Punakha Food Guide: 7 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Punakha

July 20, 2017 Weston Hennigan

Punakha (Dzongkha: སྤུ་ན་ཁ་) is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and it takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district.
Things to do in Punakha

1. Chimi Lakhang Cafeteria

Chimi Lakhang Trail | Village of Sopsokha, Punakha 13001, Bhutan Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Cafe, Asian, Healthy Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Excellent
18%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
5%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 70 reviews

Chimi Lakhang Cafeteria

last building on the left on the path to the Temple of the Divine Madman or Chimi Lakhang

Reviewed By Chicorei

Unlike most places in Bhutan where the owners make you feel happy about being there - this place was special .... seemed quite focused on maximizing profits... ... food could certainly have done with some love and care and the ice cream a bit more generous....

2. Lobesa Village Restaurant

Lobesa Village, Punakha 13001, Bhutan Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff Asian, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast +975 17 67 95 01
Excellent
27%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
5%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 36 reviews

Lobesa Village Restaurant

Reviewed By profpmlakhotia - Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Our guide of the Bhutan travel recommended this unique location for on way dinner where the approach was divine with a gurgling stream, stylised foot over-bridge, and a vibrant flush of colourful flowers and vegetation and the entry was royal. The Bhutanese tradition was resplendent. At the reception kiosk, we noticed the Reward Certificate from the Trip Advisor and we were convinced that we had reached the rightest place and this was some place where our family can have peaceful and meditative dinner.
Our hitch was whether we would get good quality of pure vegetarian food. The lady on the counter confirmed positively but since they prepare food only against order, she took our order and suggested that for about an hour or so, we could explore the most charming surrounding. We did that, we enjoyed lavish photography and came back at the appointed hour.
Our dinner in the most relishing taste and style was ready. The place was more or less isolated and offered perfect peace. Family joy was the achievement of the evening.
Thank you Bhutan and thank you Lobesa Village Hotel for making our experience memorable.

3. Dochula Resort Restaurant

Punakha, Bhutan Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Wheelchair Accessible Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Excellent
26%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 175 reviews

Dochula Resort Restaurant

Reviewed By maushami

It was only restaurant in dochula pass, so they charge anything for just cup of tea Rs..60. Any not much option to eat,just pastries and cakes. And they take pre-booking for breakfast.

4. Bukhari

Uma Punakha, Punakha 13001, Bhutan International 8 584 688
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Bukhari

Reviewed By sschrissyyoon - Palisades Park, New Jersey

The service was impeccable and the food delicious! Had each breakfast and dinner once and my friend and I enjoyed the meals very much! Just lovely.

5. Puenzhi Diner

Khuruthang, Punakha 13001, Bhutan Asian 097502584145
Excellent
12%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
52%
Poor
12%
Terrible
12%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 8 reviews

Puenzhi Diner

Reviewed By richakulkarni87 - Bengaluru, India

Lonely planet had listed only this place for Punakha and had mentioned it as the best one in town. But the experience we had was quite the opposite. It scarred my previous experience of the incredible Bhutanese hospitality. I could totally swear off Lonely Planet forever due to this horrendous experience.
The place was ridiculously overpriced. The food was mediocre. They had a very small buffet serving only rice, bland noodles, fiddlehead fern, a chicken curry, and stale watermelon for dessert. The waitresses were insufferably rude and arrogant. They didn’t so much as bring water to the table. One of them bumped into my seat and offered no apology. While cleaning the table next to us, she chose to pile up the dirty dishes on our table. They didn’t know anything about hospitality and service, and levied a service charge of rs. 100 for no service at all.
They seem to be moderately better-behaved with white tourists though. The waitress offered high-pitched hellos to a table of white tourists and completely ignored the others thought they charged the same.
This is the only place in Bhutan where I didn’t leave any tips. If you don’t want to spoil your experience of the perfect Bhutanese humbleness and hospitality, don’t go here.

6. Yak Herder's Camp

Khuruthang, Punakha 13001, Bhutan +975 17 11 11 42
Excellent
25%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
50%
Poor
25%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 4 reviews

Yak Herder's Camp

Reviewed By 2012sunilmumbai - Mumbai, India

We actually had three items between three of us, plus rice. This was an a la carte meal but we were charged buffet rates. Quality of food mediocre. Hygiene standards, having seen the kitchen, highly questionable.
Only bonus point was the great view of the river below. I suggest avoid if possible.

7. Rinchenling Cafeteria

Sobsakha, Punakha 13001, Bhutan Asian +975 17 10 09 99
Excellent
0%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
50%
Poor
0%
Terrible
50%
Overall Ratings

2 based on 2 reviews

Rinchenling Cafeteria

Reviewed By ShabsMeherKaiz - Mumbai, India

We were traveling to Bhutan and had to stop by to have a meal and were in a Group of 20.
The food was not at all tasty. That was not all the staff was very rude, spoke very badly.Our tour guide had arranged and booked a buffet for the group before we reached. The staff there was very rude and spoke very rough. They were behaving as they were obliging us by serving us food. The food was not worth it when we complained to the lady manager at the cash counter she was rude too.
They charged us a lot which was not worth it. When the child asked for water the staff spoke rudely again.

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