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The Difference Between a Local Restaurant and a Tourist Restaurant


China Highlights takes our customers to carefully-selected authentic local restaurants, not to "tourist restaurants" that serve the same old boring food in the same old boring way. The tourist trap restaurants are along the tour bus routes, and the cooks have learned to cook food to suit the foreign tastes. They are not the kind of places local Chinese would go to savor a delicious authentic Chinese meal like the ones we choose for you.

Just as we make our "no shops" promise to steer our tours away from the tourist trap markets and shops, we try to choose restaurants for our customers that will be a memorable local experience in a nice authentically Chinese environment.

China Highlight's tours are designed to see the "local color" and give you a chance to experience the local tastes. Try some new flavors and food.

Get the Real Thing, not Touristy Food

steamed buns

When touring China, experience the real tastes of the great regional cuisines. Chinese people often say that food served to tourists "all tastes the same." Chinese love a variety of tastes and sensations during a meal, and they eat many foods in a traditional meal that foreigners are not accustomed to. You'll miss this culinary experience at Chinese restaurants geared to serve bus loads of tourists.

Westerners have grown used to the bland Chinese food they get at the restaurants in their own country, and that is the sort of food you'd find at a tourist restaurant. The food's often over-priced, and this sort of restaurant is avoided by local Chinese who appreciate the fine regional cuisines. Enjoy your tour and the tastes too.

Regional Cuisines

shangri la hotel xian Sichuan Hot Pot

Sichuan style: It is one of the Eight Major Regional Cuisines. While in Chengdu or Chongqing, savor the peppery hot Sichuan cuisine that makes your tongue tingle so much it might even grow numb. On our 5-day Chengdu Panda Tour, we take you to Sanguyuan Restaurant where you can taste and experience the cuisine of the Three Kingdoms.

Shanghai cuisine: On our 3-day Essence of Shanghai Tour, we go to Hometown Restaurant near Nanjing Road where you can taste the local Shanghai-style of cuisine. The city's cuisine is regarded as a variety of Jiangsu cuisine.

Beijing style: Authentic Beijing food is representative of the Northern style of cuisine. Experience the hearty buns, bread, pastries, noodles, and fish, and soups at the Xin Shuang Quan Restaurant while dining in their garden. This restaurant is featured on our Essence of Beijing Tour.

If you are particularly interested in exploring China's cuisine, take a look at our Chinese Food Tours.

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