Where to satisfy your momo cravings in Thimphu, Bhutan


You can't go wrong with momo. It's almost always the answer to a growling stomach and social events.

Want to treat your friends?  Momo

Break the monotony of rice-eating culture in Bhutan?  Momo

A quick grab during lunch hour? Momo

A family outing on a Sunday? Momo

A snack with tea for an official gathering? Momo

Getting munchies? Momo.

Momo is a staple snack (if there can be one) in Bhutanese cuisines. Momos are 'dumplings' made from palm-sized wheat dough sheets stuffed with fillings of myriad choices like meat, cheese and or vegetable fillings. Momo has found its footing as the most loved and must-have snack in Bhutan though it’s believed to have its origin in Chinese/Tibetan cuisines. There's little doubt why it shouldn’t be on the list of the must-try-Bhutanese-dishes while in Bhutan. 

The lethal combination of steamy momo and spicy ezay (pickle made from a good blend of chilli, tomatoes, onions, spring leaves and coriander) is a must-try. And potato momo is also picking momentum in the momo race. 

Here’s a quick guide to the types of momo (dumpling) to try while in Thimphu, Bhutan (from the conventional cheese and beef momo to the new ones with a twist such as gravy momo):

1. Steamed vegetarian and non-vegetarian momo

Old is gold. Let’s start with the most common and first in the market. The usual vegetarian momo comprises cheese and vegetable filling, and non-vegetarian momo's fillings are either beef or pork. As you dig in, the thin sheet of dough cover will pave the way into juicy minced vegetables and meat combination, leaving an aftertaste of buttery ginger & onion flavour. You can dip the momo in the chilli paste served with the momo for that tinge of spicy flavour. If you order non-vegetarian momo, then you also get a stew or soup to flush down your momo.

Where to eat:

Zombala Restaurant, Main Traffic, Thimphu.


2. Gravy momo

Perhaps my personal favourite on the list if I have to choose one is gravy momo. The covering is the same steamed dough with vegetable or meat filling, but it’s served dipped in a spicy gravy. The sauce is flour-based with finely chopped spring onion and garlic sprinkled with peppers. As you sink your pearly teeth into the momo, the sauce leaves a mix of eclectic sweet, savoury, spicy and sour flavour, in addition to the delicious taste of momo. Heavenly indeed!

Where to eat: Momo Corner, Opposite Clock Tower. 

3. Paneer momo

A twist to the regular cheese momo, paneer momo is another choice for vegetarians. The dense, crumbly texture of the paneer beautifully blended with spicy flavours is a great change to the otherwise juicy filling. The milky and slightly buttery taste of the paneer prevents the momo from being greasy, making you fully relish the rich flavour.

Where to eat: The Mama, Main Traffic, Thimphu town.

4. Ema datsi momo

What makes someone a Bhutanese? It’s one’s love for chilli. Bhutan has a popular dish called ema datsi (chilli cheese), which Bhutanese consume daily with rice. Thus no rocket science to search for reasons why there shouldn’t be an ema datsi momo. If you love hot chilli food, you are in for a treat with the ema datsi curry stuffing. It’s hot, it’s spicy, and it’s cheesy!

Where to eat: Coffee Culture, Thimphu town.

Contact: +97517840268

5. Kewa Momo

If you love mashed potatoes, this is for you. Kewa momo has mashed potato with garnished ginger flavour that melts in your mouth as soon as you bite the dough cover and chew it. Buttery and not spicy yet succulent. Maybe you could start with kewa momo on your momo-tasting journey.

Where to eat: Burger Point, Thimphu town.

Contact: +97517544044

Quick tips:

  1. The round-shaped momos are vegetarian, and the elongated ones are usually non-vegetarian.

  2. The stuffing inside determines the name of the momo (E.g : cheese momo will have cheese filling).

  3. You can get all momos steamed or fried, alongside gravy or soup.

Momo is delicious, bite-sized food with options of savoury, spicy and buttery flavour depending on the filling, either for a light lunch or as a snack. A plate of momo is a must-have on your next trip to Bhutan. Given the importance of momo in Bhutan and Bhutanese culinary culture, you may spot hawkers selling momo and tea by the roadside, archery grounds and taxi stands

Join the bandwagon of young and old Bhutanese from all walks of life who somehow need to have momo in their diet.

This is how you experience being a Bhutanese when in Bhutan!

Check out the video on the different types of momos in Bhutan.

Related Posts

What are the personalities of the 12 zodiac signs?

For Bhutanese, rituals and auspicious timing are part of daily life. When we want to achieve a certain goal, conducting...

Oct 14, 2021 11:18

What are the zhey dances in Bhutan?

There are a fixed number of steps in each dance, and each step has its own significance.

Oct 08, 2021 13:09

Torma, the multipurpose Buddhist ritual cake

“Tor” represents detachment from desires, whereas “Ma” refers to the maternal.

Oct 04, 2021 14:50

The significance of offering seven bowls of water

The 7 bowls signify respectively: water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfume, and food.

Sep 27, 2021 11:32

The different types of prayer wheels in Bhutan

You'll find prayer wheels all over Bhutan. Inside each prayer wheel is a tightly rolled-up scroll of mantras. Spinning...

Sep 02, 2021 11:22

Blessed Rainy Day: the festival where Bhutanese bath outdoors...

The holy bath is believed to wash away bad luck, bad karma, diseases, sins, or any other negative influences.

Aug 31, 2021 11:12



Visitors can look forward to a brand new experience at Paro International Airport

Bhutan's Paro International Airport was given a major facelift.

Oct 18, 2021 16:35

Bhutan is tapping into solar energy with its first grid-tied solar power plant

Electricity in Bhutan is mostly generated from hydropower, a renewable energy source, unlike fossil-fuel driven power plants that are major...

Oct 05, 2021 16:17


Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world

There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this...

Sep 24, 2021 16:10

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28


Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37


Paro FC reclaimed its champion title for BoB Bhutan Premier League 2021

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) Bhutan Premier League 2021, previously known as Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top football tournament in Bhutan...

Oct 02, 2021 19:57

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50


Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49


What are the personalities of the 12 zodiac signs?

For Bhutanese, rituals and auspicious timing are part of daily life. When we want to achieve a certain goal, conducting the event at a...

Oct 14, 2021 11:18

What are the zhey dances in Bhutan?

There are a fixed number of steps in each dance, and each step has its own significance.

Oct 08, 2021 13:09


Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!