Coffee Tea & Me serves up an international menu, including excellent coffee, to what appears to be an entirely local crowd.
That’s due in part to the fact that it’s tucked away down a small alley. That alley slips in between some souvenir shops just 50 meters north of the Bhimsen temple at Patan Durbar Square. You need to know about it in advance, not just wander in.
The little restaurant has great food, served in an unpretentious style. There are only seven tables, with low seating for those seeking a traditional style, and higher ones for anyone with extra long legs.
Each time I’ve gone in, I’ve relied on Ruby Maharjan, the chef, to suggest what was good that day. One time I had a chicken noodle dish with fresh vegetables, which was delicious, just spicy enough. Another time I had a river-caught bachwa with a wonderful sauce and accompanied by a nice veggie salad. As you can see I couldn’t wait for a photo the way a good food blogger would.The room layout is enchanting, with walls painted in modern patterns inspired by traditional Nepali and Chinese designs. The painting of Buddha portrayed on the wall is the center of attraction.
There are many other excellent places to eat or have coffee in Patan. They offer not only good food, but fascinating old architecture, charming courtyards, and relaxed atmosphere. I single out Coffee Tea & Me because it gets everything right in a minimalist and very affordable way. It also happens to be close to where I’m staying, just north of Durbar Square.
The Bhimsen Temple landmark, by the way, is located at the northern end of Durbar Square. It’s dedicated to the god of trade and business.The current temple was completely rebuilt in 1682 after a fire, then was restored after earthquakes in 1934 and 1967. It’s under repair once again, from the 2015 quake. It has an unusual, rectangular, but non-square footprint.
In the photo you can see the old and new in the building itself, in its supports and scaffolding, in the clothing of passersby, and in the cotton candy and cola sales.