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Food and Drinks in Tibet
Meals in Tibet

Tibetan food

One of the basic Tibetan foods is tsam-pa, a type of dough made from roasted barley flour, yak butter with water, and a local, slightly acidic beer. Those who appreciate new experiences can eat tsam-pa without hesitation and are not scared off by the slightly rancid taste caused by the yak butter.

Outside of Lhasa, Tibetan food is mainly combined by momos (a pastry filled with minced beef or soy tubers) and thugpa (a noodle soup).

Chinese food

The Chinese food in Tibet comes almost from Sichuan Province. Sichuan's cuisine is considered to be one of the best regional in China. In Tibet, however, the entire variety of spices is (unfortunately) dispensed.


Even if it is probably not the highlight of a trip to Tibet, every traveler should have tried the local drink at least once, yak butter tea. It is made from yak butter, and is mixed with salt, milk, soda, tea leaves and hot water. The shaken mixture looks and smells more like a broth than a tea.

Mixed with tsam-pa is considered as a main course and is often offered in the monasteries and the locals.

The Tibetan art of brewing is known as chang, a fermented beer made from highland barley. It is very fruity and rich in taste. People’s opinions on the taste range from obnoxious to very delicious. But its alcohol content only can be assumed.

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