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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for What To Eat And Drink In Bhutan – A Foodie's Guide
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What To Eat And Drink In Bhutan – A Foodie's Guide

You'll thank your lucky stars for this guide on the best food and drink options to consume while you're in Bhutan. Note - local food can get quite spicy, since they consider chillies as a vegetable!


Ema Datshi

A common dish served at many Bhutan restaurants, ema datshi is a comforting concoction of chilli and cheese. The cheese is usually made from the curd of a yak and made in to a thick curry. With a high dose of chilli added to this dish, tourists who are unable to handle spices are advised to consume this dish with a spoon full of caution. A variation of this dish is Kewa Datshi, where potatoes replace the chillies – opt for this if you're not daring enough to try the dish with chillies!


Shakam paa

Shakaam pass is a mouth watering dish of dried beef that's tossed with dried chillies and radish on an open flame. A good source of protein for non vegetarian locals and tourists, the beef is made to be slightly on the chewy side and served with LOTS of dry chillies! So, make sure you've got a cold glass of water lined up next to you!


Phaksha paa

This dish includes thinly sliced pork that's stir fried and served with dry red chillies, and usually accompanied with rice and datshi dishes. If you're a fan of pork, many restaurants such as Bukhari at COMO Uma Paro offer a variety of delectable pork dishes that will leave you craving for more!



Ideally, a Tibetan dish; Momos originates from the Himalayan region and are quite similar to that served in China. Momos are steamed dumplings that are filled with cheese or vegetables, minced meat and served with a massive dollop of ezay; local chilli sauce. Momos should be eaten when they're piping hot - these delicious dumplings of happiness can either be steamed or deep fried.


Jasha Maroo

A spicy chicken dish, obviously served with a lot of chillies, onions, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves and tomatoes, Jasha Maroo is a must try for chicken lovers! This dish is usually accompanied with red rice!



To wash all the good local food down, grab a glass of Chang beer; a popular alcoholic beverage served in Bhutan. Chang is a cereal based beverage and has been known to cure colds and fevers – according to myths at least.



An alcoholic beverage that's locally made from maize, wheat, rice or mallet and usually fermented or distilled, Ara is a clear, white or creamy coloured drink. It should be noted that the legal drinking age in Bhutan in 18.


Butter tea

When it gets too cold in Bhutan, butter tea is usually a quick saving grace from it. However, it should be noted that Butter tea is not everyone's cup of tea (pun completely intended). Traditionally, this tea is made from yak butter, tea leaves, water and salt, however, with time, cow milk churned in to butter serves as a quick and cheaper alternative.