Hangzhou Food Culture

As a well-known historical and cultural city, Hangzhou has sustained its own characteristic food culture. Dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Hangzhou has developed its rich food culture. A variety of teahouses, wine shops, food shops and other catering services account for two thirds of the entire shop market. There are even restaurants specializing in different local flavors, forming China’s four major styles of cooking. With a long and profound history, imperial dishes fully display the delicate, harmonious and generous culture of Hangzhou cuisine. 

When talking about Hangzhou cuisine, the slogan “eating in Hangzhou” comes into our mind. Hangzhou has successfully held two successive national diet culture exchange festivals called “Chinese cuisine festival”. Hangzhou diet culture includes cooking culture, tea culture and snack culture.

Hangzhou dishes (named Hang dishes for short, or Hangbang Dishes) have a long history, they are the major schools of Zhejiang dishes which is one of China's eight styles of cooking. Located in Jiangnan area, Hangzhou has a warm climate which makes Hangbang Dishes seem sluggish. Local people tend to add a little seasoning in order to make the food light, fresh and tender. Statistics show that there are 500 kinds of Hangbang Dishes available in the market. Even though south and north flavors have emerged in Hangbang Dishes, they still preach cooking light food with little oil and little water.

Hangzhou specialty snacks: Quick-fried Eel Shreds and Shelled Shrimps, Pian Er Chuan Noodles, ‘Cat’s Ear’ and Cong Bao Hui. You are welcome to taste these delicious foods in Kuiyuan Restaurant or Zhi Wei Guan Restaurant. Other popular restaurants in Hangzhou include Lou Wai Lou, Shan Wai Shan and Tian Wai Tian.

West Lake Longjing tea is renowned at home and abroad. It is a gourmet tea among green teas. Hangzhou tea culture has a long history and since the Sui and Tang Dynasty there are many tea shops available to taste tea. Many poets are attracted to taste Longjing tea because of its reputation and have written poems that have won universal praise to appraise Longjing tea.