The Top 7 Popular Foods in Shenzhen You Should Try

dim sumCantonese dim sum

Shenzhen cuisine is based on refreshing flavors. Unlike the spicy, sour, and greasy food in some other places in China, Shenzhen’s local cuisine might be more acceptable for foreign travelers.

Dim sum and congee are two Cantonese foods that locals eat a lot of, and you might like to try them. Various types of seafood are also highlights of Shenzhen cuisine.

Read on to discover some dishes you may like to try when you’re in Shenzhen.

1. Cantonese Dim Sum

Shrimp dumplingsShrimp dumplings

Of all the foods within Cantonese cuisine, dim sum is the favorite of foreigners in the Cantonese areas.

You can enjoy small morsels of food with tea at breakfast or lunchtime. These are usually served in a small bowl or basket. Tea is also an important element of a traditional dim sum meal or snack. Diners may choose from green, oolong, jasmine, chrysanthemum, or other types of tea.

In restaurants, customers pick from a large selection of tasty choices that are served in steamer baskets or on small plates. The classic dim sum dishes include shrimp dumplings, congee, and steamed pork dumplings. It helps to dine in groups to be able to order many kinds of dim sum.

Learn how to eat dim sum in the right way.

  • Recommended restaurant: Lei Garden (利苑酒家)
  • Average price per person: 380 yuan
  • Address: S348, 3/F, MixC Shopping Mall, 1881 Bao’an South Road, Luohu District (罗湖区宝安南路万象城3楼S348)
  • Tel: 0755-22655339
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station.

2. Cantonese Congee

Congee is a popular breakfast and lunch meal.Congee is a popular breakfast and lunch meal.

Congee is a typical Cantonese food that many people eat daily. It is basically a soup made from rice and bits of other ingredients. To Western tastes, it is quite bland and seems like watery rice but many locals eat it daily for breakfast, snacks, and as part of their lunch and dinner.

Read about more typical Cantonese dishes eaten by locals in Guangzhou Food.

  • Recommended restaurant: Jin Dao Yuan (金稻园砂锅粥)
  • Average price per person: 100 yuan
  • Address:  99 Zhongxing Road, Luohu District (中兴路99号)
  • Tel: 0755-25157223
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station.

3. Seafood Hot Pot

Seafood hot potSeafood hot pot

A seafood hot pot might be the most luxurious and tasty dish you will try in Shenzhen. There are over 20 kinds of soup base for you to choose from. Among them, the satay soup base is the most popular and recommended one. If you don’t like strong flavors, the pork bone soup base or potato and tomato soup base are also suggested.

As for the ingredients, just choose your favorite seafood, such as fish, shrimps, or oysters.

You can enjoy socializing as the Chinese do by sitting around a table with a big pot filled with boiling soup in the middle. You'll select a group of ingredients to boil with the help of the waiter. This may sound like a strange way to have a meal but it is a fun and interesting activity.

Check out more types of hot pot in China.

  • Recommended restaurant: Longteng Seafood Hotpot Restaurant (龙腾海鲜火锅)
  • Average price per person: 1,000 yuan
  • Address: 1/F, Shenzhen Lido Hotel, 2007 Dongmen South Road, Luohu District (罗湖区东门南路2007号广发大厦丽都酒店1楼)
  • Tel: 0755-82178362
  • Transportation: Take bus 5, 14, 83, 97, 229, 336, 369, 381, B705, or M360 to Shenzhen Lido Hotel.

4. Cantonese Sausage

Cantonese sausagesCantonese sausages

Cantonese sausages are a popular dish on Shenzhen people’s dining tables because of the sweet and salty flavors as well as the appetizing red color.

The best flesh to make a Cantonese sausage from is the rear leg of a pig. Selecting the best pork is only the first step. The pork will then be cured with sugar, wine, salt, and soybean sauce. After the casing is filled with the sausage meat, the sausages are dried at a certain temperature.

Eating the sausages is also about creativity. They can be cut into pieces then steamed to be eaten on their own, added to a bowl of rice, or fried with other ingredients.

  • Recommended restaurant: Chiuchow Garden Restaurant (春江潮)
  • Average price per person: 280 yuan
  • Address: 2/F, MixC Shopping Mall, 1881 Bao’an South Road, Luohu District (罗湖区宝安南路万象城2楼)
  • Tel: 0755-82328113
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 1 or 2 to Grand Theater Station.

5. “Congee Without Rice”

This dish seems strange because it is a congee dish made from rice but you can’t find any grains of rice in it. The secret is that the rice is cooked until it melts into liquid and the tiny grains of rice are filtered from it.

The congee has a gentle flavor and can be easily digested. It is a fantastic dish if you are on a diet or if you suffer from problems with your stomach.

Another popular way to enjoy the congee is to use it as a hot pot soup base.

  • Recommended restaurant: Tai Gen Bao (太艮堡毋米粥)
  • Average price per person: 120 yuan
  • Address: 2/F, 4025 Jiabin Road, Luohu District (嘉宾路4025号城市天地广场内2楼)
  • Tel: 0755-22161222
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 1 to Guomao Station or Laojie Station.

6. Shajin Oysters

Shajin oystersShajin oysters

The oysters that are bred in Shajin in Bao’an District have a larger size, tenderer flesh, and are more nutritious than other oysters. Shajin oysters are praised as being the “milk of the sea”, not only because of their milky white flesh but also because of their rich composition of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Shajin oysters can be found in all restaurants serving seafood and you can decide how to eat them: steamed, fried, or roasted. Oyster oil and canned oyster are also wonderful souvenirs.

See how Chinese people deal with fish and seafood dishes.

  • Recommended restaurant: Dan Gui Xuan (丹桂轩)
  • Average price per person: 150 yuan
  • Address: 2/F, Xindu Hotel (Century Plaza Hotel), 4001 Chunfeng Road, Luohu District (春风路1号新都酒店2楼)
  • Tel: 0755-82323888
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 1 to Guomao Station or Laojie Station.

7. Cantonese Pudding

After feasting on the delicacies mentioned above, why not try some local snacks? A special pudding called bo zai gao by local people is recommended.

The bite-sized pudding is made from rice flour and many flavors are available depending on the ingredients that are added. Some shops provide puddings with over 20 available flavors, such as strawberry, apple, peach, coconut, pineapple, and sesame.

If you find a roadside shop selling Cantonese puddings, just choose the flavor you prefer.

  • Recommended restaurant: Yizhi Bo Zai Gao (壹只钵仔糕)
  • Average price per person: 6 yuanbozai
  • Address:  4002 Shigu Road, Nanshan District (南山区石鼓路4002号)
  • Transportation: Take Metro Line 5 to Liuxiandong Station and leave via Exit B.

More Food You Can Expect to Find in Shenzhen

YOu can eat western food in ShenzhenYOu can eat western food in Shenzhen

Besides local dishes and snacks, it is not hard to find food from other places in China or the rest of the world when you’re in Shenzhen. Some restaurants provide dishes from Japan, Korea, Thailand, and India.

If the types of food suggested above are not for you, there are also Western restaurants for you to choose from and you can just eat as you would at home. There are Michelin-starred French or Italian restaurants as well as popular fast-food restaurants.

Check out more restaurants in Shenzhen.

Tour Shenzhen with Us

Eating Chinese food in a local restaurantEnjoy Chinese food in a local restaurant

Since dining well is an important part of touring, it would be helpful to have a local guide who can give you insider recommendations on what and where to eat. Our guides ensure that you order only the best Chinese cuisine or other types of cuisine to suit your taste preferences. Our dining and food orientated tours include:

We can modify these suggestions to customize your Shenzhen tour.