The Best Baras in the Valley

The best baras in the valley are mostly found in tiny little eateries inside inconspicuous gallis. Food blogger @mydarlingfood did the footwork so you don't have to.

Bara, a dish that completes the Newari cuisine, is one of the most popular Newari dishes. Baras are primarily patties made from mashed lentils, usually black or green. They’re like flat fried pancakes, but only in the technique of making. It is instead a savory delight and a go-to-dish for vegetarians who don’t really have many options in Newari cuisine. For the meat lovers, bara can be topped off with egg and minced meat too, which are the more popular ones anyway.

Many popular authentic Newari restaurants serve bara, but it’s really those little bhattis and khaja ghars that serve the best kind of bara. So, I embarked on a very important (and delicious) journey to find the best baras in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. I ate my way through these three towns experiencing the good, the great, and the freaking awesome!

Kathmandu


Location: Chura Galli, Indrachowk

While Instagram was flooded with photos and reviews of the Bara Pasal in Chura Galli, I didn’t find it to my liking. But, luckily, I found another amazing place to have bara in the same alley. These two bara places are located in the same building in Chura Galli. Try the one in the ground floor.

I asked for only one bara at first, but I couldn’t help myself from asking for another one right after I took the first bite. The place isn’t really crowded, and the bara they serve is packed with simple yet satisfying flavors. I was impressed by their amiable service and the way this ‘unpopular’ eatery served bara with the authentic Newari taste. It is moderately crispy, mushy on the inside, and when dipped in the achaar, your craving for bara is all but gone.

This place has outdoor seating and they also serve vegetarian Newari dishes like aalu sandeko, alu ko achaar, mushroom chhoila, chana sandeko, bodi sandeko, and bhatmas sandheko, among others. But if you’re someone who likes eggs in their bara, they’ve got a separate section for that, too. You’ll see people coming to grab another bite even after they’re done eating! The friendly service, outdoor seating, and obviously, the simple yet authentic taste of bara is the reason behind this place being the best bara eatery in Kathmandu!

Bhaktapur

Location: Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur (Beside Madhyapur Family Restaurant)

If anyone asks me my favorite place for bara, I personally take the name of this place in Madhyapur Thimi every time. Not only me, but all my family is a fan of this place. The whole place is surrounded by the aroma of bara and chatamari being cooked, and also, watching the sizzling baras being cooked is a feast for the eyes. As the saying goes, “Good things take time”; you need to wait for your order for quite a long time here, but when you finally do taste it, you’ll find the wait is worth it.

The bara here is large and thick and filling. They’re a bit pricier than other places, but the size and thickness justifies the cost. The bara, filled with the smokiness of the traditional chulo, makes it even better. The hot dish is served with chutney, which adds to the dish.

This little eatery may look a little old and traditional, but that’s where its beauty lies. It reflects the Newaripan that has stayed alive through the generations. Due to this place’s popularity, you have to be quick on your choice of seating, because it’s going to get occupied rather quickly. There’s seating on both the inside and outside, but it gets filled very fast. Everyone that I’ve recommended this place to, including friends and family, have had a very satisfying experience. I recommend it to you guys as well.

Lalitpur

Location: Sundhara, Patan (Opposite D’ MOZO)

Although it is not popular on social media, this inconspicuous bara place in Sundhara, Patan, is very popular among the locals. The place is a tiny one-story building reminiscent of tiny houses of The Wizard of Oz where munchkins reside. Despite the crowd and space, the service still is praiseworthy. The orders are well served in timely manner, and you’ll even wonder how they manage to memorize all the orders without noting them down. You are most likely to witness Newari ‘uncles’ drinking chhyang here, who come here for the sitan.

You have to visit this place even if just to witness the cook spreading the bara batter on the hot pan with her bare fingers! So terrifying and yet so satisfying at the same time. The baras feel like the lentil is finely grinded and the paste is well mixed. Also, it’s less oily than other places. The bara here lacks the outer crispiness, but it’s still a satisfying eat. It is not as spicy either, so those who can’t handle the spice will love this. It’s even healthy. However, it’s strictly not for vegetarians, as they don’t make vegetarian bara. But for everyone else, cheers!

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