Musk Restaurant

Despite its central location on Clock Tower Square — the painted dragons of the tower are just outside the door — Musk Restaurant & Bar doesn't usually see all that many tourists. Locals come here because the food is great and the vibe is friendly and relaxed. It's a favorite hangout of local tour operators in particular, and sometimes folks chill for hours. Join them and watch the capital city go by from one of the two outside tables.

Owned by married couple Jigme and Diki, Musk serves a variety of Indian and Bhutanese foods: parathas, phalay, thukpa, beef and pork dishes, chop sueys, rolls, soups (veg, wonton, chicken, and more), as well as snacks like pakoras, omelettes, and french fries. On Thursdays they serve Nepali thali, and on Fridays, Bhutanese bangchu (a rice dish served in baskets). Musk is especially well known for its home-cooked meals. Prices are reasonable, and Diki is a good cook. They can accommodate vegetarian requests, too, including their standard dishes.

Insider tip: Check the daily specials on the whiteboard opposite the entrance, where Diki displays her daily offerings of home-cooked Bhutanese food. With a day's advance notice, she'll even take special orders.

The bar is open 1 pm to 10 pm, serving a variety of Bhutanese whiskeys, as well as rum, brandy, gin, vodka, and beer. Most patrons approach the bar to get drinks, but if you're new to the place, it's fine to order drinks from your table. At the very back is a private room that you can ask for if it's free, where the loyal clientele go to eat, socialize, and relax with close friends. 10 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesdays.