When is a pizza not a pizza? When it’s made in Nepal
Horrified pizza lovers and Italian purists look away. Pizza in Nepal is not always going to be made the way it should be. Nor will it look nor taste the same.
Pizza was the first dish in Nepal that made me think: is somebody having a joke? They can’t be serving this as Pizza?
My first pizza in Nepal
It was on my first visit in 2007. I can tell you things haven’t really changed that much aside from the dedicated pizza restaurants. I ordered my first pizza in a local place just before a big trek as a last good meal type of send off. It came back to me twenty minutes later.
I stared at this eight inch circular piece of tortilla with chunks of tomato, ketchup and barely melted cheese and knew I’d be having dinner somewhere else later on. More a sort of soggy toasted tortilla sandwich than pizza. Neither the waiter nor locals batted an eyelid.
Welcome to Nepal: Pizza is anything where cheese and possibly tomato is placed on top of.
More pizza experiences in Nepal
I’ve tried pizza a few more times. More recently on the Everest Base Camp trek. Yea I know, the chances of getting good Pizza at base camp are low. This time I got a tomato soup base with yak cheese and onion topping on top of some unleavened bread. I was hungry and ate it. It was different.
In Pokhara at one particular cafe pizza is made with a tortilla base, cheese, pickles and a drizzling of ketchup. Hmmmm. Well, if you don’t think of it as pizza then it’s not that bad. Well okay it is. So think of it as student food and it’s pretty good really!
Where is the best place to get Pizza in Nepal?
Back in 2007 and today the most common answer to this is Fire & Ice. An Italian style restaurant just outside of Thamel near the Moroccan embassy and opposite the “Real North Face” store.
It’s a popular restaurant for Expats, NGO workers, UN workers, Embassy types, rich Nepalese and tourists. A pizza is not so cheap. With prices starting at around USD$9.80 not including the ridiculous service charges and VAT charges that are added on. The pizza here though is probably the best in Kathmandu and could give Italy’s best some strong competition too.
Other places to try would be Roadhouse Cafe which many people tell me is good. Personally I don’t find the food that good there and I don’t particularly like the service nor staff.
La Dolce Vita in Thamel does have good pizza for less cost than the others. But whenever I’ve eaten here I tend to go with the pasta’s which are quite good. Many French people seem to prefer pizza here. Italian’s less so as everything’s better back home!
There is also, dare I say, a Pizza Hut in Kathmandu along Kings Road. Right beside the brand new KFC. Both are extremely popular with Nepalese actor’s and actresses so if you are into some local star gazing with your thick crusts, you know where to go.
In Pokhara there’s Godfathers pizza which is better than anything in Kathmandu!
Is Pizza in Nepal worth trying?
Don’t let me scare you off trying Pizza in Nepal. Do give it a try if you have a craving. Just keep an open mind and don’t expect a real pizza if you order in local non-Italian themed restaurants.
If not, then at least you have a story to tell when people ask you what the food was like in Nepal! Pizza in Nepal is just one of those little obscurities that make Nepal wonderful.
This is an additional article featuring food from Nepal.
Find out the best places to eat in Kathmandu:
- Best coffee shops in Kathmandu
- Cheap restaurants in Kathmandu
- Breakfast restaurants in Kathmandu
- Lunch restaurants in Kathmandu
- Dinner restaurants in Kathmandu
Looking for restaurants and places to eat great food in the rest of Nepal? Check out my guidebook below!
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