Guangzhou Shopping Guide provides you the detailed information about Guangzhou local specialties, featured shopping areas, What and Where to Buy in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Local Products, Souvenirs, Shopping Districts, Streets and Malls. Guangzhou has both modern shopping malls and distinctive traditional stores, both of which will fulfill your desire.
What to Buy in Guangzhou
Guangzhou has a rich cultural inside information and strong local customs, so there are many special products worth taking home. And these souvenirs can be put in your pocket, and the big ones need to be transported by truck. As for the price, you can choose the things from the most cheap to the invaluable. You can always find the best one souvenirs for your relatives, friends and parents.
Cookies and Pastries in Guangzhou
Wife Cake or Sweetheart Cake(老婆饼) and Husband Cake(老公饼) are among the most popular traditional Chinese pastries in Guangzhou. In Guangzhou, you'll find no multi-tiered white wedding cakes celebrating the loving union between a husband and wife. No tiny figurines of a bride and groom, either. Here, such a sweet union exists without such exigencies, in the form of simple pastries inspired by stories of love's triumphs.
Turnip cake is commonly served in Cantonese yum cha, usually cut into rectangular slices and sometimes pan-fried before serving. Each pan-fried cake has a thin crunchy layer on the outside from frying, and is soft on the inside. The non-fried version is soft all over.
Ji Zai Biscuits(鸡仔饼)
Ji Zai Biscuits, Guangzhou's leading kind of biscuits, was originally known as "Xiao Feng Biscuits". Legend has it that Ji Zai Biscuits were created by a female domestic helper named "Xiao Feng" in the wealthy Wu family at Xiguan in Guangzhou during the reign of Emperor Xian Feng (1850-1861) of the Qing Dynasty. It is flavored with cream, mashed garlic, ground pepper powder, five-spice powder, and salt. Xiao Feng Biscuits are shaped like chicken, hence its nickname of "Ji Zai Biscuits" ("Ji Zai" means chicken).
Pantang Water Chestnut Cake(泮糖马蹄糕)
Pantang Water Chestnut Cake, yellow and transparent in color with smooth taste and delicate fragrance of water chestnut, is a famous pastry in Panxi restaurant. The pastry is made by steaming the mixture of water chestnut flour and syrup.
Cantonese mooncake fits the taste of Cantonese and becomes world-renown mostly because its high-quality material, professional manufacture skills. Mooncake has not only thin skin but full stuffing with decent shape and delicate patterns. Good flavor, exquisite packaging and easy carrying all make Cantonese mooncake an ideal gift for your friends. Besides, the mooncakes from Lianxianglou enjoy a high reputation in Guangzhou. There are two different tastes: salty and sweet. The different fillings include: lotus seed, almond, olive kernel, peach kernel, green bean, sesame, salty egg, roast goose, dried mushrooms, ice meat, sweet wax gourd, shelled shrimps, etc.
Cantonese Lap-mei (广式腊味)
Lap Cheong, as it is locally known, is the most iconic Cantonese cured meat. To prepare the sausage, fatty and lean pork meat are mixed and seasoned before filled into the casing. The formed sausage will then have holes pierced on the skin and dried in an oven. It is one of those food items that everyone has a secret recipe. The proportion between fatty and lean meat makes an immediate impact in determining the sausage’s texture.
Guangdong cured meat is a traditional and famous kind of cuisine belonging to Cantonese Cuisine. Usually made in autumn, some well-chosen marbled meat are dried by natural wind, so there is a saying goes “Autumn wind blows, cured meat in the bowl”. Cured meat not only has attractive golden color, delicious taste but long shelf life because it has been smoked by the burning cypress, which serves as a special local flavor food. What a happiness and warmness to savor a bowl of steaming rice with cured meat in winter.
Authentic Native Products
Longan commonly known as Gui Yuan in Chinese, is the valuable specialty in the tropical area. And historically it was well known that there was Gui Yuan in the South and Ginseng in the North. The longan fruit is rich in nutrition, been loved since the ancient times and treasured as the valuable tonic, so we can see its tonic function has been recognized for a long time. Its nature is sweet and neutral, good for the heart and spleen, benefiting of the blood and brain, and tranquilizing the nerves. It is often applied to treat the excessive contemplation, lack of effort, palpitation, severe palpitation, insomnia, forgetfulness and other disorders. In south China, the puerpera basically have to eat dried longan, and even in ordinary time the women and the senior also apply it into boiled water and drink it.
Ginger Milk Pudding(姜撞奶)
Ginger milk pudding, known as Jiangzhuangnai has long been a traditional snack in the Pearl River Delta. It mixes ginger juice and milk. Once solidified, the dish tastes fragrant, pure, crisp, sweet but a little peppery. Capable of warming the stomach, it is very popular with locals. Ginger milk pudding is originated in Guangzhou's Shawan town of Panyu district, a town flowing with milk and honey. The main ingredients are ginger, milk, and sugar. here is mixing powder now, very convenient to carry, suitable for giving away or drinking by yourself.
Guilinggao, also known as Herbal Jelly or Turtle Jelly, is a jelly-like Chinese medicine, also sold as a dessert. It was traditionally made from the powdered plastron (bottom shell) from the turtle Cuora trifasciata (commonly known as "three-lined box turtle", or "golden coin turtle") and a variety of herbal products, in particular, China roots Smilax glabra. Although the golden coin turtle (Cuora trifasciata) is commercially farmed in modern China, it is extremely expensive; therefore, even when turtle-derived ingredients are used in commercially available Guilinggao.
Rooster olives are Chinese olives and olive dishes sold by street vendors in Guangzhou, China. The vendors are garbed in a traditional, brightly colored rooster costume playing suasion horn and yelling, in residential areas. In some places, Chicken and Lam is called Flying Lam, because the vendors throw the olive to customers who are living on a higher floor. They pack the olive in a small paper bag, and if someone throws money at them, they throw back an olive.
It is said that "there are three treasures in Guangdong: baked goose, lichee and herbal tea". According to local climate and the characteristics of water and earth, guided by health preserving theory of traditional Chinese medicine, on the base of herbal medicine, people in Lingnan area developed some beverage that has the efficacy of cleaning internal heat, so herbal tea-drinking is a longtime habit for local people. Herbal tea can eliminate summer heat from the human body and cure some common sickness. Wanglaoji , Xuqixiu are the famous local tea brands.
Arts and Crafts in Guangzhou
Bearing long history and splendid culture, Guangzhou is well-known for many delicate and excellent traditional crafts, of which eye-opening ivory carving, exquisite jade carving, ancient-style wood carving, beautiful Guangdong enamel and embroidery are your good choices.
The origin of ivory carving can be traced back to over 2,000 years in Jin Dynasty. Guangzhou’s ivory carving works mainly depict people, birds, beasts, flowers and the four treasures of the study—the writing brush, the ink, the inkstone and the paper. Also, different styles of carved ivory ornaments are common in the study of the literati. Generally Guangzhou ivory carving can be classified into two categories: round carving and hollowed carving. Round ivory carvings are mostly solid handworks featuring patterns of people, animals and natural scene whereas hollowed carving is primarily applied in making vases, miniature floral towers, crab cages and balls.
Guangzhou jade carving debuted in the middle and late Tang Dynasty dating to more than 1,000 years ago. Guangzhou jade carving is well known for its special technique-color retaining. Especially, jade ornaments like jade balls have amazing charm. Each ball is placed inside larger ones and each of which has uniform thickness. Rotating freely, jade balls are beautified with the patterns of natural landscapes, flowers, people, fish, birds and beasts. Up to now, the most exquisite jade ball has 20 layers, just like an integral jade system.
Wood carving falls into two categories: architectural ornaments and furniture carving. In Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the columns, beams, doors and windows epitomize the rich varieties and features of Guangzhou’s wood carving technique. The most populous forms of carved furniture are rosewood furniture and wooden cases. Rosewood furniture is a combination of China’s traditional carving technique and advanced wood structural technique with ancient appearance, elegant patterns, sturdiness and durability, thus it gets a reputation of oriental art treasure.
With a history of more than 300 years, Guangdong enamel is also known as Guangzhou Golden Colored Enamel available in over 500 varieties with over 2,000 floral patterns. Each enamel piece will go through seven procedures: line drawing, color filling, gold painting, green filling, coloring, mouth gilding and firing. They usually depict people, flowers, birds, beasts, fish and natural landscapes with three main usages, artistic enamel, household ornamental enamel and craftwork enamel.
The origin of Chinese embroidery can be traced back to over 2,000 years. The Sichuan, Suzhou, Hu’nan and Guangzhou schools of embroidery are the nation’s top four that contribute to the reputation of this specialty. All birds paying homage to the phoenix and the doubled-faced golden fish are typical of embroidery. Falling into four categories: floss, gold and silver thread, pearl and machine embroidery, Guangzhou embroidery is used on garments, commodities, pictures and costumes. Some influential manufacturers of Guangzhou embroidery include Guangzhou Embroidery Products Factory, Zhonghua Costume Craft Factory and Guangzhou Machine Embroidering Factory.
Where to Buy in Guangzhou
As the paradise for shopaholics, Guangzhou has many large shopping districts or streets selling both domestic and international products.
Best Shopping Streets in Guangzhou
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street(上下九步行街)
As the oldest and most fashionable street in Guangzhou, the established stalls and familiar eateries are everywhere. It has gathered almost all of the Cantonese snacks, and the methods of preparing food are the most authentic. There are just too many restaurants and eateries in the pedestrian street for you to sample everything. There are even some hundred-year-old restaurants such as Tao Tao Ju, as well as the national special-grade restaurant, Guangzhou Restaurant. Shops offer Xiguan Delicacies, such as Nanxin Dessert, Oucheng Noodle Shop and Guanxi House can all be found here. You can taste all the Xiguan gourmet food in Liwan District as you walk along the street.
Beijing Road Pedestrian Street(北京路步行街)
Beijing Road is renowned for its food. It is more like the signature of Beijing Wangfujing in Guangzhou. Beijing Road is very prosperous, including Beijing Road Pedestrian Street, Dama Station Food Street, and Beijing South Road, which has become a gathering place for snacks and treats sold in China. There are many unique rice roll eateries in the two-meter-wide street. Of course, the most famous is the Yinji Rice Roll. The scent of radish and beef comes from stalls along the street. The sweet shrimp and crab congee sold in Guangzhou Restaurant, the Chinese hamburgers, the Mongolian barbecue in the northeast… they have got everything here.
Wende Road Culture Street(文德路文化街)
Wende Road Culture Street in Guangzhou is to be built as Guangdong's cultural center, promoting traditional Lingnan heritage including Yue opera, Guangdong embroidery and Cantonese Enamel through exhibitions, conferences, forums and academic exchange. Shops sold the "four treasures of study" (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper), antique calligraphy, paintings and books. Dozens of bookstores, curio stores and stationers are still there – a magnet for educated people from all over the city.
Hualin Jade Street(华林玉器街)
Hualin Jade Street mainly deals in retail, wholesale and jade and jewelry processing. It is said that the history of this street can be traced back to the early Qing Dynasty. At present, hundreds of jade ware stores are found here. Best-quality jades from Burma and Yunnan Province are made into jade bracelets, rings and other wares Beijing Road is simply a must to visit when one is in Guangzhou.
More about Top Shopping Streets in Guangzhou
Most Popular Shopping Malls in Guangzhou
Tee Mall situated in the center of Tianhe District, this is a large-sized modern shopping center offering comprehensive store and restaurant choices for shopaholics.
Tee Mall is a multi-functional, comprehensive shopping center where department stores, five-star cinemas, restaurants and galleries are all gathered together. Diversified commodities, including furniture and household appliances, delicacies and computer games and others are available. All prices here are set prices and you cannot bargain.In fact, Tee Mall has become an indispensable part of the Cantonese shoppers’ life.
Located in the growing and expanding Tianhe District, it is part of a complex of the same name which also consists of two 38-story residential buildings. CITIC Plaza is a skyscraper built in Tianhe District, Guangzhou. Its structural height is 391 m (1,283 ft) 80 stories including two tall antenna-like spires on the top. Completed in 1997, it is the tallest concrete building in the world. Currently, it ranks as the fourth tallest building in China, seventh in Asia, and eighth worldwide.
- Huacheng Square
- Taikoo Hui
- Grandview Mall
- Parc Central
- K11 Art Mall
- Haizhu Square
- Tianhe Festival Walk
- Mall of the World
- One Link Walk
- Comic City
- Living Mall
- Update Mall
- Capita Mall Sky
- Xinjiang Commercial Mall
Most Popular Markets in Guangzhou
- Liwan District Jasmine Flower Market
- Wantong Clothing Wholesale Market
- Southern Thailand wholesale Market
- Guangzhou Books Wholesale Market
- Lingnan Flower Market
- Shahe Wholesale Market
- Qingping Medicine Market
- Haizhu Wholesale Market
- Baima Clothing Wholesale Market
- Huangsha Aquatic Products Market
Famous Food Streets in Guangzhou
Dongdu Great World Food Street(东都大世界美食街)
Dongdu Great World Food Street is located in the bustling Huanshi East Road in Guangzhou. It is a food business street concentrated with the most food from all over the world in Guangzhou. In the past ten years, the operation and network layout have gradually matured. This food street has attracted a variety of special flavor restaurants from France, Turkey, Indonesia, Japan, Southeast Asia and various regions. The biggest feature here is that it brings together cuisines from all over the world, including Malaysian cuisine, Japanese food, seafood, Shandong hometown, Turkish restaurant, etc., which are comparable to Shilin Night Market in Taiwan.
Longkou West Flavor Food Street(龙口西风味美食街)
Longkou West Flavor Food Street is located at Longkou West Road, Tianhe District. The restaurants in Longkou West Road are a bit scattered. In the past, there were small restaurants opened by outsiders, such as Henan cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Hakka cuisine, etc. After then, there were some foreign cuisines there. These restaurants with the area of around 20-30 square meters. Although the names of these small restaurants are not famous, the taste is very delicious. At the same time, the prices of these restaurants are in line with the price positioning of most of the low and medium consumer groups. There are also some high-end specialty restaurants here, which are the decoration of Longkou West Food Street.
Luoxi Food Street(洛溪美食街)
Luoxi food street is located around Beihuan Road, Luoxi Village, Luopu Street, Panyu District, Guangzhou City.Luoxi food street is 500 meters long, with more than 50 styles of restaurants gathered here. Living in a busy city, it is unique in its quaint, open and elegant environment. Cantonese cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Northeastern cuisine, Korean cuisine, Hubei cuisine, snacks from all over the world are all gathered together.
Huifu Food Street(惠福美食街)
Huifu food street is located at Huifu East Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City. This street enjoys the reputation of "Classic cuisine & Lingnan flavor". It consists of three parts: Yushan Road, Huifu East Road, and Shufang Street. On Lushan Road, tourists can find Lingnan traditional snacks and food, and foreign foods; Huifu East Road gathers Lingnan traditional specialties and Southeast Asian snacks; Shufang Street has a variety of eateries. It is a paradise for foodies. Delicious kebabs, pork sausages, crispy trotters, beef sausages, etc. are offered there.
Best Shopping Plazas in Guangzhou
There are some famous and modern shopping plazas in Guangzhou, which have become the new commercial center of Guangzhou. Here boutiques, shops selling fantastic goods and different kinds of restaurants come together
- Metropolitan Plaza
- Fashion Tianhe Plaza
- China Plaza
- G.T. Land Plaza
- Popark Shopping Plaza
- Onelink Plaza
- Highsun Binbin Plaza
- Mayflower Plaza
- Victory Plaza
- Wanda Plaza
- Hengbao Plaza
- Jia Yu Sun City Plaza
- Nations Plaza
- 5th Apron Plaza
- Wuyang New City Plaza
- Dynasty Plaza
Guangzhou Dining by Region
- Liwan District
- Yuexiu District
- Haizhu District
- Zengcheng District
- Conghua District
- Nansha District
- Huadu District
- Tianhe District
- Baiyun District
- Panyu District
- Huangpu District
Guangdong Dining by Region