The most important tip I can give you on Bhutan  local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Bhutan, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.

What to Eat in Bhutan

Rice is a staple with every meal. Vegetable or meat dishes cooked with chili and/or cheese comprise the accompanying cuisine. Bhutanese food has one predominant flavour – chili. This small red condiment is not only added to every dish but is also often eaten raw. So, if you don’t like spicy-hot food, make this abundantly clear before ordering a meal. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the next hour dousing your mouth with cold yogurt or milk. Fresh milk for your coffee mixture which is the most fresh and must taste.

Bhutan foods photo

Photo by yosoynuts

Hot-pot and Western European Foods is now available at some restaurants in Thimphu now where are served French Fries, Pork or Beef Ribs, Pizza etc., Vegetarian dishes Ema-datsi. Ema means chili and datsi is a kind of cottage cheese, so ema-datsi is a kind of spiced-up Welsh rarebit. Kewa-datsi. A potato, cheese and chili dish. Shamu-datsi. A mushroom, cheese and chili dish. Kewa-datsi and shamu-datsi tend to be less hot than ema-datsi; all three dishes are generally served with rice. Mutter paneer. Though not a Bhutanese dish, this Indian staple of curried peas and cheese is readily available throughout Bhutan and is therefore an additional choice for vegetarians.

Cheese momo. A small steamed bun that traditionally contained cheese, cabbage and sometimes onion. However, these days other vegetables, including green papaya, may be substituted for cabbage. Khuli. Buckwheat pancakes – a specialty of Bumthang. They are often served with ema-datsi as an alternative to rice. Puta. A dish of buckwheat noodles usually served with curd – a specialty of Bumthang Imtrat run canteens that sell excellent Indian dishes along with tea from 09:30to 16:30. The quality of the food is very good, while the price is low. The canteens are located throughout the country, especially along main highways.

What to Drink in Bhutan

The legal drinking/purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 18. Ara. A local spirit brewed from rice or corn. It is popular in rural areas. Tea. Located next to the tea growing regions of Assam and Darjeeling, a steaming cuppa remains the popular drink in Bhutan, with both the butter variety (suja) and sweet milk kind (ngaja) readily available throughout the country. Coffee.

Coffee photo

Photo by chichacha

The coffee culture that has swept most of the planet is just beginning to creep into the country. However, for the most part, coffee in Bhutan means the instant variety and it is served simply white or black. “”Beer””. A local raw fresh beer brand name “Red Panda” which is the most fresh and good for tasting.

Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.