& Other Foods You Should Try in China
Who else is a foodie? One of my favorite parts of travel is eating new foods in different countries! I’ve seen many people try food tours and love them, so when I realized I had an extra day in Beijing I searched for one that was reasonably priced (and not sold out!) and I booked my first experience.
Breakfast Food Tour
I booked with UnTour Food Tours. They offer a Hutong Breakfast tour and an Old Beijing Dinner tour. I would have loved to do both, but I chose the breakfast tour and I’m so glad I did!
We had a spectacular guide (and a guide in training) who walked us through a beautiful part of Beijing. We were able to explore local hutongs and try food from restaurants I wouldn’t have gone into otherwise. It was so nice having someone who could not only order for me, but explain to me the history of the dish and proper etiquette when eating it.
We tried an array of dishes, from dumplings to dessert doughs and (my favorite) jian bing!
I was amazed at how quickly three hours went by, and how I wished the tour could have lasted longer. At some places we had entire meals (like the dumplings) and shared with the table. At other places we tore off pieces of the dough and split it amongst the group. Despite only eating a few bites here and there, it was easy to fill up on all the carbs! I loved every minute of it… except maybe the mung bean juice.
It wasn’t only our guides who made it a great time, but I’ve found that any time I book an experience like this I meet such awesome people.
Fellow travelers are cool people because they’re so open minded about the world, and you can swap stories and learn about where they’ve been and what they’ve learned.
Whether it’s a cooking class, food tour or other experience, I’m definitely going to sign up for more as I travel.
Other Foods to Try in China
We all knew this was coming. Dumplings may be the most popular and delicious dish in China. I had them so many times over the two weeks I was there, and looking back I wish I had tried more!
There are so many kinds, from boiled, steamed, pan friend, delicate & soup dumplings. You will find variations in every region and restaurant you order from. (Hint: they’re all yummy!)
Lo mein, ramen, etc. You have to try them. In the Beijing train station there is a spectacular ramen noodle restaurant that I highly recommend! It was a great lunch after hopping off the train from Shanghai.
My favorite dish in China normally costs around 7CNY ($1 USD!) and you can find it on just about any street corner in the city. This egg crepe is delicious, takes 30 seconds to make and is handed to you piping hot. Once I discovered them I had one almost every day I was there.
If you’re looking for a delicious sweet treat, look no further. I found these candied strawberries in both Shanghai and Beijing and I love them! The hard outer shell of sugar with the sweet strawberry inside is delicious. Sometimes they even come with cherries or other fruits attached.
Okay I am obsessed with these. The plain ones are alright, but the blueberry tarts are incredible! They’re cheap and easy to snack on while walking down Nanjing East in Shanghai.
I had two variations of this in Beijing, one on my food tour and another at a restaurant, and both were delicious. The doughnut balls came with sugar on top, and the breakfast dough comes plain and you dunk it in sweet milk. You can’t go wrong with either!
Green Tea Ice Cream
This one wasn’t a huge success for me… but it’s something everyone should try because it’s so unique. It’s strange because it tastes EXACTLY like green tea! It’s not sweet at all, which I think is what through me off.
Of course you need to go to a tea tasting and learn how each one helps you. It’s a staple in Chinese culture and one of my favorite experiences from my trip.
There are hot pot restaurants all over China, and they’re awesome! You choose the type of broth you want, then choose a variety of meats and veggies. Everything is brought to your table and you add it into the large pot at boil it yourself! This meal is best shared with others.
This is very common in China and you’ll find carts and shops selling yogurt everywhere. When you’re done, just leave the bottle on the sidewalk! People will grab them and return them for 1 CNY.
What are your favorite foods in China? There are so many dishes to try I felt like I only scratched the surface!