Top ChoiceIce Cream 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...

Top ChoiceNoodles 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...

Top ChoiceTibetan 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...

Top ChoiceChinese Islamic in Golmud

Qíjì Shǒugōng Miànpiān Fāng

An unexpected gem, this noodle joint has both style that wouldn't look out of place in Beijing and substance by way of delicious handmade miànpiān (面片, noodle slices). With its almost-Scandi decor and friendly...

Hawker in Xining

Mazhong Snack Centre

Stalls selling local and regional specialities line this bustling indoor food court. Miànpiàn (面片, flat noodle pieces) and chǎodāo xiāomiàn (炒刀削面, stir-fried spicy noodles) are popular choices, or you can line up...

Tibetan in Tongren

Dreamland

This lovely upstairs 3rd-floor restaurant is a very enjoyable experience. Nab a seat in a curtained cubicle for privacy; English skills of the staff are not so good, but the selection is all photographically...

Cafe in Yushu

Rose of Sharon Bistro

This large and modern upstairs restaurant-cafe has a tasty menu, efficient staff, comfy rows of sofas and decent views of the hills (though it's a bit heavy on the classical music). On the iPad menu are dishes...

Noodles 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),...

Indian in Yushu

Bollywood

Service is a bit slack, but the food here is really very good and the restaurant atmosphere congenial. Open up the large glossy menu and select from a huge choice: yak meat curry (¥49), pepper chicken (¥18),...

Sichuan in Tongren

Bāshǔ Yìnxiàng

Run by a young family, this welcoming Sichuan restaurant cooks up some excellent food. There's a glossy picture menu, sadly with no English. Try the lamb with cumin (孜然羊肉, zīrǎn yángròu; ¥52), the twice-cooked...

Nepali in Yushu

Nepali Restaurant

Down a small lane west off Zhuma Lu, this small restaurant packs a lot of flavour into its menu. There's chilli yak, roast yak and roast lamb dishes, vegetable pakoda, chilli mushrooms, cheese pakauda bites and...

Fast Food in Yushu

Manhattan

Yushu's fast-food option is this ambitiously named place, conveniently located at the heart of town. It's a quiet place, so generally not hard to get a seat, and a Santa Claus effigy with a saxophone welcomes...

Chinese Islamic in Golmud

Ālán Cāntīng

Serves several types of Muslim-style noodles, including gānbàn miàn (干拌面, spaghetti-style noodles with meat sauce) or niúròu miàn (牛肉面, beef noodles). Other dishes are available from a separate photo menu.