Where to find Budget Restaurants in Kathmandu

Thamel and Paknajol are the best locations in Kathmandu for finding affordable restaurants. These two areas are adjacent and easily accessible on foot, eliminating the need for a taxi or rickshaw. Please note that due to the pandemic, some restaurants may operate with reduced staff or shorter hours, so it's advisable to check their current status before visiting.

Beware of service charges & VAT!

There a mandatory 10% service charge and a 13% VAT charge added on to many restaurant bills in Kathmandu. That's a whopping great 23% extra added to your bill. Not all budget restaurants do this though, including many listed below. *Always ask, just in case!


The best Budget restaurants in Kathmandu

The budget restaurants listed here offer affordable meals starting from $3.00 (not including drinks or taxes). While there are cheaper places to eat, not all maintain year-round operation or ensure particularly good hygiene standards.

These restaurants have been personally tried and tested. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

Yangling Tibetan Restaurant

Yangling has consistently received high praise in budget traveler restaurant reviews for its excellent food and cleanliness. Buff Chilli in Kathmandu

The restaurant is renowned for its delicious momos (steamed dumplings), especially the buff momo, which is considered one of the best in Nepal. They also offer pork, chicken, and vegetarian momos. If you enjoy spicy flavors, the buff chili is a must-try.

Other popular dishes include chow meins, thukpas, and momo soups, all available in meat or vegetarian versions.

The restaurant spans three mid-sized floors. Despite its popularity and frequent mention in guidebooks, it remains family-run and welcoming. To avoid crowds, it's recommended to arrive before 6 pm.

Location: Kaldhara Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Telephone: +977 1-4257408
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12 noon - 9 pm

Newa Momo

Newa Momo is a small, family-run restaurant located in Kawabahal Street. Known for its cleanliness and homemade food, it has been a standout budget restaurant in Kathmandu for years. If you enjoyed your trekking meals, you'll find similar wholesome fare here.

Momos are the star of the show here, with spinach and cheese momos being the highlight. Potato and chicken momos are also excellent choices. Don't limit yourself to just the momos; explore the large wall menu for chapatis, rotis, and a variety of curries.

Dal Bhat is a bit harder to find here and is typically served earlier in the day, around 11 am. Despite the modest décor, Newa Momo offers hearty home-cooked meals. They also host cooking classes, adding to the restaurant's appeal.

Location: Kawabahal, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal (just a few steps from Rosemary Kitchen)
Telephone: +977 1-4219135
Opening Hours: 08:00 - 21:00

Thamel Donar Kebab

This place offers some of the best-tasting kebabs and friendliest staff in Nepal! Despite its small size, there's comfortable seating available downstairs. The owner-chef is approachable and happy to answer any questions. Donar Kebab in Kathmandu

The menu includes chicken and falafel kebabs, both served with a side of beetroot and carrot. They also offer a range of beet juices and lassis. The kebabs are large, filling, and made with fresh meat that has a delightful smoky flavor. The falafel is crisp and freshly prepared.

Thamel Donar Kebab sets a high standard for kebabs in Kathmandu, with a variety of spice levels to suit your preference.

Location: Chaksibari Marg (north side), Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Telephone: +977 984-1411215
Opening Hours: Sun-Fri 10:30 am - 9:30 pm
Prices Start From: 200 rupees


Mc Donald Fast Food

Not to be confused with the globally recognized burger chain, Mc Donald Fast Food Restaurant is actually a superior option for budget-conscious diners in Nepal. This local gem likely boasts the widest menu among affordable eateries in Kathmandu. The Chicken Tikka is particularly impressive, complemented by a variety of naans, all prepared in a genuine wood-fired tandoor. However, the Tandoori chicken might be a bit pricey.

The restaurant offers a vast array of curries to choose from. It's advisable to stick with the more popular options. Among the better budget vegetarian restaurants, Mc Donald Fast Food stands out, especially with their Palak Panner. Western options like pizza are generally better left off the menu. The staff may appear somewhat frantic and occasionally confused, but orders are rarely incorrect. After all, it's a budget spot, so a little leniency is warranted.

It's well-known among locals, and tourists haven't quite discovered it yet, so it remains free of large crowds. If you're looking for a broader menu with satisfying food options, it's definitely worth a visit.

Location: Devkota Sadak, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Telephone: +977 984-1030201
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11 noon - 9 pm



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Merhaba Turkish Halal Restaurant

Transferred from Pokhara in 2019, this remarkable restaurant could easily top any category. The food is excellent, the prices are extremely low, and everything is freshly made. İskender Kebab at Merhabha Restaraunt

The restaurant gained fame for its incredible Turkish menu (over 90 items), with plenty of Nepali items as well. The Turkish set breakfast is so filling that you may not have room for lunch. Lunch and dinner items are also served in large portions, with a wide menu selection.

Meat lovers will appreciate the daily fresh lamb, which is used in the İskender kebab, served on a bed of cous cous or rice. Vegetarian versions are available, and the restaurant offers a variety of kebabs, meatballs, and eggplant dishes. The restaurant has a downstairs area with floor seating and an upstairs semi-covered area with full seating. Merhaba may look budget-friendly, but some of the meals here can rival the finest restaurants in Kathmandu!

Location: Chaksibari Street, Thamel, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Telephone: +977 98-40931141
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 7 am - 10 pm
Prices Start From: 280 rupees

Thamel Square

Thamel Square offers about 3-4 restaurants all under one open yet roofed area in the middle of Thamel. It features stools, plain tables, and a mix of different restaurants. One of the current popular restaurants here is Kizuna, a Japanese restaurant, offering noodles and teriyaki in a budget-friendly style. Opposite is a Thai restaurant that serves Tom Yum soup.

Other restaurants in this area include a kebab shop and a momo stall. They are all a bit random, so it's best to check which ones are open before heading over. Thamel Square may not be reliable, but there's always something worth exploring.

Location: Chaksibari Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Telephone: N/A
Opening Hours: Sun-Fri. 11 am - 8 pm


Sandwiches, Burgers, and Kebab Stalls

Thamel is home to numerous sandwich shops, burger joints, and kebab stalls. While most are satisfactory, none are particularly special or as cheap as you might think. The most important thing to be aware of is hygiene, especially during the summer and monsoon seasons. Open front shops can attract flies, and mayonnaise is rarely refrigerated in Nepal.

The most famous places include The Sandwich Point in Narshing Chowk, known for its cheese sandwiches since the 1980s. Chick´n Falafel and Thamel Doner Kebab are two of the more popular kebab places in Thamel. For burgers, it's a mixed bag. There's a new Burger Bar in Narshing Chowk, but it's not particularly tasty. Burger House is a better alternative, although not as cheap. Keep in mind that beef is not a common meat in Nepal.

Location: See the map below
Telephone: N/A
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12 noon - 1 am


Want to find more budget restaurants in Kathmandu?

They are all listed in my guidebook to Nepal! Sample page of Panauti from Nepal guidebook

All the very best places to eat

From budget to mid-range all the way to fine dining. Discover the real insider places to eat in Thamel, Kathmandu and all over Nepal!

Here's a sample of what's included:

  • Every restaurant & hotel has been reviewed independently
  • All budgets are taken into account
  • Discover places the other guidebooks don't know about
  • Eat locally or eat internationally
  • Find places to eat from Kathmandu to Pokhara all the way to Bardia and the mountains.

Meanwhile, online, here are some more choices to help you fill up!

Map of budget restaurants in Kathmandu

Full directions and reviews of budget, mid-range and high-end restaurants with better maps are available in my guidebook below.

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