Boudhanath Stupa is one of the rare heritage sites and places to visit in Kathmandu that is absolutely surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, and roof-top cafes.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a small commission should you decide to click through and make a valid purchase (at no extra cost to you). Thanks so much for your support!
Not only are there a handful of cafes inside the plaza walls encircling the Boudha kora, but there are lots of fantastic cafes to discover in the surrounding neighborhoods of Boudhanath and Ramhiti-Phulbari as well.
The month I stayed in Nepal solo as a digital nomad, I stayed in this peaceful and local area.
And on my daily jaunts around the neighborhood, I’d happen upon lots of little cafes and coffee shops, some of which became daily musings.
Here’s a short and sweet guide to my favorite cafes in and around Boudhanath Stupa, located about twenty minutes from Thamel via moto-taxi.
The Best Cafes & Coffee Shops Near Boudhanath Stupa
Ananda Treehouse Cafe
- Location: Phulbari-Ramhiti, Boudha Rd 6 (directions)
- Hours: 8 AM–7:30 PM
- Menu: Vegetarian, Tibetan-Nepali, Coffee/Tea
An absolute favorite cafe of mine around Boudha (and in Kathmandu in general), is Ananda Treehouse Cafe.
This endearing little place is part cafe, part homestay which is how I found it because I stayed here for roughly 2.5 weeks (book your stay here).
The ground floor of Ananda is a public cafe and shop where you can eat healthy vegetarian food or shop for handmade artisanal goods from textiles to soaps to period products.
I can’t rave about the peacefulness of Ananda Treehouse enough—good vibes only ooze out of this place. The owners and staff are so warm and friendly, too, and Anna and Purna (the cafe doggies) make you feel welcome too.
I came downstairs and ate for breakfast almost every morning and often lounged about at night before going back up to bed.
When you step inside, even as a non-guest, it is as if you leave the craziness of Kathmandu’s streets behind.
Tibetan-Nepali and zen music plays in the background and the atmosphere, with its plant-lined shelves and neutral warm tones, envelopes you in a comforting hug. Can you tell I loved this place, or what?!
They also serve organic coffee from Kar.ma Coffee, plus Taiwanese tea, Tibetan tea (made with yak milk and butter), and numerous other drinks and food lovingly made.
You can also work at Ananda on your laptop with reliable Wi-Fi and outlets. However, since seating space is limited, just be mindful about how long you stay.
Really, if you’re looking for a cafe or coffee shop in Kathmandu then you can’t beat Ananda for its tranquility and delicious food and drinks.
- Location: Ramhiti Chowk (directions)
- Hours: 8 AM–9 PM, closed Mondays and Tuesdays
- Menu: Tibetan-Nepali, International, Bar, Hookah
Malaya Cafe quickly became one of my favorite cafes near Boudhanath and in all of Kathmandu!
While the food and service are fabulous in their own right, it’s the plant-filled outdoor space at Malaya that feels like a little garden oasis that I love most.
It’s one of the few places in the city where you feel removed from the hectic streets.
On my first visit, I got to meet the owners of the cafe who are originally from Tibet, hence the Tibetan and Nepali-inspired menu with a few fun international dishes mixed in.
🥟 Pick from classics like chili chicken or momos, or try the stir-fried eggplant or hot and cold noodles. The chicken burgers and cordon bleu are also hits!
I returned to Malaya multiple times for brunch and dinner, and to casually meet up with friends for beers and board games.
The cafe is open from 8 AM to 9 PM and often lets guests stay until 10 PM if they’re finishing up their drinks or shisha (hookah).
Malaya also has a cozy interior space if you prefer to sip on your coffee there.
There are also outlets indoors and outside along the right wall, in case you need to recharge while getting some remote work done!
Overall, the best part about Malaya is that you feel welcome; you’re not rushed to get in/out, and not a burden if you whip out your laptop.
- Location: P9F6+HVF, Kathmandu (directions)
- Hours: 7 AM–9 PM
- Menu: International, Vegetarian, Nepali, Indian
Utpala Cafe is already quite well-known in Kathmandu’s cafe and restaurant scene, having been nominated as top two on TripAdvisor.
Is this rating justified? I decided to go check out Utpala myself, just to be sure. And it’s true, Utpala has a lot going for it:
- ✔️ a lovely and spacious outdoor seating area
- ✔️ Saturday farmer’s market
- ✔️ attentive, friendly staff
- ✔️ tables and outlets for meetings or remote working
That said, while Utpala Cafe certainly checks a few boxes, it doesn’t feel as homely, welcoming, or cozy as some of the other cafes on this list.
It also gets a lot busier and can feel “touristy” because it is top-rated on TripAdvisor. But that’s just my preference having returned a few times to feel it out.
You will often see Buddhist practitioners and students of the monastery here, in addition to a large ex-pat community.
If you’re looking to meet up with internationals as a new resident or nomad in Kathmandu, come here.
The food you’ll find here ranges from Nepali dishes to Indian snacks and beyond. The butter paneer was delicious and so was the vegetable pokoda!
- Location: Pawo Gompa Marg (directions)
- Hours: 7 AM–7 PM
- Menu: Nepali snacks, Cakes, Bowls, Breakfast
Karma Coffee is an Austrian-Nepali organic coffee shop in Kathmandu. There are three locations: Patan, Thamel, and this one here, in Boudhanath.
Although I haven’t been to the other locations (its main workshop is in Patan), this cute and cozy storefront just down the road from Boudhnath became one of my go-to spots while I was staying in the area.
Admittedly, the service here could be much better, but the coffee and cakes were always great.
The space is great for reading, enjoying coffee, or getting a bit of work done on your laptop. There are small bench seats outdoors and then tables inside.
Food prep takes a while and isn’t always available, but the few times I went they were making fresh momos.
The highlight of Karma Coffee is really the coffee, which is well-prepared.
I just love the courtyard and boutiques here in this outdoor shared space called “The Hub” which is also where I got my tattoo!
- Location: Inside Boudhanath Stupa (directions)
- Hours: Everyday from 7 AM–8:15 PM
- Menu: Coffee, Breakfast, Sandwiches, Bakery
If you’re looking more for a Starbucks coffee shop atmosphere, you can’t miss Nepal’s own coffee chain: Himalayan Java.
While there are several locations in Kathmandu, the Boudha is one of the best (I also like two of their locations in Thamel).
Plus, this coffee shop is actually inside the Boudhanath plaza which makes it convenient for visiting.
The other side of that coin is that its prime location, donning a beautiful view over Boudhanath Stupa, makes it also one of the busiest and most touristy coffee shops in the area.
Nevertheless, you know what you are coming here for and what you will get.
The food and drinks are always well-made and the atmosphere—with its bookshelves and cozy lounge chairs—is very warm and chic.
This location also has ample space and tables for working on your laptop.
- Location: Ramhiti Chowk (directions, across from Malaya)
- Hours: 9 AM–9 PM
- Menu: Nepali, International, Beer, Lassis
Ramsterdam Cafe—”where hippies meet”—is the only cafe near Boudha where you’ll find coffee, beer/drinks, hookah, food, and live music all in one space.
In fact, it was one of the first cafes in the area, opening its doors in 2014.
Since then, it quickly became known as a “backpacker’s bar” and you can definitely see the international influence in the atmosphere, music, and menu.
The cafe’s most alluring feature is perhaps its live music on weekends starting on Friday from 6:30 PM–9 PM, with open mic Saturdays and Blues/Honky Tonk Sundays.
Another cool aspect about Ramsterdam is its upcycled ethos and shop; apparently, 95% of the decorations you see in the cafe are reused/repurposed items.
Overall, the vibe here is fun and relaxed—a great spot for hanging out with friends!
- Location: Boudha Rd, Phulbari (directions)
- Hours: 7 AM–8 PM
- Menu: Coffee, Juice, Bubble Tea, Ice Cream, Cakes
Finally, if you are walking down Boudha Rd from Ramhiti neighborhood to reach Boudhanath Stupa, you’ll find along the way many shops and restaurants.
Among them, you’ll come across the simple but cute Impresso Caffe coffee shop.
Here, they sell mostly sweets and drinks—from ice cream to juices and even bubble tea.
The space inside isn’t very large, but thanks to its natural light and good service, I felt it still deserves a spot among the best cafes around Boudha!
Already, in between the years since I moved from Nepal and went back, so many cafes have popped up around the city. In part, this is due to the development of remote work post-COVID but also because of the modernization of Kathmandu.
In any case, I was happy to see the neighborhood around Boudhanath Stupa become more alive and busy with locally-owned businesses!
Next time I go, I’m sure there will be even more cute coffee shops to discover. Stay tuned as I update this list!