Best Places To Eat In China
Although travelers can try dishes from around China and the globe in renowned food cities Beijing and Shanghai, it is outside these major metropolises where a world of exciting Chinese cuisine awaits the true foodie. Each cuisine has different flavor profiles, hallmark ingredients, and cooking methods. Here is a list of some of the most amazing food in China in no particular order.
1. Dadong Duck, Beijing
Da Dong, the recognized personality behind his eponymous roast duck restaurants, is giving fast food a go, and the duck burger is nothing short of impressive. A hunk of roast duck is carved out and sandwiched between halves of a sesame seed bun. Other options include a truffled spaghetti that stays in great shape despite being packaged.
2. Dragon Noodles Academy, Hong Kong
The menu has fresh, fun takes on the classics that look as good as they taste. Dim sum such as turnip pastry is made with lobster and carrot for added color and texture, presented in the shape of a little lobster. Rice paper rolls look like fancy doughnuts, and dumpling wrappers are dyed with vegetable juices to give them pops of color.
3. Ultraviolet, Shanghai
This is a high-concept restaurant in Shanghai that takes experiential and experimental dining to a whole new level. A brainchild of the renowned French chef – Paul Pairet, Ultraviolet is definitely one of the most famous restaurants in China, known for the music-driven atmosphere. The unique thing about this restaurant is there is no fixed location. You are picked up from a meeting point and taken to a secret location where you can satisfy your appetite to the core.
4. Mak's Noodles (Chung Kee), Hong Kong
A street vendor from Guangzhou named Mak Woon‐chi is often called the inventor of wonton noodles (prawn dumplings with thin wheat noodles, served in a pork‐based broth), and the Mak family name is almost synonymous with the iconic dish. As a result, there are more than a few shops named Mak’s around town. Hit this inconspicuous Mak’s (also called Chung Kee) tucked away on Wing Kut Street. It was opened by one of Mak Woon‐chi’s grandsons. Many shops add pork to their wontons, but Mak’s dumplings contain only prawns, which was apparently what Mak Sr. intended.
5. Country Kitchen, Beijing.
Taste your way through an impressive variety of regional Chinese cuisines at the Rosewood’s stunning casual Chinese restaurant. Chef Leo Xin Chai has recreated a number of forgotten imperial recipes and makes full use of a wood-burning duck-roasting oven. Don’t skip the memorable roast pork, based on ancient texts and traditional techniques.
6. Ser Wong Fun, Hong Kong
In traditional Chinese medicine, eating snake is believed to keep you warm. In the winter, eating snake soup is a must for many, and one of the most famous places to do so is at Ser Wong Fun (it literally translates to Fun the Snake King), which has been around for over a century. It’s said that its soup recipe was passed down from the original inventor of the dish. But snake isn’t the only thing this place is known for — people also come for the vast array of hearty Cantonese classics, such as preserved sausages in claypot rice, pan-fried fish cakes with clam sauce, and stir-fried prawns in soy sauce.
7. Haidilao Hot Pot, Xi'an
Hand-pulled noodles by a Chinese hip hop artist dressed in white, 24/7, is the premise behind this never-closed hot pot chain. It's a total crowd pleaser, thanks to its mastery of the art of waiting, with complimentary shoe shines, board games, and even a manicure station. If not for the food, go for the experience — especially late at night.
10. Sun Kwai Heung BBQ, Hong Kong
Like debates about the best pizza in New York or the best baguette in Paris, Hongkongers will never be able to agree on the ultimate char siu, the glazed Cantonese-style barbecued pork. But ask any food obsessive for their favorite and the glossy, almost candied roast pork from Sun Kwai Heung will probably be on their top 10 list. Make it a lunchbox by asking for some rice on the side.
9. Sijie Sichuan Private Kitchen, Hong Kong
Sichuan food, with all its chiles, vinegars and spices, is almost as foreign to the subtle seasonings favored by Hongkongers as it is to the American palate. Sijie (and her eponymous restaurant) was the first to bring untamed, fully-dialed-in Sichuan flavors to Hong Kong. Sijie herself will even come out and chug a beer with you at the end of the meal.
8. Shanghai Dumpling King, Shanghai
It's called Dumpling King for a reason, so plan to fill up on their tasty housemade signature. The spicy chive dumplings, which come with either pork or shrimp, are some of the best, along with the XLB soup dumplings. The pan-fried steamed buns are chewy and crunchy in all the right ways. The sautéed pea shoots are legendary, and you won't regret getting some sugar egg puffs for dessert—just make sure they're fresh from the kitchen.
An insider favorite is the Lion Head Meatball Casserole, a massive portion of sweet-and-umami soup with pork meatballs, cabbage, mushrooms, and rice noodles in a light broth.
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