Guangdong Restaurants

Where to Eat: 30 Top Restaurants in Guangzhou

Exploring Guangzhou’s vibrant culinary scene was an unforgettable adventure for a food enthusiast like me.

From iconic dim sum eateries with delicate dumplings to bustling seafood markets offering the freshest catches, Guangzhou is a gastronomic paradise. Starting the day with a comforting bowl of piping hot congee, savoring the crispy skin of roast goose for lunch, and enjoying a hearty bowl of wonton noodles for dinner became my delightful routine.

Navigating the maze of alleyways in search of the perfect dim sum was an exciting challenge. However, what truly enriched my experience was the warmth of the locals. They were always eager to share their favorite food spots and culinary traditions, adding a personal touch to my culinary journey.

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🌟Guangzhou Travel Planning Guide

Considering a last-minute trip to Guangzhou?

🇨🇳 Top Activities and Tours in Guangzhou:

1. Guangzhou Local Tours: Tailor-made Guangzhou Private City Tour
2. Private Guangzhou Night Tour Pearl River Cruise & Dim-Sum Dinner
3. Guided Cycle Tour of Guangzhou

🏨Top Hotels in Guangzhou:

Elegant Hotel (Zhujiang New Town Canton Tower) (⭐️ 4.7 luxury)
White Swan Hotel (⭐️ 4.7 mid-range)
LN Garden Hotel Guangzhou (⭐️ 4.6 mid-range)
Guangdong Victory Hotel (⭐️ 4.7 budget-friendly)

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☀️What You Need to Know About Guangzhou Cuisine

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is famous for its diverse and delicious cuisine. Here are some key points about Guangzhou cuisine:

  • Cantonese Influence: Guangzhou cuisine, also known as Cantonese cuisine, is one of China’s most famous regional cuisines. It’s characterized by its fresh ingredients, light seasoning, and meticulous cooking methods.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Guangzhou cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Seafood, particularly fish and shellfish, is prominent due to the city’s proximity to the ocean.
  • Dim Sum: Guangzhou is famous for its dim sum, small dishes served with tea. Dim sum encompasses a wide range of dishes, including dumplings, buns, rolls, and desserts.
  • Roast Meats: Roast meats, especially roast duck, roast goose, and barbecued pork (char siu), are highly regarded in Guangzhou cuisine. These meats are often cooked using special techniques to achieve a crispy skin and tender meat.
  • Congee and Noodles: Congee (rice porridge) and noodles are staples in Guangzhou cuisine. Congee can be served plain or with various toppings, while noodles are often served in soups or stir-fried.
  • Seafood: Guangzhou’s proximity to the Pearl River Delta means that seafood features prominently in its cuisine. Fresh fish, crabs, shrimp, and shellfish are commonly enjoyed.
  • Flavor Profiles: Guangzhou cuisine is known for its delicate and mild flavors. Sweet and sour flavors are common, and the use of sauces is minimal to allow the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine.
  • Tea Culture: Guangzhou has a rich tea culture, and tea is often served with meals. Popular types of tea include jasmine tea and oolong tea.
  • Street Food: Guangzhou is known for its vibrant street food scene, offering a wide variety of snacks and quick meals such as rice noodle rolls, fried radish cakes, and steamed buns.

⭐Top 30 Local Guangzhou Restaurants

1. North Garden Restaurant – 北园酒家

Tea houses and restaurants in Guangzhou are divided into high, medium, and low-end categories. Among them, the mid-to-high-end tea houses not only focus on the tea and snacks but also on the environment. North Garden Restaurant is one of the famous four garden-style restaurants in Guangzhou, founded in 1928.

North Garden Restaurant is located next to Yuexiu Park. Upon entering, you will find a unique garden landscape with pavilions, towers, small bridges, flowing water, and groups of koi fish in the water. The layout and decoration of the garden also have distinctive Lingnan characteristics.

The taste of the tea snacks at North Garden is also excellent, offering authentic Cantonese-style morning tea. To ensure quality, they have never opened other branches. Their Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Siu Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) are must-try items, with solid ingredients and a rich taste, especially the Har Gow, which has a delightful chewy texture.

Classic dishes like steamed spare ribs with black beans, Fengzhua (Chicken Claws), etc., are made with fresh ingredients and are very delicious. There are also many traditional Cantonese old-fashioned dim sum dishes that can be enjoyed at North Garden, such as Ma Lai Gao (Steamed Sponge Cake), some of which are rare finds in other tea houses.

Additionally, traditional delicacies like Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, Cheung Fun (Rice Noodle Rolls), Char Siu Bao (Barbecue Pork Buns), etc., are also delicious and make people marvel at the fact that they are truly authentic and time-honored establishments.

📍Address: 2 Xiaobei Rd, Yuexiu District

2. Datong Restaurant – 大同酒家

Datong Restaurant is also a well-known old brand recognized by many old Cantonese people. It was established in 1938 and has hosted many distinguished guests from around the world.

Although Datong does not have a charming garden landscape like North Garden, the environment is still very nice and comfortable, which is why it is highly popular among locals. It’s common to find the restaurant fully occupied early in the morning.

The crispy chicken is a signature dish of Datong. With a crispy exterior and tender, juicy meat inside, it is full of flavor. The golden and fragrant egg tarts are also a must-try, with a crispy crust that melts in your mouth, and you won’t get tired of eating two or three.

Other popular dim sum choices for breakfast include Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings), Char Siu Bao (Barbecue Pork Buns), Teochew Steamed Dumplings, and more. These dim sum options not only taste great but are also beautifully presented.

The restaurant offers a wide range of dishes, all made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. In addition to steamed dishes, roasted meats, and desserts, there are also many stir-fries, seafood dishes, as well as delicious soups, congees, and innovative dishes to choose from. The extensive menu offers a variety of choices, making it a delightful experience to enjoy a feast at the restaurant.

📍Address: 2nd Floor Fuli Yingli Mansion, 3 Huaqiang Rd, Tianhe District

3. Lian Xing Lou – 莲香楼

Established in 1889, Lian Xing Lou has a history of over a hundred years. It is credited with creating the first Cantonese-style lotus seed paste mooncake, establishing itself as an iconic old brand that few would question. Many elderly residents of Guangzhou are loyal customers of this establishment.

The main branch of Lian Xing Lou exudes a sense of history from the outside, with a decor inside that reflects a rich Cantonese style. One of their signature dishes is the Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings), featuring large and fresh shrimp wrapped in a thin, translucent skin. Other popular dishes include steamed chicken claws and roast spring pigeons, both known for their delicious flavors and textures.

The dessert and steamed dishes selection is particularly extensive. They offer egg tarts made with eggshells, freshly made custard buns, soft lotus seed paste buns, and hot sticky rice in lotus leaf, among others. Pairing a few of these with tea is a highly satisfying experience.

After indulging in a satisfying meal, customers can visit the bakery outside the restaurant to purchase some treats to take home, such as crispy chicken biscuits, almond biscuits, sweetheart pastries, durian pastries, and more.

📍Address: No.10 Fu Rd, Liwan District

4. Rong Hua Lou – 荣华楼

Rong Hua Lou is also a century-old tea house that originated in the Qing Dynasty, founded in 1876. While the environment at Rong Hua Lou may not be as impressive as the previous three establishments and may appear slightly run-down, it offers Cantonese opera performances, which is why many locals still enjoy going there early in the morning for tea while listening to the opera.

Although Rong Hua Lou’s menu is not particularly extensive, it features the essence of Cantonese tea snacks. Signature items from the steamed dishes section include Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings), Siu Mai, Chicken Claws, and Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Beans, all of which are safe bets and are unlikely to disappoint.

Additionally, there are many traditional oily tea snacks worth trying, such as Turnip Cake, Fried Milk, and Water Chestnut Cake. They also offer staple foods like noodles, congee, and rice rolls, which are consistently good in taste.

Rong Hua Lou offers good value for money, with prices per person being relatively low compared to other long-established brands.

📍Address: 714 Longjin E Rd, Liwan District

5. South Garden Restaurant – 南园酒家

Founded in 1963, South Garden Restaurant is a renowned old restaurant with an area of over 10,000 square meters. The current South Garden Restaurant still retains its original Lingnan garden features, with features such as black bricks and green tiles, golden wood carvings, and large areas of colored glass-carved Manchurian windows, allowing diners to experience the wonderful combination of Lingnan architecture, garden art, and Lingnan-style cuisine.

The Supreme Roast Goose looks oily and fatty, but it is not. The skin is crispy, the meat is thick, juicy, and flavorful, yet not greasy.

The Mini Buddha Skipping Wall is not too thick. It contains small but rich ingredients such as dried abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, and chicken. The portion size is just right for one person.

The Stir-Fried Glutinous Rice is a traditional Cantonese dish with a generous amount of ingredients including diced Chinese sausage, diced Chinese bacon, peanuts, dried shrimp, and spring onions. It is fried to perfection, fragrant, and chewy.

📍Address: 142 Qianjin Rd, Haizhu District

6. Guangzhou Restaurant – 广州酒家

Guangzhou Restaurant, a renowned Chinese time-honored brand, was founded in 1935 and is famous for its traditional Cantonese cuisine. It is known as the “first restaurant for food in Guangzhou.” With over 90 years of history, this old brand stands tall in the forest of Guangzhou’s gourmet scene, with its own unique features.

Guangzhou Restaurant’s original Crispy Barbecued Pork Bun with Plum has a completely different appearance from traditional barbecued pork buns. The chocolatey outer layer is sprinkled with a layer of white icing sugar, and the sweet and sour plum sauce mixes with the savory barbecued pork, creating a flavor that is sweet, sour, and salty, with a rich taste.

Another popular item is the Barbecued Pork Bun with Abalone Sauce. The bun is very soft, and the minced meat and sauce blend together seamlessly, thick and rich without losing texture. With each bite, the abalone sauce adds a delicious taste, making it an absolutely luxurious treat.

Their egg tarts are also stunning. The tart pastry is incredibly crispy and melts in your mouth, while the filling is smooth and creamy, with a delicate milk flavor that is not overly sweet.

📍Address: 2 Wenchang S Rd, Liwan District

7. Yixin Chicken Restaurant– 壹心鸡

This restaurant’s white-cut chicken is renowned as the best in Guangzhou and is a must-visit for chicken lovers in the city.

What sets Yixin Chicken apart is its special white marinade. After being blanched, the whole chicken is immersed in a cold marinade containing sand ginger, licorice, pork bones, freshwater fish, and dried scallops for at least an hour. During this process of alternating between hot and cold, the chicken fully absorbs the marinade, resulting in tender meat and crispy skin, full of flavor.

Finally, the chef chops the chicken into twenty-four pieces, with the breast meat crafted into wing-like shapes and arranged on both sides of a round plate. The dish is then drizzled with cold broth to restore moisture and shine to the chicken’s surface, and four small portions of ginger and scallion are placed around the edge of the plate.

📍Address: 12 Xuanyuan Bridge, Liwan District

8. Bingsheng Restaurant – 炳胜品味

Bingsheng Restaurant, as a representative of Cantonese cuisine in Guangzhou, is truly deserving of its reputation. It can be said that Bingsheng Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants in Guangzhou for Cantonese cuisine. The reasons behind its popularity lie in its excellent dishes and reasonable prices, making it naturally well-received.

One of Bingsheng’s uniquely flavorful signature dishes is the crispy and succulent Black Char Siu (soy-glazed barbecued pork). It features a perfect balance of lean and fatty meat that melts in your mouth, with the sauce glaze blending perfectly with the fat and meat juices, leaving a lingering fragrance.

Another innovative dish is the stuffed roasted goose. What sets it apart is the method of stuffing the goose with soup, allowing the flavors to slowly infuse into the meat and bones. This process eliminates the need for marination, preserving the texture of the goose meat fibers. The result is a more flavorful and tender meat with a crispy skin that bursts with juice in every bite.

Bingsheng initially gained fame for its Yusheng, a type of raw fish salad. The fish is prepared fresh upon ordering, ensuring its freshness. The fish meat is translucent and when dipped in mustard soy sauce, it is sweet and fresh, with a refreshing taste and no fishy smell.

📍Address: 168 Tianhe E Rd, Tianhe District

9. Lei Garden Restaurant – 利苑酒家

Lei Garden Restaurant has secured its place in the halls of Michelin-starred establishments year after year. With over twenty branches spanning across mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, Lei Garden has quickly become a giant in the local culinary scene in each city.

One of their signature dishes is the Crispy Roasted Pork. It is delicately plated, with a small portion size, but the ratio of crispy skin, fat, and lean meat is perfect.

Their Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo is unmatched in Guangzhou. It uses selected Thai and Sha Tin pomelos, with the perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness. The mangoes are sourced from the Philippines, known for their bright orange-yellow color, minimal fibrous texture, tenderness, juiciness, and sweetness.

Another signature dish at Lei Garden is the Rice Crust in Lobster Soup, which is a true delight. The lobster soup is poured over crispy rice crust, and when mixed with rice, you get a delicious combination of flavors and textures, including tender and juicy lobster meat.

📍Address: 8 Huaxia Rd, Tianhe District

10. Xiang Qun Restaurant – 向群饭店

At Xiang Qun Restaurant, you can deeply experience the simplicity of Guangzhou’s culinary culture, where the focus is on hearty and affordable meals. The affordability here doesn’t necessarily refer to low prices but rather to the generous portions of the dishes. While the dishes at Xiang Qun may not be overly fancy, their unique home-cooked flavors have won the hearts of many locals.

One of their must-try signature dishes is the Chicken with Ginger Scallion Oil. It’s almost always ordered by every table. The dish features chicken topped with hot peanut oil infused with fragrant ginger and scallions. When served, the aroma is enticing, with the chicken being firm and plump, and the skin crispy while the meat is tender, perfectly complementing the flavors of the ginger scallion oil.

Another popular dish is the Stir-Fried Goose Intestine with Black Bean, a dish that is a favorite among diners. The goose intestines are stir-fried with black beans, resulting in a rich goose oil flavor and a crispy texture. The bean sprouts at the bottom soak up the sauce, providing a refreshing and non-greasy taste.

📍Address: 853-857 Longjin E Rd, Liwan District

11. Huishijia – 惠食佳

In 1992, Huishijia in Guangzhou pioneered “Ze Ze Bao,” a clay pot dish that’s been a street stall favorite for over 20 years. Despite having only two stores in the city, Huishijia has maintained a low-key yet strong presence, known for serving the best Ze Ze Bao in Guangzhou.

P.S. Ze Ze Bao, or clay pot dishes, involves cooking food in a clay pot until tender, using the steam from the ingredients to cook them, without adding extra broth.

One of their classic dishes is the Stewed Clay Pot Eel, features tender eel with a fresh, chewy texture. The secret sauce enhances the eel’s natural flavor, eliminating any muddy taste.

Another favorite is Clay Pot Eel Rice, made with eel strips cooked with ginger, green onions, and dried tangerine peel. Each grain of rice is distinct, and the eel is juicy and flavorful.

📍Address: 760 Dongfeng E Rd, Yuexiu District

12. Panxi Restaurant – 泮溪酒家

Panxi Restaurant is the premier garden-style restaurant in Guangzhou, located adjacent to the picturesque Liwan Lake Park. It embodies the essence of Lingnan garden features and decorative arts: the restaurant is composed of rockeries, fish ponds, and winding corridors, all laid out in a harmonious and picturesque manner. A visit to Panxi Restaurant can feel like a day’s worth of sightseeing.

People particularly love their roast goose. The aroma seeps out from the fat and the meat, and every part of the skin and meat has absorbed the sauce perfectly. It’s delicious even without dipping in sauce, or lightly dipping in plum sauce, but the original flavor is already very charming.

Their signature water chestnut cake is made from local specialty water chestnut flour. Sugar is first caramelized to a slight yellow, then dissolved into syrup, mixed with semi-cooked water chestnut flour paste, and steamed over high heat. The cake has a golden and transparent color, smooth and elastic, and is especially fragrant and sweet.

📍Address: 151 Longjin W Rd, Liwan District

13. Xin Tai Le – 新泰乐

When it comes to eel rice in Guangzhou, many people naturally think of Xin Tai Le. Xin Tai Le, which started with eel dishes, has a history of over twenty years since its opening. It has grown from a small stall to a large restaurant, with a grand scale.

A must-try at Xintailer is their eel dish. In the summer, you can enjoy chilled eel, while in the fall and winter, the best choice is the clay pot eel. The clay pot eel is a signature dish, cooked with garlic, ginger, and spring onions to bring out its rich flavors. The eel cooked in the pot is still bubbling hot when served, and when you lift the lid, the burst of fragrant ginger and green onion hits you.

📍Address: 65 Panfu Rd, Yuexiu District

14. Fulin Restaurant – 富临食府

Located on Huifu East Road, the long-standing Fulin Restaurant may have a small facade, but it attracts a large number of diners, often leading to queues.

Fulin Restaurant is particularly renowned for its Crispy Roasted Pork, with its shiny golden-red skin that is incredibly eye-catching. With each bite, there’s a satisfying crunch followed by the delightful aroma of the fats. The pork remains juicy and tender, making it irresistible.

Another must-try dish is Boiled Beef, where fresh beef is marinated in oil and starch, then quickly boiled. While it may seem simple, the taste is extraordinary. The beef is smooth and tender, yet retains its texture, and when dipped in sauce, it slides down the throat effortlessly. The mustard soy sauce dip further enhances the beef’s deliciousness.

📍Address: 417 Hui Fu E Rd, Yuexiu District

15. Yayuan Restaurant – 雅苑餐厅

Yayuan Restaurant on Chaotian Road in Yuexiu has been standing for over 30 years. Despite its simple decoration, even the orange tables and chairs inside appear slightly worn-out. However, in the 1990s, it was widely known as a “luxury restaurant” in Guangzhou.

However, every dish here is exceptional and worth the price. Yayuan’s Cantonese cuisine, like the restaurant itself, is full of contradictions—ordinary decor but astonishingly high prices; dishes that may not look exquisite but taste incredibly amazing.

Their signature dish, Fried Yellow Croaker in Black Bean and Sugar, is impossible to replicate elsewhere. The fish is fried to a golden crisp on both sides and topped with fried garlic. The combination of black bean and sugar seasoning, along with the sprinkling of fragrant garlic, creates an indescribable flavor.

The blanched vegetables taste smooth, and even a simple tomato beef soup is made unusually thick and rich. Though served in a small bowl, it reflects the effort and sincerity put into each dish.

📍Address: 14 Chao Tian Rd, Yuexiu District

16. Lingnan House – 广御轩

Lingnan House is a versatile player with almost no shortcomings, offering a wide range of dishes from dim sum to roast meat, soups, main courses, and hearty dishes. The restaurant has a plethora of recommended dishes.

Their signature dish, Shrimp Angle Hair Noodles, features noodles blanched in seafood broth, with a perfect texture and a hint of Sichuan peppercorn fragrance. While this CNY 188 dish may not be cheap, it is indeed one of the most popular.

However, the real highlights at Lingnan House are the dishes known to regulars. For example, their Roast Pigeon, baked with dozens of spices, adds fragrance to the meat while keeping the skin crispy and the meat juicy.

They also offer many seafood surprises, such as Lobster Fried Turnip Cake. The handmade turnip cake is sweet and smooth, enhanced by the aroma of lobster, surpassing the traditional XO sauce stir-fry.

📍Address: 6 Zhujiang E Rd, Tianhe District

17. Yaoji Restaurant – 腰记饭店

Yaoji Restaurant, located in Panyu District, has been in business since 1980, boasting nearly 40 years of history. Despite its remote location, it still attracts foodies from Guangzhou who are willing to drive long distances for its authentic and delicious home-cooked dishes, rarely leaving disappointed.

Their Steamed Pork with Black Bean is a hot and aromatic dish, with the ginger adding a refreshing crunch, without being greasy. The sweet black bean sauce pairs perfectly with rice.

Another signature dish is the Braised Fish Intestines with Pomelo Peel. The dish is prepared by sautéing garlic and black beans, then adding dried pomelo peel and braising for 20 minutes. The pomelo peel is not bitter, and the fish intestines are not fishy, creating a flavorful combination.

Lotus Root Flour is a specialty dish at Yaoji. Fresh lotus roots are ground into flour, mixed with stir-fried shrimp and pork belly, and steamed, resulting in a dish that is fragrant, sweet, smooth, and delicate.

📍Address: 15 Longyuan Rd, Panyu District

18. Qiaomeishijia – 侨美食家

Qiaomeishijia, born in 1985 on Shamian Island, blends the essence of hundreds of dishes and is known as “a restaurant without signature dishes, because every dish served is meant for food connoisseurs.”

One of the most famous dishes at Qiaomeishijia is the roast pigeon. They use a French breed called “Blanc de Calonne,” which is more expensive than ordinary pigeons but has tender, sweet, and juicy meat, making it very popular.

Additionally, the seafood dishes at the restaurant receive constant praise, featuring various cooking styles such as ginger and scallion, salt and pepper, and steamed.

📍Address: 52 Shamian S St, YiDeLu, Liwan District

19. Chen Tian Ji – 陈添记

Chen Tian Ji, founded in 1979, has been a renowned traditional eatery in the Xiguan area for decades. Specializing in fish skin salad, the restaurant offers a limited menu featuring only three traditional snacks: fish skin salad, steamed pig rice rolls, and traditional Xiguan sampan congee.

Their fish skin salad, made from mud carp skin, is their most famous dish and is prepared using traditional methods to ensure its authentic taste. The fish skin is frozen before serving to enhance its crispness. Before consumption, it is seasoned with peanuts, sesame, and soy sauce, resulting in a delicious and crunchy texture.

📍Address: 2 Shiwufu Street, Baohua Rd, Liwan District

20. Fu Ge Tian Xia – 富鸽天下

Cantonese people love eating pigeons, but the preparation methods have mostly been limited to braising and stewing. However, a king in the pigeon world emerged, offering over 30 different ways to prepare pigeons, with unique insights into flavor, pairing, and cooking methods.

This restaurant uses a special breed of squab from the northern mountains of Guangdong, raised on fresh corn and spring water for just 20 days. The meat is tender, smooth, and naturally delicious, making it suitable for any style of cooking.

Their Soy Sauce Pigeon is inspired by traditional soy sauce chicken. The meat is juicy, tender, and carries a distinct sweetness.

A must-try is their Shredded Pigeon Baked Rice, where the pigeon meat is marinated and shredded, then mixed with rice and baked. The result is a dish with rich, fragrant meat.

Depending on the season, the restaurant also offers hidden menu items, such as Melon Salad with Pigeon Slices in summer and Stewed Pigeon with Pork Tripe in winter.

📍Address: 498 Yueken Rd, Tianhe District

21. Baijia Delicatessen – 百家熟食店

One of the beloved dishes in Guangzhou is chicken hot pot and braised lamb casserole, often enjoyed at a renowned local eatery, Baijia Delicatessen.

The braised lamb casserole and Qingyuan chicken hot pot are exceptional, still prepared in the traditional charcoal pot style.

While the braised lamb casserole is not cheap, it is made with high-quality ingredients. They use authentic Dongshan lamb, which is almost free of any gamey flavor and instead has a subtle milky aroma. Each portion consists of a blend of lean and fatty lamb, accompanied by a layer of chewy, fatty lamb skin.

Since they slaughter sheep daily, the ingredients are fresh, and diners can even enjoy rare and fresh lamb offal.

📍Address: 339 Daxin Rd, Yuexiu District

22. Yongxing Roasted Meat – 永兴烧腊

When it comes to buying roasted goose, Guangzhou has several well-established old shops, but Yongxing Roasted Meat, which has been in business for 40 years, stands out for its seasoning and roasting skills.

Their roasted goose is a standard “lychee honey color,” with thin skin and crispy meat. The spice flavor is complex yet balanced, fully permeating the meat, and there’s a subtle sweetness upon closer taste.

The most enticing part is the goose leg, located in the most concentrated heat, where the sauce is most absorbed. It’s also the smoothest and thickest part of the meat on the entire goose.

📍Address: 21 Tiyun E Rd, Liwan District

23. Shengji Wanli Roast Meat Shop – 胜记万利烧腊店

Shengji Wanli Roast Meat Shop is a famous brand for hand-shredded chicken in the local area. This small roast meat shop specializes in hand-shredded chicken and pays more attention to chicken preparation than most Cantonese restaurants.

From Zhanjiang chicken, Xinghua chicken, Yangshan chicken, Guangning chicken, Huaiji chicken, Qingyuan chicken and Wenchang chicken, this small shop covers all the famous chicken varieties in the province.

Each type of chicken has a slightly different texture and flavor profile.

The most amazing thing is the master’s technique of shredding the chicken by hand, mixing it with sauce, and tossing it on a plate with a series of swirling movements. In just a few moves, the chicken is coated with their secret sauce, which is savory and flavorful.

📍Address: 25 Zhu Guang Lu, Yuexiu District

24. Ji Shen Zhu Hong – 鸡什猪红

Guangzhou people love chicken, but when it comes to eating fresh chicken offal, there’s only one place to go. They serve fresh pig blood at 9:30 am and start cooking fresh chicken offal at 10:30 am. Their secret lies in the fresh, odorless, and simple preparation, which attracts a crowd of locals lining up early in the morning.

Chicken offal is small in size and tricky to handle. It has a strong odor and can’t be sold at a high price, so few people are willing to put in the effort to prepare it well. However, this shop cooks it fresh every morning, cleans it thoroughly, and adds herbs to the soup to remove the odor, resulting in a rich and satisfying taste.

📍Address: 220 Zhongshanqi Rd, Liwan District

25. Enning Liufu Ji – 恩宁刘福记

When it comes to Cantonese noodles, Enning Liufu Ji on Donghua East Road is my favorite.

Everything about it is top-notch: the broth is rich in earthy fish flavors, the wonton noodles are springy without any alkaline taste, and even the toppings like wontons and fish skin are of high quality. The simplest dish, pork lard noodles, allows you to taste the fragrance and chewiness of the noodles.

Their fried sauce noodles are also excellent, with the minced meat blending perfectly with the noodles after a good stir, offering a rich and slightly sweet aroma.

📍Address: 547 Donghua E Rd, Yuexiu District

26. Qi Qi Xiao Shi Shop – 祺祺小食

In Guangzhou, there are many claypot rice restaurants, but I recommend Qi Qi Xiao Shi not because it stands out above all others, but because I love its unassuming flavors. Plus, it’s frequented mostly by locals, so you don’t usually have to wait in line.

A must-try is their Cantonese Ground Beef Rice and Eggs. The meat is smooth and tender, and the timing of adding the egg is just right, resulting in a perfect sunny-side-up egg.

Gently cut open the egg yolk to let the runny egg yolk envelop the rice grains. And all this comes at a price of just over CNY 20.

📍Address: 486 Dezheng N Rd, Yuexiu District

27. Shangshan Soup Shop – 上膳汤水

When it comes to stewed soup shops, Shangshan Soup Shop holds a high position in the hearts of food connoisseurs. Back when most stewed soup shops only offered coconut chicken, water duck, and pork rib, this shop started using slightly more expensive whelk slices and old turtle for stewing, and they changed their soup offerings according to the season, which is especially particular.

This season, you can try their Snow Pear Whelk Conch Slices. Each scoop comes with large pieces of whelk, and the soup is rich and fragrant.

📍Address: Tianlun Garden (Block A), 26 Jianshesi Rd, Yuexiu District

28. Guangdong Daozhizheng Restaurant – 广东道至正餐厅

Guangdong Daozhizheng Restaurant, known as the Guangdong Cuisine Museum, offers over 300 dishes ranging from small items like claypot rice, claypot porridge, and breakfast items to larger cuisine categories such as Hakka, Teochew, and Cantonese dishes.

The restaurant’s interior design reflects the old-time Shamian style, with elements like the yellow sedan chair at the entrance, a 3D photo wall depicting old streets, and a corridor filled with European-style decor, creating a nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of Guangzhou during the Republican era.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is roasted chicken, which is baked in an open oven, resulting in a golden-brown appearance and a delightful aroma. Diners can choose to carve the chicken themselves or ask the staff for assistance.

For dessert, the Green Tea Glutinous Rice Rolls (Bocheng) is a must-try. This traditional Guangdong sweet is made from a mixture of green tea powder and glutinous rice flour, pan-fried into thin rolls and dusted with powdered sugar and oats. The rolls are sweet and chewy, providing a perfect ending to a meal.

📍Address: 41Baiyun Blvd N, Baiyun District

29. Hai Yan Lou – 海晏楼

Hai Yan Lou, established in 2012, is run by two bosses who previously worked at the White Swan Hotel. One specializes in cooking methods like roasting, braising, boiling, and frying, while the other excels in roasting and marinating meats. With over twenty years of experience each, their culinary skills are superb, focusing on traditional Cantonese cuisine and innovative dishes.

One of Hai Yan Lou’s signature dishes, a must-order at every table, is the Scallion Oil Flying Fish. The whole fish is cut in a way that makes it look like it’s leaping, symbolizing success. After deep-frying, the fish is served with a scallion oil sauce poured over it. The aroma of the scallion oil sauce, combined with the crispy fish, is delightful. The fish is perfectly cooked, tender, and not at all fishy, with a sweet and fresh taste that diners love.

Another popular dish is the Most 3 Yummiest Treatures in White Marinade, which includes Goose Feet, Plum Baby Pigeon, and French Foie Gras. These three treasures are marinated in a broth made from dried tangerine peel, star anise, and cinnamon for at least 20 hours, then chilled in the refrigerator. The result is a refreshing yet flavorful dish.

📍Address: 1040 Binjiang E Rd, Haizhu District

30. Yinji Rice Noodle Rolls Store – 银记肠粉店

In the hearts of the people of Guangzhou, rice noodle rolls hold a similar status to dim sum. They can be eaten from morning till night, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack—whenever you crave them, you can easily find them.

As early as the 1950s and 1960s, Yinji Rice Noodle Rolls Store became famous in old Xiguan, Guangzhou. Their signature “Soy Sauce Beef Rice Noodle Rolls” has always been a favorite among diners.

The rice noodle rolls are thin, translucent, soft, and smooth, enveloping fresh beef and shredded lettuce. The beef is tender and chewy, while the lettuce is fresh. The soy sauce poured over the rice noodle rolls not only adds a savory flavor but also enhances the original taste of the filling.

📍Address: 519 Huifu E Rd, Yuexiu District

🌸Final Thoughts: Where to Eat in Guangzhou

As I conclude my gastronomic tour of Guangzhou’s top restaurants, I’m amazed by the city’s culinary diversity and innovation.

My taste buds were truly spoiled for choice, and I can’t wait to return to explore more of what this gastronomic paradise has to offer. Until next time, Guangzhou, keep the flavors alive!

I hope this guide inspires you to explore Guangzhou’s culinary landscape and discover your own favorite dining spots in this food lover’s paradise.

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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