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Know what to eat in Bhutan, tips on eating out in Bhutan and Bhutanese restaurants here.







What to Eat in Bhutan

Most of the good Bhutanese restaurants are the ones found in the hotels themselves. The most preferable way to eat in restaurants of Bhutan inside a hotel is to opt for elaborate Buffet-style servings. Rice and vegetables with lots of chili, especially ‘Ema-Datsi’ (National Dish consisting of chili and cheese) is the traditional and staple meal of the people of Bhutan. Bhutanese menus offer a wide variety of fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, fern, cabbage, potatoes, spinach and onions, red and white rice, meats, poultry and fish. Tibetan moms and noodle dishes are quite popular in Bhutan too.

However, professional Bhutanese chefs make their food more suitable for western palate by keeping the use of spices under control while preparing Continental and Chinese dishes. Besides the traditional Bhutanese food, you may also try Tibetan and Indian cuisines in Bhutan. In the wilderness of Bhutan, pork fat is quite popular because of its high-energy content but visitors may find it stale and inedible. Fresh cheese is a common ingredient used while cooking vegetables in Bhutan. Buckwheat replaces rice in central Bhutan and buckwheat pancakes and noodles in Bumthang region are famous. Suja (butter tea) and Ara (local spirit brewed from rice, wheat or corn) are common beverages in Bhutan.

You may find unusual ingredients in Bhutanese vegetarian dishes such as nettles, orchids and mushrooms. Bhutanese people love to chew ‘doma’, known as ‘paan’ in India, but visitors may not relish it much. Food provided to travelers is generally bland as opposed to local food, which is very hot and spicy, but it is best to make your request clear before you order the food. Menu on a cultural tour is quite elaborate and often consists of:

  • For Breakfast: Canned juice with choice of orange, mango, pineapple, apple etc, Porridge/cornflakes/cereals, Fresh fruits, Sausages/bacon, Toast, butter and Jam, Eggs, Tea/coffee
  • For Lunch: Salad, Rice, 2 Non-vegetable items, 2 Vegetable items, Roti/Nan, Desert, Tea/Coffee
  • For Dinner: Soup, Salad, Rice, Noodles, 2 Non-vegetable items, 2 Vegetable items, Desert, Tea/Coffee
  • For Evening Tea: Tea/Coffee, Cookies/sandwich, Biscuits/pasteries

On a Trekking trip, you are usually served:
  • For Breakfast: Canned juice with choice of orange, mango, pineapple, apple etc., Porridge/cornflakes/cereals, Fresh fruits, Sausages/bacon, Eggs, Tea/Coffee
  • For Lunch: Vegetable cutlet/sandwich/boiled potato, Chicken roast/roast beef, Boiled eggs, Roti/Naan, Fresh fruits, Canned juice, Boiled drinking water
  • For Dinner: Soup, Salad, Rice, Noodles, 2 Non-vegetable items, 2 Vegetable items, Desert, Tea/Coffee
  • For Evening Tea: Tea/Coffee, Cookies/sandwich, Biscuits





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