Must-see restaurants in China

  • Tǔ Shēngshí Guǎn

    Kunming

    On the ground floor of a converted warehouse a couple of kilometres northwest of the city centre, this family-run place strictly uses locally sourced…

  • Loaf On

    Sai Kung Peninsula

    The motto here is: eat what they hunt. This three-storey Michelin-starred restaurant is where fish freshly caught from Sai Kung waters in the morning…

  • Tasting Room

    Macau

    Expat chef Fabrice Vulin gives his contemporary take on classical French cuisine at the elegant Tasting Room. Its affinity for unexpected texture and…

  • Din Tai Fung

    Kowloon

    DTF's steamers of perfectly pleated xiao long bao (Shànghǎi-style dumplings) have made this Taiwanese chain an Asia-wide institution. Order them wrapped…

  • Ye Shanghai

    French Concession

    Ye offers sophisticated, unchallenging Shanghainese cuisine in classy Xintiandi surroundings. The drunken chicken and smoked fish starters are an…

  • Sun Kwai Heung

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    This off-the-beaten-track shop has unbeatable Cantonese barbecue and none of the lines of better-known places. Char siu (barbecued pork) emerges from the…

  • Grand Café

    Shanghai

    On the 54th floor of Jinmao Tower (in the Grand Hyatt lobby), the Grand Café offers stunning panoramas through its glass walls and an excellent-value…

  • Panxi Restaurant

    Guangzhou

    Set in Liwan Lake Park amid ornamental gardens interlinked with pools, courtyards and corridors, Panxi is typical of Guangzhou's garden restaurants,…

  • Sha Tin 18

    New Territories

    Sha Tin 18's Peking duck (half/whole HK$538/848) has put this hotel restaurant, adjacent to the Chinese University, in the gastronomic spotlight. Book…

  • Spring Deer

    Kowloon

    Hong Kong’s most authentic Northern Chinese–style roast lamb is served at this long-standing locals' favourite. Better known is the perfectly bronzed…

  • On Lee Noodle

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    Quiveringly tender beef brisket is the big draw here, eaten with noodles either in a soup or 'stirred' with soy sauce (you still get a little bowl of…

  • Xibo

    Shanghai

    Named after an ethnic group in China's northwest, this excellent restaurant is a tad pricey compared to other Xinjiang options in Shanghai, but makes up…

  • Drolmala Music Space

    Chengdu

    Drolmala is something of a social centre for the young of Chengdu's big Tibetan community. This superb space mixes fabulous modern Tibetan cuisine with…

  • Jiajia Soup Dumplings

    The Bund & People's Square

    A fixture on Huanghe Road Food Street, this humble tiled restaurant is a real contender for one of Shanghai's best dumpling places, with juicy pork-and…

  • Flying Tigers Cafe

    Shangri-la

    French-run bistro in a hundred-year-old courtyard house, with the finest wine list in town (from ¥30 a glass) and a diverse local and international menu…

  • Phoenix House

    Shenzhen

    This is one of the most popular Cantonese chains in town, so expect noisy waits for a table after 11.30am. Must-try dim sum here are the sweet durian…

  • In & Out

    Beijing

    Take your taste buds on a dreamy sojourn southwest at Beijing's most stylish Yunnan restaurant. A sophisticated, industrial-chic space is the setting for…

  • Lhasa Kitchen

    Lhasa

    With a wide-ranging menu of Nepali, Indian and Tibetan dishes, good breakfast options, decent prices, pleasant seating and a great location, it’s no…

  • Tai Cheong Bakery

    Hong Kong

    Tai Cheong was best known for its lighter-than-air beignets (deep-fried dough rolled in sugar; sa yung in Cantonese) until former governor Chris Patten…

  • Yat Lok

    Hong Kong

    Be prepared to bump elbows with locals at this tiny, basic joint known for its roast goose. Anthony Bourdain gushed over the bird. The leg is the most…

  • Shípíng Huìguǎn

    Kunming

    Try authentic Yunnan cuisine in a beautifully restored heritage courtyard building with outdoor seating – this is one of our favourite restaurants in the…

  • Din Tai Fung

    Shanghai

    If you choose one place to try Shanghai's famous pork-and-crab xiǎolóngbāo soup dumplings, let it be here. This critically acclaimed restaurant steams…

  • Snowland Restaurant

    Lhasa

    This old-timer has a new location but is still an extremely popular place that serves a mix of excellent continental and Nepali food in very civilised…

  • Tim Ho Wan – North Point

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    This less hectic outpost of Hong Kong's famously cheap (for the quality) dim sum chain, is now a global brand with branches in Southeast Asia, Australia…

  • Shawn Tren's

    Qingdao

    Housed in a former electrical office building dating from 1909, this super little restaurant, with big-window street views, knocks out delicious but…

  • Jesse

    French Concession

    Jesse is a popular, intimate space. So if you tend to gesture wildly when you talk, watch out with those chopsticks. This is Shanghainese home cooking at…

  • Yang's Fry Dumplings

    Shanghai

    In the mall above a metro exit is this small outlet of the great fried-dumpling chain, specialising in delicious pork and prawn shēngjiān (spring-onion…

  • TRB Forbidden City

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Occupying a Qing dynasty building beside the Forbidden City's moat, this is the sister restaurant to upscale TRB Hutong, with the same flawless service…

  • Lost Heaven

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    Set back in the corner of the parade ground on the old US Legation, Lost Heaven presents the dreamy flavours of exotic Yunnan province. Sour-spicy dishes …

  • Sichuan Folk

    Shanghai

    Formerly known as Baguo Buyi, Sichuan Folk is among the most authentic Sichuan food in town, cooked up by the diligent chefs at this famous restaurant at…

  • Wèixiāng Zhāi

    French Concession

    The reason to come to this no-frills local spot is to do as the locals do and scoop up a bowl of májiàng miàn (麻酱面, sesame noodles). At just ¥10 to ¥20…

  • Din Tai Fung

    Beijing

    Pleated with precision, the xiǎolóngbāo (Shanghai-style soup dumplings) at this acclaimed Taiwan chain taste as good as they look. Delicate pork, rich…

  • Les Petites Écuries

    Lijiang

    High-end Yunnanese cuisine fills most of the menu at this Yunnanese–French collaboration, in an upmarket setting on the south side of the old town. Bring…

  • Samsen

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    One bite of Samsen's delectable pad thai and Queen's Rd E becomes Khao San Rd; but at this hip little gem presided over by an Aussie chef, the good ol'…

  • Toro Loco

    Suzhou

    Upmarket Spanish restaurant and cocktail bar on the 37th floor of the W Hotel. As well as excellent food, drinks and service, this place also has a…

  • Fu 1088

    Shanghai

    In a 1930s villa, exclusive Fu 1088 has 17 rooms filled with Chinese antiques. Rooms are rented out privately, with white-gloved service and an emphasis…

  • Mǎ Wàng Zi

    Chengdu

    This high-end Sichuan joint does everything right, from service and cuisine to ambience, but it's decidedly popular so you'd do well to make reservations…

  • Shanzai Vegetarian Meal

    Guiyang

    The beautiful rooftop terrace of this vegetarian restaurant has some of the best views and food in Guiyang. All dishes are stylishly presented and combine…

  • Wang Pangzi Donkey Burger

    Beijing

    Opened by the titular 'Fatty Wang' in 2004, Wang Pangzi is lauded by many as Beijing's best purveyor of donkey-meat snacks. The lip-smacking speciality…

  • Huǒgōngdiàn

    Changsha

    Don't miss the experience of eating this culinary landmark, established in 1747 and set around a small temple courtyard. Downstairs has a Hunan menu and…

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