The ethical eateries series is back and this time I’m in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu let m eintroduce you to some of them!
Sarangi is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant located in Thamel. The restaurant serves as a social enterprise assisting and empowering the Gandharba people of Nepal, who rank lowest amongst the castes.
The Ganharba people are an ancient caste of musicians that have historically earned their living from music, playing the Saranagi and other traditional Nepalese instruments. In recent decades the Ganharba people have been struggling to adapt to modern social changes with globalisation and modern technology seeing them lose their traditional place in society. In order to survive they spend months away from their villages to work in the streets of Kathmandu, playing music and selling their instruments, often earning only a few dollars a day. The Ganharba Restaurant project, aided by Sarangi profits, will provide training and employment opportunities for the Gandharba people in the hospitality industry, giving them more opportunity for employment and a better livelihood.
Aside from assisting the Gandharba people, the Sarangi restaurant is also committed to sustainability, being 100% vegetarian & vegan. They also have a no straw policy (helping to rid our planet of plastic), and an aquaponics set-up on their garden rooftop.
Address: Shiva Complex, Thamel Kathmandu, Nepal
2- Nepal Connection (Mahabir Dai)
Mahabir Dai’s Restaurant, also knows as Nepal Connection, is located in the heart of Thamel and is a restaurant and co-working space where people can come and enjoy a meal while also using the free WI-FI and computers on offer. Founder, Mahabir Pun, is well known in Nepal for his extensive work in rural villages in fields of health, education and awareness programmes. What makes this social enterprise so special is that all the profits from the restaurant support these education and health programs in rural Nepal.
The restaurant also serves as a platform to meet like-minded individuals and currently serves as the promotion centre and contact point for the organisation’s community managed eco-trekking programs. Find out about community-based tourism and community development initiatives around Nepal by speaking with one of the staff members.
Address: Mandala Street, Sagarmatha Bazzar, Thamel, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
SASANE was established in 2008 by former female victims of human trafficking on the principle that survivors can create social change.
The survivors now run a lunch program and momo (dumpling) making course at their centre with guests from tour groups. All the proceeds go towards supporting SASANE’s education and paralegal programs, as well as providing a platform for the women to practice their English, a skill that will largely contribute to further employment opportunities in the future.
While SASANE is not a restaurant, you can still join the lunch programs every day except Saturday. The program takes about 1.5-2 hours and costs Rs1000. The start times are flexible but usually start around 11am.
You can contact the organisation on their Facebook page to join one of the lunchtime courses, and support their future projects in aiding survivors of human trafficking.