Tibet : Food and Restaurants

Tibetan FoodFoods in Tibet differ in pastoral areas and agricultural areas. The staple food includes roasted highland barley flour, wheat flour, meat, or red food, and milk, or white food. The principle in summer is the white food, while that in winter is the red food. Local flavors in the pastoral areas are mutton sausage, and dried beef. The flavor of the Tibetan food is fresh, light ,and tender. Salt, onion and garlic are the main ingredients. There are many restaurants in Lhasa, Shigatse, Tshedang, Gyantse and Shigatse. All restaurants of various classes are decorated and furnished in the traditional Tibetan style. Diners can enjoy delicious Tibetan dishes while admiring paintings and murals symbolizing happiness and good luck in the restaurants. High on the menu are such flavors as sausages, barley wine, butter oil tea, beef and mutton eaten with the hands, yak tongue, steamed buns, zanba made from highland barley, pastries, sweet tea, butter tea, dried beef, and xiapuqing, or minced mutton and beef.

Traditional Tibetan food consist mainly barley, meat and dairy products. Vegetables are scarce in the high altitude. Tsampa is the staple food of Tibetan people, which is consumed daily. It is actually barley flour made from parched barley, unhusked and ground into fine flour. Put some flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl with the left hand and mix the food with your fingers of your right hand, roll it into small lumps, then squeeze it into your mouth with your fingers. Other ingredients may also be added to add flavor. Tibetan people eat Tsampa at every meal and bring it as instant food in travel. The salted butter tea is an indispensable Tsampa pal. Boiled tea is poured into a long cylindrical churn along with salt and yak butter. Vigorous churning makes the ingredients well blended and ready to serve. Tibetan people drink it throughout the whole day. Yak butter is very important food for Tibetan people and it is separated from yak milk by hard churning. After butter is separated from milk, the residue becomes sour and can be made into milk curd, which is a nice thirst quenchable and can be made into milk curd pastry with barley flour.
 



Restaurants in Tibet:
Restaurants in Lhasa serve the best food . The food includes Tibetan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine and western style dishes. Some hotel restaurants even provide Nepalese and Indian food. It's worth noting that Sichuan dishes in Tibet are more expensive than in other parts of China. Tourist restaurants also serve delicacies and almost every hotel has western food. Most of the restaurants can be found clustered around the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, the center of Lhasa City, so that travelers can find places to eat and drink within easy reach.

Crazy Yak Saloon lies next door to Kirey Hotel on Beijing East Road. It has uniquely Tibetan decor and furnishings. Tibetan food has a good reputation here and the yak meat comes recommended. The other highlight is the Tibetan song and dance show from 19:30 to 20:30 every evening.

Ethnic Restaurant lies opposite the Kirey Hotel, on East Beijing Road, and it is one of the largest Tibetan restaurants in Lhasa. The restaurant serves aweto chicken and aweto beef as well as some common dishes.

Snow-Deity Palace Tibetan Style Restaurant is located just west of the Potala Palace Plaza. It is one of the only slap-up Tibetan Style restaurants in Lhasa. There is authentic Tibetan food on offer such as freshly fried mutton chops and Tibetan steamed stuffed buns.

Snowland Restaurant next to Snowland Hotel on Mentsikhang Road has a range of western food, Tibetan food and Nepalese food. Its Nepalese food and pizza are delicious. The price is moderate when compared with the excellent quality of the food.
Tashi Restaurant, close to Penthoc Guesthouse and Tashi 2 in the Kirey Hotel is a favorite of many travelers. It is clean, quiet and the staffs speak good English. They offer Tibetan food including Tibetan momos, tsampa, thukpa and fried yak meat as well as spaghetti, mashed potatoes and fries.

Tibetan Cafeteria is located west of Middle Beijing Road. It offers Tibetan food such as fried mutton chops, radish stew, yak meat and potato buns.

Aloo Gang is located on Duosengge Road. It serves veggie food, yak butter tea and soup.

Barkhor Cafe has various drinks and foods and a few PCs with internet access are available. Its rooftop terrace is popular among travelers since you can enjoy drinks watching the sunset over the Jokhang Temple.

Beimei Fast Food (North America Fast Food), on Beijing East Road, serves hamburgers, hotdogs and soups etc.
Curried Potato Restaurant is located at the first crossing on the right of Jokhang Temple and offers delicious but cheap food such as curried potato, curried barbecue and yogurt.

Hard Yak Cafe in Lhasa Hotel has a range of expensive western food and a good ambience. Lhasa Hotel also has a fast food stall on Mentsikhang Road serving hamburgers and fried tomatoes.

Kailash Restaurant on the rooftop of Banak Shol Hotel on Beijing East Road is also a great place to dine. With pleasant and friendly service, the restaurant serves food including a nice breakfast, yak burgers and many vegetarian options too.
Makye Ame Restaurant on the southeastern corner of Barkhor Street is often busy with western travelers. It serves tasty dishes with pasta and pesto and makes good coffee. A few computer terminals make emails possible too.

Xinfeng Restaurant is located at the East Beijing Road provides all kinds of European food, especially the grilled burgers

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