• Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 14 reviews )

Thamel centre in the Sagarmatha Bazaar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Casual and colorful restaurant and lounge with floor seating on cushions and art work on the walls. Play games, music, free Wi-Fi. Frequented by tourists. One entrance is where the S.G sign is set in from the street. Reported fully vegetarian since May 2016. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-11:00pm.

Category: Lacto, Ovo, Indian, International, Western, Mediterranean, Beer/Wine, Middle Eastern, Israeli, Nepalese

Reviews (14)

First Review by Animal Nepal

Amazing place - Edit

Super cute vegetarian restaurant with a lovely vibe and atmosphere. Need to remove shoes before entering restaurant. Floor seating with lots of pillows, but can be uncomfortable if too crowded. Very popular among non-locals/tourists.
The menu has neon decorations and there is an amazing variety of food. Portions are decently large so it's good for sharing (e.g. pies come with rice and house salad) and every dish we tried tasted amazing! They have many vegan options with fresh salads and homemade dips/mezze etc. They even have tofu scramble for egg substitute at breakfast.

Pros: Atmosphere, decor, Variety and quality of food

Cons: Western food rather than traditional Nepalese food

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Terrible experience - more than once - Edit

The restaurant itself is cosy with a nice atmosphere - it's always full of travellers. Food is nice but way overpriced, plus the tax and service on top. Staff have no idea what's vegan and we have been given conflicting info many times. Suspect we have been given non vegan items on the assurance that it was fine, which is disgusting especially in a place advertising itself vegan friendly. Staff are often rude and so unhelpful. Ordered soy iced coffee shake (my fave) and it was so awfully sweet that I couldn't drink it - it's never been that way before so assumed it was a mistake. Took two sips and took it up to staff to ask for a new one and was met with a blanket no - this after them talking above me in Nepali to each other. Awful service. There are better, cheaper places - Places Restaurant for example!

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Ignore old posts, this is one of the best - Edit

So I wanted to post because some of the old reviews say that there is smoking here. Indeed I was here many years ago and it was like that, but now it's much classier of a joint, no smoking whatsoever. It is a sit on the floor type of restaurant which is my favorite style.

The food is solid, clean, and well done. I give them 5 stars for their being ahead of the curve in Nepal about gluten free items.

I've had the falafel which is really good, I see that with the last reviewer that the hummus and tahini are slightly bland for my taste, but I get a side of lemon and it solves that. The pumpkin soup is great if you are looking for something lighter. Their pesto pasta was decadent, I couldn't believe I finished the whole thing. And I don't know of any other restaurant that serves gluten free pasta. You can order gf buckwheat roti in place of most bread, a very thoughtful addition.

The platters are a lot of food, for at least 2 people. And the chocolate pumpkin tart is excellent. The flavors may not blast your mind especially if you are from the west, but each dish is thoughtfully executed that I've tried so far and look forward to more.

Pros: Great food, accomodates gf/vegans, Relaxing sit down on floor environment, Nice music selection that transports you to 60's

Cons: No rooftop (at least in wintertime)

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Good food but very touristy - Edit

Went to this place so many times but I only eat three things of the menu. The falafel plate, which was super delicious but the hummus was a bit tasteless. The pumpkin soup (good) and the tomato soup (very good). I swapped the bread with the buckwheat roti which was very good and tasted nice with the soups.
The menu was not easy to read when looking for vegan options as some of the V's were placed on non vegan food :/ and I found it difficult to talk to the staff as the music was a bit loud and I wasn't sure if they understood the meaning of vegan.
The vegan chocolate pumpkin tart was so delicious - it is a must try!

Pros: Cosy atmosphere, Quick staff, short waiting on food, even when busy

Cons: Complicated menu, Loud music (sometimes)

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The BEST! - Edit

Have been so often I've lost count! Always delicious! The eggplant starter is amazing and easy to overlook. Also at the back of the menu the stuffed vegie platter is well worth a try. Big portions, easy to share. Amazing deserts and the best mint lemonade in town.

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The best you'll get in Kathmandu - Edit

Many vegan options, all explicitly stated on the menu, even though it says egg in some options they will take it out if you say you are vegan. Really nice, social atmosphere, all travellers and no locals when we went. The food isn't great (wouldn't overly recommend the vegan meatballs) but the best vegan selection you will see anywhere in Kathmandu, and they do drinks with soy milk!

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Really disappointed. - Edit

I wanted to love this restaurant. I heard a lot about it. I liked the ambience generally, and the wait staff were friendly, but a little insistent.

What I am most disappointed about is that I spent an hour or more of my time drafting a very polite email to the management of OR2K on ways they could improve the menu for vegans (there is a real lack of options and some vegan options were not available in the forseeable future). Its easy to make small adjustments, but I am really disappointed I did not get any response, when I took so much of my own time to be helpful. These are my main suggestions:

- Have a vegan icon, so we know which food in the menu is vegan.
- Have some vegan desserts! There are many vegetarian restaurants these days that do all vegan desserts (they are so easy to make - heaps of recipes on the internet!!!) so that everyone can eat dessert.
- I love babaganoush! But I’ve never had it with mayo. I make it with tahini or just oil and lemon and its very delicious. It would be great if you could have babaganoush that we can all eat! There are a lot of people that are dairy and egg intolerant (meat eaters) that couldn’t eat this either.
- It would be great to have savoury vegan breakfast items! So many recipes exist, (New Orleans bar has a very delicious tofu energy breakfast!).
- Its super easy to substitute oil for butter (for example the couscous - oil instead of butter and pesto - without cheese - its cheaper and very very tasty!).
- Its also super easy to make bread using non dairy milk.
- It would be great to have more substitution items on the menu and I understand its quiet in Thamel at the moment, but when there are limited vegan options, having vegan meatballs available would be awesome.

I even offered to come spend time to show the chefs how to substitute (I was there for 5 weeks). But no response.

I found much better vegan options at Places (highly recommend) and at New Orleans (great breakfast and great substitution options - very impressive)!

Its just so disappointing that a vegetarian restaurant cares so little about making their menu accessible for non-dairy consumers and vegans.

Pros: Nice atmosphere.

Cons: Vegan options almost non-existant., Waitstaff 'rush' you., Unresponsive management.

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  Contributions +86

So smokey! Not vegan or strict veg friendly - Edit

This place is popular and crowded, filled with nauseating cigarette smoke and just barely veg friendly. The wait staff are friendly and well intentioned. If you like to smoke and wear pajama style clothing surrounded by western tourists then this place is for you. I have gotten sick after eating here, but in KTM it would be unfair to point fingers when you can never be sure. Its really more about the scene and drinks here. I hate this place.
Updated from previous review on Friday September 20, 2013

Pros: its a scene of its own if you're into that

Cons: smokey, pretentious , not a good safe choice for vegetarians

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Don't Bother If you're Vegan - Edit

The last reviewer said it all, and they're better qualified to tell since they managed to eat there. The well-meaning waiter did his best, but had clearly never heard of the idea of not eating dairy products, and in the end all he could suggest was a Pad Thai, but I declined because (if they use cheese with rennet) I don't trust the Thai sauces not to contain fish products. As the previous reviewer said the place was lit with UV lights, which might appeal to some, but I just found it hard on the eyes. There was a non-smoking section, but the smoke didn't seem to understand its restrictions. None of this stopped the place being popular, and it was full of tourists.

Pros: middle eastern food (but not vegan)

Cons: virtually nothing vegan, smokey, UV-lit room

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Not What We Expected - Edit

Because we're big fans of Middle Eastern food, we were excited to see that O2RK was so close to our hotel in Kathmandu! However, once we got there, we weren't so excited. The place seems to be a little bit more about the young, hip ambience than good food.
The night we went, the packed restaurant was lit only with UV lights. We sat on some cushions on the floor, sharing a cramped table with some a group of western ex-pats, all of whom were smoking at the table! Once the food came (it was difficult to get solid information about what was vegan, since the menu isn't marked and our waiter didn't seem to know), it didn't do much to salve our diappointment. The falafel I had were good, not great, as was my partner's pizza - and all of it was more expensive than we could have found elsewere. Overall, we didn't feel that the prices were justified by the quality of the setting and the food - you can find better in Kathmandu.

Pros: Adequate food

Cons: Uncomfortable Setting, SMOKING at the table, Overpriced

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not vegetarian at all... - Edit

this place calls itself vegetarian but serves egg and cheese made with rennet...
it is very expensive and the only thing really worth it is the israeli plate with falafel at 245rs (without tax!)even if the bread coming with it is very white and chewy.

Cons: eggs, cheese with rennet, expensive

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great falafel - Edit

very good place, great falafel and shanti environment

Pros: falafel, tahini, combo menu

Cons: no vegan breakfast options

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Always busy and for good reason - Edit

I just knew I was going to like this place the second I got up the stairs. It's a pretty big space with seating mainly on the floor on cushions. Nice and chilled. Very busy at night and you may have to wait for a table and possibly share one.
The falafel platter is fantastic and huge. Interestingly the Babagounish had mayo in it, so I asked for it without and they threw on a couple of extra falafels. The dips were good, the small accompanying salad was welcome and the pita light and fluffy. The real stars were the falafels themselves. You won't be hungry after this!
On our first visit, we shared a table with a couple who had literally just returned from trekking. They were both around average weight and quite fit..... I've NEVER seen two people consume so much food. They each had a pasta, shared a falafel platter and had a salad and fries. The portions are all really large and they got through it. I was looking at the bowls of pasta lovingly and almost asked for a mouthful. After trekking for 10 days, I can now understand how much they need food and could empathise with their depleted bodies.
The menu is extensive and varied. Breakfast sounded good but we didn't make it there too early. On subsequent visits we stuck to the falafel platter as it was just that good. I tried a salad once, think it was called the Californian. Little disappointed and it sounded better on the menu than it tasted.
This place is always busy and is a thriving business. Sure you will enjoy it :)

Pros: Good atomsphere, Great falafel, Varied menu

Cons: Busy floor staff, Noisy at night, Possibly shared tables

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A beautiful hang out - Edit

OR2K is one of the most inspiring places to be in Thamel. The delicious middle eastern food includes the best falafel and humus in town. The management is a sympathetic one, with a vision for a better planet, starting in good old Thamel. The interior design is smashing, with psychedelic paintings, lots of rugs and good music. By the way, the deserts are beyond words.

Pros: Excellent Mediterranean food, Good deserts, Great hang out place

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