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Hangzhou Recommendations

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Will be heading to Hangzhou and only know Lou Wai Lou and that other big restaurant which displays their dishes - can't recall the name.

Any recommendations appreciated.


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  1. My #1 choice would be ZiWei in Xihu State Guesthouse (splurge)
    For hole-in-wall style dinning: Kui Yuan Noodle shop's shimp/eel noodle. Jiefang/zhongshan junction.
    The local branches of "The GrandMa's" are reasonable choices too.

    1. Haven't been there myself, but definitely want to check out this place the next time I am near Hangzhou:

      There's some other discussion of this place elsewhere on this board.

      1. Just say no to Lou Wai Lou, so touristy.

        1. Not sure if you've gone to Hangzhou yet, but here is my report from last year.


          1. Is the Wang Hu still in operation, I wonder? It was in a hotel near the lake. We had West Lake vinegar fish at a table overlooking the West Lake there, but that was quite a long time ago.

            1. I can highly recommend eating at the night market in Hangzhou - the long street is lined with stalls and shops is full of atmosphere, locals and tourists (most of whom are Chinese by far) and at one end is a cramped and flavoursome side street packed with every good Hangzhou food specialty and more. Buy a whole beggars chicken wrapped in lotus leaf, then take it off to a quiet spot and devour it. Try crabs barbecued on a stick, braised pork, snails, eels or rice dishes.
              I've eaten a few times at LouWaiLou, and always had a lovely view and delicious vinegar glazed fish, but it is touristy, no doubt about it.
              And not really an eating option as such, but cycling or taxi-ing to Long Jin village to drink Long Jin tea on someone's front terrace (standard price of 10yuan pp incl sunflower seeds to nibble on) overlooking the rows of tea- a heavenly break from Hangzhou's crazy crowds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: shanghaifoodaddict

                Thanks for all the feedback. Have been very busy at work and had to nix the trip. All your posts make for good reading though and hopefully, I'll make it there soon.

                1. re: mikey8811

                  What a pity, mikey8811, I was hoping you'd visit Hangzhou, get some local dining tips when you were there, try some good food, and report back to us! I have very superficial knowledge of Hangzhou myself and (blush) dined at Lou Wai Lou both times during my visits in 2007 & 2009. Beetlebug's thread was the best you'd get on CH for Hangzhou.

                  BTW, same thing happened to me when I asked for dining tips to Kaohsiung recently - very few fellow CHs had been there so there's a dearth of recommendations. I ended up relying on local colleagues whilst I was there to recommend places which they liked, places they'd been eating at since they were kids, or stand-out local restaurants, then posting my subsequent dining experiences back on the CH Board for our fellow CHs' reference if they ever visit that city in the near future.

              2. Just returned from Hangzhou---that lakeside resto LuWaiLu is okay--but the service is dreadful---State Run and not much English is spoken. Much more fun to go to some hole-in-the-wall and order the Lake Carp with someone's help. (see photo of lakeside tiny family resto fish dish)
                XiHu State Guest House is top quality, but not much atmosphere--like a fancy country club.