Kathmandu has a plethora of cafes, as just like Melbourne these open and close their doors with as much frequency as you changing your knickers. It’s near impossible to keep track of what’s happening in the Nepal coffee scene. I spent over a week in Kathmandu tracking down the best cafes, and ones that I am confident will still be open when you are there. A lot of my research led me down dead ends to shops that had closed, cafes that no longer existed and a few surprise destinations.
The history of coffee in Nepal
Responsible coffee drinking
Can I get my coffee to go?
The top 3 cafes in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Cafe with No Name
A small black board hints that there is a cafe hidden down a lane way. You’ll soon get used to walking down the laneways in Kathmandu. They form part of the city’s charm. So follow the black board sign down the alley way and into a nice cosy cafe space. You might have to step over a few old school hippies but don’t let the stinky white hippy vibe turn you away. Hidden away is a charming cafe. Before ordering in the morning double check that they have milk available, otherwise you might end up like us with a serious large cup of black latte.
Highlights – cosy cafe hidden away in plain sight. Good wi-fi, good music playing. Definetly a place to get coffee during the day and a cocktail in the evening.
What do these three cafes have in common?
The average cost of coffee in Kathmandu
Most cafes I visited only did one size of coffee. Sorry to any mugacino lovers out there. The type of coffee did vary depending on if the café followed an Australian style of latte or the European style. Either way a cappuccino was a safe bet for a good size and quality coffee.
Based on the dozen or so cafes I tried out, over my three week trip in Nepal, the average price of a cup of coffee in a cafe was RS200 – $1.80 USD – $2.50 AU The really odd thing to note is that this price may or may not include the service charge of 10% and VAT of 13%.
Is the coffee any good in Nepal?
Surprisingly good. I feel a bit mean saying that but I had, wrongly, assumed that the tea and masala chai would be the winner and coffee a second best. I’ll say it again, the push of tourism has increased the quality and availability of espresso coffee across Nepal. You can still easily get filter/French press style coffee. If you’re off on a hike most supermarkets sell filtered coffee, in those nifty individual bags.
The Nepal coffee scam
The funniest scam in all of Asia. So, you walk into a place of repute, see an espresso machine and order your coffee. You’re chilling out, enjoying life and can hear the steam wand working it’s magic. The coffee is delivered, hot and all frothed milk. You take that glorious first sip and notice something odd. A weird taste. A Blend 43 kinda taste. And you would be correct my friend. The person has made you a cappuccino, charged you RS 250 and used instant coffee rather than grind the beans that you see in the grinder.
So there you have it. A brief guide to coffee in Nepal, a few suggestions on where to get coffee in Kathmandu. If you have any questions about food, money and travel in Nepal drop your question below and I’ll answer away.
Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker
Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.