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Liuzhou Eating


Liuzhou, like all cities in China, is awash with places to eat. These range from incredibly cheap 'hole-in-the-wall' noodle bars all the way to incredibly expensive high class restaurants. You are never more than a step or two away from somewhere to eat.

Alongside local specialities (see below), almost every regional variation to be found in China can be found in Liuzhou. From Beijing style, through Mongolian hotpots, Muslim food from China's far west, hot and spicy food from neighbouring Hunan and Sichuan provinces to the well-known Cantonese style as so often found in the west (albeit in westernised form).

Pictures of Liuzhou restaurant food.

There is also a small range of western food outlets. These tend to be of the steakhouse type and come with Chinese characteristics. McDonalds,  KFC and Pizza Hut are here. There is also a number of "Japanese" sushi places (they are all Chinese owned except one- - t is Thai owned!) and a few Korean restaurants. The Radisson Blu hotel has an expensive Italian restaurant.

Local Specialities

螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn

As in most places, the real way to experience local food is in peoples' homes. However, this is not always so easy. Fortunately, there is a huge tradition of eating out here, so it is possible to find many local specialities. In the evenings, the locals flood into the night markets where you can point at the ingredients laid out on the stalls and they cook in front of you. The variety is truly amazing.

Liuzhou is particularly famous for two things: snails and dog! 

A bowl of noodles in a snail soup with chilli and vegetables (luo si fen, pronounced Low Si Fun) is practically a staple and can be found everywhere for next to nothing (pictured above). Street stalls, night markets and tiny restaurants are the places to find this. Also snails stewed with chilli are popular. So important are snails to the local diet that it has even been suggested that Chinese pottery was invented purely for the purpose of cooking snails.

Dog is available, but is much more expensive. Do not worry, you are highly unlikely to be served this unknowingly.

Apart from that, Liuzhou people seem split on their preferences. Just as we are on the border of two major languages, we seem to be on the border of two distinct cuisines. Liuzhou food is both influenced by the Guangdong (Cantonese) tradition and by the Hunan style. As a result foods can be either sweetish bland or fiery chilli hot. Pickled and smoked foods are also very popular.

Also of interest are the many local restaurants specialising in the cuisine of the local minority peoples. Miao and  Dong restaurants offer many dishes which are all but unknown outside this area. Most dishes are based around glutinous rice. 

The Dong people are noted for their "Oil Tea". This is a mixture of tea, rice, peanuts, ginger and green onions. Somewhere between a drink and a food, it is somewhat of an acquired taste, but is well worth trying at least once.

Reviews of some Liuzhou restaurants

Cooking for Yourself

Liuzhou market

There is a huge variety of food available in local markets - much of it unrecognisable. Food is generally cheap and fresh. Markets tend to have only food which is in season, so going to the market can be an adventure. Vegetables and fruit are especially seasonal, but good varieties of both are available year round. All varieties of meats are, of course, available at any time, and the range of fish is good. Being relatively near the sea, we also get a good supply of seafood.

Supermarket Fish

Supermarkets also carry a large range, although prices tend to be higher and vegetables, in particular, not of such high quality.

There is a growing range of western food available. We have decent western style bread, butter and coffee, and we can find real cheese.

Vegetarianism or vegan? Information here.

 For more on food in China click here.

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