Restaurants in China
China is a culture based on its cuisine and the restaurants in China are full of varieties. Prior to your trip, try to research more on Chinese food as eating should be a central part of your trip. Make sure you choose your restaurant based on the food type you want and your level of Chinese. We believe the more you experiment with food in China, the more you’ll walk away with a better appreciation for the cultural and culinary diversity this country has to offer! This article will help you learn more about Chinese restaurants.
High-End Restaurants in China
- Luxurious and Ornate
- Decoration: Antique (-style) decorative style with Chinese traditional characteristics
- Over-priced food: Over 300 yuan per person but with small dishes
- Location: in the city center which usually offers the best views of the city
- Facilities: Parking lots and centrally-controlled air-conditioning. Some provide clean bathrooms.
High-End Restaurants usually serve the wealthy and more refined people. Usually they come to this kind of restaurants for some important occasion, such as proposal, birthday, anniversary, or some important business deal. You can see the pictures of the dishes on the menu and most high-end restaurants have an English menu. While it may be a little complicated to understand the name of the dishes and you don’t know what kind of materials the dishes made from. A guide or an interpreter usually works.
Overall, all kinds of services at the high-end restaurants are better. The waiters are always polite and warm, who deliver high-quality services on time and make sure you have a wonderful dining experience here. The tableware is often refined, and high-quality. Most of all, they provide fresh and better ingredients for a more eyeful and nutritious dishes.
Mid-Range Restaurants in China
- The most popular kind in China
- Location: near busy streets, with a big, brightly-lit banner
- Environment: Not soundproof. Private rooms are available, but sometimes doesn’t work completely.
- Facilities: Inadequate parking lots. Public restrooms.
Chinese people often patronize the mid-range restaurants with their friends and family. This kind of restaurants can be found in all cities and towns. Some restaurants have pictures on their menus, but not many have the correct English name for every dish. A guide or an interpreter usually works.
The number of the staff at the mid-range restaurants is limited and usually not enough when the restaurant is busy. Sometime you have to wait for some minutes. You can enjoy some tea or snacks the restaurant provides and they will come soon. There is a set of tableware provided in transparent shrink-wrap by a crockery sanitizing company, including chopsticks, a Chinese soup spoon, a rice bowl, a side plate (for bones, etc.), a Chinese tea cup, a small glass (for other beverages), and a tiny sauce dish.
Small Street Restaurants in China
- Cheap and crowded
- Decoration: No or simple Decoration
- Location: by the roadside
- Menu: On the wall, sometimes with inconsistent photos
Small Street Restaurants are also very popular in China, especially among students, nearby workers or other locals. This kind of restaurants are cheap and they can only provide some simple dishes and fast food. While usually it’s enough to fill you up and it saves much time for you.
Some are dirty and rundown, with some customers who smoke, spit, belch, shout. So if you mind, skip this kind of restaurants. Most of these have poor sanitary condition sand more likely to make you get sick from food. You need to order the food at the cashier desk first and sometimes you need to collect your food from the server or food hatch by yourself. No English-speaking service.
Snack Stalls in China
- Serve from a tricycle or a table (holding heating equipment) with a huge umbrella.
- Decoration: A big name card in front of the stall saying the name and what is sold.
- Location: Food Street or near popular thoroughfares.
- Facilities: Some provide short tables and stools.
Among the most exciting eating environments you should explore in China are night markets and places offering street food. In China, there are some famous food street providing snacks. This stalls provide simple but delicious food. Avoid foods that haven’t been freshly cooked. There is usually just disposable bowls and chopsticks, and plastic bags for take away. See China Snacks.
How to Choose a Chinese Restaurant
Choosing restaurants when you are not familiar with the local area and cuisine is tough. Therefore it can be really tough to settle on a quality restaurant without a basic understanding of the food. Below are the eight great cuisines of China for your understanding.
Eight Great Cuisines of China
- Shandong(Lu) Cuisine
- Sichuan(Chuan) Cuisine
- Cantonese(Yue) Cuisine
- Fujian(Min) Cuisine
- Zhejiang(Zhe) Cuisine
- Hunan(Xiang) Cuisine
- Anhui(Hui) Cuisine
- Jiangsu Cuisine
These tips below can help take the hassle out of finding a good restaurant.
- Look for busy restaurants. It’s also the method of a Chinese to choose a good restaurant. The restaurants with the most business often have quality food.
- Look for a clean restaurant. The environment of the restaurant and kitchen is the best indicator of whether the restaurant prioritizes sanitation or not.
- Check our dining guide. You can search the dining guide of almost every city at our website. See the destination guide and look for the city you stay.
How to Order at a Chinese Restaurant
Before you step foot in a Chinese Restaurant, you should know:
- Chopsticks are the norm in China. You have to practice in preparation for your trip. Spoons are available at almost all Chinese Restaurant.
- Dishes are shared and not individual. You have to share the dishes with others. See Chinese Dining Etiquette and Culture.
- Waiters at Chinese restaurants only help you when asking for help. So make yourself be seen when you need a help.
- Drinks are available for your choice. See Chinese Drinks.
When you order, you can see the pictures of the dishes(if available) and simply point and use your fingers to indicate. If no pictures available, you can see the dishes of other guests in the restaurant and choose what you like. If you have your preferred dishes, you can download the picture in advance and show it to the staff. One most important, study up on the most common dishes in preparation for your trip. Thus you will not miss the delicious Chinese food during your Chinese travel.
Restaurants in in China by Region
Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou,Kunming,Chengdu(这列一个表格，把各个省下面的城市的餐厅标签列出来。找下类似的表格。)
Food Culture Travel
Food is an integral part of Chinese culture and it should be an integral part of your trip too if you are a foodie who loves Chinese food. Don’t miss the famous local cuisine at the destination you stay. Most often, delicious food is with beautiful scenery. Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai are famous food centers of China. Peking Roast Duck, Sichuan Hot Pot, Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken… Different cities have different local flavors and different food culture. Choose places to visit according to your preference. We have designed a series of China food tours for you. If you have enough time, you can visit several places to taste the great regional cuisine. Also, if you are interested enough, you can also have chances to make Chinese food.
Recommended Food Culture Tours:
Xian Evening Tour with Dumpling Dinner, Xian Tang Dynasty Show and City Night View
2 Days Beijing Highlights Tour with Beijing Roast Duck and Kong Fu Show
9 Days Beijing-Xian-Chengdu Small Group Tour
12 Days China Paradise Culture Tour by Train
Read more about China Food Culture Tours.