Food and Drink

Food
The most common meal in Nepal is Dal Bhat - Rice (bhat) with a soup made of lentils (dal) poured over it. Hill people subsist on either dal bhat or a thick paste called dhindo. This is coarse ground corn or millet, often mixed with a few hot chillies. In rhe northern regions people call this dish tsampa and make it from roasted and ground barley. Sherpas and other Himalayan people often mix tsampa with buttered and salted Tibetan tea. Another high-altitude speciality is shakpa, a stew of vegetables, bits of meat and dumplings.

Roti or Chappati (unleavened bread) is another frequent addition to a meal and is often substituted for rice. Of other items that may supplement a meal, the most usual is a curry made from potatoes or whatever vegetables are in season.

In Kathmandu you can get all kinds of international food you like, and also on the main treks you often can get italian or mexican dishes.

Vegetarian food
You will have no problem getting vegetarian food in Kathmandu or while on a trek. There is very little meat available in trekking lodges. Many of the dishes are vegetarian here in Nepal.

Even the Beer is called "Everest".
A typical nepalese kitchen.

Drink
Don't drink tap water or stream water anywhere. Stick to water you have purified yourself or bottled mineral water, which is available everywhere in the lodges or teahouses along the treks. The further you are from the road, the more expensive the mineral water gets. The cheaper way to get safe drinking water is to buy boiled water.

Another way to ensure you have safe drink is to consume lots of tea or hot lemon. Throughout Nepal a cup of tea is served with a large dollup of milk and pre-sweetened with sugar, if you don't ask before to get it without sugar. It's also possible to get pure Black tea or Ginger tea.

For a small country, Nepal has a thriving beer industry. The local brands are Star, Golden Tiger, Iceberg and Gold come in 650mL bottles. Tuborg, Carlsberg, San Miguel, Kingfisher, Guinness and Shinga also brew in Nepal and distribute in cans if you want to carry beer on your trek. But normally thats not necessary, you can get beer even in the remotest villages in lodges and teahouses.

Nepal has all the international brands of soft drinks. All are made in Nepal and distributed in bottels, not cans. The bottle deposites are more than the cost of the drink, so leave a bottle behind when you quaff a Coke at a trailside stall.

In the towns you often can get Lassi, a traditional North Indian beverage made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Sweet lassi is a more recent invention, flavored with sugar, rosewater and/or lemon, mango, strawberry or other fruit juice.