What to Eat on an Everest Trek

Most people on their way to an Everest trekking holiday will pass through Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. It is an amazing, atmospheric city to explore while you are there waiting for your plane to Lukla, and you will have a chance to sample some of the local cuisine while you are there.

You might like Aaloo Dum (fried potato, Nepali style) or Momo (dumplings). Kwati is a soup mixed from nine different beans, and Badam Sadeko is a dish of fried peanuts with chillies and garlic. For dessert you might like a sweet yoghurt called Dahi or a Nepali ‘wine’ called rakshi which is made from millet. It is a strong drink that warms the belly on the way down.

A favourite restaurant for trekkers in Kathmandu is the ‘Rum Doodle’. It is decorated with memorabilia and messages from numerous Best Time To Visit Annapurna Base Camp parties in the Khumbu, with notes written on paper yeti feet, which are pinned to the walls and hung from the rafters. It is a fun place to visit before and after your trek and serves both western and Nepali food washed down with tasty ‘Everest Beer’.

Eating on the trek

The vast majority of the meals you eat on an Everest trekking holiday will be provided by the tea houses. These welcome rest stops are an important infrastructure for the Everest Base Camp Trek, providing overnight accommodation and a base for acclimatisation rest days. Some tea houses are very simple whilst others have a higher level of comfort, but they are all places of character, offering a friendly welcome.

You may be surprised by the amount of western food on offer; soup, potatoes, rice and chips can be found on most tea house menus. They are high in carbohydrates – the energy-giving food group – so these are ideal for keeping you going on an Everest Base Camp Trek. You’ll also be introduced to some Sherpa food, too. In particular, you will see a Nepalese dish called Dhal Bhat, which is rice topped with a soup-like sauce made from lentils and vegetables. Dhal Bhat is the staple diet of the Sherpa people and they spice it up with hot pickled vegetables. On your Everest Base Camp Trek you will see that your trekking crew eat Dhal Bhat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as it contains all the energy they need.

The majority of meals will be prepared ‘from scratch’ and cooked over a wood-burning or yak dung stove. As for drinks, you should be careful on your Everest trekking holiday to drink water that has been sufficiently boiled and/or purified. Trekking is hot work and it is essential to stay well hydrated, so you will be drinking plenty. In addition to the water there is always a good supply of black tea as well as a very sweet, milky tea called Masalla that the Sherpa people love.

Trekkers are encouraged to carry snack food during the day to keep energy levels up for the Everest Base Camp Trek, so you can feel justified enjoying convenient sweet treats like chocolate bars, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, beef jerky and power bars. Most tea houses en route sell snacks including some old favourites from back home such as Hob Nob biscuits and Mars bars.




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