A Taste of Nepal in Virginia

Everest Momo Plus sells as many as 2,000 Nepalese-style handmade dumplings each day.

A Taste of Nepal in Virginia

March 2022   minute read

Krishna Shrestha shares a little of his native Nepal through the food he serves. Shrestha and his wife, Rita, own Everest Momo Plus, located inside a Liberty-branded gas station in Chantilly, Virginia.

There’s a lot of buzz about the momos. What’s a momo?

“It’s like a dumpling. The Nepali Momo is different. It is made with different kind of herbs that help the body digest it. It has cumin, durum and garlic,” described Shrestha, adding, “Every country does it differently.” 

Krishna Shrestha, who hails from Nepal, and his wife, Rita, own and operate Everest Momo Plus in Chantilly, Virginia. 

Momos came from China to Nepal, where the dish was modified with Himalayan spices. “Momos are made with ground chicken, cabbage, onion, spring onion, cilantro, Himalayan spices, olive oil and soy sauce,” Shrestha explained. “Some people call them dumplings, but we call them momos.” The momos at this gas station are authentic family food like you’d find in Kathmandu. “Momo is a common food back home,” he said. 

He named the gas station after Mount Everest in Nepal. “It’s the top of the world,” Shrestha said of the famous mountain. And the momos he serves? “It is food from the top of the world. People know that. I’m trying to introduce my country by the food,” he said. 

Shrestha sells 1,000 to 2,000 made- from-scratch momos each day. That’s an impressive volume, but it hasn’t always been that way. “In the beginning we sold 30 or 40 pieces a day,” he said.

Everest Momo Plus is now a food destination. “My priority is to serve fresh and healthy food to my customers,” Shrestha said. People drive from neighboring Maryland and West Virginia for the gas station’s momos, he says.

“I had one customer from San Francisco,” Shrestha shared. “They came to visit family and tried momo. They were very excited.”

For many customers who stop in, this is their first experience with Nepalese dumplings. But that’s not the case with the other culinary draws at the gas station: fried chicken and pizza. Specifically, Krispy Krunchy Chicken and Hunt Brothers Pizza. 

“Krispy Krunchy Chicken is very popular. People come for it and love it. In the beginning they came for chicken, and then tried the momo. Without Krispy Krunchy, I couldn’t introduce my food,” Shrestha explained. He recently added Hunt Brothers Pizza to round out the menu.

“My priority is to serve fresh and healthy food to my customers.” 


Preparing this Nepalese dumpling is tedious. To handle the volume, Shrestha has a staff of five to assist in the process. 

“Making momos is not easy. It’s hard to prepare everything. I make a huge amount. I mix 100 pounds of chicken a day for the momos,” he said.

Most c-stores like to limit food preparation to a few simple ingredients and steps, so Everest Momo’s approach is extra special. The chicken and vegetables are ground, and Himalayan spices are added and carefully stuffed into the dough by hand. The result is elegant by any foodservice standards.

Shrestha views the momos he and his staff shape by hand each day as works of art.

Shrestha takes pride in each little dumpling. “The momos look like works of art,” he said. What’s more, Himalayan herbs “give lots of immunity power to the body to fight diseases,” he said. “Nowadays, most people are very conscious about their health and want to eat healthier food. So, Momo is a one-of-a-kind healthy food in my experience,” he said. 

Opening a restaurant wasn’t on Shrestha’s radar when he arrived in the U.S. “When I came here, I never expected to sell momos. I was in the IT field. My company wanted me to go out of state. I decided to start my own business and make hygienic, healthy food,” he said.

In August 2018, Shrestha and his partners opened a dine-in restaurant, Everest Kitchen, in Ashburn, Virginia. The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the venture, and Everest Kitchen closed in October 2020.


At Everest Momo Plus, customers can choose from three kinds of momos: vegetable, chicken and chicken chili. “I make it as spicy as customers desire,” Shrestha said.

Customers can pick from three kinds: vegetable, chicken and chicken chili. He says he uses 100 pounds of chicken each day for the dumplings.

Who doesn’t love a great sauce? Shrestha offers two. One is an orange sauce made with fresh tomatoes and Himalayan spices, and the other a spicy chili sauce made from dried chili and Himalayan spice.

“It’s called crazy hot chili sauce and makes the momo delicious,” Shrestha said.

The menu includes another Nepalese dish. “Besides momos, we are serving Samaya Bazi (authentic food from Nepal). It has grilled chicken marinated with Himalayan spices, beaten rice (crunchy rice), black-eyed peas, potatoes (steamed potatoes marinated with spices), roasted soybeans marinated with freshly chopped ginger and garlic with spices,” Shrestha said. “We serve it with radish pickle on the side. Also, we are serving freshly made, very delicious noodles and plan to introduce chicken chow mein and veggie chow mein.”


Shrestha described his c-store’s location on U.S. Route 50 just south of Dulles In- ternational Airport as “hard to find.” He credits a story in the Washington Post for making people aware of the store and the food.

“It’s a miracle,” he said, describing his newfound national attention. “The reporter found us on Google. We had good reviews. She saw the food and asked to try the momo. She came here three times in one month just for the momo. She called me one morning and asked to write a story,” he said, adding, “After that, it was crazy busy.”