The Potala Palace Dining
No trip to Tibet is complete without trying local Tibetan food. While a little limited in ingredient options due to the harsh climate, its rather high altitude, very religious belief and ethnic customs endow the traditional Tibetan food with many unique characters which will offer your palate a rare and comforting treat. To resist the severe weather of the high attitudes, Tibetan cuisines mainly focus on a variety of high-calorie ingredients such as beef, mutton, yak meat, and dairy products. Fish is seldom served for the religious reasons. Regarding culinary practices, Tibetan cuisine enjoys a heavy influence of Chinese cuisine, neighboring Indian and Nepalese cuisine, as well as its nomadic lifestyle. For your reference, the following is our list of most recommended Tibetan food and top-rated places to eat in Tibet.
What to Eat near Potala Palace
A staple food appears at every meal, Tsampa is the roasted barley flour which is usually eaten by mixing with salty butter tea for a dough. No need to cook and easy to carry, it is the ideal food choice for road trips.
In acquired taste, butter tea is the most famous food in Tibetan and usually served together with tsampa. Being made of yak butter, tea leaves, water and salt, the butter tea with high-caloric energy has been a necessity to the high attitudes for helping prevent the harsh cold.
Featuring chewy noodles and hot savory soup, the hand-pulled Tibetan noodle soup is another common food of the high plateau which is usually served with tender chunks of mutton, beef, yak meat or vegetables.
Tingmo is a type of steamed bun or bread. It is usually served along with other foods but sometimes it is stuffed with meat or cheese. This is a good choice to stow your belly when you are very hungry.
Where to Eat near Potala Palace
Crazy Yak Saloon
It lies next door to Kirey Hotel on Beijing East Road. It has uniquely Tibetan decor and furnishings. Tibetan dish has a good reputation here and the yak meat comes recommended. The other highlight is the local song and dance show from 19:30 to 20:30 every evening.
It lies opposite the Kirey Hotel, on East Beijing Road, and it is one of the largest Tibetan restaurants in Lhasa. It serves aweto chicken and aweto beef as well as some common dishes.
Snow-Deity Palace Tibetan Style Restaurant
It 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 dishes on offer such as freshly fried mutton chops and Tibetan steamed stuffed buns.
Next to Snowland Hotel on Mentsikhang Road, it has a range of western, Tibetan and Nepalese food. Its Nepalese food and pizza are delicious. The price is moderate when compared with the excellent quality of the food.
Close to Penthoc Guesthouse and Tashi 2 in the Kirey Hotel, it is a favorite of many visitors. It is clean, quiet and the staffs speak good English. They offer featured local dishes including momos, tsampa, thukpa and fried yak meat as well as spaghetti, mashed potatoes and fries.
It is located west of Middle Beijing Road. It offers local dishes such as fried mutton chops, radish stew, yak meat and potato buns.