Tibet Drinking

The special geographical conditions, harsh climate, traditional religious beliefs and ethnic customs of the Tibetan plateau make the Tibetan people have unique drinks. Their daily diet consists mainly of meat, dairy food and other high-protein foods to help them resist the cold.

What to Drink in Tibet

There are a number of traditional beverages enjoyed by the Tibetan people. Here below are 4 main drinks in Tibet. 

Yak Butter Tea

Yak butter tea is a necessary drink for Tibetan people to entertain guests. It is often served with zanba and other staple foods. Brick tea contains much tannic acid, which can stimulate gastrointestinal writhing and accelerate digestion. If you drink the tea alone, you will be easy to get hungry. So yak butter or milk is needed when drinking the brick tea. Buttered tea is the best beverage in Shangri-la area because of its high quantity of heat, which can eliminate the cold and replenish the heat needed by human body. 

Sweet Tea

If Barkhor street is the heart of Lhasa, then sweet tea house is the blood of Lhasa. Sweet tea ranks the first among the necessities of life for local people in Lhasa. Sweet tea houses in all corners of Lhasa are the most close to life and the best expression of Lhasa’s local culture. Lhasa sweet tea is made of black tea, milk or milk powder and white sugar. It tastes sweet and delicious, and is rich in nutrition. 

Highland Barley Wine

The highland barley wine is a Tibetan favorite, a kind of liquor made from highland barley with low alcohol content. In Tibetan areas, almost every family can make the barley wine. Every time when festival, marriage, giving birth to a baby, welcoming friends and relatives, barley wine is the best drink for Tibetan people to entertain guests. The Tibetan people have a long history of brewing highland barley wine.


Tibetan yogurt is a kind of unique dairy product in the Tibetan area. It is made with the yak milk which has been extracted yak butter. It is rich in nutrition, helpful for digestion, producing saliva and slaking thirst. It is most suitable for the old people and children.

Where to Drink in Tibet

  • Makye Ame Restaurant(玛吉阿米餐厅)
    Address: Barhkor Street, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区八廓街
    Tel:  0891-6328608
    Introduction: The restaurant not only serves delicious food, but also provide tourists with tasty sweet tea, yogurt, and other beverages.
  • Ganglamedo Bar & Restaurant(岗拉梅朵酒吧餐厅)
    Address: No.127, Beijing East Road, Lhasa(Across from Yak hotel)拉萨市北京东路127号(亚宾馆斜对面)
    Tel: 0891-6333657
    Introduction: This restaurant is another restaurant which offers soft beverages as well as special Tibetan drink such as barley wine, sweet tea and the like. 
  • Anitsangkung Nunnery Sweet Tea House(仓姑寺甜茶馆)
    Address: Linkuo South Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区林廓南路
  • Guangming Gangqiong Sweet Tea House(光明港琼甜茶馆)
    Address: Tibetan Medicine Hospital Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区藏医院路
    Tel: 0891-6885357
  • Yak Yogurt Shop(牦牛酸奶坊)
    Address: No.41, Beijing Middle Road, Gongdelin Sub-district, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区公德林街道北京中路41号
    Tel: 0891-6837131/13908998965
  • Bazha Yogurt(巴扎酸奶)
    Address: Lhasa Department Store, Beijing Middle Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区北京中路拉萨百货大楼
    Tel: 18908997750/18089915121
  • Nima Teahouse(尼玛茶馆)
    Address: Beijing East Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa拉萨市城关区北京东路