When visiting people or being at local eateries, you will be served the ground barley flour called tsampa. Sometimes it comes in an elaborately made wooden bowl inlaid with silver and turqoises and a silver lid, same as the tea cups, but a bit larger.
Favorite Dish: If trekking around Ladakh, you will eventually be invited home for a meal or to share a meal with people on the road. There will be the inevitable tsampa served; roasted, ground coarse barley flour added salt tea, butter, curry-like condiments, milk or whatever. It is the universal, all-present meal. Taste is none too much, but not bad either, and with condiments it's easy to get used to it. I had it every day for 3 months and did well in terms of health, probably better than without tsampa!
I was in Ladakh some years back, so my restaurant knowledge is scant with regard to the current scene. What I do know is that many of the travellers' favourites did have a ferocious impact on the digestive system. Don't believe that thing about high altitude fixing the bacteria! Over the 3 1/2 months stay there I discovered that hepatitis was rampant, and most of this could be traced to the kitchen and toilet hygiene of the restaurants. And the travellers who proceeded to spread the stuff...
As a general advice, I would carefully check the kitchen before tucking into the food. And I would stay with dishes that generally have a high turnover and would consequently be rather on the fresh side. Momo's for instance, if there is a place with high turnover they will be good. On the other hand, if that's a slow item and they have been chopped/rolled a while ago or are resteamed, just stay off it. But don't get paranoid because of uncertainty over food. Most of it is very, very good.
Most hotels host restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine. Himalaya Café with its unique oriental ambience, music and lighting is the preferred Tibetan restaurant in town. Piping hot momos and thukpa and chowmein with souce makes the meal complete.
Favorite Dish: Momo Steamed
A hot cup of tea is just what you may need once you made your way up here... even in summer its pretty cold- judging by the patches of snow that lie around...
At 18,300 feet (5,600 meters) it would probably be the highest tea stall in the world. `Jawans', soldiers from the army would probably join you while you sip your cup. This is an army camp after all.
The tea is served free of cost.
The German Bakery... not "real" food, but still... a place worth going. Much as I like Indian food, sometimes the rich combination of spices was too much for m... my belly screamed for something blander. I found all I needed at the German Bakery
Favorite Dish: Cakes... delicious, sweet, yummy cakes. But the real best was the Yak cheese: just buy some, add a roll of bread... and you have made yourself a most delicious sandwhich
This is one of the bars which are run by a group of women. There are always surprise things like this in Ladakh.
In the bars you can have tea, apple juice, chocolate bars, coke, or the most important water!