Best restaurants in Hainan

  • Restaurants in Haikou

    Banqiao Seafood Market

    For a fresh seafood dinner with lots of noise, smoke and toasting, head to the hectare of tables at the Banqiao Seafood Market, known island-wide. First bargain for the raw ingredients from the market – local oysters for ¥5 or enormous tiger prawns for ¥20 per 100g – and then have one of the restaurants cook it up for you.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Haikou

    A Bo Po Salt Roasted Chicken

    Ā bo pó (阿卜婆) means ‘grandma’ in Hainanese, though we’d also translate it as ‘best chicken ever'. Indeed made by a 70-something grandma, the chicken here is buried in sea salt and baked for four hours, then sealed in plastic to pull in all the juices. Just tear into it with your hands (plastic gloves are provided).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Bo'ao

    Sea Story

    Bo'ao’s most famous restaurant is surprisingly un-flashy, cobbled together from driftwood and with a courtyard full of weathered old fishing junks. The kitchen turns out excellent local and Southeast Asian dishes (think barbecued spare ribs and curried prawns). Outside, the breezy, seaside deck is an ideal spot for evening drinks.

  • Restaurants in Haikou

    Haikou Qilou Snack Street

    This marvellous colonial arcade is the repository of many of the street vendors swept off the street in the clean-up campaign and is easily the best place to sample local Hainanese dishes. On weekends and busy nights, expect opera and other traditional performances on the stage in the open atrium. There’s plenty of seating.

  • Restaurants in Sanya

    No.1 Farmers Market

    Sanya’s most popular market is ostensibly a place to bargain for and buy locally grown produce, but its real appeal lies on the fringes, where food vendors set up shop. Stop for barbecued seafood, grilled corn and local sweets such as qīngbǔliáng (清补凉, a cold sweet soup; ¥10) and chǎobīng (炒冰, 'fried' ice, like sorbet; ¥25). Things really heat up after dark. Wàngjiǎo Měishí Diàn is good for a sit-down meal.

  • Restaurants in Sanya

    Wàngjiǎo Měishí Diàn

    Right in the heart of the action around the No.1 Farmers Market, this colourful place has all the Hainanese classics: bàoluōfěn noodles (抱罗粉; ¥12, choose from meat or seafood) and Wenchang chicken (文昌鸡, Wénchāng jī; ¥55) as well as fried ice (炒冰, chǎobīng; ¥20 to ¥25) and coconut jelly (椰子冻, yēzi dòng; ¥25) for dessert.

  • Restaurants in Sanya

    Casa Mia Italian Restaurant

    A jaded traveller might pooh-pooh the thought of finding top-notch Italian in a Chinese resort town. But they’d be wrong. Casa Mia has truly divine pizzas, pastas (try the special seafood linguine) and classics such as veal scallopini. The wine list is nothing to sneeze at either. The terrace gets a nice breeze from Sanya Bay across the street.

  • Restaurants in Haikou

    Wú Hóng Cānba

    This moody, lantern-lit villa down an alley in Guomao is where you’ll find Haikou’s cool kids sampling fiery Chongqing-style street food (refined to yuppie standards). On the northwestern corner of Guomao Lu and Yusha Lu, head down the lane in between the Soho club and an apartment tower and look for the crowd. There’s a picture menu.

  • Restaurants in Sanya

    Baan Rim Nam

    Dine on Thai classics such as curried crab, green papaya salad, and basil pork at this hushed and elegant restaurant in the Anantara Resort, a spa-like resort all done up in mirrors and dark wood. Service is extremely friendly. If it’s not too hot, opt to sit on the patio.

  • Restaurants in Haikou

    Guangfulong Wontons

    This Haikou institution in Old Town does a brisk business in scalding bowls of wonton soup. A ‘small’ is plenty filling. There’s a picture menu.

  • Restaurants in Haikou

    Carrefour

    Big-box store with a supermarket and daily necessities.