Best restaurants in Xinjiang

  • Restaurants in Hotan

    Marco’s Dream Cafe

    This Malaysian-run place serves a very welcome range of Western and Asian dishes, including delicious curried chicken and steaks, while the friendly English-speaking owners can provide excellent travel advice. It's hidden in a courtyard beyond a red gate entrance, though the owners warn they may have to move again soon: check their more permanent bakery if you can't find this one.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Huāzhī Lín

    This bright and stylish place, with plush booths, private nooks and city views is the place for a Taiwanese feast, though you'll struggle if you don't have a Chinese speaker with you as the menu has few photos. Try sānbēi jī (三杯鸡; chicken on the bone), hóngshāo ròu (红烧肉; braised pork belly) and the delicious huāzhīlín tèkè cài (花之林特克菜; pancakes with eggs and pepper).

  • Restaurants in Hotan

    Amin Perlau

    This unassuming place at the end of a long strip of restaurants on Aqiale Donglu is generally held by locals to be the best in town. Choose between a small portion of lamb for ¥20 or a whole leg of lamb for ¥35, add yoghurt, rice, pickles and tea and enjoy the warm Uyghur hospitality and local atmosphere.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Kashgar

    Altun Orda

    Easily Kashgar's most memorable and atmospheric restaurant, Altun Orda is a sumptuously decorated place famous for its roast mutton, sweet pumpkin dumplings, meat pies and raisin and almond pastries. Though the restaurant has been on the tourist radar for some time – as the English iPad menus demonstrate – you'll still usually be an object of curiosity amid a sea of Uyghur families.

  • Restaurants in Kashgar

    Eden Cafe

    This lavishly decorated restaurant inside the Eden Hotel is one of Kashgar's best, and it oozes atmosphere and is always full of locals. The menu is photographic, though there's no English, and the food is full of Turkish and Uyghur standards as well as a few Chinese and international dishes. There's no alcohol but they serve up real coffee.

  • Restaurants in Hotan

    Uyghur Night Market

    Recently moved to its own purpose-built area about 1km due south of the main square, Hotan's night market is one of the liveliest and busiest in Xīnjiāng. Come here once darkness falls to grab such goodies as tonur kebab (whole roast sheep) and chuchvara (meat dumplings in broth), topped off with sweet tangzaza (sticky rice with syrup and yoghurt).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Hami

    Miss Chen's Pizza House

    A young and friendly English-speaking team run this pizza joint, in perhaps the least likely culinary find in Hāmì. The pizzas (on an English-language menu) are handmade, and include the delicious Pannodo (basil, garlic, onion and pepper). From the train station, turn left onto the main road and Miss Chen's is 1.3km away, on your left. There's an English sign.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Tous Les Jours

    This excellent bakery serves up an impressive selection of baked goods, including croissants, fresh bread and cakes, and does real coffee, fresh juice and a number of other things that might seem like a dream come true after weeks of Chinese hotel breakfasts. There are several other outlets around town, but this one is the handiest.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Rendezvous

    Well worth travelling out a little way for, this American-run cafe offers a welcome change of pace from Ürümqi's other dining options, with pizza, sandwiches, Tex-Mex and real coffee on the menu, not to mention an English menu, English-speaking staff and wi-fi. It's in the neighbourhood around the Russian market; take a cab.

  • Restaurants in Kashgar

    Nuran

    This gorgeously decorated 2nd-floor restaurant is hugely popular with Uyghur diners who tend to come in large family groups to feast on traditional dishes from the enormous selection. There's a big photo menu and staff seem genuinely thrilled to see foreign guests, as this place has yet to be discovered by tour groups.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Kashgar

    Ōu'ěr Dáxīkè Night Market

    Across from the Id Kah Mosque, this photogenic night market is a great place to sample local fare. Among the goodies are fried fish, chickpeas, kebabs, fried dumplings known as hoshan and bubbling vats of goat’s-head soup. Top off a meal with a glass of pomegranate juice or freshly churned vanilla ice cream.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Aroma

    One of the best places to eat foreign cuisine in Xīnjiāng, Aroma showcases delicious pizzas, pastas, seafood and risottos in its warm bistro environment. Order the marbled T-bone steak in black pepper sauce for a real treat, or just enjoy the good espresso. Most of the ingredients are either home-grown or homemade.

  • Restaurants in Kashgar

    Yingbin Jie Night Market

    This large and relatively untouristed night market has food stalls running alongside Yingbin Jie just north of the river. There's a fantastic selection of traditional Uyghur street food on offer, from hard-boiled eggs cooked in ash to huge pieces of fried fish and massive drums of polo (pilau rice).

  • Restaurants in Hotan

    Marco Dream Cafe Bakery

    This outlet of Marco's Dream Cafe is a bakery where you can get fresh bread, pastries and pizza. It's hidden away off the main road in a courtyard – you'll probably have to ask people nearby to direct you, but the cafe and its owners are well known locally.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Xīqí

    This fantastic place in the heart of the city is busy with hungry diners all day and night. The fare is simple but delicious: choose from a variety of steaming bowls of spicy noodles and delicious meat-filled buns. Point at what you want at the counter, pay and take your number and grab a booth.

  • Restaurants in Turpan

    Gaochang Lu Night Market

    Come dusk, dozens of stalls set up shop by the fountains to the west of the main central square. Grab a cold beer and choose from fried fish, shāguō (沙果; casseroles), goat’s feet soup and cumin-scented kebabs. This is a wonderfully atmospheric and deeply Uyghur experience.

  • Restaurants in Yining

    Zǐxiānggě Coffee Club

    Within the grounds of the enormous Yīlí Bīnguǎn, this surprisingly lavish multiroom restaurant specialises in coffee and tea, but also has a small Western menu serving up pizza, steaks and even a club sandwich, alongside a selection of Chinese dishes. There's also a full drinks list, making this a good evening option as well. Staff are super-friendly and love foreigners.

  • Restaurants in Yarkand

    Turkan

    It's easy to spot this excellent place: look for the large 'Tea Coffee' sign in English on the awning. Inside it's a well-appointed place with white-gloved waiters rushing dishes from a pictorial menu to the well-heeled guests seated in gold and velvet chairs. As well as Uyghur dishes, you can enjoy pizza (of a sort) and even a cappuccino.

  • Restaurants in Ürümqi

    Tiānfǔ Zhēngcài

    A cosy and friendly neighbourhood place just northwest of the Hóngshān Intersection, featuring tasty eastern Chinese dishes and enjoying a tea house feel. Try the Shanghai-style braised meatballs ( hóngshāo shīzi tóu; 红烧狮子头) or tiger-skin peppers with braised eggplant ( hǔpí làzi shāoqiézi; 虎皮辣子烧茄子). It’s down a side alley.

  • Restaurants in Kashgar

    Altun Jam

    This popular Uyghur restaurant may well be a little far out, but its striking appearance and good food make it well worth a trip. The ornate bar is quite a sight to behold, and the people-watching is superb with some seriously well-attired locals. Try the gān biàn dòu jiǎo (dry fried green beans) and the roù bǐng (fluffy lamb pie).