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There is an incredible diversity of food to eat in China, so it’s wise to do your research before entering what can be a truly mesmerizing culinary world that is seemingly unlimited. From noodles to dumplings to amazing vegetarian and meat dishes, you will find the same multi-layered symbolism in China’s food that is discoverable in all other aspects of its culture. Arrive hungry for your China travels, with chopsticks in hand ready to explore China’s kitchens with us. You will love making travel food memories with this list of must-eat Chinese dishes.
Noodles are to the Chinese what pasta is to Italians - a mainstay of Chinese cuisine that comes in many and varied forms. Every region has its own specialty, allowing you to savor specialty dishes wherever you visit. In Beijing, try Zhajiangmian (old Beijing noodles with fried bean sauce), which is a popular homestyle dish. By contrast, you can enjoy clear broth beef noodle soup in Lanzhou and the red-braised beef noodle soup in Taiwan. In Sichuan province, try Dandan noodles, while in Xian, located in China’s north, it’s impossible to go past the famous local biang biang noodle - so named for their resemblance to a belt. In the south of China, try Guilin’s rice noodles and the ‘crossing the bridge noodles’ of Yunnan, which is a rice noodle soup. And Wuhan is home to a breakfast with a difference - hot dry noodles - so start your day here fired up and ready to go.
Almost as ubiquitous as noodles, dumplings hold a special place in the heart of just about every Chinese person. On your culinary adventures, expect to find regional specialties, with each vying for your favor. If you’re anything like the ChinaTours.com team, you may find yourself defending your version of the ‘very best’ dumpling, and let’s face it, there is stiff competition for the prize. Choose from jiaozi (served either boiled or steamed); baozi or xiaolongbao, which are delicious steamed buns filled with mince and a juicy broth; shengjianbao, otherwise known as pan-fried mince-filled dumplings; or the Chinese version of a meat pie - xianbing - which are pan-fried oversized dumplings. And of course there’s no passing up a wonton soup while in China either. Essentially a soup broth served with floating dumplings, we dare you to eat just one while on tour!
Other famous signature Chinese dishes
Fancy expanding your palate with other famous Chinese signature dishes? Do your food research right here before departing on a Chinese culinary adventure.