Best Food to Try While Trekking in Nepal

Best Food to Try While Trekking in Nepal

Last Updated on April 21, 2024

If you have ever trekked in Nepal, depending on the area you hiked in and the year (or decade) you went you may be a) reminiscing about great food you eat on your trek or b) laughing at the title of this article!

Through this article we will show you that yes, there is great food to be had on the treks in Nepal, and what you can expect.

From the start, we should point out that one goes trekking in Nepal for the mountains and the personal challenges.  One does not go into the wilderness for great cuisine! Although Bear Grylls, that great outdoors personality renowned for eating bugs and the like,  has visited Nepal, we can reassure you that the average modern day traveller does not need to forage off the land to eat well!

Three Meals a Day

If  you are joining a group trek in Nepal, you are going to be offered three meals a day. It is highly recommended you accept all three meals.

Let’s be honest though.  If you are walking for 6 or 7 hours a day at altitude it might be hard to contemplate tucking into a meal at the end of the day when all you really want to do is flop into bed.  This is a rookie mistake. Keeping your strength up is essential to actually enjoying your time in the mountains; it is not an endurance test!

All Treks are Not the Same

You might be aware there are several different trekking areas in Nepal.  These range from the well-established Annapurna area to the high altitude Everest Region. Within each area there are wide differences in the landscape, number of visitors, and standard and availability of food.

But let’s kick off with our recommended food to try while trekking in Nepal and circle back to availability in different regions.

Our Recommended Top 9 Food Items to Try on Your Trek in Nepal

Dal bhat – different in every teahouse, restaurant and local home, a delicious rice and curry dish accompanied by lentil soup and pickle.

Momos –loved throughout the country, and highly recommended in the Everest Region, these little pockets of flavour  wrapped in dough are easy to pop into your mouth and come with a spicy sauce or in a hot soup. The stuffing may be vegetable or meat.

Thukpa – hot and spicy thick hand-pulled noodle soup from Tibet that we cannot recommend  highly enough.

Tibetan bread – may vary from place to place and may be sweet or plain.  Filling and easy to eat this, often fried, bread is normally served warm.

Nepal chiya –  delicious milk tea spiced with cinnamon and cardamom.

Apple pie – because why not?  Particularly in Marpha, Mustang District, home of the best apple orchards.

Dhindo – associated more with the Tamang ethnic group (who originate from Tibet) dhido is an acquired taste.  Mix flour and water into a paste, pull off sections and dip into your curry. 

Tibetan butter tea – love it or hate it,  you have to try it at least once.  Found in the high mountain areas such as Everest, this is made with rancid butter and salt added to tea.

Local alcohol – while we don’t recommend drinking on a trek, you should try the Marpha Apple Brandy in the Annapurnas and the Tongba in the Everest Region.  Tongba being a fermented millet rice drink served warm.

The Apple Pie Trek

Under the umbrella, or should we say, in the shadow of, the Annapurna mountain range, are several well-known trekking routes.  Very often this area is the place first time come.  And rightly so.  Here you can find not only beautiful landscapes and mountains, but comfortable accommodation and good facsimiles of Western food.   This, and the wonderful apple orchards in the lower regions, has earned it the nickname Apple Pie Trek.

Let’s take a look at what else is on the menu:

For breakfast there is the pretty standard fare of porridge, toast, and eggs.  In the market town of Jomson, great bread and bakery items can be obtained; made locally or flown in from Pokhara. You can’t go wrong with a filling, and nutritious breakfast, washed down with a cup of hot and spiced local chiya  (similar to what we might call chai latte in our local café). The standard of food is pretty high in this area, and you really can’t go wrong with breakfast.

Dinner is also very recognisable to Western taste buds – even to the extent you may well find pizza and burgers on the menu!  But let’s get a little adventurous here.  How about trying some of the local dal bhat?  This  staple diet is extremely filling and tasty.  You will also find items such as chowmein and pasta on the menu.  Whether  you go for the Chinese or Italian, it will definitely have a touch of the local flair to it.  And don’t forget the apple pie.

Wild Fact: Did you know in Kagbeni, on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, there is a restaurant named Yac Donalds? Serving yak burgers! 

On Top of the World

The Everest Region houses the highest mountain in the world, Mt Everest.  It also has some of the highest altitude treks and is a popular choice among both experienced and fit novice hikers.

Being that this the land of the Sherpa – an ethnic group who migrated from Tibet around 600 years ago – you can anticipate the food to be a little different.   The spiced chiya gives way to salted butter tea. This, we feel, is an acquired taste.  Widely  drunk throughout the high mountain areas of Nepal and Tibet, we recommend you try it.  Not for breakfast perhaps but at lunch or dinner time.  We suggest you consider it a soup rather than tea, then your brain will not react weirdly when your tastebuds register salt rather than sweet!


Not dissimilar to the Annapurna Region, breakfast in the Everest Region will most likely consist of some sort of bread, eggs, and porridge.  We can highly recommend the Tibetan bread, often fried and can be eaten with either sweet (porridge, jam, honey) or savoury (curry, soup).   For a more local taste, try ordering alu roti, which is basically a pancake made from potatoes, eggs and flour and served with a spicy pickle.


This is the opportunity to try some Sherpa aka Tibetan food.  Although momos are available throughout Nepal as an inexpensive snack, here these little dough packets are more often fried than steamed.  This gives them a crispy coating which is delicious when dipped in the spicy sauce that accompanies them.

What is often on the dinner menu is the Tibetan/ Sherpa dish called Thukpa.  This is a thick soup made from homemade, hand pulled noodles, served with meat or vegetables.  It is generally spicy and extremely filling.  Great for those cold evenings.  Thenthuk is a similar dish made from thinner noodles.  Try them both and see which you prefer!  If these sound too heavy, order that salted butter/ Tibetan tea and think soup!

Wild Fact: Did you know there is a helicopter tour known as ‘Breakfast on Everest’ that flies you to Everest Base Camp and for breakfast nearby?

Lunch on All Trails

While breakfast and dinner are taken in the overnight accommodation, confusingly called Teahouses on the Nepal trekking routes, lunch is taken on the trail in little establishments which we might call, well, teahouses.   Serving tea and very basic food such a fried noodles and dal bhat, each trail-side eatery will vary in standard.  Having said three meals are a must, we can allow a little lea-way here if you bring your own snacks. Along with purchases of cold drinks or tea that should keep you going to dinner and not make you feel bloated.

Finally, Some Hot Tip for Eating at Teahouses

If travelling in a group, order the same items.  The kitchen is busy; normally there is only one main cook, and everything is cooked fresh from scratch.

Order dinner as soon as you arrive at your overnight destination.  Get your order in straight away to beat the crowds!

Don’t waste food or quibble over the cost. All the food items have been carried in by yaks or porters. It’s a laborious and expensive exercise.  Don’t be a Karen!

Final Wild Fact: The aptly named World’s Highest Bakery Café is found at Lobuche, Everest Region, at 15,440 ft/ 4,693 m.  And yes, they too serve apple pie!

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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