Babesa Village Restaurant, Bhutan: Cultural Dinning Experience

 In Bhutan, General, Holidays, restaurant, Travel

Imagine dining like a local in a rustic Bhutanese mud house on your trip to Bhutan with the traditional seating and authentic Bhutanese cuisine served in the earthen and wooden tableware! Well, you can experience this at the Babesa Village Restaurant near Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan.

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Thimphu, Bhutan, lies Babesa Village Restaurant, a haven for those seeking an authentic Bhutanese culinary experience. This charming establishment, housed in a restored century-old house, exudes a rustic charm that transports you back in time. Thus, savoring a meal in this authentic setting is one of the top things to do in Bhutan.

About Babesa Village Restaurant

Source: tripadvisor

More than just a restaurant, Babesa Village restaurant in Thimphu is an experience that transports you to the heart of Bhutanese culture. Founded in 1999, this family-run establishment has gained immense popularity amongst tourists and locals alike.

When most of the people were tearing down the old buildings to construct a more modern building, the owner of this restaurant decided to restore and convert this ancestral home into a cosy and homely dinning space for locals and tourists and give them an opportunity to enjoy the authentic dinning experience.

The owner claims that the building is more than 500 years old and that it belonged to the wide of Drukpa Kunley, the revered “Divine Madman” of Bhutan who is worshippped in Chimi Lakhang. To the day, there is shrine room inside the house but it is closed to public. It is only opened during annual rituals for the public to pray and worship.

Babesa Village restaurant takes pride in its commitment to sustainability. They source their ingredients from local farmers, ensuring freshness and supporting the local community. Additionally, they minimize waste by composting food scraps and using eco-friendly cleaning products. Its commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and sustainable practices ensures that every meal is not only delicious but also ethically responsible.



Located on the outskirts of Thimphu around 7 km away, amidst lush greenery and breathtaking mountain views, Babesa Village Restaurant offers a perfectly escape from the city’s bustle. The restaurant is conveniently situated near major landmarks like the National Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant and the Changlimithang Stadium.

It’s perfect location, makes it a perfect stop for a meal after completing or before starting the sightseeing of the tourist places in Thimphu.

Address: Thimphu express way, near Dr.Tobgyel School, Thimphu, Bhutan 00975

Timings: 10 AM – 10 PM

The Ambiance Of Babesa Village Restaurant

Source: tripadvisor

Step into Babesa Village Restaurant, and you’re greeted by a warm and inviting ambiance. The traditional Bhutanese architecture, adorned with intricate wood carvings, colorful prayer flags and tapestries, creates a sense of peace. 

This restaurant in Bhutan gives a feel of dinning like a local as the interiors are exactly like that of a Bhutanese house. The soft glow of candlelight adds to the charm, while the gentle murmur of conversation and the aroma of spices wafting from the kitchen set the stage for a memorable dining experience.

 The restaurant boasts stunning views of the surrounding hills, adding to the overall charm. The staff, dressed in traditional Bhutanese attire, are known for their warm hospitality and attentiveness. They are always happy to explain the dishes and recommend specialties, ensuring you have a truly enjoyable experience.

Cuisine Served At Babesa Village Restaurant

Source: tripadvisor

The Babesa Village Restaurant is one of the top restaurant in Thimphu if you want to indulge in the traditional Bhutanese food. Bhutanese Cuisine is known for its unique blend of spices and flavors, often featuring chilies, ginger, and fermented ingredients. Their menu features an array of traditional Bhutanese dishes, each bursting with flavor and cultural significance.

Some must-try dishes at Babesa Village Restaurant includes:

  • Ema Datshi: This national dish of Bhutan is a must-try. Spicy chilies cooked in a cheesy sauce, it is a true explosion of flavors.
  • Shakam Shamu: This sun-dried beef dish is a unique and flavorful experience.
  • Phakhsha Paa: his stir-fried pork with chilies is a fiery delight for those who love a bit of spice.
  • Bjasha maru: This chicken curry is a hearty and flavorful dish, cooked with a blend of spices and herbs that capture the essence of Bhutanese cuisine.
  • Lom: This dried turnip leaf dish is a unique and healthy option for vegetarians. The slightly bitter taste is balanced by the addition of chilies and spices, making it a truly memorable dish.
  • Mengay: Often referred to as the “Bhutanese pizza,” mengay is a delicious flatbread topped with cheese, vegetables, and meat. It’s a perfect option for those seeking a light and flavorful snack.

No Bhutanese meal is complete without trying their traditional beverages. Babesa Village Restaurant offers a selection of local favorites, including:

  • Suja: This butter tea is a staple in Bhutanese culture and is known for its warming properties.
  • Ara: This local rice wine is a perfect way to end your meal.

How To Reach Babesa Village Restaurant?


To reach Babesa Village Restaurant from India, here are a few options:

  • By Airways: The best way to reach the Babesa Restaurant is to fly to Paro International Airport in Bhutan. There are flights from major Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bagdogra to Paro. From Paro Airport, you can take a taxi or hire a car to reach Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, where Babesa Village Restaurant is located. It’s about a 1-hour drive from Paro to Thimphu.
  • By Roadways: If you prefer a road trip, you can enter Bhutan via the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border crossing. This border is open to Indian tourists. From Phuentsholing, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Thimphu. The journey takes around 6-7 hours by road.
  • By Railways: Unfortunately, there are no direct railway connections to Bhutan. The nearest railway station to the border town of Phuentsholing is Hasimara Railway Station in West Bengal, India. From Hasimara, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Phuentsholing. But You can also travel to New Jaipaiguri Railway Station as it is connected to major Indian cities by railway network.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious foodie, Babesa Village Restaurant in Thimphu  is a must-visit for those seeking an authentic Bhutanese experience. With its delicious cuisine, warm ambiance, and commitment to sustainability, this restaurant is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Does Babesa Village Restaurant accept reservations, and what are its operating hours?

Yes, reservations are recommended to ensure you get a table, especially during peak season. You can reach them by phone (+975 17 16 36 60). The restaurant’s operating hours are generally 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, but it’s advisable to double-check or call them for the most up-to-date information.

Is Babesa Village Restaurant suitable for vegetarians and individuals with dietary restrictions?

While the majority of their dishes feature meat, they do offer several vegetarian options like Kewa Datshi and vegetable Momos. If you have specific dietary restrictions, it’s best to contact the restaurant beforehand to discuss your needs and see if they can accommodate them.

Where is Babesa Village Restaurant located?

The restaurant is situated on the outskirts of Thimphu in the southern side approximately 7 kms away. It’s peaceful location near the National Folk Heritage Museum and the Changlimithang Stadium, makes it a perfect stopover to relish a delicious meal.

What type of cuisine does Babesa Village Restaurant offer?

Babesa Village Restaurant specializes in authentic Bhutanese cuisine. This means you’ll find dishes like Ema Datshi (spicy chili and cheese stew), Kewa Datshi (potato and cheese curry), Shakam Shamu (sun-dried beef), and Momos (steamed dumplings) on the menu. They also offer local beverages like Suja (butter tea) and Ara (rice wine).

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