Fifteen dishes that a tourist needs to try in China

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

To visit China is to visit another world. Colors, sounds, smells and tastes are in many ways unusual for a tourist from Russia. We recommend that you smoothly begin to get acquainted with the culture of the country through the cuisine, so we asked the experts to make a list of dishes that you should definitely try in China. The bonus is recommended restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai with addresses.

Here is a list of dishes required for tasting in China, and also indicate the restaurant where they can be tasted.

Russian Russian Club President Sergey Jan Sha, CEO of China Tour & Business Travel Company, experts from Russian Express and PAC Group tour operators help us in this.


“To visit Beijing and not try the famous Peking duck is a crime,” they say in the Russian Express.

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Peking duck, China. Photo:

Juicy pieces of duck meat under a crispy crust with an appetizer of radishes, cucumbers, green onions and sweet bean sauce – it is not surprising that this dish has been popular from century to century. It is said that the recipe for roast duck appeared more than 1,500 years ago in Nanjing, when the city was the residence of the Chinese emperors, and then, when the capital moved to Beijing in the 1400s, the imperial family brought the recipe with them.

Experts of the Russian Express tour operator recommend two Beijing restaurants where the most delicious duck is cooked: Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant and Jing Yaa Tang (Michelin).


“The most favorite dish in China among foreigners is “gongbao jiding” – diced chicken breast with cashews or peanuts. Spicy seasonings are mandatory here: they are the whole secret,” says Sergey Jan Sha, CEO of China Tour & Business Travel Company and president of the Russian-Chinese Club.

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Kung Pao Chicken, China. Photo:

One of the most famous Chinese dishes is prepared by frying diced chicken pieces with green onions, ginger, peas, chili peppers and deep-fried peanuts.

The most popular version of the origin of the dish is associated with the former governor of Sichuan Province in the 1800s, Ding Baozeng, whose nickname was Ding Gongbao, later romanized as Kungpao.

He loved sour-salted fried chicken from the Chinese province of Shandong and after his transfer to Sichuan Province, modified the dishes by adding local chili peppers and peanuts.


Everyone who has been to China more than once knows that the most spicy dishes are served on Sichuan Airlines flights. Sichuan cuisine is famous for its main ingredient – chili pepper.

From this regional cuisine, PAC Group experts recommend trying “mapo tofu”, which is among the TOP 20 most spicy dishes in the world. Experts also recommend, if possible, to taste chicken with peanuts in hot sauce and twice cooked pork (boiled and then fried). 

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Mapo tofu, China Photo Wikimedia Commons

Russian Express tour operator recommends trying Sichuan cuisine in one of the best restaurants in the city Chongqing (one one of the largest megacities of Sichuan Province) – Qinxiangting Chinese Restaurant.


Sergey Jan Sha recommends tourists to try another dish of Sichuan cuisine – “yuxiang zhousy” – “pork with fish flavor”.

The meat for it is cut into long strips and Sichuan cabbage is added “zhatsai si”. Be sure that chili peppers will not be forgotten here either. According to our expert, the dish looks very aesthetically pleasing and appetizing, it remains only to create your own impression of it.


“Dan dan” is a carrying pole used by street vendors to deliver noodles more than 100 years ago. This is a Sichuan dish with minced meat, green onions, chopped peanuts, spices and various sauces.

It is served both just like that and in hot walnut broth. In whatever form the noodles are brought, gourmets advise sprinkling them on top with a handful of “ru saozi” – finely chopped pork, fried until golden brown and crispy.


“Zha Jiangmen” is a popular noodle dish with meat pieces, vegetables and bean sauce. This is a simple and hearty dish that can be found in many outdoor cafes and restaurants.

According to the advice of experts from the Russian Express company, this dish is worth trying at the Beijing restaurant The Horizon (Beijing Kerry Hotel) (Michelin).

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Noodles Zha Jiang Mian, China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Another popular Beijing restaurant serving a variety of Chinese noodles is Din Tai Fung (Yuyang).


Another recommendation from our expert, the president of the Russian–Chinese Club, is noodles on lamb broth with pieces of fresh lamb, coriander and seasonings. Mr. Zhang Sha recommends to try it at the Beijing flea market (Panjiayuan).

A bowl of noodles will cost 20 yuan (about 270 rubles), and according to Mr. Jan Sha, you will get an indescribable pleasure. In addition, after a hearty lunch, the expert recommends wandering around the market and haggling for a cup of the Qing or Ming dynasty (approx. in Beijing, sellers in the markets often speak two, three or more languages at the household level to communicate with tourists).


ATOR’s freelance correspondent, travel journalist Alexander Andreev, author of the Ottudova telegram channel, is often asked in a tourist chat about Hainan, which he leads: “where on the island to try Peking duck?”. But why look for duck on Hainan if it has its own unique dish?

“Shibanyu” is a freshly caught rock sea bass, which is steamed and served with a special sauce. Sergey Jan Sha, a connoisseur of this dish, claims that it is impossible to try it in mainland China – it is only available in Hainan.


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Another great dish from Hainan Island is “wenchang ji” or Hainan wenchang chicken. 

“The chicken is steamed in a special way, and the finished dish is exported to Singapore and Southeast Asian countries. Do you know why? Many Singaporeans and “huaqiao” (approx. people from China living in other countries) in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines originally from the city of Wenchang (Hainan). They left, but they did not forget their native cuisine,” says Mr. Jan Sha.

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

“Wenchang ji” or wenchang chicken of Hainan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


The most popular dish of Shanghai cuisine is pork ribs on fried rice cakes, experts say. 

Tour operators advise you to try this delicacy in the restaurants of Shanghai Hakkasan (Michelin) and D.SH.D (MaoMing South Road), where not only Chinese, but also Yunnan cuisine is widely represented.


The seaside town of Chaozhou (Guangdong Province) is famous for seafood dishes. Among the best are cold fish or cold crab.

Fish and crabs are lightly seasoned with salt before steaming, and then cooled and served at room temperature. Fish is often dipped in a special soy paste, and crabs are served with garlic and vinegar sauce.


Spicy meat pies “hujiao bing” or “black pepper” are especially popular in Fujian Province and Taiwan.

We learned about the pies from the specialists of the PAC Group. Baked pies are made from yeast dough, and minced meat with garlic, onion, black pepper, seasoning “wuxianmian” (“five spices”) and rice vodka is used as a filling. 


Perhaps no tourist will be able to avoid the traditional Chinese feast with a Chinese samovar – “hogo”.

This ceremony or ritual involves seating around a hogo and cooking pre-prepared ingredients in boiling broth.

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Chinese samovar (Hot Pot) – the diner adds the necessary ingredients to boiling soups himself. Photo: ATOR

Depending on the geographical location, these may be: 

  • in Guangdong province – seafood;
  • in Yunnan province – wild mushrooms;
  • in Sichuan province – meat, duck blood, fillets of river fish, poultry giblets;
  • in Inner Mongolia – mutton and so on next. 

The most famous hogo chain restaurants are Haidilao Hot Pot (Mudanyuan) in Beijing and Donglaishun.


One of the traditional Chinese dishes is dumplings. Our neighbors have surpassed us in this art. As Mr. Jan Sha tells us, there are speed dumpling competitions in China. The record is 80 dumplings per minute!

Chinese cuisine offers a real pelmeni abundance with a riot of fillings, external forms and serving ceremonies! Dumplings in the form of duck – with duck meat, in the form of a pig – with pork, etc. Compare for yourself:

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Shape displays taste. These fish-shaped dumplings are stuffed with fish. Photo: ATOR

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Chinese dumplings with duck. Photo: ATOR

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Pork dumplings, China. Photo: ATOR

“In Shanghai, I recommend definitely trying xiao lung bao with an extraordinary variety of fillings, broth inside and a special taste. There are usually huge queues behind them and it’s worth it! It’s strange that the Michelin guide bypassed them. They deserve a 3*,” Sergey Jan Sha shares his personal experience.

Mr. Zhang Sha also strongly recommends that tourists visit the dumpling festival in Xi’an city. The trip can be successfully combined with a visit to the famous Terracotta Army.


It is also worth mentioning the famous tea ceremony, although this does not apply to dishes. Our expert recommends contemplating this action in the Lao She Tea Room, while eating a variety of snacks (“dianxing” or dim sum – a style of serving food when many different dishes are included in one meal) and enjoying the magical action of master actors. 

The tea house is located in the very center of Beijing – a 7-minute walk from Tiananmen Square. You will never pass by this tea house – firstly, all passers-by know this place, and secondly, it can be seen from afar.

Пятнадцать блюд, которые туристу нужно попробовать в Китае

Lao She Tea House, Beijing, China. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Restaurants in Beijing:

1. Quanjude (Peking Duck)

Account: from 120 yuan/person

Address: 30 Qianmen Street, Dongcheng District (near Tian’anmen square)

2. Dadong (Peking duck, Chinese delicacies)

Account: from 350 yuan/person

Address: Floor 6, Wangfu Shopping Center, 301 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District

3. Siji Mingfu (Peking duck, Peking noodles with soy paste)

Account: from 150 yuan/person

Address: 11 Nanchizi Street, Dongcheng District (near the east gate of the Forbidden City) § 

4. Made in China (Peking duck, mandarin fish in sweet and sour sauce)

Account: from 400 yuan/person

Address: 1F Grand Hyatt Beijing, 1 Dong Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District (6 minutes walk from Wangfujing Street)

5. Beijing Haidilao Hot Pot (Wangfujing)/Chinese Samovar Restaurant

Account: from 120 yuan/person

Address: 8/F, In 88 Shopping Mall, No.88 Wangfujing Main Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing China

6. Bai Jia Da Yuan (Peking duck, grilled pork, shrimp)

Account: from 360 yuan/person

Address: 15 Suzhou Street, Haidian District (southeast of Haidian Park)

Restaurants in Shanghai

1. Shanghai Oriental Pearl Revolving Restaurant (Chinese name:

Account: from 132 yuan/person

Address: Inside the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, 1 Pudong Century Avenue, Pudong New District

2. Lost Heaven

Address: No 17, Yan’an Dong Road, by The Bund

3. The Shanghai EDITION

Address: 199 Nanjing Road East, Huangpu, Shanghai, China

4. Jin Xuan Chinese Restaurant (MICHELIN)

Address: Pudong Shanghai ifc mall, No.8 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong 53 Floor, The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong, Shanghai 200120 China

5. Summer Palace (MICHELIN)

Address: 218 Middle Yan’an Road Level 3, Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai, Shanghai 200040 China

Anna Popova

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