Best restaurants in Qinghai

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Xining

    Snow Mountain Creamery

    This two-tier American-run spot is a winner and a must-do for fans of superb, handmade ice cream (¥15 a scoop), coffee, comfort and the whole Mountain Creamery shebang. Your fingers could be reaching for the yak pizza or yak cheese burger too, or if you're nodding off on one of the sofas, Snow Mountain roasts, grinds and brews its own coffee for that on-the-spot, wide-eyed pick-me-up. The menu is superb, with an adorable range of pizzas, expertly made – from cheese pizza to yak pepperoni – along with fill-me-up burgers and sizzling chicken dishes, plus fries on the side. Baked goodies are at hand for sticky-finger moments: brownies, dark-chocolate pastries, bagels with cream cheese. The upstairs mezzanine is a recommended bolt-hole, surveying the vast coffee roaster and views out back while snuggling into a sofa that is hard to leave. The charming, young American family in charge has seven kids, so this is a seriously family-friendly spot.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Xining

    Mǎzilù Niúròumiàn

    Classic beef noodle fare at this Muslim restaurant with a long pedigree as a brand. The standard bowl of lip-smacking beef noodles (牛肉面, niúròumiàn) is ¥8 and with extra beef it's ¥18; an egg (鸡蛋, jīdàn) on the side will cost you a mere ¥1.50. Round it all off with a delightful bowl of sweet milk and egg pudding (牛奶鸡蛋醪糕, niúròu jīdàn láogāo; ¥10), sprinkled with red wolfberries and black sesame seeds: seriously delicious.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Xining

    Ah Ma La

    Delish Tibetan food, tacky decor, English-speaking Tibetan boss, picture menu. That pretty much sums up the Ah Ma La experience. Slide into a booth seat and order up authentic Tibetan dishes such as yak tongue and mómo (馍馍, dumplings) and wash it down with Lhasa beer. The restaurant is along Nanshan Donglu, opposite the Tibetan Hospital. At the time of writing, Ah Ma La was opening another restaurant just round the corner on Jianxin Lu.

  • Restaurants in Xining

    Mazhong Snack Centre

    Stalls selling local and regional specialities line this bustling indoor food court. M iànpiàn (面片, flat noodle pieces) and chǎodāo xiāomiàn (炒刀削面, stir-fried spicy noodles) are popular choices, or you can line up a plate of lamb with onion and rice (羊肉洋葱炒米饭; yángròu yángcōng chǎomǐfàn; ¥16). This is an easy option for those with limited Mandarin skills, as pointing is the order of the day. Before you order, approach the counter in the middle of the hall, hand over some cash and get a refillable card to use at the stalls or use WeChat Pay at each outlet. Return the card for a refund of the leftover money when you leave.

  • Restaurants in Xining

    Zhènyà Niúròu Miàn

    Join the local Muslim population getting their noodle fix at this busy place by Dongguan Grand Mosque. There’s no menu, but the order of the day is gān bànmiàn (干拌面, mince beef noodles; ¥13 for a large plate), which is served swiftly with a side of suān tāng (酸汤, black pepper soup) and eaten with a liberal dose of the house chilli oil. It also does a mean niúròu miàn (牛肉面, beef noodles; ¥12). Wash it all down with bottomless cups of salty wheat tea – serve yourself from the hot-water basins near the door.