If you are looking for something to spice up your life, i.e foodwise ofcourse, there are two favorite places of mine in Kathmandu. Mind you, there are many more but these are the two that will always remain near and dear to me because I grew up eating/drinking these.
1. Soda from Ranjana Galli
New Road is one of the busiest road in Kathmandu. Walking on those sidewalks feels like a battle to survive from not getting hit, stumbled or pick-pocketed. But, then that’s the fun about it. Along those sidewalks, there is a small alley leading to the old movie theater called Ranjana Hall. Hence, the name Ranjana galli. On that galli, you will find this soda shop right on the street. It is a small shop, literally a hole in the wall. You will recognize it by various colorful soda bottles lined outside the stores on the table. My favorite is the “cola soda”. You can think of it as a coke without the carbonated gas, little bit of black salt and lemon. Yes, it sounds weird but unless you try it, you will not appreciate it’s value. There are various other flavors you can choose from, if cola is not something that you would prefer. This is a best treat you can have after walking on those sidewalks in a scorching heat or after bargaining zillionth times with shopkeepers around that neighborhood so much so that you are brain dead.
2. Titaura from New Road
Also called “Lyassi Paun” meaning “pickle for young women” was favorite while growing up. Made from different kind of fruits such as mangoes, lemons, plums and so on, these Titaura come in largest variety you can ever think of – Sweet & Sour, Sour & Spicy, Spicy, Sweet, Very Spicy, Very Sour, Dry, Wet, Jelly type and the list goes on. My favorite is definitely the spicy wet ones that gives you teary eyes and the taste stays in your taste buds even hours after you have drank that gallon of water. The question you might ask is then, “Why would you want to eat something like that?” The answer, “It is very addictive.” You will not know until you try it. I must warn that this is definitely not for those with a weak heart or weak immune system. When I say spicy it is spicy and I can not guarantee how healthy it is.
If you still “dare” to try it then there are many places where you can find it. One of the place I go to is called “Ratna Park Paun Bhandar.” They used to have their shops behind Ratna Park but now that building is tore down, you will see their stores right in New Road or also in Thapathali (a short taxi ride from New Road).
After these delightful treats to yourself, you can perhaps head to Kathmandu Durbar Square to admire the beauty and architecture of those old temples and palaces. I love sitting on the outskirt of one of the temples in the evening to watch people and admire the view. Who knows, you might also be lucky to see the living goddess peeking through the window from her house.