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Choices of Tibetan Food & Tibetan Drink

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

The gorgeous and unique Tibet is the closest place to heaven. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the special Tibetan food and drink are also unmissable. The isolation from the noise of modern cities here will doubtlessly leave you a lasting impression. Try some Tibetan cuisine and you won’t be disappointed as well. Besides the traditional Tibetan food, there are plenty of other food choices available to satisfy the tastes of visitors from all directions.

Part 1. Traditional Tibetan Food
Part 2. Where to Eat Tibetan Food
Part 3. Traditional Tibetan Tea
Part 4. Where to Drink Tibetan Tea

Part 1. Traditional Tibetan Food

Tibetans mainly eat beef, mutton, vegetables and some other dairy products. Generally, Tibetan food is high in fat and protein. It’s traditional foods contains the following 9 types.


Tsampa is one of the traditional staple foods that Tibetans must eat every day, usually with butter tea. Tsampa is rich in nutrition and heat, perfect for cold and hunger relief. More importantly, it is very easy to carry and storage. Tibetans usually bring tsampa when they work or travel outside.

Air-dried Beef and Mutton 

Air-dried Beef in Tibet Air-dried Beef in Tibet

At the end of each year, when the temperature drops below zero, Tibetans cut the beef (yak meat) and mutton into strips and hang them in the shade to let them dry. The air-dried beef and mutton can be eaten in February or March of the next year. It is known that beef and mutton are high in calories, protecting Tibetans from the cold.

Tibetan Noodles

Tibetan noodles are made with more alkali and salt, so the noodles are hard and yellow. The main ingredients are wheat and flour, which should be cooked in advance and then dried. Serve with hot beef broth. And Only in tea houses or noodle shops, you can eat Tibetan noodles, no street stalls to sell.

Lunang Stone Pot Chicken

Don't miss the Lunang stone pot chicken, which is the most famous and delicious cuisine in Nyingchi. The cost of the stone pot is very expensive. Authentic stone pot chicken must be cooked with the local mountain spring water in Lulang. Wild ginseng, wild gastrodiae, wild angelica and Tibetan fritillaria will be added into the pot and simmered for four to five hours.

Tibetan Potato Bun

Tibetan Potato Bun Tibetan Potato Bun

Tibetan potato buns are made of mashed potatoes. Due to the long growing period and abundant sunshine, Tibet’s potatoes are rich in starch. The buns made with such potatoes are soft, crispy and delicious. The filling of Tibetan potato buns is a mixture of minced beef, curry, cumin and chives. Flatten the mashed potatoes, put in the prepared minced beef, wrap them in egg whites and breadcrumbs, and finally fry them in oil until golden brown.

Tibetan Blood Sausage

Tibetan blood sausage is a very eye-catching scenery on the table in Tibet. To make the Tibetan blood sausage, first of all, Tibetans wash the yak intestines, then pour in the mixture of diced meat, glutinous rice, cattle blood, tsampa powder, salt, and finally tie both ends tightly. When cooking, they boil or steam it.

Tibetan White Sausage 

Tibetan white sausage is a specialty in Shigatse. Firstly boil the rice, mix with sheep blood, sheep oil and mutton shreds with seasoning, then put it into the small intestine of cattle and sheep, and finally tie both ends tightly. Once cooked, slice and serve. In recent years, Tibetan white sausage has begun to innovate, with more fillings and more varied flavors.

Tibetan Momo

Tibetan Momo Tibetan Momo

Tibetan momo is very similar to traditional Chinese dumplings and can be round and crescent shaped. Yak meat is always used as the filling. For vegetarians, cabbages, onions and mushrooms, etc., are also widely used ingredients for making the Tibetan momo.  

Tibetan Yogurt 

Tibetan yogurt tastes very different from other regions. You may feel a little uncomfortable in the first bite, but the aftertaste is endless. Tibetan yogurt is made from fresh yak milk and requires three steps - boiling, cooling and fermentation. It has a unique taste and it tastes better with sugar and honey. Well-made yogurt is creamy and sometimes with clumps.

Part 2. Where to Eat Tibetan Food 

Some good-tasted and popular restaurants are recommended here for you reference.

Snowland Restaurant (雪域餐厅)

Located at No.8 Zangyiyuan Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Snowland Restaurant is one of the hottest Tibetan restaurants in Lhasa. The restaurant is decorated in Tibetan style, mainly serving Tibetan food and also Nepali dishes.

Glamedo (冈拉梅朵)

Located at No.127 East Beijing road, this restaurant specializes in Tibetan and western food. The Tibetan style beef and mutton steak is not bad. Yogurt, sweet tea and barley wine are popular as well.

Makye Ame (玛吉阿米西餐吧)

Makye Ame Restaurant Lhasa Makye Ame Restaurant Lhasa

This restaurant is located in the southeast corner of Barkhor Street, Lhasa. There are many message books on the tea table on the second floor. The terrace on the third floor is an excellent location overlooking Barkhor Street, but reservations are required. 

Namathode (娜玛瑟德餐厅)

Located at No.30 Yutuo Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Namathode serves Tibetan, Nepali and Chinese dishes. Nepalese food is the best, probably because the chef comes from Nepal. The portion of the dishes are sufficient, so it is better to order properly to avoid waste. 

Akodin (阿可丁面包坊)

There are many chain stores in Lhasa, mainly selling Tibetan and western bread, western food and coffee. The yogurt cake and barley bread can’t afford to miss. Hope you can have a good afternoon tea here.

Part 3. Traditional Tibetan Tea 

As mentioned earlier, to resist the cold on the plateau, Tibetans mainly eat meat and dairy products that are rich in calories. Tibetan tea and wine are not exception, mainly made of dairy products.

Tibetan Butter Tea

Butter tea is the most distinctive Tibetan drink. The butter tea is a mixture of ghee, brick tea, milk and egg, which is pressed in a ghee bucket. As a necessity for Tibetans, it not only can resist certain altitude sickness, but also has the function of cold resistance, hunger satiation and refreshing. Therefore, it is necessary to drink a bowl of butter tea in Tibet.

Tibetan Sweet Tea

Tibetan Sweet Tea Tibetan Sweet Tea

Most tourists to Tibet are not used to butter tea, and they prefer Tibetan sweet tea. Sweet tea houses are scattered all over Lhasa and Shigatse, and tea drinkers come and go in an endless stream. Sweet tea is as important to Tibetans as afternoon tea is to the British. If you look around the sweet tea houses on Barkhor street or near the Potala Palace, you’ll find that both children and elderly Tibetans like to soak in the sweet tea houses. A pot of sweet tea is all you need for an leisure afternoon.

Tibetan Barley Wine

Tibetan barley wine, also known as Tibetan Chang and is made from barley, the main grain produced on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The barley wine is mild, slightly sweet and sour, and contains little alcohol. The Tibetan barley wine has been inherited for more than 400 years and almost every family can make it by themselves. The taste might be different due to the brewing method and duration. Tibet in winter is cold. Besides clothing and meat, barley wine serves as another way to keep warm.

Part 4. Where to Drink Tibetan Tea 

There are some popular tea houses for Tibetan tea in Lhasa. Hope you can have a good time there.

Guangming Tea House (光明港琼茶馆)

The teahouse is located at the opposite of the Shambhala Hotel. There is nothing luxury, but only old-style tables and chairs sit. The Guangming Tea House is a good choice if you want to have a deep understanding of the street life in Lhasa.

Ani Tsankhung Nunnery Tea House (仓姑寺茶馆)

Ani Tsankhung Nunnery Tea House, Lhasa Ani Tsankhung Nunnery Tea House, Lhasa

Located at Barkhor Street, Chengguan District, Lhasa, the teahouse is run by nuns. Behind the teahouse, there is the Ani Tsankhung Nunnery. The teahouse is small and dimly lit, but there are many visitors. At the window, nuns in saffron robes make out tickets and deliver food.

Norbu Sangpos Tea House (罗布桑布茶馆)

The Norbu Sangpos Tea House on Barkhor street in central Lhasa is easy to find. If you walk past the Jokhang Temple, you will see the huge sign of the teahouse and the Wi-Fi sign that many people care about. Pilgrims from all directions to Jokhang Temple usually stay here for a drink. 

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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. Ju*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hi, I plan to arrive in Lhasa on the 9th of March in 2020 by train and would like to do a 4 day tour. Unfortunately there are no tours scheduled between January and April, will there be tours added or are there not any planned?

Kind regards

Julian Franz

Answered by Helen

Hello Mr. Ju***,

    Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have no group tour in February and March, if you would like to travel Tibet in these months, we are able to arrange a private tour for you. While there are several confirmed departure date for the group tour in January and April, if your time is flexible, you may consider joining a group tour in April. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Warm regards.

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