This local cafe is the best addition to your Bhutan Itinerary
There are just some countries that I crave to see one day more so than others. Perhaps it’s the wanderlust in me; that yen to see the unknown and the undiscovered. Bhutan is one of those places for me. I think about how I would devise my Bhutan itinerary and how that Bhutan itinerary would satisfy all my desires to explore that nation. And with thorough thought and consideration, I would attempt to include a local coffee shop on my Bhutan itinerary to satisfy the other love of mine – coffee. Sonam of Book My Tour knew of a great place in Bhutan that would suit my needs perfectly and offered to share the details with us.
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Adding Ambient Cafe and Roastery to your Bhutan Itinerary…
Ambient Café and Roastery is located along the busy street of Norzin Road in Thimphu Bhutan. The traffic police pavilion popular among the tourists is just a few blocks away from the café. A policeman in crisp uniform sporting white hand gloves gracefully waves his hand from inside the pavilion signaling cars at the intersection to either give way or to proceed. Often referred to as the only capital city without traffic lights, you can spot many dazed tourists taking in the commotion. Location: R Penjor Building, Norzin Lam, Thimphu Bhutan.
For the growing community of expats in Thimphu, the challenges of working and living in a place with a foreign culture becomes a little more bearable whenever they visit the café. The warm hospitality of owners Letho and Juno and their ever outgoing son make their guests feel at home away from home. The relaxed and casual environment allows guests to take their children and spend a quality time at the café. During the weekend and holidays, the communal lounge would be buzzing with expat families and locals enjoying healthy meals and conversations.
It is also one of the few places in town that open early for breakfast. One of my favorite is their granola served with yogurt and sliced bananas and a steaming cup of Americano to wash down it down. To ensure the quality of the coffee served, the coffee beans are roasted at the café. Letho says this in house roasting process preserves its aroma, keeps the coffee flavorful and fresh. It also allows them to price their coffee much lower as compared to the imported brands.
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The café is refreshing with nature infused greenery and decorated with suspended overhead lamps and rustic wood based interior. The café springs to life with lively music and aroma from hours of baking and brewing. The relaxed environment, friendly staff, healthy food and free WIFI attracts many freelancers. You would see many busy customers working away staring at their laptop or conducting quick business meetings at the café.
If you ever visit Ambient Café on your Bhutan itinerary, you should definitely try their buckwheat waffles and the Bhutanese style Spaghetti. Local ingredients such as Szechuan pepper, local chili flakes and dried shiitake mushrooms are added to the spaghetti, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever had. Always trying to discern what their customers might like, when the temperature rises, the café starts serving varieties of super chilled smoothies which never fails to re-energize on sleepy hot afternoons.
Giving Back to the Community
Juno, the owner of the cafe, was a journalist until she quit her job to pursue her interest of running the café. The café has been operational for almost 9 years and her success in the food business has allowed her to live life on her own terms and spend more quality time with her family. Grateful and humbled by their success, the couple is giving back to the society. Today most of their employees working at the café are recovering addicts and the business has never been better.
Sonam is a guest writer for Fill My Passport and is the blogger behind the delightful site Book My Tour. Visit to learn more about Bhutan and how to get there.
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Fill My Passport invited Sonam to write about this wonderful Local Coffee shop in Bhutan. All opinions in this post were not influenced by Fill My Passport.