Restaurants in China
China's cuisine is amazingly complex and multi-faceted and travelers will find restaurants in China that specialize in all the various regional styles of cooking. The best restaurants in China range from some that offer white-glove service and banquets with countless courses to humble stalls that may sell only one particular broth or noodle dish. Peking duck is, of course, one of China's most famous dishes and the Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing is one of the best places to taste the duck exactly as it should be prepared and served, in three courses.
The Donglaishun restaurants began as a food stall in 1903, but now they are famous for their Mongolian hotpots where diners cook their own meat (traditionally, thinly sliced mutton) and vegetables in a tableside pot of broth. The China restaurants scenes isn't limited to just Chinese fare. Miichelle Garnault's M restaurants (M on the Bund in Shanghai, M on the Fringe in Hong Kong, and M Capital in Beijing) are some of the most acclaimed of the many using locally sourced ingredients in European—and Middle Eastern and North African—dishes.
Sichuan fare is known to start a party (or a fire, with the proper seasoning) in your mouth, so have a glass of water at the ready before digging in at this Hung Hom neighborhood restaurant in the Whampoa Garden development.
For a brief pit stop try Olala Charcuterie, where you can score a refreshing salad with extra-lean Serrano ham and an undercurrent of beets. Sturdier dishes include an oxtail stewed with red wine and vegetables and a lusty boeuf bourguignon.
The menu features Yellow River bamboo with ham; translucent gooey balls of summer yam with pork and scallions; and lu yu, a river fish with a sour, spicy broth.
Set right on the eastern edge of the Forbidden City, this restaurant is appropriately imperial in theme.
Come for the homey black-and-white-tiled space and two-inch-thick toast topped with silky, plush scrambled eggs (corned beef hash optional). Locals also love the café’s macaroni-and-ham soup for breakfast, but don’t feel obliged to follow suit.
This restaurant on the eleventh floor of Le Royal Méridien hotel offers a taste of France in the hub of Shanghai. This 50-seat location puts food before views; Chef Michael Wendling prepares dishes from the southern region of France.
Yes, it’s a little on the touristy side—okay, more than a little—but this sprawling restaurant atop Victoria Peak is well worth a visit for its unmatchable nighttime views over the city.
On Sunday mornings, young expat families brunch on the terrace of M on the Bund, Shanghai’s first fine-dining Western-style restaurant, framed against the pink TV tower and other kitschy buildings of Pudong across the Huangpu River.
Americans may not happily push their bowl of Lucky Charms aside for rice porridge, but in Hong Kong congee is the breakfast of champions.
Starbucks’s local competitor—founded by a Seattle expat—can also serve a great cup o’ joe a hundred different ways. For the peckish, there’s a decent selection of pastries, scones, and cookies. Java addicts, take note: one of the two locations on Level 7 is open 24 hours.
Graffiti art covers the walls of Ireland-born chef Brian McKenna's 2010-opened restaurant/lounge, which turns out whimsical, Chinese-inflected creations (chicken wontons with avocado-and-lime dip; raspberry-and-herb-infused chocolate pop tarts).
Sample local specialties include stuffed-beggar’s chicken and fatty dongpo pork at the great Louwailou restaurant.