Time-honored brands will always trigger fond memories and the reason why we choose old-time restaurants is not just for their unique services and variety of dishes, but to cherish a taste of the past.
In 1848, Lou Wai Lou was founded by Hongruitang - a literatus who failed his imperial exams. It has been said that he picked three characters from a poem by Linsheng, a famous poet in the Southern Song Dynasty, and called the restaurant after them hence the name “Lou Wai Lou”.
Founded in 1927, Tin Heung Lau was originally named as Wujin Tin Heung Lau. The grandfather of the founder was the Suzhou Magistrate in the late Qing Dynasty and moved to Hangzhou during the Republic period of China. This restaurant is named after a rhesis of Song Zhi Wen (a poet in the Tang Dynasty)
Founded in 1903, Shan Wai Shan Restaurant also got its name from a rhesis of Linsheng – there are mountains beyond mountains and towers beyond towers.
In 1913, Zhi Wei Guan was founded under the joint venture of Sun Yiqi and Yi A’er in Renhe Road, Hubin. In the following year, although the restaurant produced tasty desserts which rivaled others, business didn’t seem to boom, so Sun Yiqi wrote “Wonderful ingredients reveal fantastic tastes” and attached it to the door. As a result, lots of customers were attracted by it and business began to flourish. The Zhi Wei Guan Restaurant predominantly serves desserts such as Happy Pairs (a pair of buns), Cat’s Ear (a notable refreshment of Hangzhou) and Beauty’s Tongue (a tongue-shaped cake)
Jiu Zhi Zhai was founded in 1925 and as a household brand it mainly produces preserves and pastries.
The restaurant was founded in 1870. There was an examination compound in the nearby area which was the Imperial Examination Hall in the Qing Dynasty. It has been said that a Ningbo candidate became the Number One Scholar after dining in this restaurant, who then sent a plaque engraved with three characters – Zhuang Yuan Guan to extend his gratitude. So, its name originates from this story and the restaurant serves a selection of cuisine from all over China which includes the famous Sichuan, Ningbo and local Hangzhou cuisines.
Kuiyuan Restaurant was founded in Hangzhou in 1867. Its founder was from Anhui and although it has already been under several new ownerships, it is still in the noodle business. As a time-honored noodle shop, its specialties are Pian Er Chuan and Noodles with Quick-fried Eel Shreds and Shelled Shrimps.
Juying Noodle Restaurant is recorded in the food documentary, A Bite of China. It has been run by a local Hangzhounese couple since 1993. With no historical origins, it started out small and developed steadily. It serves noodle soups filled with ingredients such as pickled cabbage, shepherd's purse, bamboo shoots and sliced meat. It has enjoyed an excellent reputation for its portion sizes and its business is booming. In addition, this restaurant has been recorded in the book “Paradisal Noodles” by the famous gourmet chef Shen Hongfei and is always the first choice for noodle enthusiasts.
It is said that Huijuan Noodle Restaurant is one of the best noodle restaurants and with the longest history. It also serves some traditional Hangzhou dishes and although they are not new and creative, they give customers a sense of home comforts.
According to legend, Huang Fan Er was named by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty which meant that this restaurant was where the emperors dined. It was the most famous restaurant during that time and it’s said that Qianlong liked its dish fish head and tofu soup the most.
Located in the Hubin Road, Hangzhou Restaurant is near to the West Lake. Its predecessor Gao Chang Xing Tavern was founded in 1921 and was renamed as Hangzhou Restaurant in 1951, which is renowned today for its old Shaoxing Wine and number of delicious dishes.
Founded in 1988, the restaurant has grown with a new generation of customers. For frequent customers, they don’t even need to look at the menu to order dishes. Local people love the famous dish – old duck pot with dried bamboo shoots. You only need to try this dish once and you will be back many more times.