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Hangzhou serves up food culture

By Shi Xiaofeng and Tang Zhihao (China Daily) Updated : 2016-08-23


Midnight snacks are provided at Zhongshan South Road Food Street in Hangzhou. [Photo/China Daily]

Hangzhou has long been regarded as a city of gourmet food and has a long history of cuisine culture. The dishes have a reputation among foodies for fresh ingredients, elaborate processing and natural flavor. Apart from time-honored restaurants such as Louwailou and Tianxianglou, visitors can visit famous food streets to explore the tastes of the city.

Shenglihe Food Street

Shenglihe Food Street, once in ruins, has grown into a popular destination for food lovers in Hangzhou.

The street, put into operation in 2009, is home to many popular restaurants.

Some small but famous restaurants are also on this street-for instance, Ding's Boiled Mutton. Many Hangzhou residents like to order some boiled mutton and beer here to relax in summer. Some people said it's relaxing to see staff members cutting boiled mutton in the restaurant.

Foodies who are keen on visiting Shenglihe Food Street have to leave home early because there are long lines outside famous restaurants during peak hours.

Gaoyinxiang Food Street

Visitors can find traditional food and newly developed Hangzhou dishes on this street close to the Hangzhou train station. It is an ideal destination for people who have difficulty deciding where to eat.

Weizhai Restaurant and Huangfan'er Restaurant are two good dining choices.

Weizhai Restaurant is the upgraded version of century-old Zhiweiguan, which developed several brands to serve the demands of diners. Popular dishes in Weizhai include Dongpo-style brewed pork and West Lake Vinegar Fish.


People line up for free laba porridge, a kind of rice mush with nuts and dried fruit, on Hefang Street, celebrating a past Laba Festival. [Photo/China Daily]

It is said that Huangfan'er Restaurant obtained its name from Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Huangfan'er can be interpreted as a place where the emperor takes meals.

The restaurant remains popular in Hangzhou after serving local residents for centuries. Qianlong fish-head soup is a must-order dish of Huangfan'er.

Hefang Street

The street is known for a broad range of food offerings in Hangzhou. Businesses not only offer Hangzhou cuisine but also provide cuisine from other regions.

Hefang Street, also named Qinghe Lane, was an important commercial street in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and the Qing Dynasty.

People who are interested in learning more about Hangzhou history can visit Hefang Street, and take in a folk performance on the street.

Food lovers will find many Hangzhou traditional dishes such as Hangzhou-style noodles, shrimp and eel noodles, and fried scallion pancakes.

Noodles at Zhuangyuanguan Restaurant are famous in Hangzhou. In ancient China, people who wanted to be the top scorer in imperial examinations would eat noodles in this restaurant. Food prices are relatively high due to the great number of travelers.

Zhongshan South Road Food Street

The 1,400-meter street claims to be the longest food street in China. It is a good option for travelers who want to have some midnight snacks in Hangzhou. The street, with over 100 locally featured buildings and many traditional stores, opened in 2009.

It is famous for wheat snacks developed in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).