What to Eat on Your Tibet Trip - Recommended Foreign Friendly Tibetan Restaurants
Travelling in Tibet matters not only viewing all kinds of distinctive scenery there but also experience a quite local life as Tibetans. No one will oppose the opinion that eating during every visit is essential for the whole journey. Maybe the dining and drinking in Tibet is not what you thought as most cities you have been visited, there are still some situations you need to figure out.
Because of Tibetan special regional characters and ethnic customs, generally we offer Tibet tour packages with hotel buffet breakfast only to set apart more options for palatable meals as you like for your lunch and dinner. Our Tibet local guide will recommend you some optional restaurants or cuisines apart from Tibetan Cuisine.
Eating Priorities – What to eat and how to choose
A. What kind of food you can have in Tibet?
Tibetan Cuisine is the most common meal and the core of Tibet food culture. Developed from Tibetan special geography conditions of high altitude, cold weather, and background of major graziery and some ethnic traditions, Tibetan Cuisine may be little hard to accept for all tourists. If you are interested in Tibetan culture, it’s a must-try for you to getting close to Tibetans and Tibet traditions and customs in person.
In order to meet different needs of increasing domestic and foreign tourists, improved Tibetan cuisine and other cuisines like Nepal Dishes, Indian Dishes, Western-style food, Chinese food and etc. turn up in Tibet, especially in downtown Lhasa, giving Tibet travelers more choices. In other destinations outside Lhasa, dining choice is relatively less and the easiest getting one is Tibet Cuisine.
B. How to Choose a Restaurant to go?
Tourists have the freedom to choose which restaurant to have lunch and dinner. Considering the taste of food, you can make decisions based on your flavor, whether accept fresh new dishes or try some Nepali food or have the most Chinese popular Sichuan Cuisine. Besides, since you are on a Tibet tour, it’s advisable to select restaurants nearly your hotel or attractions you will visit or just finish visiting, convenient to get to. We do not suggest going where are far away from your hotel/ scenic spots for long distance transportation that does no good for your rest and recharging at high elevations.
A newcomer in Tibet maybe puzzled about deciding which restaurant is the most suitable one or you've already have a pretty clear idea after doing some research. It’s best to consult with Tibet guide and do a doule-check, tell your likes and dislikes, all factors you consider and get advice from him / her if you prefer a budget place to eat.
Top Visited Tibet Restaurants
Here are some Tibet restaurants foreign tourists visit frequently and meanwhile receiving good feedbacks. Not merely being foreign friendly restaurants in good locations, these dining places provide diverse dishes and reasonable price and good service as well.
Lhasa is the capital, most developed city in Tibet owns the best and the most choice for tourists. In Lhasa, there are restaurants sorted by different price range and offer diverse cuisines with better service and facilities than rest destinations, even has coffees, teahouses and bars for entertainment. While traveling in Shigatse or other regions of Tibet, tourists will get less choice than Lhasa, which means the environment and cuisines are simpler to basic and rough in remote areas like Mount Everest and Mount Kailash.
Eating in Lhasa
1. Tibetan Family Kitchen - 更潘藏家厨房
Address：No.1 Danjielin Road (opposite the Shangbala Palace), Chengguan District, Lhasa (拉萨市城关区丹杰林路6号)
Cuisines: Tibetan Cuisine, Asia Cuisine, Vegetarian Dishes
Monday 9:00 ~ 22:00
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 ~ 22:00
Tibetan Family Kitchen is the Top 1 restaurant on TripAdvisor, provides various home-made delicious food, table seat meals and interesting cooking class. Founded in 2013 by an enthusiastic Tibetan couple who used to be English guides and know Tibetan culture and food very well, the kitchen is the most favorited one among foreign tourists. Cooking in a simply decorated and not big family kitchen, tourists can participate in products buying, food preparation and cooking by themselves and enjoy the leisure, interaction and nice family atmosphere.
Tibetan Family Kitchen offers a cooking class, also a food culture trip for every forengn visitors.Undoubtedly cooking class will leave you a more unforgettable experience for your Tibet tour. Begins at 16:30pm and ends at 18:30pm usually, the host will invite scheduled guest to buy food materials together, get all ingredients ready and cook every dish step by step.You can find the family kitchen by about 10 minutes’ walking from Jokhang Temple and opposite the Shangbala Hotel.
>> Know more about the Tibet Family Kitchen Food Cooking Class
2.Lasa Kitchen – 拉萨厨房
Address：No.3 Minchi Khang East Road, Lhasa (near Jokhang Temple)
Cuisines: Tibetan Cuisine, Indian Food, Nepali Food, Continental Dishes & Little Chinese Food
Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday 09:00 ~ 22:00
Lhasa Kitchen Restaurant is a popular restaurant for foreign tourist tour groups. It offers tourists variety of choices and commodious dining areas. You can have Tibetan, Indian, Nepali, Chinese or Western food, which priced little higher. Waiters in Lhasa Kitchen speak less fluent English. They maybe serve kind of slowly when it has more guests. The restaurant is close to Jokhang Temple within 2~3 minutes’ walking. Because it offers different kinds of meals and close to central Lhasa, it becomes a favorite destination for foreign tourists.
3.Lhasa Snow Land Restaurant – 拉萨雪域餐厅
Address：Building 1, No.4 Tibet Hospital Road, Lhasa
Cuisines：Tibetan, Indian, Nepali, Western dishes
Opening Hours：Monday - Sunday 12:00 ~ 22:00
Close to Jokhang Temple and downtown Lhasa, Snow Land Restaurant is very popular as well. It is not big inside, but offers breakfast and many cuisines like, Tibet cuisine, Asian and Chinese food with English menus. As a foreigner friendly restaurant in Lhasa, the staff in Snow Land Restaurant can communicate with tourists in English and serve very friendly and promptly. Except the various choice of food, the dishes are priced reasonably of good value, some curries are cooked nice. Some tourists are pleased with the dining environment with natural lighting and comfortable chairs and clean tables.
4. New Mandala Restaurant – 新满斋餐厅
Address: South Section of Linkuo East Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa(near Jokhang Temple)
Cuisine: Asian, Nepalese, Tibetan, Vegan Food
New Mandala Restaurant, also called Xinmanzhai Restaurant, is decorated in typical Tibetan style, always making a quiet and clean dining environment. It offers huge range of tasty cuisines like Chinese, western dishes and Nepalese and Indian set meals. Known as an “Appointed Foreign Travelers Host of Shigatse”, staff can communicate in English and serve quickly in New Mandala. While eating, you can overlook the Jokhang Temple Square from rooftop bar.
5. Makye Ame – 玛吉阿米
Address：Barkhor Street, Lhasa (southeast Telecom Bureau opposite)
Cuisines：Tibetan Cuisines, Nepali Food, Indian Food, Western Dishes and Chinese Foods
Opening Hours：Monday - Sunday 10:30 ~ 00:00
Located at the bustling Barkhor Street, Makye Ame is a well-known art restaurant among tourists. Famous for the love story of Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso(仓央嘉措), many tourists come to visit Makye Ame and enjoy the excellent atmosphere and great view of Barkhor Street from window seats. Mainly serve all kinds of Tibetan dishes at average taste, this place charges probably the highest than other Tibet restaurant, even require a minimum consumption for each person. It is often crowded with tourists, so mostly you need to wait for a table. And waiters don’t speak much English. You can find many guest books written lots of individual travelling stories.
Eating in Shigatse
1. Songtsen Tibetan Restanrant - 颂赞藏餐厅
Address: No.19, Shigatse Shopping Street, Central Shigatse City, Shigatse Prefecture, near the Tashilhunpo Monastry.
Cuisine: Tibetan, Indian, Nepalese and Western Food
As Tibetan restaurant in downtown Shigatse, this small but very international dining destination is decorated in authentic Tibetan style, receiving no poor views on TripAdvisor on all sides. Most menus are in English and some Tibetan cuisines in Chinese. If you would like an Asian flavor meal or western food or drinks here, only English meus are offered. Delicious foods such as curry chicken, yak Momo, fried rice and potato sauce wins good reputation, worth trying if you fits your taste.
2. Little Fatty Sichuan Restaurant - 小胖子川菜饭店
Address: Zhufeng East Road, Shigatse
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 09:30~00:00
It is a very popular Sichuan restaurant with local flavor in Shigatse. Constructed in a three-story building, the big restaurant offers all kinds of Sichuan foods, like Sichuan sausage, fish-flavored shredded pork and other famous spicy dishes…With loads of choices, meals are quite filling and priced reasonably. If you a huge fan of Sichuan Cuisine, it’s the right place for you. Keep in mind that you should not eat too hot and spicy which may easily cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
3. Third Eye Restaurant – 雪莲餐厅
Address: Zhufeng Road, Shigatse
Cuisine: Indian, Tibetan, Nepali, western and Italian food and Vegetarian Dishes
Shigatse Third Eye Restaurant is one of the chain restaurants in Tibet. It offers different kinds of cuisines tourists can choose. Besides the local Tibetan specialties, you can also order some Asian type food, vegetable curry, yak steak,noodle and etc. Bilingual menus and staff who speak little English will help you order. You will enjoy the meals here because the service is highly praised, atmosphere is pleasant and seating is comfortable.
Eating in Other Regions in Tibet – Nyingchi, Shannan, Nagqu, Ngari and Qamdo
In Nyingchi, Qamdo and rest places in Tibet, tourists have great chance to taste local flavors that only made and available in the locality. Faced with traffic and material shortage, less-developed tourist cities simply offer you some common Tibetan Cuisine and special regional dishes, a worth try for your Tibet travel.
Lulang chicken soup cooked in special stone pot and Nyingchi exclusive fragrance pork are the two main features. When travelling to Ngari, Ngaqu, Qamdo prefectures, ordinary Tibetan cuisine and some simple Chinese dishes can be found in the town or county near attractions. Tsampa, butter tea, dry yak and mutton meat, yogurt and Tibetan hotpot and noodles are the most frequently eaten food. Prepare some snacks or fruit if you don’t get used to new style food. A good suggestion is that try some improved Tibetan cuisine to avoid hungry and acclimate yourself.
Essential Tibet Travel Guide
Top Tibet Destinations
Recommended Tibet Tour Packages
Tibet has too much to offer. And our aim is to bring you the best experience in Tibet. Following are some other recommended Tibet tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.
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