Trekking cuisine is a world unto itself. Although lodges’ plastic-coated menus promise tempting international delicacies, such items may turn out to be “paindaina” (unavailable), and you’ll notice that the spring rolls, enchiladas, pizzas and pancakes all bear more than a passing resemblance to chapatis.

But at any rate, eggs, porridge, muesli and noodles are reassuringly familiar, and the basic pasta and rice dishes always on offer are at least filling. Goodies like chocolate and biscuits are always available, too. In highland areas you’ll be able to eat such Tibetan dishes as momo, thukpa and riki kur, and instead of porridge you might be served tsampa. At lower elevations, daal bhaat, chow mein, packet noodles and seasonal vegetables are standard.

When ordering, bear in mind that the cook can only make one or two things at a time, and there may be many others ahead of you: simplify the process and save fuel by coordinating your order with other trekkers. Daal bhaat may be the most filling choice but also the slowest, as you may find yourself waiting till all the Western food orders are done. Most innkeepers expect orders to be placed several hours in advance, and there’s usually a notepad floating around for keeping a tally of everything you’ve eaten; you pay on departure, or at breakfast. Eating dinner at a lodge other than the one where you’re staying is very much frowned upon.

Tea and hot lemon are traditionally the main drinks on the trail, though coffee is found everywhere. Bottled soft drinks, bottled water and even beer are common along the popular routes, but the price of each bottle rises for each extra day it has to be portered from the nearest road. Don’t miss trying chhang, raksi and tongba, and the delicious apple cider and apple raksi sporadically available in the Everest and Jomosom regions.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Nepal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

"The only thing you could focus on was the fact that the earth was moving from side to side by about eight to ten metres." These are the words of Kathmandu resi…

07 Jun 2016 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Every year, Hindus around the world celebrate Holi Festival: the festival of colours. The event attracts many non-Hindus to take part, too, with hundreds of p…

24 Mar 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Rough Guides writer Helen Abramson discovers the ups and downs of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal – all without the help of a porter or guide.  Someth…

13 Mar 2015 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month