The Ultimate Guangzhou Food Guide

The Utimate Guide To Cantonese Food

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

I’m constantly amazed by the huge selection of food you can try in the South of China. My wife Ting is from Guangzhou, so we often spend time exploring the back lanes looking for food, and filming street food videos for our YouTube Channel. It’s so full of delicious food here! It would truly take a lifetime to eat everything! Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong, which is famous in China and throughout the world as the home of Cantonese food, known here locally as Yuecai or 粤菜. Cantonese food is perhaps the most famous Chinese food around the world, mainly because the first and second wave Chinese immigrants came from the south of China; Guangdong, Fujian, and Hainan.

You can find some real gems in Guangzhou! The dough for these noodles is made by bouncing up and down on a bamboo pole!

Here, in Guangdong, and the rest of the south of China, you can find elegant, refined cuisine that is best experienced in hole in the wall restaurants and high end restaurants alike.

This guide features a lot of information, if you want to skip to a certain section, go here:

Essential Resources For Traveling In China

There are a few resources I highly recommend that will make your trip to China MUCH easier.

Express VPN

If you want access to Google, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and in general much easier access to the majority of the internet, you will need to sign up with a VPN plan. I have used countless VPN’s through my years in China. Lately,  I’m using ExpressVPN because it has excellent speed and reliability. If you click here to sign up, you’ll get a small discount, and I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I always use ExpressVPN to connect to social media in China. Uploading videos on YouTube, Facebook, and sharing stories on Instagram is really easy!

Skyroam Hotspot

You will also need a local SIM, but if you are staying less than one month, and if you’re traveling to local destinations around the world, I recommend purchasing a SkyRoam Hotspot, which will save you the headache of having to go to a local ChinaMobile store and registering. The process for getting a local SIM in China can be quite complicated, especially with the language barrier. It used to be more simple, but now you usually have to go to the headquarter ChinaMobile shop or China telecom shop in your city and bring your passport and navigate the different plans. With a language barrier, it’s a huge headache. Instead, you can purchase a SkyRoam hotspot and have a WiFi hotspot with you wherever you go. It’s worth the investment.

Booking Hotels

The easiest way to book hotels in China is through Agoda, Booking.com, or Hostelworld.com.  I don’t recommend using any Chinese hotel booking sites, mainly because some hotels in China don’t accept foreigners. If you try to use those apps; like QuNar or cTrip,  you have a high chance of booking a hotel that doesn’t accept foreigners. They will take your booking, but when you show up, they will turn you away! So your best bet is to stick to either Agoda or Booking.com.

Language

Your best way to navigate the language barrier is to use the Pleco app on your Iphone or Android, and check out my Language Guide.

Arriving and Leaving

The easiest way to get to your hotel in Guangzhou after arriving at Baiyun international airport is to head outside to the taxi lineup. You can follow the signs inside the airport to the taxi lineup. It is essential that you bring your hotel name printed in Chinese with their phone number as well, so if the driver gets lost, he can phone them. The chances of the driver not turning the meter on and cheating you are very low if you use a taxi from the Taxi lineup. You can also take the subway, which has English and is very easy to navigate.

Do not accept offers from anyone outside the airport. Politely ignore them or just quickly say “no thank you” and head to the taxi lineup, where you usually have to wait 10 to 20 minutes to get a taxi to your hotel.

21 Foods To Try In Guangzhou
(And Where To Try Them!)

For food lovers, Guangzhou is a true food heaven. Every time I visit, I’m overwhelmed by selection. Here are 21 must try Cantonese foods to try in Guangzhou and the Pearl River District in Southern China.

DIM SUM

Dim sum is the first thing I always eat in Guangzhou, simply because it’s so satisfying and makes you feel so happy! In the old days, dim sum was pushed around on carts and people would choose what they wanted as they ate, and still is in many places outside of China, but now most restaurants in Guangzhou are sit down and order places, where you’re given a menu and a pencil to tick off the dishes you want to eat beforehand.

At many dim sum restaurants in China, you’re given a menu to check off what you want with a pencil.

It can be quite difficult to order the best dishes if you can’t read or speak Chinese, so you can bring this guide along with you and show the photos of the food to the server.

10 Must Try Dim Sum Dishes

1 Har Gao - Xia Jiao - 虾饺 - Shrimp Dumplings

I always order up one or even two steamers of Har Gao shrimp and pork fat dumplings. They are absolutely fantastic. The silky rice flour wrapper, the springy shrimp, and the bursting pork fat makes these dumplings an all time favorite dim sum dish.

2 Siu Mai - Shaomai - 烧麦 - Pork And Shrimp Dumplings

These go along perfectly with the Har Gao dumplings. These juicy pork and shrimp dumplings are often also filled with bamboo shoots, water chestnut, or dehydrated shiitake mushrooms. I’m also guilty of dipping these in a chili sauce, I just can’t help it!

 

3 Char Sui Bao - Chashaobao - 叉烧包 - BBQ Pork Buns

There’s nothing like eating classic chashaobao in a local dim sum restaurant in Guangdong. The fluffy bao dough and the soft, juicy, and slightly sweet BBQ pork is so satisfying!

4 Cheong Fen - Chang Fen - 肠粉 - Rice Noodle Rolls

These come in a few variations, but the basic concept is always the same, you have a steamed rice flour that is stuffed with your choice of filling and rolled up. I usually get the xiachang 虾肠 shrimp roll, but you can also order it with beef, pork, or plain. You can also find this dish on the street for breakfast or in many little family run restaurants specializing in all different types of changfen.

5 Feng Zao - Fengzhua - 凤抓 - Chicken feet

Chicken feet! Dont’ dismiss them until you try them because when they are done right, they can be absolutely incredible. They are first fried and then steamed, which gives the skin around the feet an extra fluffy and satisfying texture to chew on. They are usually covered in a slightly spicy bean paste which lends a lot of flavour and makes them very delicous!

6 Laosabao - Liushabao - 流沙包 - Molten egg custard buns

These molten egg custard steamed buns are one of my favorite dim sum dishes. They are stuffed with an oozy, gooey egg custard that is sweet, a little granular, and when served steaming hot, you won’t be able to stop eating them!

7 Luobago -Luobuogao - 萝卜糕 - Fried turnip cake

The radish cake! Another famous dim sum dish you must try when you go for dim sum in Guangdong. It’s basically shredded turnip and rice flour in a pan fried cake.

8 Dantat - Danta - 蛋挞 - Portugese egg tart

Portugese egg tarts are famous all throughout Southern China, and is heavily influenced by the Portugese pastel de nata,  and is said to have been found first in Guangzhou in the 1920’s. They outer pastry dough is soft and flaky and the inner egg custard is sweet and very enjoyable!

9 Pidan Shourou Zhou - 皮蛋瘦肉粥 - Century egg porridge

This one is for the more adventurous eaters! If you want to try century egg, but don’t want to try a bite out of a whole egg, you can order up this famous rice porridge in almost any dim sum restaurant and get a taste for the real deal. Little pieces of fermented, potent century egg are mixed in throughout the porridge, giving you an intense flavour that you’ll either love or hate.

10 Chaomian - 炒面

I always like to order one fried noodle dish. In Southern China, the most common noodle to fry is thin, yellow egg noodles with beef and served with a chili sauce that you can dip each bite into.

My 3 Favorite Dim Sum Restaurants in Guangzhou

1 Guangzhou Restaurant

Guangzhou restaurant AKA Guangzhou Jiujia or 广州酒家 is one of Guangzhou’s oldest and most famous dim sum restaurants. There are now many chain locations throughout the city, but you should visit the old one in the city center for the classic experience.

Eating har gao in guangzhou is a nessecity! Order up a steamer at the guangzhou restaurant

There are so many options to choose from, but I recommend trying their famous har gao shrimp dumplings, and choosing some of the classic dishes I listed above.

Name: Guangzhou Jiujia 广州酒家
Address: 2 Wenchang S Rd, ShangXiaJiu, Liwan Qu 文昌南路2号
Phone: 020-81380388
Hours: 07:00-14:30 and 17:30-22:00, come before 11 for dim sum
Price: 200+ RMB/person
2 Dim Dou Dak

Dim Dou Dak is one of Guangzhou’s few restaurants that serves dim sum all day. You can come here for dinner! They have excellent dim sum of all types, but are famous for their hongchangfen, a rice noodle roll with a crispy pastry and shrimp stuffed inside, they are definitely worth a try!

 

Name: Dim Dou Dak 點都德(聚福楼)
3 Family Dim Sum Joint

This is my most often visited dim sum restaurant in Guangzhou, simply because it’s right near Ting’s family home. It is also my favourite dim sum restaurant in all of Guangzhou! The food is amazing! It’s a common restaurant and doesn’t make any attempts to be flashy or famous like the others but it serves some incredible dim sum. Come in the morning before 11 to enjoy a huge feast!

The Ultimate Guangzhou Food Guide

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The Ultimate Guangzhou Food Guide

The Ultimate Guangzhou Food Guide

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