Thukpa is a soupy dish that originated in eastern Tibet. It is a combination of Tibetan-style noodles with vegetables or chicken stew in clear soup. There are several varieties of thukpa, the most popular being gyathuk, pathug, drethug, bakhthu, which use cowrie (shaped like macaroni but made from wheat flour), and thenthuk, which is made of flat noodles. When in Gangtok, one can find vegetable thukpa containing almost every locally-grown variety in the soup. Most common ingredients, apart from meat, include carrot, bell pepper, spinach, cauliflower and celery. 

Thukpa is widely available throughout the city and is especially loved by the Monpa community of Sikkim. They have something called putang thukpa, which uses buckwheat noodles with meat or fried fish, flavoured with red chilli, garlic and coriander, as well as seasonal greens and a generous sprinkling of herbs. Spring onions are typically added to the preparation in Gangtok. Here, thukpa is a must in winter – the spiciness helps in warming the body and warding off the cold. 

It is among the most favoured street foods in the city, with vendors across town selling hot bowls of rich, nutritious noodle soup at affordable prices.