Eating Out in Kathmandu: Restaurant Business and Nepal’s Urban Middle Class

Home Institution

Saint Michael’s College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


Following the economic liberalization of the 80’s and 90’s, an influx of market participation and consumer culture has characterized the growing middle class in Kathmandu. In recent years, the rise of this economic middle class has brought many forms of social change throughout the city. One reflection of this change is the rapidly developing restaurant business and urban food culture. In the past, Kathmandu’s restaurants were primarily visited by tourists and the upper-class elite. Now, Nepalis are dining in ‘western-style’ restaurants with increasing frequency. The purpose of this research is to investigate how the concept of ‘dining out’ is being formed and adapted by Kathmandu’s urban middle class. Through semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this research aims to identify how dining out characterizes “modern Nepali culture” in an urban, class-based setting.


Leisure Studies | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology

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