Nothing tells you more about the country’s cultures and lifestyles than the local cuisines. Let’s face it, most of us look forward to tasting something different, wherever we go!
Many travelers visit Nepal for trekking around the Himalayas. During their visit, they fall in love with the delicious local food. And if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll fall in love with the country.
Yes, that’s right!
As the country is culturally diverse, trekking in Nepal for vegetarians is rather easier than you might think.
If you don’t have any idea what to eat as a veggie-lover during your visit to the country, continue reading! We’ve prepared a complete guide on how to have the best time while trekking in Nepal as a vegetarian.
About the Country and Its Food
Your plane arrives in the capital of Nepal- Kathmandu valley. As soon as you land at the only international airport in the country, you get to see how beautiful the place is. The first thing you see is a pristine view of the lush green hills surrounding the valley.
Remember, they are hills, not mountains.
Many visitors can’t differentiate hills from mountains. Hills are usually below 2,000 meters from sea-level and you can find a wide variety of vegetation in the hilly areas. On the other hand, the mountains stand well over 2,000 meters and have frigid temperatures.
Moving on, let’s talk about the country’s local delicacies.
Being a culturally diverse country, finding delicious vegetarian food options is an easy task in Nepal. You can find veg food items in almost every hotel and restaurant. Even the popular meat dishes have their vegetarian alternatives.
The common and popular vegetarian foods in Nepal include:
Dal Bhat is the staple food for most Nepalese. It’s a plate full of rice, veggies, some pickles, and lentil soup. Many restaurants let customers customize their plates with different types of curries and vegetables.
So if you’re looking for a tasty and filling meal, Dal Bhat is the way to go!
Restaurants also serve meat and some salad with Dal Bhat. But, it’s completely optional as you can skip the meat and enjoy your vegetarian plate.
Momo is a very popular dish in Nepal. It’s steamed dumplings with minced meat and veggies inside. You can easily find veg momo in every street of Nepal.
You get a spicy dipping with your momo that the locals call “achar”. It is a must-try for every person who visits Nepal.
Thukpa is a type of noodle soup mixed with different herbs, veggies, and spices. It’s a Tibetan recipe and is very popular in Nepal. Most restaurants serve both veg and non-veg options.
Besides these, there are many other delightful veg dishes that you need to try during your visit.
- Aalu Tama (spicy curry of bamboo shoots and potatoes)
- Veg Bara (a type of black lentil patty)
- Dhindo Gundruk (fermented spinach pickle served with thick flour porridge of different grains)
- Aalu Paratha (flatbread stuffed with potatoes)
- Sel (a sweet deep-fried snack made from rice flour)
- Different types of desserts and many street food options
Food While Trekking in Nepal
Like most of the visitors, you might also have a plan to trek to the Himalayas. Popular destinations like Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit are always in the bucket list of most travelers.
But the question is, “Can I find vegetarian food along my trek?”
The answer is Yes!
The teahouses and lodges along the trekking trail prefer serving vegetarian dishes than non-veg dishes.
Most of these trekking destinations are in remote areas. Locals need to transport vegetables, meat, and other stuff through porters or on the back of donkeys and horses. Thus, the transportation charges are a bit high at the higher altitude.
Another problem is the unpredictable power-cuts. Even if the hotel-owners have some meat in their refrigerators, the power-cuts cause them to go bad pretty soon.
That’s why you’ll find most travelers eating veg dishes, even the non-vegetarian people!
What Vegetarian Food to Eat While Trekking?
During the trek, you’ll stay at teahouses and lodges. There are many hotels at the beginning stages of your trek that serve a wide variety of dishes. As you trek to higher altitudes, you’ll have limited options to choose from.
Like we mentioned earlier, the staple food in most parts of Nepal is Dal Bhat. You’ll be having it daily. The carbs give you enough energy to complete the trek ahead. Every lodge and teahouse along the trekking trail will have this dish on the menu.
If you’re not fond of eating rice every morning, hotels also provide alternatives. They offer a decent breakfast, including bread, tea, and eggs. You can swap the egg for a bowl of curd or fruits if possible. For lunch, you can ask for veg momos, thukpa, or some other local vegetarian dish.
For dinner, you can have something light like a vegetable soup. Most hotels have a whole menu for vegetarians, so you can even customize your meal. Once you complete your trek and return to the city, you can enjoy many delicious vegetarian dishes in a lavish eatery.
Trekking in Nepal for Vegetarians- Food Expenses
The country is quite inexpensive, so you can expect the food to be cheap as well. On top of that, meat dishes cost more than veg cuisine. So, if you’re planning for a backpacking Nepal as a vegetarian. you’ll even save some money.
Vegetarian food for a whole day in Nepal costs anywhere from US$5-12. Adding anything local beverages or a fruit salad will increase your spending.
Whether it’s trekking in Nepal for vegetarians or even vegans, the country has a wide variety of dishes that one can choose from. So don’t worry; your hosts will do their best to satisfy your hunger with the tasty local vegetarian food.