Tibet Food and Restaurants

Tibet Food and Restaurants

By Kelly PangUpdated May. 17, 2021

Tibetan people's traditional food is mainly composed of meat (beef, mutton or yak), and very few vegetables are available. Beef, mutton and yak meat are high-calorie which can help local people living at high altitude to resist cold. Their unique drinks are also integral to Tibetan diet, including yak butter tea, sweat tea and barley tea.

Yak Butter

Yak butter is the staple food and can be found everywhere in Tibet. It is indispensable for Tibetan people, consumed as a drink or served with Tsampa. It is extracted from milk or ewe’s milk and then churned with butter and salt. Serving yak butter tea for guests is an old tradition for every Tibetan household.

Tsampa (aka. Zanba, roasted barley flour)

Tsampa is an important and staple food for Tibetan people. It is easy to make and carry around. Tsampa is made with highland barley, tried, fried and grinded into flour. When eating Tsampa, it is mixed with yak butter and kneaded into lumps.

Tibetan Noodle


Tibetan noodle is a very typical local breakfast and traditional snack. The noodle is made of highland barley and cooled with yak meat soup. A scrumptious breakfast consists of Tibetan noodle with spoons of pepper sauce, meat pancakes on the side, and a cup of sweet tea.

Tibetan Yogurt

Yogurt has been essential in Tibetan people’s everyday life for over one thousand years. Shoton Festival, one of the most important traditional festivals in Tibet, was named after Yogurt, indicating this festival was the time for eating yogurt. Tibetan yogurt is made from yak milk, natural and thick without additives.

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