Inner Mongolia Dining
What and Where to eat in Inner Mongolia comes as another FAQ for Inner Mongolia tour. Mongolian food is the main stream of the food culture in Inner Mongolia, of course you can also find western food restaurants in Inner Mongolia . Vast grasslands in Hulunbuir are natural grazing grounds for cattle, sheep and horses. Numerous lakes and rivers here teem with fish and shrimps. All these provide abundant stock for local cuisine. Mongolian food is welcomed by people living in other places. It is divided into the Red Food category such as meats (especially lamb, form most meals) while the dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are put into the White Food category. The famous Mongolia food includes Roasted Lamb Legs, Whole Fish Feast, Mongolian hot pot, Mongolian pot tea, blood sausage, deep-fried lamb’s tail, as well as dairy snacks like milk tea, milk tofu, kumis, cheese, etc.
What to Eat in Inner Mongolia
1. Roasted Whole Lamb (烤全羊)
Roasted whole lamb is a traditional Mongolian dish, it is also popular in Hulunbuir. The roast lamb, which looks golden red and tastes quite delicious, is laid on a square wooden dish. When eating whole roasted lamb, slice it with a knife, and eat it with smoked salt or cumin powder, chili, sweet sauce, scallions, or Onions, cucumber strips, lettuce, etc., according to your personal preference. If you visit a Mongolian household, the host will serve you the kumiss while people from inland prefer to drink beer while eating the roasted whole lamb.
2. Mongolian Hot Pot (涮羊肉)
Mongolian hot pot, originated in the Yuan dynasty, now has grown into a chain store naming Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, and is very popular national wide even can be found abroad. The mutton used for the hot pot is usually taken from the Lion, hind legs sheep's tail and other parts, cut the mutton into thin slices, place it into the boiling soup in the hot pot, then comes the most important step, slide the mutton piece seven times and the mutton is ready to eat at its best taste, the whole action is done by using chopsticks. The ready mutton doesn’t taste greasy if accompanied by the dipping sauce made of sesame sauce, fermented bean curd, leek flower, scallion, ginger, shrimp oil and other seasonings.
3. Hand-grabbed Mutton 手抓羊肉
Hand-grabbed mutton, also called Hand-picked mutton, is one of the most popular foods for Inner Mongolian people, and derives its name from the habit of eating with the hands. The cooking process is very simple: cut the mutton into handy chunks, boil them in cold water, skim off the fat from the soup, and seasoning to taste and then boil until they are nearly well-done. You can try it in most of the restaurants in Ordos.
4. Mongolian Milk Tea 蒙古奶茶
Mongolian milk tea, or Suutei tsai in Mongolian, forms an important part of Inner Mongolian people's daily cuisine, which they drink every morning. They usually mix milk tea with some stir-fried millet. After drinking some for a while, they cut small pieces of cooked lamb or beef boiled the day before and soak them in the tea to eat together. Mongolian milk tea tastes clean and leaves with no mutton aftertaste.
5. Kumis 马奶酒
Kumis is basically fermented dairy product made from mare's milk and has a slightly sour taste with a small percentage of alcohol. The drink remains important to the Mongolian, and it is also an indispensable one on festival and other proud occasions. You should give it a try when you travel to Inner Mongolia.
6. Whole Fish Feast (全鱼宴)
Hulunbuir boasts more than 500 lakes and 3000 rivers, and its water resource takes up 56.4% of the Inner Mongolia’s total. The abundant fresh fishes and lake shrimps produced from the lakes can be made into more than 120 kinds of dishes, known as “Whole Fish Feast”. There are different scales of such feast, with 12, 14, 20, 24 or even more than 100 dishes for a table. Fish dishes are not only fresh ad tasty but also nutritious, good to our body, and are worth tasting when you come to Hulunbuir.
Where to Eat in Inner Mongolia
1. Gerile Milk Tea House (Bayi Store) 格日勒阿妈(八一店)
Address: First floor, Haiguang Building, Hulunbuir North Road, Hohhot (呼和浩特市呼伦贝尔北路海光大厦一楼)
Opening Hours: 07:00-14:00; 17:00-21:30
Description: It is an old and famous shop providing local delicacies, milk tea and hand-picked mutton are highly recommended the must-try dishes.
2. Racecourse Mongolian Tent 赛马场蒙古大营
Address: No.27, Hulun North Road, Hohhot (Inside the Racecourse) 呼和浩特市呼伦北路27号(赛马场内)
Opening Hours: 09:30-14:00; 16:30-21:30
Description: It is a restaurant rich in folk style, and best choice for tourists to experience the Mongolian customs while enjoying the local specialties, roasted whole lamb is the best seller.
3. Niujie Street 牛街
Address: Xinhua West Street, Huimin District, Hohhot (呼市回民区新华西街)
Transportation: No. K1/102/72 buses
Description: The right place to try the authentic Muslim flavor.
4. Qifangjian Mutton Restaurant (七房间全羊馆)
Address: No.3 Building, Lv Bo Residential District, Manzhouli Road (满洲里路绿波小区3号楼)
Opening Hours: 11:00-15:00; 17:30-22:00
Description:All the taxi drivers know about this restaurant. You can try the most authentic dishes here including roasted lamb chop, hand-picked mutton and blood sausage.
5. Caoyuan Restaurant (草原饭店)
Address: No.3 Building, Zheng Bei Residential District, Wudao Street, Manzhouli City (满洲里市五道街政北小区三号楼)
Description: It is one of the most welcomed local restaurant, so there is probability for waiting. The specialized dishes included milk tea, Mongolian hot pot, hand-picked mutton, fresh mutton and etc.
6. Kangbashi Food Plaza (康巴什美食广场)
Address: 500 meters away from the municipal government, Ordos (鄂尔多斯市市政府南500米)
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
Description: We highly recommend you to pay a visit to Kangbashi Food Plaza and try the Mongolian food there, it is authentic in flavour at reasonable price, all kinds of Mongolian dishes are offered in the plaza.
There are too many to list for Mongolia food and places to eat, for more about Inner Mongolia food and restaurants as well as food streets, please click the dining links of the destinations in Inner Mongolia listed under the Keep Reading.