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What/Where to Eat

Raw muttons, Chinese food

What to Eat
As one of the three world famous cuisines, Chinese cuisine has been developing over four or five thousand years. China has a vast territory with a large number of people belonging to 56 ethnic groups. As a result, various local flavors formed because of the diversity of geography, climate, customs and products. Many Chinese local cuisines are very popular both at home and abroad.

As early as the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Shandong Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine and Sichuan Cuisine, had begun to take shape. With the further development of the catering industry, Zhejiang cuisine, Fujian cuisine, Hunan cuisine and Anhui cuisine also became eminent, being named eight cuisines of China together with the other four.

 Four Cuisines of China Shandong Cuisine: it is fragrant, fresh, tender and pure in taste, and the representative dishes are braised sea cucumbers with spring onions, braised shark's fin with crab yolk and braised mullet egg.

Jiangsu Cuisine: it is famous for choice materials, delicate construction and moderate taste, and the representative dishes are beggar's roast chicken, fried mandarine fish with sweet and sour sauce, stir-fried sliced chicken with egg white sauce.

Guangdong Cuisine: it is noted for variegated materials, novel and bizarre in style and most dishes taste sweet. The representative dishes are steamed turtle with chives sauce, crispy suckling pigs, fried whole shrimps.

Sichuan Cuisine: it is well-known for various taste and subtle variation - especially famous for being spicy. The representative dishes are fish flavored pork slices, Gongbao chicken cubes, mar-boh tofu.

Chinese local cuisines are well known for their excellence in color, aroma, taste, shape and fine dishware. They feature choice materials, fine ways of cutting, abundant seasoning and dainty matching materials, and dishware.

A pizza hut in Beijing, Chinese restaurant
Beijing snacks, dining in China

 Some Popular Food in China: hotpot, barbecue, seafood, venison and various local snacks.

 Cooking Method: frying (including deep frying, quick frying and stir frying.), braising, stewing, steaming, smoking, roasting, caramelizing as well as mashing

 Condiments: table salt, sugar, cheese, vinegar, butter, pepper, soy sauce, cream, curry, mustard, tomato sauce, honey, gravy, jam, cube sugar, ginger, garlic, shallot, mayonnaise and sweet soybean paste.

For more detailed information about Chinese cuisine, please refer to Chinese Cuisine.

Additionally, With French, German, Italian food as the representatives, all kinds of western food has appeared and been developing in China, including various western dishes, KFC, McDonald's and other west-style fast food. Besides, Japanese Cuisine, Korean Cuisine and Southeast Asian Cuisine also become more and more popular in China. 

Where to Eat
In China, dining out has gradually become more popular due to increasing affluence and the increased pace of life. As a result, diversified eating places are springing up like mushrooms all over the country.

  • A Chinese restaurant
  • A Japanese restaurant, dining in China
  • A canton restaurant in Xian, China dining

The domestic catering industry is divided into five main categories: hotel restaurant, dining-room, buffet (self service restaurant) and bento, beverage shop, and food stall. Hotel restaurants lead the catering industry with their elegant environment, fine dishware and excellent perfect service. Dining-rooms include Chinese dining-room and western dining-room, supplying totally different styles of food and drink. Chinese dining-room includes various local style restaurants, seafood and hotpot restaurants, snack stalls and many others. Over 20 thousand foreign restaurants have been opened in big and medium-sized cities of China like French restaurant, German restaurant, Italian restaurant, Japanese restaurant, Korean restaurant as well as all kinds of western fast food outlets (KFC, Dicos and McDonald's). Located in schools and governmental or non-governmental organizations, buffet and bento aim at those working and studying far from home, with a cheap but nutritious and varied choice. The beverage industry provides traditional drink shops, automats as well as ice cream shops supplying healthier and dearer cold drinks. Part of Chinese food culture, food stalls are relevant to 'where to go, where to eat' (Chinese's traditional eating habits), so they can be found in markets, parks, street corners, schoolyards and many other public places.

According to the dishes, Chinese eating places can be further categorized into Chinese local style restaurants, foreign cuisine restaurants, fast food restaurant, beverage shops, tea shops, coffee shops, bars and many others like barbecue and seafood restaurants, hotpot restaurants, home restaurants, snack stalls, venison shops and medicinal diet shops.