Eating Out

    Lhasa's catering business is developing. Besides Tibetan diet, all styles of cooking including Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and western food can all be enjoyed here. Tibetan diet, Sichuan cuisine, northwest wheaten food, northeast cuisine is most typical. Tibetan diet, rich in variety, is mainly made up of beef and mutton. Don't eat too much the first time in case of dyspepsia. If you are not used to the buttered tea, you can drink sweet milk tea. Highland Barley Wine is not strong but too much taken will result in deep sleep; so, be sure not to drink too much. When eating some dishes, such as raw meat pulp, you should eat some garlic. In some small restaurants, a dish and a soup just cost about RMB 10 yuan. And the northwest hand-pulled noodles are rather cheap. Nourishing Thenthuk (Tibetan noodles) with bone soup cost only RMB 4 yuan. Generally, the level of consumption on food is higher than that of inland. For tour group, the standard cost is RMB 50-100 yuan a day for each.

    Butter Tea

    Butter Tea is the main drink in Tibetan's daily life, made from butter, brick tea and salt. People of the Zang nationality have the habit of drinking it, which is said to help digestion. The hospitable Tibetan welcome VIP with Butter Tea, and it is impolite to refuse it. The Tea Party has been running through all kinds of klatch.


    Qingke (Highland Barley) is the main ingredient of tsampa. Tsampa is actually barley flour made from parched barley, un-husked and ground into fine flour and then eaten with butter. People also make tsampa by mixing qingke flour and peas. Tsampa made from qingke is a Tibetan traditional food, severed in the restaurants of Lhasa to accommodate the visitors from all over the world. At religious festivals, Tibetans will shed tsampa as a way of blessing.

    Beef and mutton

    Tibetan mainly live on beef, mutton and milk products. In the pastoral areas, people don't eat vegetables. In this area even in the whole Tibetan area the diet is monotonous, rich in fat and protein. As is known, beef and mutton is rich in calories, which is good for people living on the tableland to keep warm. It's interesting that the Tibetan has a custom to eat raw meat. If you go to a herdsman's or a farmer's home, you will see the air-dried beef and mutton hung inside the house or tents. And the host will treat you to such meat, which can only be tasted on the tableland.

    Mashed yak meat

    Tibetan medicines are mysterious. Mashed yak meat is the mixture of some Tibetan medicines and mashed raw beef, blood red, pungent, and you will feel hot inside after eating it. It's said that Tibet is a place where time can stop, and people today still like to enjoy the sunshine at the foot of the Potala Palace after such a good meal, feeling rather satisfied.


    Tsampa is the basic food in Tibet, which is consumed daily. Tsampa is actually barley flour made from parched barley, un-husked and ground into fine flour. Mix the flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl with the left hand and mix the food with the fingers of your right hand, rolling it into small lumps, and squeezing it into your mouth with your fingers. Other ingredients may also be added to add flavor.

    Where to Dine

    Tibetan Restaurants

    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.

    Aside from the above-mentioned restaurants, the night market on Duosenge Road is an interesting place where you can get street food and drink at very reasonable prices.

Other Travelers' Questions

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 Ms. Janette Ressue from: 15 days Tibet Mount Kailash Trekking plus Mt. Everest Base Camp

I am very interested in the tour this June beginning June 19th.  Are there any earlier departures in June for this 15 day tour that includes Mt. Everest and Mt Kailash trek?

Thanks you!
Answered by Nancy

Dear Ms. Janette Ressue,

Greetings from Nancy Chung at BTT. We have this group tour 4th and 22nd June. Both dates are available for you. Please check your email for the details. Thanks a lot.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Ms. Ute Wilmas from: 10 Days Tibet Mt. Everest Base Camp plus Namtso Lake Group Tour
Hey, what means TTP and PSB?
Is the fee for Tibet visa included in this tour price?
Thanks for your answers.
Ute Wilmas
Answered by Nancy

Dear Ms. Ute Wilmas,

Greetings from Nancy at BTT. TTP (B) and PSB mean Tibet Travel Bureau and Public Security Bureau. And if you want to travel to Tibet, we have to apply Tibet permit from them with your passport and China visa copies. Yeah, the tour package includes the permit service and the fee. For more details please check your email. Best regards.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Mr. Rai from: Nepal to Tibet overland tour plus Mt. Kailash
hi i want to go to mt kailash and mansovar lake as well as lhasa and shigatse this early May from kathmandu. could you email me the packages like 13 days or 16 days etc and the cost for a nepali passport holder and for my friend who is a british passport holder
Answered by Nancy

Dear Mr. Rai,

Thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. Yes, we have 13days Tibet Mount Kailash Trekking plus Mt. Everest Base Camp group tour on 13th and 21st May. As this group tour can end at the border of Nepal and China. For the 21st May group tour it will come cross the Saga Dawa festival in Kailash if you are interested. Please check your email for the tour details about it. Thanks a lot.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Ms. Tina from: 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp
Hi interested in joining this tour early Sept. Also interested to know what the discount is if I book early and for the entrance costs extra are these not needed if I was not to enter some of the the places  Tina
Answered by Helen

Dear Tina,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. If you book tour with us three months in advance, to show our welcome gesture, we are able to offer an early bird discount to you. Because the entrance fee is not included in our tour price, if you don't want to visit some spots, you won't need to pay the entrance fee. For more details, please check your email. Best regards, Helen.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Mr. Stephen Sayuk from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express
We have booked a tour to China. We would like to leave the tour to visit Tibet. The opportunity we have is to fly to Lhasa the morning of May 3 and rejoin the tour in Chongqing on May 6. Thus we would have 4 days and 3 nights available. I have a US passport and my wife has a Chilean passport.  Please give us your recommendations and costs for such a diversion. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Answered by Helen

Dear Stephen,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. It's no problem for you to join a 4-day Lhasa tour. But we currently have one departure date on 2nd May, not on 3rd May, I was wondering whether you can advance your Lhasa tour one day earlier or not. If not, we will make a little adjustment for your Lhasa tour. Please check your email for more details. Best wishes, Helen.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

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