Hangzhou Food

Recognized as one of the eight major schools of cuisine in China, Hangzhou food is characterized by its light flavors, enjoyable presentation and delicate cooking methods. Hangzhou cuisine makes crisp, tender, light and fresh dishes. The most famous dishes include West Lake Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Shelled Shrimp with Dragon Well Tea, West Lake Water Shield Soup and Dongpo Pork.

West Lake Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce

It is prepared with a West Lake grass carp, weighing about 0.5kg and starved for two days, as its main ingredient. After boiling for three minutes sugar and vinegar sauce is poured over it.

Shallot Stuffed Pancake

Shallot Stuffed Pancake is one of traditional and tasteful specialties in Hangzhou. It is said that there used to be a Wang Er who's famous for his special skill to fry pancakes. From then on, citizens there in succession imitated Wang Er to make the Pancake. Immediately, there stood up a great number of stores living by frying pancakes. Undoubtedly, Wang Er's pancake business got a serious effect. After trying for many times, he finally found out a unique method to make his pancake different from others: rolled up onion in the ripe cake, and pressed the pancake with an iron plate until the pancake was flat then finally fried the pancake until it's golden. Such kind of pancake tastes extremely delicious. So the name of Shallot Stuffed Pancake got from this way and it became very famous from then on.

Shelled Shrimp with Dragon Well Tea

This dish is prepared with shelled fresh water shrimps and the well-known Dragon Well (Longjing) green tea leaves. It is beautiful in color has a special taste.

West Lake Water Shield Soup

Prepared with the West Lake Water Shield (a plant that grow in West Lake) and minced chicken slices, it tastes fresh and delicious.

Dongpo Pork


It is cooked by braising fine-skinned and thin pieces of fat streaky bacon with famous Shaoxing wine in a sealed pot. When the dish is ready, the bacon will be moist and red, and the sauce well be thick and tasty. It tastes savory, sweet and full of body, but not greasy.

Deep-fried Bean Curd Rolls Stuffed with Minced Tenderloin

Bean curd rolls are cut into small segments, then deep fried. The bean curd rolls are golden and taste crispy with a faint scent of soybean.

Jiaohua Chicken

The chicken is stuffed with fried pork and wrapped with lotus leaves. It is soaked in Shaoxing wine and coated with a layer of mud. When the mud is baked dry it is cracked and the clay is broken off and removed. This dish is tender, fresh, juicy, crisp, tasty and full of the fragrance of lotus.

Victory Cake

Dingsheng Gao, originated from Song Dynasty, has been endeared by Hangzhou citizens. Such cake is made with delicate and steady glutinous rice flour as its cover, and bean paste filling with some white sugar and osmanthus flours as its stuffing. It is in pink indicating victory.

The taste of Victory Cake is fragrantly and deliciously glutinous, sweet but not greasy. What's more, it is very cheap with only one Yuan for a part. It is widely accepted to be special snack of good quality products at good values. The cake is formed in lobed shape, pink color, delicate moisture, waxy and sticky crunchiness, very sweet and delicious taste. It can be seen everywhere in Jiangnan Area. Not only for its delicious taste, is the Victory Cake also loved by the public for its symbolization of "victory".  It has become an ideal festival season gift around Jiangnan Area.

Crisp Cake

It's said that the Crisp Cake had long been famous all around the whole country since 300 years ago. Mainly produced in Fengwu Hill, the Crisp Cake is one of well-known specialties in Hangzhou. It's used to be mentioned and highly praised in The Scholars—one famous novel in the Qing Dynasty. The cake is made with superior flour mixed with white sugar, fried with peanut oil. It's crisp and tasty in golden color. Visitors in Hangzhou can have a taste of this cake in place like Mingxiang Restaurant in Wushan.

West Lake lotus root powder

As one specialty of Hangzhou, West Lake lotus root powder characterizes with its unique taste and rich nutrition. It is even praised as the top brand among all lotus root powder. The lotus powder is mainly produced from areas outside Genshan Gate of Hangzhou to Tangxi Town of Yuhang County. The specialty is processed into thin slice or granular powder, coloring of white tinted with red. Especially, the lotus root power in Sanjia Village is the most famous one in Hangzhou. By this reason, West Lake lotus root powder is also called "Sanjia Village Lotus Powder". Lotus root powder is very rich in nutrient ingredients and good for health: stimulating the appetite and restoring the lung, treating yin deficiency and nourishing the blood, nourishing yin to lower inner fire. Therefore, West Lake lotus root powder is the ideal medical nutrition for babies, seniors, infants and patients.

Questions and Answers About Hangzhou Food

zila 2012-12-20
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our co will visit hangzhou & shanghai on 24 to 27 Jan 2013.we will stay at relax hotel hangzhou. is it muslim street near our hotel? or any halal food near by our hotel? any life time near our hotel by walking distance?at shanghai we stay at madarin hotel. the same question, any halal stall or restaurant near by? shopping mall nearest by walking?
Dear Sir or Madam, Relax hotel is about 5 km from West Lake, 8 km from Wulin Square(shopping center). You need to take a taxi to get there for visiting or shopping. I searched on line and did not find any Muslim restaurants around the hotel. Mandarin Hotel is located on Changshou Road in the Pu Tuo district, it is just 10 minutes drive from downtown Shanghai. You are able to visit the Jade Buddha Temple, Jin An Temple and Xin Tian Di–the famous‘Bar Street'. Lussie Lu replied on 2012-12-22
Gregg 2012-08-26
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I am planning a family trip to Hangzhou in October. My youngest daughter is very allergic to peanuts and requires a hospital visit if she accidentally eats any peanut product. I am concerned that the local food will be cooked in peanut oil (we live in Thailand and mostly they use soybean oil). Can you tell me if peanut oil is used? Also what are the best hospitals in Hangzhou?

Hi Gregg, peanut oil is not widely used in restaurant as the price is high. But some restaurants may use it. If you don't need it, you can ask the restaurant before eating there.

The best hospital in Hangzhou is considered to be the Hangzhou First People's Hospital.

Whitney Liao replied on 2012-08-27
David Chan 2012-07-23
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I am going to hangzhou on 2/10 coming back singapore on 10/10. Where is the place of interest I should go n where to eat the original zhejiang dish. Which nightlife you can recomdment me to go?

DearDavid,

Thank you for your inquiry. My name is Doris Huang and I am a travel advisor. It is my pleasure to assist you.

1st to 7th is the National Holiday in China, there will be many tourists in Hangzhou, and the weather is hot, hotels and entrance fee may be expensive, is that ok for you?

As you have 8 days, I recommend Hangzhou, Wuzhen, Suzhou and Shanghai for you.

Hangzhou:

The West Lake,LingyinTemple, Cruise on the West Lake,

Nightlife: Impression West Lake(a night show)

Wuzhen:

AncientVillageWuzhen,

Nightlife: Wu Zhen boat cruise

Suzhou:

Lingering Garden, Lion Grove, The Grand Canal(Cruising by Hand-operated Boat), Humble Administrators Garden

Nightlife: Night Tour of Nets Master Garden

Shanghai:

YuyuanGarden, Yuyuan Market, Oriental Pearl TV Tower,The Shanghai World Financial Center, Shikumen

Nightlife: Nanjing Road(walking and shopping), Pudong, Era Intersection of Time (a show)

Here are the links of the most recommended foods and restaurants in Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai, these restaurants and foods are popular with local people and well known in China:

http://www.chinahighlights.com/hangzhou/restaurants.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/hangzhou/food-restaurant.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/suzhou/restaurants.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/suzhou/food-restaurant.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/shanghai/restaurants.htm

http://www.chinahighlights.com/shanghai/food-restaurant.htm

I hope this will help you.

We can tailor made a tour for you as your requirement, please contact me if you would like us to tailor made a tour for you. My email is doris@chinahighlights.net

I’m looking forward to hear from you!

Doris Huang replied on 2012-07-24
Lisa 2012-07-09
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My son is going here in a week. We were advised to bring a few gifts with us. What sort of small gifts would you suggest?
Dear Lisa, It is suggest that you take some traditional small souvenirs from your country. As a travel agency in China, we glad to arrange tours in Hangzhou or other cites for you. Please feel free contact me at nancy@chinahighlights.net any time. Nancy Nancy Deng replied on 2012-07-10
Jerry Ng 2012-01-22
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Hi, I'll be visiting Shanghai and Hangzhou in early April. When I was in Beijing about a year ago we ate at a Muslim restaurant called Lai Tong Soon which specialises in hotpot food. Do they have a branch in Shanghai/ Hangzhou? Which is the best restaurant in Hangzhou for local cvuisine?
Hi Jerry, I have searched on the internet for you, but there is no informatin about Lai Tong Soon in Hangzhou and Shanghai. In Hangzhou, the most famouse restaurant is Louwailou Resturant. Vanessa Zheng replied on 2012-01-23
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I updated this article on February 12, 2014
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