It's All In The Beans - Top Of The World
The mission was to find a decent coffee shop in Kathmandu. A good source recommended a place called Top of the World, aptly named for Nepal, home of the Himalayas, otherwise known as the top of the world due to the fact that 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world are found in Nepal, as well as that it houses more than 100 peaks exceeding 7,200m altitude. So we set our sights on finding the place. However, we only had one night in our program and when we reached it, the doors were closed. As that was the only time we had to visit a coffee shop, it had to stand over until our next visit. The question we asked was still: “Can you find a decent cappuccino in Kathmandu?”
One of our friends answered that question the following year. When she returned to the capital after climbing Mera Peak, Top of the World was open for business, and yes, they served a decent cappuccino, so we were determined to pay a visit during our next trip, which is exactly where we went a few months later. We had at last found the elusive cappuccino. It met all my expectations.
Top of the World offers tables both inside and outside, but with the weather and air in Kathmandu I have never taken that option. The coffee shop makes you feel as if you're being welcomed to someone's home. They have created a warm and intimate atmosphere. If Kathmandu’s assault on your senses has become a bit much, this is a place where you’ll be able to decompress. It’s also a place where many tourists and expats come to meet or just chill. Nepali’s also enjoy the ambiance and sometimes you get a real cosmopolitan feeling – you know, something like New York City in Nepal.
The coffee shop is a family-owned business with the vision of placing Nepali coffee on the world map. It is owned by a Western man who has lived here for quite some time. He frequently travels to the different coffee plantations to inspect, evaluate and give advice, in order to fulfill this dream of giving the world a taste of Nepal. Their approach is both sustainability and fair trade, so it’s not the most affordable place in the city, but it’s worth it. They also have a selection of handicrafts, gifts and clothes for sale.
Top of the World offers different food and drinks options. You will not be disappointed in either. Their pastry selection is, however, different to what we are used to. I can recommend anything from the meatball sandwich to their pancakes on a rainy day. Since that first time we’ve visited, Top of the World has become a firm favourite for both me and my angel. Although she normally won’t bother the waiter for anything more than mineral water, the fact that she was willing to return there again and again with me is a very good testimony. I can highly recommend Top of the World. A trip to Nepal is not complete for any coffee afficionado without a visit to Top of the World. Come on, you are actually close to the top of the world!
Other articles in this series include: