A visit to Thimphu is a treat for all your senses. But your taste buds will be pampered the most. The capital city of Bhutan is also home to some of the country’s finest eateries, serving an eclectic mix of cuisines from around the world, at an affordable price.
Some of the more renowned places to eat in Thimphu are the ones most frequented by travellers. Though there are also a few local gems that you must try too.
The Bhutan Kitchen is one such restaurant that serves amazing authentic Bhutanese cuisine. Here you’ll find both locals and tourists alike, munching on the local staple called ‘ema datshi’ — essentially a spicy cheese and chilli stew. Even local celebrities come here for a wholesome meal in traditional style seating.
Another absolute favourite amongst the places to eat in Thimphu is Ambient Cafe, located in the heart of the city. Stroll in and sink into your seat, browse through a book from the in-house book exchange shelf. Here you can get a quick bite, a filling meal or simply a steaming bowl of fresh brew.
Any list of the best places to eat in Thimphu would be incomplete without restaurants like Seasons, Cloud 9 and Zone. These are rated highly for their quality and taste. Seasons serves Italian cuisine and is famous for its thin-crust pizzas, salads or desserts, savoured best at its alfresco seating. At Cloud 9, you’ll find that something familiar, though with its own charm. They serve brioche-bun burgers, made only using the finest ingredients!
If that isn’t tempting enough, they also prepare their own ice cream, which is just the perfect consistency. Meanwhile, the Zone sits somewhere in between a bar and a diner, with decor to match. Here you can have anything from pizza to momos to hot dogs — the choice is yours.
If you’re willing to travel just a little bit extra, you can eat out at one of Thimphu’s offbeat dining options, the Babesa Village Restaurant. Local specialties are a must-try here, be it ribs, lom which is dried turnip leaf, and mengay. You’ll have to take a 7 km ride to the outskirts of the city to reach this culinary jewel, but that ride will be worth it once you see this centuries-old building with its pleasing exteriors.
The brisk mountain air of Bhutan can whip up some big appetites. But the variety on offer here is more than enough to sate even the biggest of appetites. SOTC has some carefully curated Thimphu packages. Pick one and get ready to sample the gastronomic delights the country has to offer.