Whether you’re just passing through Kathmandu or living here, a Saturday or Sunday morning sampling goodies at a Kathmandu Farmer’s Market should be added to your itinerary.
The Le Sherpa Farmer’s Market in Lazimpat is set out on a multi-tiered garden space, adjacent to the newly built Le Sherpa restaurant (the very sunny outside patio section is in full swing for dining already, the interior just needs a few more touches). All the products sold are perishable- things like crisp organic produce, the freshest breads, beautiful cheeses made with milk from Himalayan cows, goats, and yaks, and plenty of stalls to pick up a meal, a coffee, fresh squeezed juice, or even a bottle of bubbly!
Francois Driard, owner of Himalayan French Cheese, started the market two years ago at Le Sherpa’s previous location. Since then, the site of both restaurant and market shifted north, but still in Lazimpat. Many of the vendors are long-time producers in Nepal, but this is also a place for up-and-comers to shine.
Right now, avocados are ripe and ready, as are hydroponically grown lettuces and herbs. Apples and honey from Mustang and across the Himalayas are in abundance. There’s a huge selection of indigenous produce, too–things with no English translations. The only way to see and taste is to wander around the stalls and speak to the farmers themselves.
All sorts of breads are piled up at the stalls- Walter’s ryes, pumpernickle, and salty German pretzels, Fred’s baguettes and croissants, Bagel Kathmandu’s bagels and even Brian’s Flat Iron Grill Bear Claws.
The cheese selection is also fantastic! In the far corner of the market, Francois sells his nearly 20 varieties of cheeses made at his farm in Dhulikhel, using local cow and yak milk. The 50 Shades, camembert, Saint Marcellin, and Bluelikhel (gotta a love a cheese maker with a way with words) are fantastic. There are producers making tangy cured feta and a range of Welsh cheeses, too.
The farmer’s market is a perfect opportunity to have a picnic in the sunshine. Grab a baguette, some cheeses, dips, pates or nut butters, maybe some homemade guacamole and salsa and tortilla crisps.
For more of a meal, Saigon Pho does glass noodle chicken salads and steaming beef pho. Chez Caroline does a larger range of tarts, quiches, salads, and roasted meats. Dolma has her warm Tibetan dumplings accompanied by pickles and spices. The Italians represent at Piano B’s booth, with lasagna, mini spaghetti frittatas and antipasti. For a solid bite, Bagel Kathmandu does a nice little breakfast bagel with egg, and the Le Sherpa stand does pre-made vegetarian and chicken sandwiches.
A very smooth way to end the market experience is a cappuccino or espresso and sikarni- a creamy Nepali dessert made of yogurt, pistachios, cardamom, and saffron: a real local treat.
The Le Sherpa Farmer’s Market is held in Lazimpat every Saturday from 8 am to 12:30/1pm.
If you’re on the other side of the Bagmati, down in Patan, The Yellow House in Sanepa has a cozy farmer’s market on Sunday mornings, from 9am to 12 noon. Some of the same things are offered as at the Le Sherpa market, and some new surprises, too. The Yellow House does some tasty breakfast dishes, like beetroot and French Himalayan cheese panini, and mix-and-match breakfast selections. Both markets are are hot spots to see what’s local, delicious, and what’s new in Kathmandu.