I’ve been living in Shenzhen, China for a little over a year and I’m still adjusting to new things everyday. Chinese food was one of the first adjustments I made rather swiftly after arriving in China.
I’d heard horror stories about foreigners and food in China. Anything from explosive diarrhea to unidentified mystery meat to days out sick because of a bad case of food poisoning. For 6 months I vowed to not be one of those stories.
When I finally relaxed and smelled the cumin, I realized that I was missing an opportunity to experience food from one of the oldest countries in the world. I just had to take it.
With that being said… I’m still going to take it slow. This article is a summary of 7 places that I eat in Shenzhen China.
So here it is:
7 Places I Eat in Shenzhen China
1. My School’s Cafeteria
Do the millennials out there remember the iconic school cafeteria “square pizza” that we ate during school lunches? Well Chinese school cafeteria food is the exact opposite of that garbage.
First, the food is actual food and not plastic covered in cheese. The food looks like food that you would pay for in local Chinese restaurants.
Second, like most food in China, the dishes are made with fresh ingredients (vegetables, meat, & spices).
Finally, the food tastes absolutely amazing! I don’t think I have ever eaten this much cafeteria food in my life. Every meal I can eat in my school cafeteria, I take the opportunity to do so.
2. Lan Zhou La Mian (兰州拉面)
These restaurants are actually a recent discovery. The food originates from LanZhou, Gansu which the origin of an Chinese Islamic Minority. The food also tastes amazing.
It resembles more of what we think of “Chinese Food” in America. Meaning that you can order a meat and vegetable dish over a serving of noddles or rice.
To top it all off it is dirt cheap! I spend $3.00 for an entire plate of food.
3. Mian Dian Wang (面点王)
Mian Dian Wang is a Chinese noodle chain that serves nothing but typical Chinese food (soup, noodles, dumplings, vegetables, etc). It is all over Shenzhen (maybe even all over China), but I like it because the menu is the same at all of the locations. I either order shrimp dumplings or a pork soup that is delicious!
I’d like to be a man of routine and keep some form of consistency in my diet. It’s comforting to know that I can go anywhere in the city and find a Chinese restaurant that I recognize.
4. Vegetarian Restaurant ($5.00 per Person)
We also discovered a vegetarian restaurant that serves dishes that I’ve come to like. I’m not even vegetarian! The place is an all you can eat buffet so I’m always stuffed when I leave. The prices aren’t too bad either.
Unlike McDonald’s, KFC’s menu is completely different from the menu’s in the U.S. For one thing, the chicken meat in China taste like the animal was actually alive at some point. But overall the menu items have been completely adapted to pander to Chinese people.
Other than the quality of the chicken meat I’m not too impressed by KFC. However I do find myself eating here sometimes.
I’ve had McDonald’s on four different continents, and I’ve got to hand it to them, the SH** all tastes similar. Whether I go to McDonald’s in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, or Shenzhen I know exactly what I’m getting off the menu: a double Cheeseburger Extra Value Meal.
Although I don’t like to come to McDonald’s too often, I like to have this piece of consistency when I travel. Especially in a country like China. So thank you, globalization.
7. At Home
When we first arrived to China we spent a lot more time cooking meals at our apartment than eating at restaurants. As we started to enjoy more Chinese food we started to eat at home less and less.
Chinese kitchens don’t typically come with ovens so for our first year we didn’t have an oven. So any dish that required baking wasn’t going to happen.
As I expand my grasp of Chinese food I plan to record them on this blog. I hope this helps some one find some places to eat in Shenzhen.
If you have anything you would like to add please feel free to leave them in comments below.
If you are interested in seeing more pictures of my food in China check out my Instagram.