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First-time visitors to Hangzhou will quickly realize there's no shortage of restaurants to visit and amazing local dishes to discover. In other words, there's precious little time to waste on hit-or-miss culinary misadventures. That's where we come in.|
To guide you round the city's best eateries, we've compiled a seven-day Hangzhou food checklist that will serve up the best without breaking the bank.
Monday: Grandma's Kitchen (外婆家)
Stir-fried cauliflower and bacon is one of the most popular dishes in Hangzhou.
With its multitude of convenient locations throughout Hangzhou, this successful Chinese chain restaurant is the order of the day for visitors who want to dine like a true local.
Grandma’s Kitchen is a quirky phenomenon that must be experienced to be believed, with legendarily long wait times during the dinner rush that only seem to underline its reputation as the undisputed champ in mid-range family restaurants.
The restaurant presents a large menu full of clear photos and reasonable prices.
Just point at what you want, be prepared to wait, then dig in and chew on the fact that you've got six more days of fun ahead.
8/F, Bldg. B, Hangzhou Tower, No. 1 Wuling Square, near Huancheng Bei Lu 武林广场1号杭州大厦B座8楼, 近环城北路, +86 571 8517 5778, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-9 p.m., www.waipojia.com
Tuesday: Green Tea (绿茶)
Northern Chinese crispy lamb gets a local twist with Hangzhou ingredients.
Hangzhou's local cuisine doesn't need to be mired in stuffy mainstays like West Lake sour fish or stir-fried Dragon Well shrimp.
Thanks to visionary local restaurateurs who have taken things to the next level with daring dishes that break away from tradition, tourists can enjoy more creative culinary expressions made with locally sourced ingredients.
Green Tea Restaurant has become recognized as a revered innovator that takes healthy risks in designing its foods, often delivering delicious rewards to those who take a chance.
With two locations to choose from, visitors can decide if they wish to dine in the city or, if they prefer, make a voyage up winding mountain roads to the restaurant's original location.
Either way, reservations are recommended before dropping in, as there will likely be a lengthy line at the door.
83 Longjing Road, opposite the back door of Zhejiang Hotel 龙井路83号, 浙江宾馆后门斜对面, +86 571 8788 8022, 10:30 a.m.-midnight
Wednesday: Yun Shui Yao (云水谣)
One of Yun Shui Yao's greatest attractions is the picturesque backdrop contrasting modern and historic Hangzhou
With two venues in Hangzhou, Yun Shui Yao brings inspired dishes with all the flavor and character of China's famously remote regions, including Yunnan and Guizhou.
The restaurant serves some of Hangzhou's best fusion at prices that don't soar through the roof.
Both of the small, understated locations provide an experience that feels a lot less like being in the city and a lot more like being tucked into a hideaway destination.
The recommended best-seller is the fish-head platter, which may sound freakish to some, but doesn't disappoint, with tender, flaky meat in a rich and spicy broth.
17-23 Donghexia, Xiaohe Lu 小河路东河下17-23号, +86 571 8694 9407, 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Thursday: The Vineyard (味雅咖啡)
The Vineyard provides authentic American pub foods that are hard to find in Hangzhou.
On your fourth straight day of Chinese fare, The Vineyard provides a chance to recalibrate those tired taste buds.
The restaurant's food has gained well-deserved notoriety amongst Hangzhou's expat community. Thursday nights are set aside for the weekly trivia competitions that keep them coming back for more.
It's comforting to find a venue in Hangzhou that provides consistently authentic Western fare with a healthy dose of American attitude.
Vineyard has fulfilled many a deprived diner's needs, with classics like bacon mushroom melt burgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and New York-style pizzas.
Drinks are a straightforward affair, with a decent selection of imported and domestic beers and an enormous wine list.
Located near Zhejiang University and some of the most popular bars and clubs in town, Vineyard is a great launchpad to start a big night.
1/F, Zhongtian Mansion, 173 Yugu Lu, near Tianmushan Lu 玉古路173号中田大厦1楼, 近天目山路, +86 571 8763 2388, 10 a.m.-midnight (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)