A list of the top four places to try the best food that the Newars have to offer.
Whenever I have friends coming in from abroad, I take them on a stroll to Patan Durbar Square, in and around Patan’s other attractions and then, once their stomachs have toughened up a bit, to little corners that are a food lover’s paradise. It is like a ritual. These places, often named after the family names of their owners, offer the best of Newari food that you can get.
Apart from the usual Newari dishes, this food joint is your go to place for kar thwon or hard rice beer (which is slightly red in color). This eatery would make for a good visit in the evenings to enjoy a glass (or two) of kar thwon with tidbits like chhoyla, fried tongue and spicy sukuti on the side.
Located in the back alleys of Chyasal, Kwacha is a popular Newari food joint that I personally frequent, perhaps because it is located very close to the Patan Durbar Sqaure and offers a lot of variety. The eatery derives its name from its founder Bekha Man Byanjankar who is also known as Kwacha. While Kwacha offers a variety of Newari delicacies including fried tongue, brain, liver and lungs. This place is especially known for the takkha and nyakhhuna, special Newari meat delicacies that are only eaten during the winter. Takkha is made of buffalo meat and is jelly-like in nature. Nyakhunna is similar to takkha but is spicier and includes bits of dried fish.
Perhaps the most widely known from this list, Honacha is a hole-in-the-wall eatery that serves baras (lentil patties), chhoyla (spicy buffalo meat), dyakkula (buffalo meat curry), spicy potato curry and sukuti (dried buffalo meat) along with local alcohol such as chhyang and aila. Honacha overlooks a corner of the Patan Durbar Square, the area behind the Krishna Mandir. This eatery has been around for more than 60 years and is your go-to place to try out various kinds of baras (such as plain bara, baras filled with eggs, and bara filled with meat and eggs).
This over 20-year old eatery in Pinchhe (on the way to Gwarko from Patan Durbar Square), offers the best palu kachila (spicy, marinated uncooked ground buffalo meat) along with a range of other Newari fare. The place is also famous for the salami that they make. Drop in for a midday snack and make sure to try the diverse menu.