streets of Kathmandu are hard to come by – the best place you can go for this delicacy is in Koteshwor (near the airport). If you’re a beer lover then you have to try a chilled one with a plate of Sekuwa. While mutton is the preferred meat of choice, you will also fined buffalo and chicken sekuwa served in many of the stalls. What makes the Nepali Sekuwa special is the unique combination of herbs and spices, and we’ll go out on a limb here by saying that kebabs ain’t got nothing on Sekuwas! :p