The Thakalis are originally from Kali Gandaki (Thak Khola) region but they have migrated wherever business opportunities have led. They are excellent in business and running hotels. They have a mixed religion of Buddhism, Hinduism and ancient shamanistic and animistic cult.
The Thakalis have a tradition that they originally came from the kingdom of Jumla to the west, and were of royal stock. Many intermarried with Tibetans and have similar clothing and customs. Like the Tibetans, they use a donkey and mule trains to carry their goods north to their homes. Their location on the Kali Gandaki gave them advantages, because they could collect taxes on goods in transit between India and Tibet, especially salt. They paid the Nepal government in Kathmandu for the right to collect taxes and because they were isolated with a monopoly on the salt trade passing through their area, they were able to become prosperous.
This community is basically a business class. Their women are said to be excellent house keeper, very clean, keeps their kitchen clean and their food is very tasty. We thought to taste their food, it was almost similar what we get in India but with a different taste. Their Daal, Bhat, Tarkari ( Lentil soup, Rice and Cooked vegetable) is very tasty so is their chicken curry. We tried Thakali food at a restaurant at Thamel called Thakali Bhancha. We were very satisfied to taste their food. The pickle was excellent.
Favorite Dish: We had the usual Daal, Bhat, Tarkai with Chicken curry. Just try it. I am sure you will not be dis appointed.
Addendum( 2010 May): This hotel is one perfect example of bad state of affair in Nepal and lost tourism. As I learnt from Mr.Das that he had to change the name and style of the restaurant because of Maoist threats. He started the place as Vegetarian but had been subject to continuous closure and extortion. He changed the concept to now Non-Vegetarian Indian restaurant, with less no of staff and customer as in the last two years the no of tourists has reduced in Kathmandu because of political unrest.The food still remains very good if it is cooked by Mr.Das himself. I had one night meal there.
(2007 Sept) It was Saturday, when we landed in Kathmandu. We take only Vegetarian food on Saturday. I was looking for a decent place and asked the T Shirt maker( see shopping tip) for a place, who in turn guided me to Shree Lal. To our surprise we found that the owner Mr.Ritwik Das is a Bengali gentleman from Kolkata, married to a Nepali lady Mrs. Shanti Maharjan, has opened this beautiful place after a lot of struggle in life. Mr. Das told me the story of coming to Kathmandu and getting married to Mrs.Shanti. She is a graceful lady and an extremely able partner to Mr.Das. The restaurant is brand new, food is cooked in front of you, clean and all the crew welcome with a smile. You just cant go back unsatisfied. The food is very good and healthy. They also have a Bar for the customers. We had the opportunity to meet Mrs.Shanti and their son Wrishant. The Restaurant is also assisted by Mr.Ritwik's brother Satwik. Opon meeting Mr.Das we immediately became friendly and not only this, on learning that we are paying very high amount for our stay, he offered to help us to get a very good hotel at very resonable price( Hotel Dharma Inn at Pokhara) at Pokhara. He wrote a letter to his friend Mr.Chabbi, who gave us almost 50% discount. Mr. Das is an excellent man so is his wife Shanti.
Favorite Dish: During our stay in Kathmandu, we tasted their Vegetarian food on several occasions and all the time the meal was excellent. We had mostly Indian food of Dal, Roti, Naan, Vegetables, cottage cheese etc.
They also serve Vegetarian dishes made in European, Italian and English style. Please give it a try while in Kathmandu, you will not be disappointed.
They make pure vegetarian food and dont use even Eggs!!
One night our VT friend Urvashi and her husband Dibya Rana, treated us with such a lavish Chinese dinner at China Town of Kathmandu, that we shall have to remember it long long time. The place is upmarket equivalent to our Mainland China of Kolkata! The decor, the food, the ambience all perfect to take your family out for dining. They serve many dishes even our Mainland China does not! Like Wild Boar meat for an example. The crew is excellent, the price is a bit upwards but you dont mind paying when you get so much at one place. The place is frequented by the better gentry of Kathmandu.
Mr.Dibya Rana, placed the order on behalf of us and the choice of dises were not only excellent but also proves he has a taste for Chinese food. Our VT friend Urvashi is really fortunate to have him as her husband, who has excellent taste of Chinese food and treat their guests well with knowledge of Chinese food. Apart from Urvashi and Dibya Rana, joined us the younger and cute brother of Urvashi, Kishore Shahi. He is acomputer engineer!
Favorite Dish: As far as I remember, we had Wild Boar, Prawns, Chicken, Fried Rice, Roasted Chicken and so on. All of them were excellent I cant name any but Wild Boar. I freaked out on that dish. Here the Wild Boar is grown in captivity with grass or food from the jungle. Nice idea!!
Kathmandu is very famous for it's Sekhwa ( Skewers) !! People of Kathmandu throng at Durbar Square area to savour the Sekhwa delights in the evening. These are mostly made of Buffalo meat, Chicken and Goat meat. These are made on slow fire and sold at very resonable price.
We have seen many European trying those delicacies at Durbar Square in the evening time. Good snacks!!
We were searching for a restaurant at New Road after coming back from Bhaktapur. We asked at a camera shop where to eat in a clean atmosphere. Seeing us Indians he suggested us to try it. His suggestions were correct. This place turned out to be nice, clean and good hot food. Though it was late afternoon, they served us excellent Chicken Curry, Rice and Naan.
This is also the place where we first met our VT friend Urvashi & her husband Dibya SJB Rana. We had coffee together. Coffee too they make it well. They also have room to stay, tarrif ranges from NR 500-1000. You can always have good bargain there!
We visited Angan a speciality vegetarian restaurant on 15th september on suggestion our VT friend rvashi & her husband Dibya. This turned out to be an excellent place for vegetarian food. This place is run by a businessman from Marwari community ( a vegetarian business community from Rajasthan, India). The place is very clean, food is wholesome and quality is very good. The place is worth trying. Thanks to Mr.Dibya for showing us this place.
Favorite Dish: Try their vegetarian thali!
Among the many restaurants in Thamel area, this one offers very simple dishes at very reasonable price. Situated at Nursing gate, Thamel this small restaurant run by Prakash Deep and Ekaraj, whose meals are simple wholesome and suitable for the stomach. I tried their food for lunch on 20th May'10 while leaving for the airport. I found, the chicken curry and plain rice very tasty and wholesome. It was really nice food.
The Chicken curry and rice cost me Rs140/- Neplai or Rs.90/- Indian ( USD$2)
On the day I was coming back on 20th May, I had their wonderful set breakfast consisting Toasts with Jam, honey and Butter, Omelet, mashed potato, pan cake, boiled vegetables and Darjeeling tea. The experience was really really wonderful. The staff were polite, fast and efficient. This place is popular among Western Tourists, who like their breakfast.
Decorated excellent way, you are going to love the ambience!
The price of set breakfast is Rs. 200/- NPR or USD $3 and for Darjeeling Tea is Rs160/- NPR. Though a bit high priced for the tea but it was excellent and refreshing. A must try place!
Favorite Dish: Their set of Breakfast of course!
It is a nice local restaurant worth to spend there a fifteen minutes and drink "Lemon tea" and eat an apple cake with chocolate.
Favorite Dish: 1.Momo - paste with vegetables boiled or fried.
2.Dalbad - rice with vegetables or meat, souce, yogurth, fresh salad. You pay only once and you can eat like a horse!!!!!!!
3.Lassi - dessert . It's different fruits with kefir.
4.Bananas, apple or lemon pancakes - This is breakfast.
The Four Seasons restaurant has a good Thai and Indian menu. You have great views of the street below.
Service and food is very good, we had a very nice evening at this restaurant.
It is just around the corner from the Kathmandu Guesthouse.
I thought the Kathmandu guest house was awesome!! I can honestly say it was the best place i have ever eaten in. The atmosphere was fantastic!! Met some great people while in there, all of whom were quite like minded and very interesting people. Pretty quiet place if you want it to be.. i read my book for a while, but then if you feel like it, there are plenty of people to swap your stories with. Even had a live band next door on one night.... bit of music in the background is always good for the ambience.
Food was all really good, very varied aswell... local and international. All was very reasonably priced. I tried Chinese, Italian and Nepalese cuisine while there, and was happy with all of it. Service was excellent!
The restaurant is outside, partly covered and in a sort of courtyard, set back from the main street. Was a bit cool in the evenings while i was there, but they have open fires burning around the courtyard to keep you warm.
Dont confuse this place with the "kathmandu peace guest house" though... 2 different places entirely.
Favorite Dish: I think it was the "Spinach lasagne" i kind of ordered it in error.... didn't notice the spinach part of the title, and when i got it, it was delicious!!! What a surprise... i may turn vegetarian yet!
Definitely a place to come if you want to eat well!
After more then 3 weeks in India, where I had a fatal match with the indian cousine and moreover with their igienic conditions, once I got in Kathmandu, I asked to my nepali friends, (thanks again Phritu!!!) to take me into a place where I could eat something good, accordling to my abits.
That said, my friend brought me in the center of Thamel, a.k.a. the tourist ghetto of Kathmandu, where there is an amazing and beautifull place to eat, called “LA DOLCE VITA”.
This place is an italian restaurant and has such a nice things to eat that goes from hundreds kind of pizza, to pasta, lasagne and so on.
They offer also such a “disocutned menu” that offesr you a pizza plus a coke and coffey for less then 100 nepali rupees which is definitely a great price!
The view from the balcony, like the balcony of Julia+Romeo, is something amazing, a lot of people walking ups and downs, and you are doing what?! Degusting an amazing lasagna with the home-made pasta! Unbelievable, if I could close my eyes, I could hear my mum asking me if i wish to have the second piece of that food!!!
I am italian, and I can assure , the lasagne are the most nicest one I have ever had outside my own country!
A great place to chill and moreover a great, centrally located and cheap place to eat!
Himalayan Java is one of the best coffee places in Kathmandu, if not the best.
It's an excellent coffee shop with very cosy interior and very high quality nepali coffee.
Like a modern coffeeshop it also has free wifi and each table is even equipped with a plug so you can recharge your laptop while you are online.
They also have a good selection of cakes, fruits, etc and other things you expect from a modern coffeeshop.
This is one of my favorite places to hang out in the afternoon in Kathmandu when i just want to take it easy.
Favorite Dish: I am a cafe Latte drinker and they do a damn good one at Himalayan Java.
Our VT friend Bashu Thapaliya introduced me to this place. Bashu is a vegetarian and I am vegetarian on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Bashu took me for dinner to this wonderful place. We had starters, set Nepali Thali, which had green vegetables, lentil soup, Paneer, curd and Kheer.
The starter had Organic potato fried, groundnut fried and salad. It was excellent.
All the vegetables, rice milk are all grown by the Organic farmers of the Eastern Nepal and hence it is costly to produce and costly to eat also. But once in a while this is okay. Now there are many people who insist having only Organic food, this place is really heaven for them. They also burn a candle on the table to make it memorable dinner. Drinks are also available.
They also sell organic fruits and vegetables ( See picture )
It was our first night in Kathmandu, a few hours after we arrived. The long trip didn't stop us from immediatly exploring the town and try a first meal in Nepal. By pure luck, or because of the bright neon lights, we decided to get inside the Mountain Cafe, in Freak Street. It was nothing fancy, only some local guys and a few old westerners (almost locals, it seamed to me) were inside watching a football match between Iraq and...some other team. We chose some snacks - momos and others - and had a few beers ( a Gorkha beer, for the fisrt time). The staff was very nice and tried hard to satisfy the needs of this (yet) new, strange group in town.
Favorite Dish: Choose anything from the menu, everything's very good. Delicious food and good music.
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