A Food Tour of Hangzhou: 14 Famous Local Specialty Dishes

Hangzhou Cuisine, Ningbo Guisine and Shaoxing Cuisine combined complete Zhejiang Cuisine, one of the top eight cuisines in China.  

East China’s Hangzhou City is famous for West Lake, Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the enticing tea culture, as well as the local foods that make the most of abundant, superb ingredients. Hangzhou foods are known for its freshness, tenderness, smoothness and mellow fragrance, thus always connected with health benefits and favored by all. A trip to Hangzhou isn’t complete without tasting the city’s top 12 specialty dishes.

West Lake fish in vinegar gravy – A popular traditional Hangzhou dish, there are many stories and legends about it. This dish uses middle-sized grass carp, which is steamed with fresh water first, and then blanked with thick, sweet vinegar sauce. Lou Wai Lou at 30 Gushan Road, Xihu District serves authentic West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy – the restaurant’s signature dish.

西湖醋鱼

Dongpo pork – Named after Su Dongpo, a famous poet, calligrapher and painter nearly 1000 years ago during North Song Dynasty, Dongpo pork uses layers of lean and fat meat, which is pan-fried and then stewed with wine.

Chind foodie tour

Jin pai kou rou (Dongpo pork pyramid) – An upgraded Dongpo pork, the pork pyramid is sliced into more than 20 layers, and stuffed with chestnuts and smoked bamboo shoots.

Hangzhou food tour

Longjing tea-fried river prawns – As the name suggests, this Hangzhou dish uses the river spawns in West Lake and the best green tea leaves produced in Longjing Tea Plantation Village.

China gourmet tour

Beggar’s chicken – It was created by a beggar who baked the chicken on fire wrapped with mud. Nowadays, the dish has been renovated – the chicken itself is stuffed with pork and mushroom, and wrapped with lotus leaves.

China food culture tour

Deep-fried bean curd roll – A favorite toufu snack in Hangzhou, it is of golden brown color, crispy and tastes very good.

top China foods

West Lake vegetable soup with fish ball

top China dishes

Mi zhi huo fang (Honey Ham) – Made from Jinhua ham, mixed with pine nuts, lotus seed, and blanketed with honey, the dish satisfies both sweet and savory cravings.

best Chinese dishes

Stewed Fish Head with Tofu in Pottery Pot – This nutrient-rich fish dish is good for health and a good choice in winter.

Chinese fish dishes

Orange stuffed with crab meat – A royal dish from South Song Dynasty, it is made from fresh orange, stuffed with chicken soup and crab meat – good in taste and beautiful in shape.

Chinese royal dishes

Codfish Ball

Zong xiang huaxi bie (river turtle meat zongzi)

traditional Chinese foods

Steamed pork with rice flour wrapped with Lotus Leaf

Lotus root filled with sticky rice

43 Chinese Foods Everyone Should Try

Speaking of food, people generally believe China is a foodie heaven. Over 2600 years ago,Confucius said, “Eating is the utmost important thing in life” – no wonder the conversations between Chinese people always begin with polite chitchat about food and the classical question “Have you eaten?”

Given its Eight Great Cuisines, tens of thousands of dishes, and countless regional snacks, it is hard to choose the best food in China.

Recommended China Tours for foodies:

10-day Taste of China Top Cuisines

15-day China Culinary & Cooking Tour

To help world travelers plan on best China food tours, here we’ve filtered through recommendations from both gourmets and normal local people to bring you this list of China’s best picks for eating. Try at least some of them when touring in China.

In North China

* Roast Peking Duck – must-have food in Beijing

* Dumplings/jiaozi

* Sugar-coated haws on a stick

* Harbin sausage

* Donkey Huoshao, originated in Baoding Hebei Province, and has become a popular snack in Beijing

* Luoyang Soup Banquet – a dish from Yu Cuisine of Northern China

* Xian Rou jia mo (Chinese hamburger)

* Mongolia dried milk cake

* Fruit pancake (jianbin guozi)

* Lanzhou stretched noodles

 China food tour

 Beijing food tours 

In East China

* West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy and Dongpo pork – the two most famous foods of Hangzhou

* Squirrel-Shaped Mandarin Fish – a popular dish in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province

* Jiangsu’s braised meat balls in brown sauce

* Shanghai Steamed Buns

* Shanghai braised pork in brown sauce

* Huangshan Wonton

* Earthenware pot soup – a favored traditional food in Jiangxi Province

* Nanjing’s Duck blood and vermicelli soup

* Nanjing’s boil duck with salt

China gourmet tour

Shanghai food tours China food trips best Chinese food

In Central China

* Pot-stewed Duck’s neck & hot-and-dry noodles in Wuhan

* Changsha Sticky Toufu

* Chilli Fish Head

China tours to Wuhan  China tours to Changsha

In West China

* Pork lungs in chili sauce (husband and wife pork lungs) – a famous dish of Sichuan Cuisine

* Fish filets in hot chili oil (shui zhu yu) – a must-have dish in Chongqing

* Chongqing spicy chicken

* Yunnan’s Crossing the bridge noodles

* Sichuan Hot Pot

* Xianjiang style stir-fried chicken with big dish (Xinjiang Big plate Chicken)

* Dali Xizhou Baba

* Lao GanMa chilli sauce made in Guiyang, Guizhou

* Guizhou’s Fish in Sour Soup

West China Tours

China tours to Chongqing Yunnan food tours Sichuan culinary tours

In South China

* The Steamed Rice in Clay Pot is a traditional Cantonese dish

* Eat Zaocha (Guangzhou dim sum) in the morning

* Boiled chicken with sauce

* Fried spring rolls

* Bamboo-tube-cooked rice

* Guilin Rice Noodles

* Fried clam in Xiamen

* Yangshuo beer fish

* Fujian Fo Tiao Qiang

* Worm Jelly – with a worm as the main raw material, it is a popular specialty snack in South Fujian Province

Guangzhou food tours

Guilin food tours Fujian food tours Canton food tours

Foodie Tour of China: Learn Classic Chinese Dishes at Cooking School

A trip to China proves the kingdom is not only about a fast-growing economy or handsome heritage architectures – it also has great food. To most gourmands, the mere mention of China makes the mouth water.

This mysterious oriental country is home to many of the world’s richest and most subtle flavors, and oldest foods. The trip spent in each city or town of the country is an endless feast. But to create an ultimate foodie tour through China for authentic experiences to get a deep insight into China’s real life and better know its culture, travelers are encouraged to learn to cook the regional food in different places during a tour – which Easy Tour China can arrange!

Recommended China Culinary Tour

In Beijing

It will be a cool and enjoyable experience to learn to cook inside a Beijing hutong. In a traditional courtyard house, travelers can learn a variety of Chinese cuisines (Beijing cuisine has absorbed the essence of the other cuisines in China) – and all the classes are hands-on. Improve your skills at making dumplings, sauted chicken cubes with chilli and peanuts, and even Peking duck.

China food tour

In Chengdu

The cultural city of Chengdu offers a lot to world travelers including the panda tour, the historical sites, the holy mountains and the spicy Sichuan cuisine. A cooking class can be arranged in the Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Museum of typical Sichuan garden architecture. Here you’ll have a unique gourmet tour: taste some of the famous Sichuan snacks and the wines, discover many ancient cooking utensils, learn & cook classical Sichuan dishes, and exchange cooking experience with expert cook.

Sichuan food tour

China gourmet tour Chengdu food tour

In Huangshan

Huangshan’s Hui Cuisine is one of the eight great cuisines of China and has a history of over 1000 years. Thanks to Hui merchants of ancient times, Hui Cuisine spread to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Shanghai, and affected local foods and diet habits. The characterful Pig’s Heaven Inn does not only offer lovely accommodation with antique furniture, but also the cooking class to learn authentic Huizhou dishes.

China cooking school

Tour to Yellow Mountain

In Yangshuo

One of the top activities to do in Yangshuo, a cooking class to learn local dishes (e.g. Yanshuo beer fish, steamed stuffed vegetables) is recommended to all. The cooking school locates in the countryside by Li River. Walking through the original Chinese farms to visit the local markets for fresh food materials, one cannot fail to appreciate picturesque landscape of Yangshuo and its pristine and intoxicating atmosphere. Travelers can choose from the day-course or the week-long intensive course.

Yangshuo cooking school

Yangshuo landscape

Home style cooking classes are also available in other cities like Xian, Shanghai and remote towns and villages in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces (when doing a home visit). You may contact us for a tailor-made culinary tour to China.

China foodie tour