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Food and Drink Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Nepal is known as the budget eating capital of Asia, but much of this popularity stems from the country's wide variety of Westernized dishes that do not truly reflect local culinary traditions. Tourist favorites found here include pizza, steak, and fries. Fortunately, there are plenty of flavorful local dishes to choose from.

Daal bhaat is the national dish of Nepal. It consists of steamed rice, cooked lentils, and various curried vegetables. The indigenous Newar people of Kathmandu have their own unique dishes of spicy meats and vegetables. Up in the mountainous regions, the traditional diet is made up of noodle soups, potatoes, and toasted flour. In the Terai region, you will find a cuisine heavily centered around Indian curries, breads, and sweet snacks. Meat is not used in many dishes because it is a luxury, so there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. In every part of the country, you will see spicy "chow-chow" packet noodles.

Water is not safe to drink from the tap, so it is a good idea to pass if you are offered water at a restaurant. Bottled water is available, but make sure it has been properly sealed. You can also choose to boil and purify water on your own. A standard variety of soft drinks is available everywhere. Tea is also served in most places; the traditional tea is boiled with milk and sugar, and locals like to add spices like ginger, pepper, or cardamom. Local coffee and espressos are offered in an increasing part of the country, and the local custom is to add milk to all coffee drinks. Beer is served at most Nepalese restaurants and can pair well with some of the local foods.

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