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How to Survive as A Vegetarian Tourist in Tibet

Time: 05-06-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Vegetarian Food in Tibet Vegetarian Food in Tibet

Are Tibetan people vegetarian? Will it a problem for a veggie to travel to Tibet? How to find authentic vegan foods or restaurants in Tibet? These are the questions often concerned by vegan travelers from all over the world planning a Tibet tour.

Actually, it is not difficult for veggies to travel to Tibet. Vegetarian food in Tibet is more common than you think. As a Buddhist destination, Tibet specializes in vegetarian menus and there are plenty of excellent vegetarian foods and restaurants for you to choose from. If you have no idea how to choose the best one. Today I'd like to show you some best veg-friendly restaurants in Tibet so that you miss none of the foodie travel fun.

Are Tibetan People Vegetarian?
Are Buddhists & Monks Vegetarian? Why?
Top 5 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Lhasa

Are Tibetan People Vegetarian?

Not all of Tibetan people are vegetarians. Historically, the nomads of Tibetan plateau relied on a diet of barley, butter and yak meat. With an altitude of 4500, Tibet was difficult to grow vegetables and fruits. So, killing and eating meat, particularly yak and sheep, was viewed as a crucial part of staying healthy.

Though meat eating is necessary for survival, it is also a sin. Every time after killing or eating a yak or sheep, they pray and apologize for the deed.

Nowadays, as the rapid development of China’s overland and railway transportation, it becomes possible to transport vegetables and fruits from Chinese cities to Tibet. And this leads to an increase in the number of vegetarians in Tibet.

Why Are Buddhists & Monks Vegetarian?

Tibetan monks making noodles Tibetan monks making noodles

At present, there are about half of all Buddhists are vegetarians or vegans in Tibet and the other half regularly consumes meat, limits it somewhat, or eats meat only if served or offered it by others. The main purpose of doing this is to better practice the First Precept.

Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Tibet

If you are planning a vegan tour to Tibet, some vegan-friendly restaurants should be considered in your plan. There are numerous vegan-friendly restaurants in Tibet for you to choose from. In the following text, we collect some of the best vegan restaurants for you.

1. A Lotus on the Water Restaurant

Vegan Travel in Tibet- Dunya Restaurant -A Lotus on the Water Restaurant Vegan Travel in Tibet- Dunya Restaurant -A Lotus on the Water Restaurant

This is the most veg-friendly restaurant in Lhasa. It offers tourists a wide variety of vegan food, including vegetable, tofu, seitan, and mock meat dishes. And temples are awesome, English is spoken, credit cards are accepted, and the menu has photos and descriptions in Mandarin and English. The options were incredible. Nothing here disappointed. A must visit if you are in Lhasa.

Chinese name: 清水荷花素食餐厅
Recommended dishes: 铁板千叶豆腐、脆椒素排、紫衣怀素、千千佛果.
Address: 88 Danjielin Rd 3F, Tibet, China
Now Open: Mon-Sun 11:00am - 10:00pm
Highlights: This definitely pricier than other restaurants. If you are a budget traveler, this is definitely recommended.

2. Holy Land Vegetarian Restaurant

Tibetan vegetarian restaurant - Holy Land Vegetarian Restaurant Tibetan vegetarian restaurant - Holy Land Vegetarian Restaurant

Holy Land Vegetarian Restaurant is a large and beautiful restaurant with 2 floors of dining areas. The menu items are traditional Tibetan and Chinese food, mostly are vegan except for dairy in desert or drinks. And the menu is in Tibetan, Chinese and English, with photos showing elaborate dishes.

Chinese name: 圣地素餐厅 Shengdi Sucanting
Recommended dishes: stir-fried "shrimp" meat (素烧虾仁), vegetarian "bouilli" (毛氏红烧肉),twice-cooked vegetarian slices (回锅素片), and shredded vegetarian food with a fish taste (鱼香素丝)
Address: 20-22 the Commodity Apartment, the Foreign Affairs Office, Linkuobeilu Area, Chengguan District 城关区林廓北路区外事办商品房20-22号
Tel: 0891-6363851
Now Open: Mon-Sun 9:30am-10:00pm
Highlights: Afternoon tea is provided and food taken late at night is offered.

3. House of Shambhala Palace

Vegan Travel in Tibet- Shambhala Palace Restaurant Vegan Travel in Tibet- Shambhala Palace Restaurant

This is a small hotel with restaurant and rooftop seating. You can drink Tibetan beer on the roof, looking out the Himalayas, which is wonderful. The food is good and the atmosphere is wonderful, prices are low and the service is attentive, so we recommend you to pay a visit.

Chinese name: 香巴拉宫餐厅
Recommended dishes: momo dumplings, sweet rice, tsampa, noodles, etc.
Address: 7, Kirey 2nd Alley, across Muru Monastery Alleyway, Lhasa, China.
Tel: +86 891 632 6533
Now Open: Mon-Sun 9:00am - 0:00pm
Highlights: It offers tourists a great view of Himalayas.

4. Dunya Restaurant

Vegan Travel in Tibet- Dunya Restaurant Vegan Travel in Tibet- Dunya Restaurant

Located on the main street in Lhasa, next to Ramoche Monastery, Dunya Restaurant is a large western-themed restaurant with two floors: the first floor is a decorated restaurant and the second floor is a bar. With great desserts, good location, nice outdoor patio, lovely staff, elegant environment, it is really a good place for tourists. More importantly, it offers tourists a wide range of vegetarian foods to choose from.

Chinese name: 顿尼亚餐馆
Recommended dishes: veg. soups, French fried momo, Fruit with yogurt, Thukpa, Fried snacks, etc
Address: 100 Beijing E Rd, Chengguan Qu, Lasa.
Tel: +86 891 633 3374
Now Open: Mon-Sun 8:00am - 10:00pm
Highlights: It offers excellent bars where you can relax at the end of the day with a large glass of beer.

5. Father Vegetarian Restaurant

Vegan Travel in Tibet- Father Vegetarian Restaurant Vegan Travel in Tibet- Father Vegetarian Restaurant

This is another restaurant that offers tourist affordable and authentic vegetarian foods. There’s no English menu, so you can consider going with a tour. The Tibetan noodles is a must try and the butter tea is great to drink. Moreover, the place is pretty near to Ramoche Monastery and also walking distance to Jokhang Monastery. So, you can have a good vegetarian meal in between visiting the two monasteries built in the 7th century.

Chinese name: 父亲素食厨房
Recommended dishes: Tibetan-style fried mushrooms (臧式炒蘑菇, zāngshì chǎomógu) and dry hotpot (干锅, gànguō) dishes, The milk pot(牛奶火锅), Fried yogurt炸酸奶, fired potatoes, etc.
Address: Beijing Middle Road, Cemenlin 3rd Alley, 9, Lhasa, Tibet, China
Tel: +86-8916327279
Now Open: Mon-Sun 9:00am - 10:00pm
Highlights: This definitely pricier than other restaurants. If you are a budget traveler, this is definitely recommended.

More Tibetan Foods and Drinks
Choices of Tibetan Food & Tibetan Drink

Choices of Tibetan Food & Tibetan Drink

There are quite a few good restaurants offering authentic Tibetan food, Tibetan tea, delicious western food, Nepali and Indian cuisine. Head to our post to know where you can get good-tasted restaurants in Tibet.
Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. To*** from: What documents are required to travel from Nepal to Tibet?

Hello  I am planning a trip to Katmandu and on to Lhasa and Mt. Kalias. I am  pilgrim. Let me know costs and details I intend to fly or go overload from Katmandu Lhasa etc. Thx.

Answered by Helen

Dear Mr. To***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. Travelling to Tibet from Nepal, you need to apply for Chinese Group Visa in Kathmandu. Firstly, we'll apply for visa invitation letter with copy of your passport. Next, we'll send visa invitation letter to you and our partner in Kathmandu. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you need to meet with our partner and give them your original passport, then they will go to Chinese embassy and apply for Chinese Group Visa for you. When you board plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, they'll only check your passport and Chinese Group Visa. Apart from Chinese Group Visa, you also need Tibet Permit, we'lll apply for Tibet Permit for you in Lhasa, and our guide will pick you up at Lhasa airport with your permit. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Thanks & Regards

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