Cantonese >>

  • ZEN The Intercontinental's Cantonese restaurant dishes up reliable renditions of spring rolls, turnip cakes and barbequed pork buns in a rarefied atmosphere.

  • The Deluxe Restaurant A very tasty Cantonese restaurant, housed in the Gongti Comfort Inn Hotel. Service is good, and the egg tarts are highly recommended.

Dongbei >>

  • Tongda Ecosystem Park Housed in a 5,000sqm greenhouse, Tongda offers typical dishes from Jilin in an environment atypical of the province: lush green foliage florishing in moist warm air.

  • Da Qinghua Decked out in fancy Manchu-style décor, with a diverse selection of affordable Dongbei dishes, this is where the homesick Dongbei-ers come for their jiaozi fix. Also worth sampling are the donkey ribs and the Dongbei version of baijiu: hujia laojiu.

Guizhou & Guangxi >>

  • Miao Minority Restaurant This restaurant caters to the dinner-and-show type crowd with its nightly Miao minority show. Dishes include oven roasted bullfrog and Guizhou-style dog meat hot pot.

  • Three Guizhou Men Artsy-fartsy dining establishment with very tasty Guizhou-style favorites. Be sure to try the suantangyu (sour fish soup), xiangban bohe (fragrant peppermint salad).

Hakka >>

  • Wuyishan Nongjiacai Maliandao Tea Street (马连道茶城一条街) is home to several Fujianese eateries and Mrs Jiang's Wuyishan Nongjiacai (武夷山农家菜) is one of the best.

  • Lao Han Zi Three cup duck and fish cooked in foil are particularly good here. Nice place for a quiet meal.

Huaiyang >>

  • Z.Y.X. HYC Tastefully themed in lavender and aromatic dark wood, this three-story restaurant focuses on light and mildly sweet Yangzhou cuisine.

  • Xihe Yaju Foreigners and Chinese alike flock to this upscale restaurant set in a traditional courtyard that borders Ritan Park.

Hunan & Hubei >>

  • Yue Lu Yet another offering from restaurateur and "cynical realist" artist Fang Lijun, Yue Lu serves Hunan-style cuisine.

  • Zesty Chalet Hunan flavors with a modern twist. Fresh ingredients and cool décor add a zing to the zest.

Shandong >>

  • Utopia Restaurant Recently refurbished eatery features Shandong and Cantonese cuisines.

  • Tong He Ju A restaurant with a history dating back to imperial times, Tong He serves traditional Shandong cuisine. Shandong province is on the sea so seafood is big here, and salty flavors predominate.

Shanghai >>

  • Mei Mansion The former home of one of China’s most famous opera stars, Mei Langfang, famous for his cross-dressing female roles, this traditional courtyard hidden away in a Houhai hutong serves fine food in private dining rooms.

  • Jade Garden Jade Garden offers Shanghai and Cantonese cuisine, including an extensive range of dim sum snacks.

Shanxi & Sha'anxi >>

  • Xian Bai Wei Madam Wang whips up the best roujiamo in town at this friendly Sha’anxi snack joint.

  • Xi'an Fanzhuang Lamb stew and bread sounds great for a winter evening. The food is simple but you are assured of a warm welcome.

Sichuan >>

  • Jin Shan Cheng Jin Shan Cheng (Gold Mountain City), with a couple of dozen branches around the city, is one of Beijing’s most popular and affordable Sichuan chains.

  • Yu Xin Everyone who has spent any time at all in China will have eaten indifferent or just plain bad gongbaojiding (宫爆鸡丁), but if you want to taste it the way it’s supposed to be, get down to Yu Xin.

Taiwan >>

  • Home Sweet Home "Three-cup chicken" cooked in a clay pot with chili and basil and fragrant Taiwanese sausages, give you a hint of the vivid flavors you can sample at this unpretentious and inexpensive eatery.

  • Golden Spoons Taiwanese Food Chairs covered with purple velvet sum up the décor of the Golden Spoons. Plush does not do it justice. But don’t let the carved screens and crystal chandeliers put you off.

Tibetan >>

  • Makye Ame Wooden beams, Tibetan décor, and comfortable sofas make Makye Ame a pleasant place to while away a couple of hours.

  • Gesangmedo The basic paradox of a Tibetan restaurant is that Tibetan food is, to put it kindly, simple and unpretentious.

Xinjiang & Muslim >>

  • Xinjiang Fanzhuang Xinjiang Fanzghuang flies fresh mutton in from Urumqi every day and caters to officials from Xinjiang who are visiting or resident in Beijing, so short of making your own journey to the west this is the most authentic desert eating you are likely to find.

  • Grape Restaurant Some people come here for the excellent mutton kebabs and noodles, others come to watch the belly dancers.

Yunnan >>

  • In & Out In and Out aims to reproduce the atmosphere of China’s most colorful and varied province by decking out its waiting staff in traditional costumes.

  • South Silk Road South Silk Road was opened by a renowned Beijing artist, Fang Lijun, and it shows. Its minimalist loft-style space and super-hip clientele might make it too cool for some tastes.

Zhejiang >>

  • Kong Yiji Named after one of Lu Xun’s tragic characters, a failed scholar who is bullied and ridiculed in his local inn, the Kong Yiji’s specialities are zuixia (drunken shrimp), served alive in a bowl of wine, and dongporou, a fatty port dish as tasty as it is unhealthy.

  • Qu Na'r Designed by contrary art superstar Ai Weiwei who worked on the Bird’s Nest stadium but later refused to be photographed next to it Qu Na’r (Where are you going?) serves up home-style cooking in a minimalist space.