My Personal Favorites of Nepal! 

Nepali Ann's picks to fit every budget and all kinds of travelers. And getting away from the LP beaten path...

Places to Stay: 


Hotel Tayoma - Located in the southern end of Thamel on the road leading to Chrettripati Chowk is the Hotel Tayoma, a gem of a place. It is a six-story, open-air hotel with a pleasant roof-top garden and restaurant, relaxing courtyards on every floor, and great staff. Ask for NawaRaj at the front desk and he'll take care of you. The rooms themselves, are a great value, large double bed or two singles, cable TV, phone, attached bath with really hot water, wardrobe, desk, table and chairs and pleasant decor. Maybe you don't need the 'suite' but at the price, you'll love it. Rates run around 750 rupees ($10 USD) though they quote a bit more if you reserve over the internet. Bargain with them or renegotiate when you arrive. Stay longer and the rates drop even more. Their email is and their website Note: Don't worry, the prices listed are not actual prices. Email them and the price immediately plummets. It is like a full list price and who pays that.


Hotel Lake Palace - Wonderful hotel! Beautiful new building with nicely appointed rooms that all have an furnished balconies to enjoy breakfest on. Located a few minutes walk from the main Lakeside drag, take the road at the Tea Time Restaurant intersection. Rooms are huge, with attached bath and the staff are really attentive. Full service restaurant downstairs if you dont want breakfest in bed. Not really busy due to its quiet location. They sadly, don't have any contracts with big tour groups like the Hotel Stupa right next door which is always busy at four times the rate. So, they will probably have rooms even in the height of the season. Rates around 800 rupees ($11 USD) and my friend Narayan runs the cold store right across the street, Nabin Provision Shop with ice cold water! Stop and say Hello! Nabin, his son is a cutie...

Heaven's Gate - For the budget minded, Heaven's Gate is just for you. A small, very quiet and really nice place that doesn't do as much business because of its location. Down the small street south of Moonlight Restaurant, head east and it is located on the north side of the road. Striking views of the Annapurnas, and clean, sunny rooms with or without attached bath run as cheap as 100 rupees a night. They have about 15 rooms and while no restuarant, they will wake ya with chai in the morning.

Places to Eat:

Kathmandu - Budget

Momotarou - Small, immaculate Japanese restaurant that serves up awesome renditions of katsu don, udon, yakitori & other favorites at hard to beat prices. Ex. Katsu don set meal comes with a big bowl of rice topped with pork cutlet and egg, miso soup, very fresh cucumber salad, tofu cube, & buckwheat tea for 130 rps ($1.7) Located on Thahity-Thamel Road, the road heading north from Thamel Chowk.

Thakali Bhanncha - For the best dhal bhat in Kathmandu, go where the locals go. For an all-you-care-to-eat vegi meal of rice, potato and green bean curry (or other seasonal vegis) sauteed spinach or cabbege, dhal / lentil gravy, spicy chutney, sour pickled vegis, fresh radish & carrots and bowl of curd/yogurt, it costs only 70 rps ($1) Make it non-veg for 15 rupees more and add a bowl of very tasty mutton meat with spicy gravy. Head north on the same road as the Kathmandu Guest House and follow the road as it curves around til the next intersection. It is on the northwest corner.

Over the Rainbow - If you are missing homestyle American food, head for this Wizard of Oz inspired restaurant and sink into meatloaf, chicken pot pie, beef stew and humongeous sandwiches. Their soups are very flavorful and enjoy the complimentary vegis and dip and full dinner-plate size salads that come with every meal. Located just north of the Kathmandu Guest House on the opposite side, second floor.

Upstairs - Heading away from Thamel, take Kantipath north from the Royal Palace and look for the Bluebird Dept Store on the right. Across from their is the unmarked Upstairs restuarant and Jazz Bar. Head into the alley and you will see a doorway with stairs heading up. Walk into hip, snazzy kerouac kinda place, with cushions on the floor, and low table. Get the pork chilly, alu dum and momos starting at 40 rps ($0.6). On Fri and Sat, listen to live jazz and enjoy the ambience and the hip nepali in-crowd.

Kathmandu - Upscale

Hyatt Regency Boudanath - Well worth a stroll through these magnificant new digs. Situated west of Boudanath Stupa, these luxury settings include garden and pool, and gracefully appropriate Nepali architecture. The three story Rox bar is a cavern of comfy nooks and corners with free nibbles and a great happy hour special (6:00-8:00pm) of buy-one, get-one free drinks that brings the price in-line with budget places. So enjoy the posh setting. For a splurge, head to the Rox Bar Restaurant for the best 995 rps ($13) Aussie lamb chops you'll get anywhere. But for total value, try the Cafe Resturant which has an all-you-can-eat buffet spread for also 995 rps, with indian, nepali and continental offerings, cold salads and alot of desserts.Just east of the Boudanath Ring Road intersection.

Baithak - For a decidely different take on Nepali cuisine, check out this favorite of late King Birendra's, Baithak, located in the newly restored Babar Mahal Revisited complex, a palace of one the last Rana rulers. The restaurant in designed in the same opulent royal court lifestyle. The food is Rana cuisine, a very refined blend of Nepali and Moghul cooking, very rich and yet subtle, and the best part, it is served on special solid silver antique Rana thali platters with legs built onto them to raise them up. Each week they serve a different 12 course meal, fit for a king at only 995 rps ($13) Babah Mahal is just off Ram Shah Path south of Singha Durber. Turn right just before Maitighar intersection.

Dwarika's Village Resort - A very special hotel in Nepal, designed in the traditional style with a wonderful ambience. They have a great Nepali restaurant, but with steep prices. My favorite is rather their laid back Friday night Sekuwa BBQ by the pool. Coming in at 600 rps ($9) it is a festival of a Nepali speciality, Sekuwa, mutton meat stewed and marinated and then grilled, mmm with all the trimmings.Dwarika's is just south of the Pashupati Ring Road intersection.

Pokhara - Budget

***Pokhara Kitchen*** - Very special accolades are reserved for this feat of Nepali cooking. This is hands-down THE BEST dhal bhat in Nepal. I crave it!!! This is the where all the locals who work in Lakeside eat their two bhats a day. Always served with a pile of basmati rice (the best rice there is) 2 vegi curries that change every day depending on what's fresh and in season, chutney that also vary, pickles and fresh garni. Don't miss the meats, add in whatever they have that day, sometimes, mutton, pork, fish but ALWAYS order the local chicken (we call it free-range) when it is available. Here is where you can try all those exotic vegis that you have never seen before or thought were inedible. Vegi thali is about 50 rps ($0.7) a plate of meat also 50 rps. Beer, 70 rps ($1) From the main intersection in Lakeside just north of Grindley's Bank, head east toward town and walk about five minutes. It's on the right with a big sign on the gate.

Marwadi Bhojanalaya - Located in Mahendra Pol, the main bazaar area of pokhara, on the north side of the street and just east of the big rock, this is a favorite of locals for snacking. An all-vegi restaurant specializing in chat, fried snacks of all sorts like pakoras, samosas, and dosas for about 15-35 rps ($0.2 -0.5) But they also have Rajasthani thalis for 70 rps ($1) that comes with both rice and chappatis. 

Everest Momos - Right across the street from Marwadi, this place is famous for its sekuwa and excellent momos. Strictly a locals place, so there's a nepali menu on the wall. Never fear, ask for momos 22 rps ($0.3) that is served with a bone soup that is wonderfully tasty and an order of sekuwa, bhatta, chewra 34 rps ($0.5) which is that tasty grilled mutton, crunchy, fried soybeans and beaten flattened rice served with chopped onion. mmm

Hotel Deepshika - Just north of Marwadi, on the second floor. This Nepali upscale restuarant caters mainly to the Indian doctors working at Manipal Hospital and the young and in-love of the Nepali glitterati. They serve excellent Indian cuisine and tasty snacks but the highlight of any evening has got to be photo in front of the  cheesy full wall mural with real waterfall integrated.

Hotel Deurali - Another fine choice for dhal bhat at 70 rps with mutton. But even better is the lip-smacking, sugar bombs in the pretty glass cases up front. Choose from a large array of intricate pastries topped with edible gold and silver foil, but you MUST have the gajur haluwa 'carrot pudding' It's heaven in a bowl. Find it also in Mahendra Pol just east of the New Road interesection and right by the big rock.

Things to Do - Kathmandu

Catch a theatre show at the Hotel Vajra - situated just below Swayambunath, the Hotel Vajra is a charming Nepali style complex around a central courtyard. And it houses an intimate theatre staging avant garde productions of both Nepali and universal epics. Check the Nepali Times paper or call for details.

Engage in a poetry slam at the Spiny Babbler Musuem - Readings of contemporary Nepali literature and art all over town. A really dynamite group with top notch cultural shows. Check out their website at

People Watch at the Movenpick Ice Cream Boutique - step into the chic new hipster spot of the urban elite and sample the to-die-for ice cream in overstuffed leather seating and carpets on the wall as art.

Catch the latest Nepali flick - At the largest theatre in town at the Kamalachhi intersection of Kantipath and Jamal. Thoroughly entertaining and entirely understandable even in a foreign language. Anything with Madan Krishna or HariBam Shah is a riot!

Or how about international art house movies - The Russian Cultural Center routinely showcases world class foreign fare through the Intercultural Film Society. Email for info.

Take a vomit-ride at Dragon World - Located north and around the corner from Singha Durber, Nepal's premier amusement park is just entering the big leagues with all those vomit-inducing fairground rides like the Zipper. Or try your hand at games of chance and you too might take home a ... can of beer! 

Take in an art exhibit at any Gallery - Two excellent galleries, the Bamboo Gallery in Panipokhari and the Indigo Gallery in Naxal.

Attend a soccer game at the National Stadium- just south of the Tundhikhel, games are held often in the evenings or on Saturdays. Stop buy the stadium office for times and details.

Stuff yourself on the free buffet at the Everest Casino - and get to watch the Indian fascination with gambling and Nepalis getting carded at the door and turned away.


Enjoy the View - grab a picnic and a friend and head out to the Power House for the stupendous panorama of the Annapurnas. Located south of Devi Falls.

Shop for a kurta in Mahendra Pol - Bring home the latest fashions from Nepal, a three piece ensemble of loose pants, a long fitted top and matching scarf. You pick out the material and they tailor it in an hour, all for about $10 US.

Off the Beaten Path - Way off...

Have your birth scroll made and interpreted - by a Nepali Jyotisi 'astologer' One of the most famous ones in Nepal is located in Pang, close to Baglung. Take the bus to Baglung and ask to be let off at Maldhunga. From there, head directly up the steep cliff face to the north. Look for the small path right behind the garden restaurant. Once on top, locals will direct you to the 'jyotisi' Bring a Nepali guide cause he doesn't speak any English. Give me your vitals, and return a few days later to pick up the most amazing piece of art. About six feet in length and only six inches across, your entire astrological chart will be calculated and artfully detailed with sankritic notations. And you will also be given your Nepali name. Then he will proceed to give you a reading doing some further calculations on the sand tablet in front of him. Cost of a birth scroll, about 500 rps, reading 150 rps. But so worth it when he gives his uncanny interpretation. If you can't get to Pang, there are local jyotisis in every town in Nepal.

People Watch at the open field in Tansen-Palpa - One of my absolute most favorites towns in Nepal, it is breathtakingly charming. Cobblestone streets, traditional architecture and the excellent Nanglo Restuarant all make it great, but hands down, the atmosphere at the open field, in the afternoon after school lets out is such a joy. Everyone in town turns out to converse, catch up on gossip, take in the view, relax, and see who's doing what. Pack a picnic and head out to check out the scene.

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