A room full of books and a hot cup of coffee, what more do you need? But with very few libraries in our city, it’s often impossible to find a nice place to get lost in a good book. However, there are some pretty good cafes around town where you can read in peace and indulge in some good tea or coffee as well. Here are five such cafes in Kathmandu that all book lovers must visit.
The Yellow House, Sanepa
“This place was created for those who love books and tea,” says Rameshor Shrestha, manager at The Yellow House, Sanepa. The space is quiet and green and is perfect for reading. “Along with the ambience, we also prioritize our customer’s health,” says Shrestha. “Hence we serve only organic food products,” he adds. Especially known for their healthy and heavy breakfast, this place is a delight for those who want to enjoy a long morning lost in the world of their favorite characters. Don’t forget to carry your favorite books with you. “We are open from 7 am to 2 pm and have a spacious area with a reader friendly environment,” says Shrestha. The ambience of this place will surely not disappoint you as they have a comfortable and homely set up where you can just laze about without anyone bothering you. This place is also suitable for informal official meetings and book discussions with friends. We hear they serve the best Earl Grey tea in the valley.
Evoke Café and Bistro, Jhamsikhel
“We intend to provide a quiet and work friendly environment for all creative intellects in the city,” says Prakesh Shrestha, owner of Evoke Café and Bistro. This place has a hall and a working space where you can have book chats and discussions. The café is cozy with good lighting that is perfect for reading. “If you like taking breaks while reading your favorite novel we have an art room where anyone can paint. You can also have a look at our store which sells Nepali products,” adds Shrestha. This place also gives you the option of buying the books that are available here. If you love reading with a tune or two playing somewhere in the background then visit Evoke Café and Bistro on Friday evenings. In the winter months, you can read a book while basking in the sun as well.
Palpasa Café, Thamel
“As you may have noticed, today’s Nepali youth spend more time in social media and doing various other things than reading,” says Subaash Gautam, co-founder of Palpasa Coffee. “We opened this reader friendly café to encourage reading habit among our youth,” he adds. The café has its own collection of over 150 books that you can enjoy. This cozy place has travel guides, philosophical books, and maps of various regions of Nepal along with Nepali and English fiction. “We also donate rupees five per every cup of coffee you buy to Snow Yak Foundation to help educate children of upper Dolpa,” explains Gautam. The milkshakes that this place serves are incredible. “For those who are not into reading, we first attract them with our lovely shakes,” he says. “Even if they do not finish a novel, they at least read a page or two while sipping their favorite drink,” he concludes. The best thing about this café is that you get a free cup of coffee for every book you donate.
Sara Bakery, Jawalakhel
This place has about four hundred books that are not only for adults but for children as well. “If you wish to inculcate the habit of reading among your children then get them here during weekends,” says Sudip Khadka, owner of Sara Bakery. Books here include novels for children and fiction in Nepali and English, non-fiction, and autobiographies. “We even allow our customers to keep a bookmark if they wish to come back and complete the novel the next day,” adds Khadka. Sara Bakery has a private room that serves as the perfect place for book discussions and official meetings. “We also have a large number of used books,” adds Khadka. Apart from their collection of novels, a cup of hot brewing coffee here will surely make your day. Also, if you get hungry, order a BLT sandwich. It’s so good that you will definitely recommend it to your friends as well.
Bodhi Books and Bakes, Maharajgunj
“Our aim was to build a creative space by providing an environment where people could dig out new ideas,” says Jagannath Lamichhane, owner of Bodhi Books and Bakes. “This place is for poets, writers, and readers. We wanted to help these creative minds expand their intellectual potential,” he continues. Bodhi Books and Bakes has more than two thousand books which comprises of both Nepali and English novels, non-fiction books, and bestsellers. You can practically get lost in this space. The books are also for sale so, if you like a book, you can take it home with you. “Many students come to our café to prepare for their exams,” says Lamichhane adding that the peaceful ambience of the café allows them to get a much-needed cram session. The café also provides space for book discussions and official meetings. If you are at Bodhi Books and Bakes, then you must try their flavored latte. For summer, their peach iced tea and mint lemon drinks are highly recommended. If you have a sweet tooth, mini apple pie and caramel cupcake will perfectly accompany your favorite read.