Nepal is a diverse country home to a mixture of cultures. It is home to a range of religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam, and others. As well as a different range of ethnic groups and castes. This diversity has allowed for many different types of people to set up business in Nepal. Especially in its capital, Kathmandu.
I live in Kathmandu and during the past year, I have witnessed a rapid increase in infrastructure and surge of many different forms of businesses open, including delicious new eateries and cafes.
Being a foodie myself, I love to try different cuisines and dine at the latest hotspots.
I prefer to abide by recommendations from a local instead of using TripAdvisor. In fact, according to The Times it has been estimated that a third of the TripAdvisor reviews are fake. As a writer and a resident of Kathmandu, I would like to present to you my top 10 (in no particular order) of the best cafes in Kathmandu.
10 of the Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Kathmandu
1. Salon de Kathmandu – $$
This is a fusion style cafe open 7 days a week from 9am-10pm.
They have a breakfast menu operating until 10am and an amazing continental lunch/evening menu.
Food varies from Korean BBQ to sandwiches, burgers, salads, noodles, cakes, and many more delicious items. Depending on the season the menu varies. A range of coffees, teas, and alcoholic drinks are available at a mid-range price. Very affordable to tourists.
The reason why it ranks on my list of the best cafe in Kathmandu is that it has a magical garden space where you can lounge. This is rare for Kathmandu. Unless you visit the outskirts of the Valley such as Budanilkantha, Shivapuri or Kirtipur you will be hard pushed to find open space. Other areas of land that are open have either been taken over by the army or are owned privately.
I love to take a good book or work from my laptop in this garden. The vibrant plants and crops surrounding the seating area bring beautiful wildlife such as butterflies in the summer.
Crops grown from the garden are used in the dishes. All the furniture outside is wooden adding to that earthly, eco-friendly feel. Inside is good as well. It has a minimalist vibe, white walls, wooden tables, and a soothing atmosphere.
This is a must-visit!
2. Dhokaima Cafe – $$$
This cafe is located in Patan, and comes with an attached book shop! Talk about winning.
It’s open Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm. The cafe also serves sherpa beer on draught and a range of continental cuisine, as well as tasty cocktails.
The brickwork makes you feel like you’re somewhere in Europe. It’s got such a relaxing atmosphere, especially for Kathmandu. It definitely ranks high on my list of best coffee shops in Kathmandu!
3. Snowman Cafe – $
This is a very cool and hipster style cafe.
Whilst it does not serve savory food the owner serves really tasty tea, lassis, coffees, and fresh homemade cake. If you are looking for the best coffee in Kathmandu, this place is worth a try.
It’s very cheap to chill here and just around the corner from Basantapur Durbar Square! The cafe is over 40 years old, and a popular place amongst locals. Check out the cool Jimmy Hendrix artwork upstairs! It’s open seven days a week from 7am-9pm.
4. Deli Akuj – $$
Deli Akuj is a great place if you’re wanting to grab an illy coffee and some scrumptious artisan desserts.
But it also offers incredible brunches. A favorite of mine is the hummus and avocado toast! The premises are immaculately clean with beautiful minimalist decor and even a mini garden. A lovely peaceful place if you want to unwind after a tiring day of exploring the city.
5. Himalayan Java – $$
This is a very popular chain all over Kathmandu. It’s like the Starbucks of Nepal.
Wherever you go, it provides a range of great coffees. They are constantly adding new ones to the menu and serve a range of food from salads and paninis to cake! They also have a barista school.
6. Tings Tea Lounge – $$
This hotel and a tea lounge with lots of comfy seats is a hidden gem located in Lazimpat.
Bean bags spread across the floor and beautiful paintings inside. The outside has a lovely garden area which also feels like you’re very far away from the busy streets of Kathmandu. A range of teas is served from different countries and many forms of food such a pizza, salads, hummus, falafels, and tapas are served.
7. HUB – $$
HUB is a great cafe in Kathmandu that serves amazing organic Karma Coffee.
It’s brilliant if you want an open space to work all day. The astroturf on the floor and wooden tables and chairs provide a sustainable vibe. Likewise, there is a relaxed atmosphere when drinking or dining here.
Some of their brews have been brewed over 24 hours. They also serve espresso martinis! Their food is mainly healthy and local delicacies with a twist. Moreover, the whole building is an open plan which allows you to see what is being cooked in front of you!
When visiting you order at the counter. Make sure to give their facebook page a like as they host talks and often concerts too! A cafe with a genuine community feel!
8. Roadhouse Cafe – $$$
If you are looking for the best pizza in Kathmandu, check out this place!
Roadhouse Cafe is famous for its wood-fired pizza, but they also offer great cocktails. They are open from 11am-10pm on most days. Roadhouse Cafe is a famous pizza chain with locations throughout Nepal.
The cafe tries to establish a Mediterranean vibe by putting mosaics on the walls and wooden furniture. And don’t worry if you’re not a pizza lover, they also serve pasta, sandwiches and other bites.
9. Everfresh Cafe & Bakery – $$
This is a great place for both good food and good coffee.
Their coffee is local and most of their food is made from ingredients coming from the local farmers market (Le Sherpa).
That farmers market happens every Saturday morning and is a place in Kathmandu I can highly recommend visiting as well by the way!
Besides good coffee, Everfresh also serves delicious smoothies and teas. And they offer smoothie bowls, avocado-based brunches and many more. The decor alone is a reason to visit as there is amazing graffiti on the inside!
10. Western Tandoori & Naan House – $
Western Tandoori is a very affordable place to eat, with scrumptious food.
This cafe is situated in the heart of the tourist hub, Thamel. It is a cafe/restaurant which serves Indian and Nepali food, open from Sunday- Friday, from 9am-9pm. Except on Saturdays, when it’s open from 4:30pm until 9:30pm.
What I love about Western Tandoori is that when you walk through the entrance, you see parathas, naans and chapatis being freshly cooked from the tandoor.
The most expensive meal is 300 NPR which is around US$3, making it a budget-friendly place to eat in Kathmandu.
The bread melts in your mouth. I discovered this place when I came to Nepal as a backpacker. Now as an expat, I still visit frequently as the taste is just too good.
Enjoy Kathmandu and All Its Great Cafes!
As said, this is not an official top 10 of cafes in Kathmandu, as there is no award out there for them. Unless you go to TripAdvisor and find either a fake or forced review, which has become a big thing in Asia. Some places try to reach number one by asking customers to provide a review in exchange for a 10% discount.
If you come to Kathmandu, I can really recommend the 10 cafes I shared here. Check them out, appreciate the food, environment, and atmosphere. Not all are well known amongst tourists either, so it may make your trip extra special, allowing you to explore more than the average traveler.
Map of the Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Kathmandu
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