Best restaurants in Shanxi

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Jincheng

    Jia Jin Yang Hele Noodles

    A tiny shop with rustic decor run by a friendly couple, the noodles here – al dente and delicious – come in clear broth (清汤, qīng tāng) or with pumpkin (金瓜, jīn guā), preserved vegetables(酸菜, suān cài) or braised pork (炖肉, dùn ròu). For ¥5 you get a salad of various types of tofu: strips, hard, scrunched up sheets, you name it.

  • Restaurants in Datong

    Fènglín Gé

    Exquisite and delectable shāomai (steamed dim-sum dumplings) are the star of the show at this fancy, period-style restaurant in the heart of the old town. Order by the steamer (笼, lóng) or half steamer. The crab shāomai are succulent and gorgeous, but not cheap (¥15 each, half steamer ¥45); there's also lamb (¥8 each, half steamer ¥26) and other tempting fillings.

  • Restaurants in Qikou

    Mínjiān Càiguǎn

    This humble place makes delicious country dishes (农家菜, nóngjiā cài). The stir-fried (homegrown) spinach (清炒菠菜, qīngchǎo bōcài) has bite and a lingering nuttiness. The spicy homemade tofu (辣酱沾豆腐, làjiàng zhān dòufu) is smoky and nutty. They also make less ordinary Shanxi pastas such as chǎo cācā (炒擦擦), stir-fried potato shavings, and 炒合愣则 ( chǎo hélèngzé), gnocchi-like potato-flour balls.

  • Restaurants in Taiyuan

    Haoganggang Lamb Offal

    The standard mutton soup (羊肉汤, yángròu tāng) or offal soup (羊杂汤, yángzá tāng) at this popular chain comprises mutton or offal in broth with noodles. You can add extra meat (加肉, jiā ròu) or offal (加羊杂, jiā yángzá) for ¥12 or ¥13 a tael (两, liǎng). One tael is about 38g. Flaky pastry (油酥饼, yóusū bǐng) is ¥1 apiece.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Taiyuan

    Liùwèizhāi

    Behind the grey walls of this period-style low-rise is a famous establishment founded in the Qing dynasty. The ground floor sells cold braised snacks. Ascend to the upper floors and take a seat by the window. The sets give you a bit of everything such as the signature spiced pork (酱肉, jiàng ròu) and steamed tubular oat-flour pasta (栲栳栳, kǎolǎolǎo).

  • Restaurants in Taiyuan

    Taiyuan Noodle House

    With a cake shop on the ground floor, head up to the bustling 2nd floor of this restaurant for Shanxi’s famous vinegar/noodle combo. If you're bewildered by the choices, go for the six-type taster (六中面套餐, liùzhōng miàntào cān; ¥36), otherwise choose pork noodles (排骨炝锅面, páigǔ qiàngguōmiàn; ¥16). It also does shāomài (烧麦; ¥12). No English menu, but there are pictures.

  • Restaurants in Datong

    Tónghé Dàfàndiàn

    This fantastic, bright and cheery spot alongside the Hóngqí Hotel and a short hop from the train station can look a little intimidating with its big round tables better suited to functions, but solo diners can pull up a chair no problem. There’s a huge range of tasty, well-presented dishes on the picture menu, suiting all budgets.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Datong

    Shuaifujie Islam Lamb Offal

    Before hitting the hills, come here for the ultimate protein breakfast: lamb offal! Most locals order the offal with potato-flour noodles (粉羊杂, fěn yángzá). Hardcore fans prefer just offal (纯羊杂, chún yángzá; bowl ¥30, half-bowl ¥15), with steamed bun (馒头, mántou) or fried dough (油饼, yóubǐng) to soak up the soup. Look for the big green sign with white lettering.

  • Restaurants in Taiyuan

    Shānxī Huìguǎn

    Behind the imposing grey exterior is a refined restaurant serving quality northern Chinese cuisine. There's everything from hotpot to homemade tofu and, of course, noodles, served by eager staff. If you're lucky, you might catch a noodle-making demonstration at dinner time. The picture menu has fairly accurate English translations. A taxi from the train station costs around ¥20.

  • Restaurants in Taiyuan

    Food Street

    Head to this long, long street lined with all manner of restaurants and outdoor shāokǎo (barbecue) places. You can get noodles, of course, but also hotpot, northern pastries and fried dishes. It gets lively late in the evening, when it’s a good place for a beer and a chat with the locals. It's always busy, but fun.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Pingyao

    Qīnqíng Lúshí Pù

    This two-storey restaurant lets you sample all kinds of Pingyao and Shanxi treats without stuffing yourself. The bilingual menu offers meal sets featuring small portions of local classics, such as pork terrine (皮冻), steamed tubular oat-flour pasta (莜面栲栳栳), tossed cold noodles (碗脫), and grain and nut tea (油茶). It's near the junction between Nan Dajie (南大街) and Xi Dajie (西大街).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Datong

    Dōngfāng Xiāo Miàn

    Forgive the chain-store decor and endure the long queues (always a good sign) and you'll soon be in noodle heaven at this popular local chain. Steaming bowls of the humble Shanxi speciality xiāo miàn (削面) are the stars here; have the noodles with pork (¥8), beef or lamb (each ¥10) and pair them with a variety of side dishes such as spicy cucumbers. A beer will help top it all off.

  • Restaurants in Pingyao

    Sakura Cafe

    This eclectic and fun cafe-bar attracts both locals and foreigners with its daily food and drink specials. It does decent, if pricey, pizzas (from ¥65), burgers, sandwiches and omelettes, plus breakfasts, coffee, beer (from ¥18) and cocktails. Staff are welcoming. There’s another equally popular branch at 86 Nan Dajie, which is more aimed at locals; this branch is aimed at Westerners.

  • Restaurants in Pingyao

    Tianyuankui

    With wooden furnishings and helpful staff, this huge restaurant spanning three dining spaces in a courtyard house has a loud and jolly vibe. The iPad English menu has photos of the dishes, making ordering a snap. There's an overwhelming variety of Shanxi and other favourites, from Cantonese-style blanched greens to Pingyao beef and spicy Sichuan stir-fries.

  • Restaurants in Pingyao

    Déjūyuán

    Traveller-friendly, but no worse for that, this popular and welcoming little restaurant has a simple and tasty menu (in English) of Shanxi dishes. Try the famed scrambled eggs with Shanxi vinegar and chilli (¥22), fried potato with Pingyao beef (¥50) or stir-fried tubular oat-flour pasta (¥18). It's often packed, so you may have to share a table.

  • Restaurants in Datong

    Zǐní Sānliùjiǔ Cūliáng Guǎn

    A large, formal restaurant with attentive service and surprisingly affordable prices. The thick bilingual picture menu covers a huge array of Shanxi and northern Chinese dishes from dumplings and lamb skewers to claypot tofu and rabbit heads.

  • Restaurants in Datong

    Pán Láilái

    Datong is famous for rabbit heads (兔头, tùtóu) and locals will tell you that Pán Láilái serves the best ones (at a costly ¥11 each). The fist-sized delicacy is braised (红烧, hóngshāo), fried (爆炒, bàochǎo) or marinated with five spices (五香, wǔxiāng); they're sucked on as one would crab or chicken wings.

  • Restaurants in Jincheng

    Jincheng Ten Small Bowls

    The picture menu of this modern restaurant contains a hundred selections, some in smallish servings. If there are two of you, you can have the buckwheat noodles with soft tofu (豆花饸饹, dòuhuā héle), donkey meat with scallion (葱丝伴驴肉, cōngsī bàn lǘròu) and fried mushrooms (炸杂菌, zhá zájūn), and still have room for the sticky rice with sweet red bean paste (天鹅蛋, tiān é dàn).