Food from Nepal: Pizza made the Nepali way

Pizza made from ketchup in Nepal
Pizza made from ketchup in Nepal – it’s pizza, but not the pizza you might be used to!

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.

A better pizza in Nepal
A better pizza in Nepal – still not sure about that base though!

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.

A Fire & Ice Spinach Pizza in Kathmandu
An excellent Fire & Ice Spinach Pizza in Kathmandu

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.

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17 Replies to “Food from Nepal: Pizza made the Nepali way”

  1. “When is a pizza not a pizza?” Haha, I’ve found myself asking this same questions more times than I like to admit. All too often anything that’s on round bread, has red sauce, and some milk derived product on top is called pizza, but, in actuality, it’s just not.

  2. That is one scary looking pizza in the top photo.
    I remember Fire and Ice from when I was there in 1998 and from the name of the owner on their website, I believe she’s from Italy. I’ve had the best experiences finding decent Italian food in places like Vietnam and Cambodia when the owner is an Italian expat.

    1. Fire and Ice seem to be going through a little bit of separation the past few years it seems. Pizza still remains good and the place is always full. But no sign of the owners for a long time.

  3. Pizza in other countries is like a random will it / won’t it gamble!! Nepal seems to be no different.

    P.S. South Africa is the same

  4. Pizza number one looks like something to avoid. Number two looks like a frozen cheapo pizza. And number three looks like the best pizza in the world (Spinach?). Looks like Nepal has got it all mate!

  5. Loved reading about this. So interesting to hear about how other national dishes are created.

  6. Seems every place on the planet has something called pizza but it is rarely the same stuff. I have to admit Nepaleze looks a long way from Napolize.

  7. I never did try the pizza whilst I was in Nepal, although I did hear some good things about Roadhouse. I guess I could not drag myself away from the amazing Nepali cuisine! Next time I will have to force myself to!

  8. Pizza had to be declared Food of protected origin,otherwise,well,it happens as with this one…but I think that in many places,it doesn’t matter. Sorry many people have not had the chance to taste real pizza, which is based on dough preparing and ingredients adding and cooking.Not so easy as it looks!

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