Photo by Sam Tucker

In University Village, there’s an incredible Himalayan street food spot that reminds me of my dear friend Tenzin. A few years back, my teen cousin and I were rushing to New York’s LaGuardia Airport at 4am. Tenzin packed us some dumplings for the road as a gift. Those dumplings would end up saving us as we faced a long journey to get back home. When I first tasted The Momo World’s dumplings, it brought me back to my best friend Tenzin and her talented family’s cooking skills. At Momo World, I remembered my friend and the pieces of home that she was willing to share with me. I always think of Tenzin, her sisters, and her parents whenever I eat there. This restaurant brought together people, countries, and lifetime friendships for me. I recognize that we do not share the same culture, but I will never forget her willingness to share her connection to it. One day, I hope to bring Tenzin and share a meal with her then as she did for me in the past. 

If you visit Momo World, be prepared for momo overload—you will truly enter a new culinary world if you’re not already familiar. The Special Momo menu alone will probably change your taste buds forever. This restaurant emphasizes its Nepalese roots and celebrates its country’s legacy with food. For example, the butter masala momo is an incredible creation, as either the chicken or vegetarian option. You will need to revisit multiple times to try their extensive menu of different types and methods of cooking momos. Just keep in mind there is a fifteen minute cooking time for most momos. I promise it’s worth the wait. The momo soups were also a game changer, like the Titanic Soup Momo. Other menu options range from Biryani, Nepali Pulau dishes, and Sekuwa menu options. 

I also love their drink menu. I am guilty of ordering three drinks at a time because I haven’t found another spot that offers such fresh options at affordable prices. Here, I’m able to buy two drinks for the price of one compared to other fresh juice spots. My favorites are the guava juice and the matcha lemonade. However, the mango juice and llam Ko Chiya Milk (Nepali hot milk tea) usually rotate as my third drink. If you somehow have room, the desserts are worth the extra splurge and “itis” afterwards. All deserts are under $6 and offer unique items like chocolate momos and Nepalese classics. Bring a friend because you’ll definitely want to process and debrief with a buddy this new world across continents.

The Momo World, 727 W. Maxwell St. Friday–Saturday, noon–10pm; Tuesday–Thursday, noon–9pm. (312) 733-8637.

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