No trip to Guangzhou, other parts in Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau is complete without a try of the local authentic Cantonese food! Tasting this famous cuisine type with nice fresh flavor is another must try to learn the culture and know the best essence of Guangzhou, this metropolis developing among world megacities while keeping her unique precious characteristics. Let’s have a test to see whether these both eyes and taste buds pleasant gourmets can arouse your appetite to swallow or not!
Cantonese Cuisine (广东菜) or Yue Cuisine (粤菜) is one of the 8 Famous Cuisines of China and one of the 4 Traditional Cuisines of China. Originated in Lingnan Area around Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, etc., Cantonese Cuisine has special local flavor to match the climate, environment, and life style of people, which is specialized in light, fresh and tender flavors.
In early 19th century, a lot of Chinese traveled far to North America to make more money, many of which actually were Guangdong people. Those people operated a series of Cantonese restaurants there for overseas Chinese, which has let people in Canada, America, etc. taste and start to like this special kind of Chinese cuisine. As time changes, more and more Cantonese restaurants are opened in America, Canada, Australia, Britain, French, Netherlands, Japan, and so forth, and you can find many, particularly in China Towns in those countries, and some scenes of Hollywood movies. In a public opinion survey in 1960, it came out that Cantonese Cuisine was the 2nd famous cuisines in the whole USA, just after Italian Cuisine. For many foreign people, Cantonese Cuisine is actually the first Chinese food they know about and try, including Chow Fun, Chow Mein, etc.
Enjoying morning tea is popular among southern China region, and is a particular local eating custom of Lingnan area around Guangdong, which is called Yum Cha (饮茶) locally in Cantonese. No matter old or young, Cantonese people all like enjoying Yum Cha, which creates time for them to spend harmonious moments with their family and friends around the table and taste their familiar and delicious dim sum, especially during weekends and holidays. For many elders in Guangdong area who are retired often can have a leisure morning time with the classic “one bottle of tea and two kinds of dim sum” while reading newspaper of the day in a real slow rhythm till about 9-10 a.m. For a lot of Cantonese people, Yum Cha is not only to enjoy their breakfast, but also a good time for self-relaxation, relationship strengthening, socialization, business discussion, etc. As Cantonese people bring their tracks to many places beyond Guangdong, nowadays, Cantonese morning tea restaurants are not only handy in Guangdong Province, but also widespread all over the world in Hong Kong, Macau, and many other countries in Asia, America, Europe, Australia, etc.
Eating in Guangzhou! Being the paradise of gourmets, what food does Guangzhou recommend you to taste for your trip this time? from many reviews and recommendations of visitors been there, I think you will also interested in its famous dim sum, featured traditional dishes like White Cut Chicken, mouthwatering Char Siu, pleasant desserts along the street shops, healthy old fire soups, and a lot of special delicacies.
Dim Sum (点心) is a key part of Cantonese food. There are more than 1,000 kinds of dim sums in Guangdong Area, and in Xiguan District in Guangzhou, where Cantonese dim sum originated is your best place to enjoy the dim sums, including the Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow 虾饺), Siu Mai (Shumai 烧麦), Rice Noodle Roll (Cheong Fun 肠粉), Turnip Cakes (萝卜糕), Steamed Buns Stuffed with BBQ Roast Pork (Char Siu Bao叉烧包), Salted Egg Yolk Buns (流沙包), Chicken Feet, Egg Tarts, etc. As they are made in exquisite outlook and fresh flavor, no matter your like sweet or salty flavor, you can have a wonderful time in the morning tea restaurant as local Cantonese do.
Among all various traditional Cantonese dishes, Siu Mei (烧味), a Cantonese barbecue and roasted flavored meat dish would be your first stop. White Cut Chicken (白斩鸡), popular dish of Siu Mei is the first try and top like of many foreign visitors to Guangzhou. This kind of chicken dish cooked in high skill makes foodies enjoy the really tender, moist and flavorful meat with satisfaction. Local Char Siu (叉烧), like Roasted Goose (烧鹅) and other Siu Mei and Siu Laap (烧腊) kinds with crispy skin and tender meat with juicy is very good to go with sour and sweet plum sauce. Just walking along the old streets in downtown Guangzhou, you can see many roasted goose hanging behind the window for selling in many busy Siu Mei shops. Besides, you can try the Sweet and Sour Pork (咕噜肉) to get more joy of tongue and the whole oral cavity. Guangdong people love green vegetables to keep healthy, and their domestic famous Choy Sum in Oyster Sauce (耗油菜心) is quite excellent with crispy and tasty, light but not plain to refresh your taste feeling.
Cantonese also like sweet flavored food. And Tong Sui (literally sugar water, or sweep soup) is really a must-do step to end a meal for Cantonese. No matter in summer or in winter, there will be rich kinds of Cantonese desserts to benefit your body and mood. A large group of tourists would like to taste the Double Skin Milk (双皮奶) first, since the tender pudding texture is really soft and smooth to make you happy. Moreover, you can add different fillings according to your likes such as red bean, mango, egg, etc. Besides, Black Sesame Soup (芝麻糊) with strong aroma of the ingredients and sweet but not greasy flavor is really a good try and also a wise choice to warm your stomach in winter season. Furthermore, Red Bean Soup (红豆汤) with rich feeling with the interesting red bean flavor, tofu pudding with original fresh tasting of Tofu, and so forth are also highly recommended if you have enough time and interest. To find the best popular desserts in Guangzhou, Wenming Road in Yuexiu is absolutely among the top options, as most renowned Cantonese dessert shops have opened there for decades,
Since Guangdong bounds the sea, Cantonese people know how to cook seafood really well. White Boiled Shrimp (白灼虾) boiled in hot water with the shells may be the first seafood for most domestic and overseas people to Guangzhou. Make it easy to enjoy the tender meat and the process of peeking as a real Cantonese. What’s more, there are a series of restaurants serving Steamed Fish to keep the fresh of the meat with not thick flavored condiments, so why not try to add more value of your go?
Guangdong people emphasize in keeping in good health, so they make rich kinds of soups with different types of meat, seafood, vegetables, herbs, dry food, stewed with soft fire in several hours, so the nutrition and flavor of the ingredients would come out. Winter Melon Soup, Black Chicken Herbal Soup, Lotus Root and Spare Rib Soup, etc. are top popular Cantonese Old Fire Soups (老火汤) for locals and tourist foodies.
Porridge or congee is not so simple in Guangdong. People there make full use of local eatable materials to make it into different flavors but also with rich nutrition. Sampan Congee (艇仔粥) used to be sold on little boat in old Guangzhou ranks very top among all same type. The rich flavors of fish, meat, peanuts, egg, etc. creates really amazing tasting experience. Besides, you are also suggested to taste other kinds of Cantonese porridges, like Congee with Lean Pork and Preserved Egg (皮蛋瘦肉粥), etc.
Cantonese Wonton Noodles Soup (云吞面) has gained really good popularity among whole Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. The large shrimp dumplings with full shrimp meat and the al dente local Jook-sing noodles (竹升面) make this wet dish a delicate experience of wheaten food. Moreover, the featured home cooking Chow Fun (stir-frrying wide rice noodles 炒河粉) is surely a good-to-try food, with the soft and tender noodles and various nutritious vegetables. Beef Chow Fun (炒牛河) is most ordered by people.
Clay Pot Rice (煲仔饭) is also a strongly featured Guangzhou food. Local people cook the rice in the pot bowel and then add what they like on the rice to cook it all well, such as Chinese sausage and preserved meat, spare ribs, chicken, vegetables, etc. The tasty ingredients and aroma of rice make the chew very satisfying.
Besides the above recommendations, there are far more delicious gourmets popular and complimented by local Cantonese and foreign visitors. If you have more time and have a very good appetite to try more, the Roasted Suckling Pig (烤乳猪), Lo Mein (捞面), Beef Offal (牛杂), Sai Mai Lo (Tapioca 西米露), Herbal Jelly (龟苓膏), and so on are not to be missed.
Recommended Tours to Enjoy Cantonese Food in Guangzhou:
To Enjoy Dim Sum
Xiguan District is a top place to find good morning tea restaurants. Pan Xi Restaurant (泮溪酒家) on Longjin West Road in Liwan is a highly great place to enjoy Cantonese morning tea in a tranquil old styled garden like place. Besides, Dian Dou De (Ju Fu Lou Branch 点都德聚福楼店), Tao Tao Ju (陶陶居), and Lian Xiang Lou (莲香楼) are also popular and reliable brands to spend nice Yum Cha moments in Guangzhou.
To Enjoy Traditional Dishes
Guangzhou Restaurant (广州酒家) on No.2 Wenchang South Road in Liwan is very popular to taste authentic flavored Cantonese courses. Bing Sheng Mansion (炳胜公馆) is also good as a Michelin choice in 2018. Lei Garden (丽苑) in Yuexiu District and Lai Heen (丽轩) in Ritz Carlton Guangzhou are also excellent to be listed as Michelin restaurants, and you can taste the traditional nutritious Cantonese soups.
To Enjoy Desserts
On Wenming Road (文明路) in Yuexiu, you can find a large number of dessert shops making aroma to attract numerous foodies to eat. Baihua Dessert Store (百花甜品) on No.210 and Meigui Dessert Store (玫瑰甜品) on No.218 are always popular with long and quick move queues. Besides, Nanxin Milk Dessert (南信牛奶甜品专家) on No.47 Di Shi Fu Road is a hot place to enjoy its specialized Double Skin Milk and Ginger Milk Curd.
Check More about 10 Best Cantonese Restaurants in Guangzhou >>
To taste more delicious and authentic Cantonese food in Guangzhou, you can travel with us China Discovery, and our local guide and driver can take you to the best popular restaurants and shops to please your tongue and mind during your ultimate food discovery in this city with comfortable private car. Furthermore, it is also quite popular to travel extend Guangzhou to Shunde, Foshan, Chaozhou, Hong Kong, Macau, etc. to taste more regional delicacies. Besides, if you have any questions or other travel idea of or beyond Guangzhou, please feel free to tell us, and our experienced travel expert will help you plan a satisfying Guangzhou trip or customize your own one sincerely!
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