What do you eat while trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal? That is quite an important question, trekking all day at altitude makes you hungry! Luckily you can order a variety of hot cooked dishes at your teahouse with a choice of both Nepali and western meals every meal.
The EBC (Everest Base Camp) trek is a teahouse trek. Trekkers stay in teahouses, which are guesthouses designed for this purpose in small villages along the hiking trail. Staying in teahouses only cost a dollar or two per night if you eat there. It is very convenient, you don’t have to carry camping or cooking gear just trekking from teahouse to teahouse. Our Everest Base Camp Trekking guide discuss everything about the trek and should be helpful if you are preparing for the EBC trek.
What food is available in teahouses?
The menu served in most teahouses are very similar. Food in the Tea houses on EBC was good and not too expensive considering how cheap accommodation is and that the porters and yaks have to carry all the food up the mountain.
Food available on most tea house menus; Thukpa (noodle soup), Momos (dumplings), Sherpa stew, a variety of Soups, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Potato, Pizza, Sandwiches, Yak steak, Rice, Burger with chips, Spring Rolls. There were also several breakfast option breakfast options; Tibetan bread, Chapatti, Toast with jam or honey, French toast, Pancakes, Porridge with milk, Boiled or fried egg
How much is food on the Everest Base Camp Trek?
On the Everest Base Camp trek $25 a day should be enough for 3 good meals per day, about $8 per meal. We spent NPR 27 094 / USD $228 in total on food on an 11-day trek that is an average of $21 per day. For us breakfast and dinner was a bit cheaper and lunch we ate more. Check out Everest Base Camp Trek Cost for all cost and prices during the trek.
The prices of food vary on the Everest Base Camp trail, generally getting a bit more expensive with an increase in altitude since porters have to carry everything up the mountain.
Food on Everest Base Camp Trek
Our favorite for breakfast was an omelet (2 eggs) and toast and tea with milk, I enjoyed the Masala tea. Eggs were always available as an omelet, scrambled, fried or boiled.
We also had porridge or pancakes, a variety of toppings (honey, fruit, chocolate etc.) were available. The cost of eggs, porridge and pancakes were about the same. NPR 500 plain ($4.30) and about NPR 100 (70 cents) for topping e.g. cheese or chocolate. Tea was about NPR 100 for a cup and coffee NPR 150 (instant), so breakfast worked out about NPR 600 ($5).
I am a big caffeine junkie, but only had one or two good coffees, for very expensive, on the entire trek. Want to drink good espresso while hiking to Everest Base Camp? I carry my Aeropress on most hikes, light, easy and great coffee!
Planning for EBC? See our suggested Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary.
EBC Teahouse meals
We usually had a late lunch when arriving (15:00) and not too long after a fairly early dinner (19:00).
Dal Bhat – probably the national dish of Nepal. Nepali’s are very proud of their Dal Bhat and ‘Dal Power’ t-shirts are sold everywhere. Dal means lentil soup, and Bhat means steamed rice, so it is cooked lentils served with rice. Nepalese dal bhat is rice and lentil soup typically accompanied by a vegetable curry (tarkari), a mixture of spicy vegetables (pickles) and greens (sak). It is served with papadums (deep fried dough) in a metal tray. The porters live on dal. Dal is not crazy cheap (about NPR 700 – $5.50). The great thing if you order dal is that you can ask for more. When your plate is empty and the kitchen comes around with the dal just ask for more. It is healthy and I filled up on dal somedays!
Price of Dal Bhat increased as we climbed higher up the mountain:
- Namche Bazaar (3440m) – Avg. NRP 700
- Lobuche (4930m) Avg. NRP 850
- Gorakshep (5180m) Avg. NRP 850
Starving after a long day of walking I ordered for volume! We often ordered spaghetti with cheese and tomato, not bad and the portions were big. I often had vegetable fried rice for dinner.
For snacks we ate mostly snicker bars, there was cake and pastries available at some of the tea houses, not too get scurvy we bought a couple of apples on the way.
We stayed clear from meat not really trusting the quality of meat up here, carried by porters for a couple of days we had doubts about refrigeration and it gets very expensive higher up. I treated myself to a Yak steak one night, it was dry and tough.
EBC Trek Interesting Dishes
You have a pretty wide selection of food on the tea house menus, here are some items you may not be familiar with.
Sherpa Stew (Syakpa) – a traditional Sherpa food, this broth (soup/stew) is made from handmade noodles, meat from sheep or yak, potato, radishes, carrot, spinach, onions and other spices.
Tibetan Bread – Flatbread, fried in oil, tasty, filling, sometimes very oily.
Momos – dumplings, go for vegetable or cheese and potato, ask for chilly sauce if there is none, the green sauce is quite good!
Springrolls- not the tiny guys you get in Vietnam, a big deep fried pie, I had similar empanadas. Sometimes the filling is awesome, sometimes strange, we eaven had spaghetti in springrolls!
Mars Roll – You have to try this one! A Mars Bar wrapped in dough and deep fried, so a Springroll with a Mars Bar inside, also available as Snicker Rolls.
Pizza – flat bread with tomato sauce and yak cheese, not too bad. I even had one with a crispy base! Go vegetarian, very suspicious fermented cold meat being passed on as salami.
Water during EBC trek
Everything becomes more expensive as the altitude increases. Water starts at 100 NPR ($1) for 1.5L and is 400 NPR ($ 4.00) when you reach Gorakshep.
We saved a ton by drinking water in our Lifestraw bottles. There are plenty of water sources along the way, but the water is not potable, with a Lifestraw we could just refill and drink on the way. This is also great for the environment since you do not use plenty of plastic bottles that is just rubbish on the mountain!
If you use a lifestraw bottle be careful not to let your bottle freeze full of water at Gorakshep, this can damage the filter.
Can you drink alchohol on the Everest Base Camp Trek?
Drinking on the EBC trek is not recommended. Alcohol dehydrates you which can increase or chances of get alcohol sickness. Alcohol is available at some tea houses, it is costly.
Tea houses on the EBC trek
Accommodation on route to Everest Base Camp is cheap in most tea houses. We spent NPR 5590 / $47 on 11 nights accommodation, thus NPR 500 ($4) per night for a double room.
The food at the teahouses is not bad and most people eat 2 or 3 meals per day at the tea houses where you stay. It is expected that you will eat dinner and breakfast at the tea house where you overnight, if you don’t you are charged a lot more for accommodation ($15 instead of $3).
The strong half of Stingy Nomads, a nomadic aquaman that would be happy to spend all his life in the water diving, surfing and spearfishing but often has to compromise with Alya and go hiking instead. Campbell is responsible for all our marine adventures and following them with write-ups. He loves traveling, braai (BBQ in South Africa), red wine and spending the day in a wetsuit.