Sampling Local Food Without Waiting in Line
During the coming Spring Festival and Valentine’s Day, Hangzhou and its many restaurants will be flooded with tourists and locals. Many will be looking for authentic Hangzhou cuisine restaurants.
This festival season, we suggest that you stay away from the go-to places that will be among most people’s top choice. Restaurants like Louwailou or Shanwaishan will likely be overrun, and who wants to wait in long queues or sit in a dining rooms that are almost bursting with guests? We’ve selected some of Hangzhou’s finest restaurants that are a little less known and therefore won’t be as swarmed, even if their dishes are just as good as the ones from the typical favorites.
West Lake vinegar fish
Technically, Green Tea Restaurant is not an authentic Hangzhou cuisine restaurants, but since it is so widely known across the country as a Hangzhou brand, some of its own culinary inventions have become part of Hangzhou dishes.
We recommend its oldest restaurant on Longjing Road, a long strip with tea bushes along both sides.
It uses the same meat used in the classic Hangzhou dish Dongpo pork, which is braised in soy sauce. Green Tea then preserves the pork for hours before its grilled.
They also make fish head soup, a specialty from Hangzhou’s Qiandao Lake, with Sichuan peppers that highlight the tenderness and original flavor of the fish.
As the restaurant’s name suggests, the chefs also use green tea leaves in various dishes, for example, green tea grilled fish, or in deserts like green tea cake.
Address: 83 Longjing Rd
Tel: (0571) 8788-8022
A new authentic Hangzhou restaurant, Elochee features a large number of Hangzhou dishes cooked by experienced chefs with high-quality ingredients.
Recommendations include Veggie Goose (beancurd sheets in soy sauce) which tastes sweet and salty, duck in soy sauce, a dish that all local mums know how to make, stir-fried shrimp, and traditional Hangzhou dishes such as Longjing shrimp and West Lake vinegar fish.
The average meal comes to about 60 yuan, and thanks to the restaurant’s location in close proximity to a subway station and the West Lake, it’s a great place for tourists to sample the real tastes of Hangzhou.
Address: 120 Wushan Rd
Tel: (0571) 8649-6090
If you want to sample a variety of Hangzhou snacks, Zhiweiguan is one of your best bets. In several branches across the city, the chain sells Chinese fast food like wontons and steamed buns. There’s hardly ever any queues.
We highly recommend its high-end branch Wei Zhuang Restaurant, where an average meal will cost about 200 yuan per person.
Of course, snacks are offered here as well, along with Hangzhou specialties such as West Lake vinegar fish, Longjing tea shrimp, Beggar’s Chicken, West Lake water shied soup, Zhiweiguan homemade steamed bun, Cat’s Ear Noodles and Dingsheng Cake, all classic Hangzhou dishes.
The restaurant’s chefs have also created some new dishes, including the extremely popular Golden Medal Steamed Pork, which is presented like a pyramid as it features thin, long slices of pork that are piled up. Inside the pyramid are vegetables.
According to the restaurant, West Lake Snowy Lady is particularly popular with Westerners. It is a dessert with a cream-and-mango heart wrapped in snowy white glutinous rice.
Although the food is of top quality, it’s just one reason why prices are rather steep. The restaurant is situated at the end of Yanggong Causeway, just behind the scenic “Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor” spot. It consists of six antique-style houses above West Lake, all featuring French windows that allow diners to enjoy the view.
Address: 10-12 Yanggong Causeway
Tel: (0571) 8797-0568
sweet and sour pork ribs
Bailu Restaurant has become somewhat of a legend in the restaurant business. Over a decade ago when it was located in the narrow Yesutang Lane, it was a noodle restaurant that accumulated so many loyal customers that its owner decided to expand the business.
Part of the restaurant was turned into a Hangzhou culinary place, and soon gained a great reputation. Gradually, the queue got longer and longer during mealtimes so the owner decided to expand once again and opened a second store.
Today there’s 15 outlets and the cooks still make old-style Hangzhou food, mild, salty, not too greasy and relatively cheap.
The majority of the dishes cost less than 30 yuan, and some are less than 10 yuan, including sweet and sour pork ribs for 5 yuan.
2F, 98 Yan’an Rd;
5F, 487 Zhongshan Rd N;
572 Zhongshan Rd N.
Grandma‘s Kitchen is one of the most popular modern Hangzhou cuisine brands, with more than 100 branches all over the country.
Grandma’s Kitchen on Hubin Road is usually swarmed with visitors from 11am on due to its proximity to the West Lake, so we recommend the one near Changzhan train station or any other outlet around town.
The menu and the taste of the dishes are the same in every franchise due to its central kitchen system.
Recommendations include Grandma‘s Pork, mashed pea, West Lake vinegar fish and tea-scented chicken.
The chicken is a take on the classical Hangzhou Beggar’s Chicken, featuring golden roasted skin, juicy meat, and green tea flavor. Fat makes up much of Grandma’s Pork, which will remind you of proper home cooking.
Grandma’s Kitchen is said to be so popular due to a good mix of a smart decor, a large menu and delicious cooking at economical price.
The cheapest dish on the menu is a large bowl of Mapo Tofu (spicy bean curd) which costs 3 yuan. An average meal will set you back around 40 yuan.
Below, we’ve listed the Grandma’s Kitchen outlets that will be less busy during the holidays.
8 Chengzhan Square (near Chengzhan Train Station and Chengzhan Metro Station);
6-1 Macheng Rd;
8F, B mansion, Hangzhou Tower (near Wulin Square Metro Station);
Qiandao Lake in summer has many to offer and to enjoy the coolness of water in the lake and mountain streams are must-have. We did a thorough research ahead of time and hereby have collected a complete water fun guide of Qiandao Lake for you! Read on to learn more...
In order to improve the high-speed railway connection system and promote the construction of scenic areas in the whole region, Qiandao Lake opened its direct tourist buses to rural scenic areas on July 1. That is to say, people who are at the Qiandao Lake High-Speed Railway Station can take these buses directly to such rural scenic areas as the Xiajiang Village Scenic Area, the Shilin Scenic Area and the Jiangjia Scenic Area. These three routes pass through Fengshuling Town, Lishang Township, Shilin Town, Jieshou Village and Jiangjia Town. It will be more convenient for tourists to reach these scenic areas.