A quintessential South-Indian cuisine, dosa has become a mandatory item for Indian-style vegetarian restaurants in the town owing to its popularity among Nepali restaurant-goers, not to mention among the many Indian tourists and foreigners who want a taste of India in Nepal. Finding an authentic taste, and the best combination of dosa and sambar, might be tricky though.
Here are five places that give you the best dosa experience in Kathmandu.
Service Hours: 9am-8pm
Location: Durbarmarg, Battisputali
Even though the restaurant was established only in 2019, Pawan Sweets has already made a mark among Indian food lovers of Kathmandu. With branches in Durbarmarg and Battisputali, Pawan Sweets boasts of authentic Indian chefs who offer 10 varieties of dosas. The highlights of its menu: plain, butter masala, paneer masala, pizza, and pepper cheese masala dosas.
It is also famous for its Bahubali dosa, which is almost the size of a table and can feed numerous people at a time. Another signature dish is the Pawan Special dosa that prioritizes the taste of dry fruits in the cuisine along with a secret topping. Meanwhile, masala dosa and the Pawan Special dosas are “fan favorites”.
“Our Sambar is well-loved,” owner Binod Devkota says. “We use fresh vegetables to make it. Seasonal ingredients are usually stocked. And because of that the taste of the sambar is always consistent, no matter the month.” The dosas are offered in both cylindrical and triangular shapes, depending on the order.
Nandan Food Nepal
Service Hours: 8:30am-8pm
Location: New Road
Nandan Food Nepal in Pyukha Marg, New Road, has been making dosas for almost 29 years. At the start, they brought chefs from South India to give dosa-lovers an authentic taste of the dish, and their legacy continues. Trained Indian chefs today bring to you more than six varieties of dosas and an array of brilliant South Indian snacks.
“Most of our clients opt for our Special dosa,” says Bimal Thapa, who’s been the manager of the restaurant for past 27 years. “The Special dosa uses extra ingredients like potato and dry fruits. Customers who’ve tried it once usually order it next time also.”
Its South Indian sambar with a mixture of fresh vegetables and grinded lentils is equally beloved. The dosas are long and cylindrical, perfected with years of expertise and tailor-made for Nepali palates, making them among the best in Kathmandu.
Service Hours: 7:30am-9:30pm
Another restaurant under foodies’ radar for the past 20 years is Gupta Bhojanalaya. Extremely popular among locals and students in the area for affordable and delicious foods, this bustling restaurant offers dosas between Rs 150 to Rs 300. For dosa-lovers, the restaurant currently has eight varieties along with sweet and sour sambar. Like others, Gupta Bhojanalaya uses dry fruits to make their Gupta special. Mushrooms and potatoes are used to give customers “the best dosa-experience”.
“Masala dosa is the bestseller,” says Sunil Gupta, the restaurant owner. “The dish sits well on Nepali taste-buds and our prices are also reasonable.” The dosas come not just in cylindrical shapes but also in unique cone, plate-fit shapes.
Located at Chhetrapati Chowk, Gupta Bhojanalaya right now has only Nepali chefs cooking South Indian dishes. But that doesn’t mean it compromises on service or dosas.
Nestled in a tiny New Road alley, Tip Top is a household name for Kathmandu’s samosa lovers. But many don’t know that for the past several years, it’s also been serving dosas from its branches in Kuleshwor, Lagankhel and Maharajgunj.
“While we’ve stayed true to our dishes’ South-Indian origins, we’ve also made sure some dishes are suited to Nepali palates,” shares Dinesh Agrawal, manager of the restaurant chain. So, even though its masala dosas have been slightly modified, it continues to be savored up by Nepali and Indian customers alike. If you’re looking for authentic South Indian taste, the restaurant also has seven other varieties of dosas to choose from.
The crispy dosas, priced between Rs 240 to Rs 300, are served with veggie sambar, coconut chutney, and onion chutney. With an additional outlet planned at Gyaneshwor, you should be able to easily access Tip Top dosas easily, wherever you are in town.
Service Hours: 7am-7pm
Contact Info: 9813335420
Within two minutes’ walking distance from Boudha Stupa and a few meters from Himalayan Java is Coconut Restaurant. The South Indian eatery is bang in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage site crowded with all sorts of restaurants. Finding this particular restaurant might be hard, but not impossible, if you ask around the area and follow Google Map.
The restaurant offers six varieties of dosas—masala, plain, egg, onion, butter, and set dosa—served with coconut chutney and dal sambar. If you visit early in the morning, the restaurant also serves dosa with potato sambar. Customers enjoy having the dosas with chana curry cooked in coconut oil—a side dish that you need to pay for separately—to highlight the taste of coconut chutney.
With South-Indian chefs in the kitchen, Coconut Restaurant tries its best to retain the authentic taste and quality of its dosas.