Frommers got two of the most well-known eateries on their list:
Zhen Bu Tong is very touristy, but well-organized - 3 of my aunts who went to China on a pilgrimage of sorts to visit Buddhist sites had been here. The restaurant usually do groups of 10, but I'm sure they can accomodate smaller dining parties. Call ahead to book, as tour groups can really fill up the restaurant.
It's quite a challenge to find decent eateries in China's smaller cities - Zhen Bu Tong is like Luoyang's answer to, say, Lou Wai Lou in Hangzhou or Songhelou in Suzhou - they basically started off as government-run places in the days when privately-owned restaurants are practically non-existent. These semi-official eateries catered to government officials and their (foreign) guests and, in order to do that, often have cooking, service and hygiene standards which are higher than others around the vicinity.
Personally, I'd encountered disappointments when trying out very local places (even at the recommendation of the local colleagues or friends there) even in Beijing or Shanghai, let alone the smaller cities - often, the quality of produce is not up to par.
i dont know about that, thats a big over-generalization. ive had alot of great food in china. i think the greater issue with some parts of china is that i'm not a fan of all regional chinese food (i'm severly biased toward southern chinese food)
the problem if you can't read chinese is that most of the food blogs and places where you can find food is only written in chinese. also in smaller cities people speak very little to no english. it will really help if you can find a local who can navigate for you especially in smaller cities.
when i spent time in sichuan i was with my friend who's family took us to some of the best chinese food ive ever had, but i would've been dead in the water if they hadn't been taking me around, so highly recommend trying to find a local to help you. also research as much as possible on the internet and try to find out if there is a local website for food
id say that the same thing applies in china as the rest of asia. when you see a place is crowded with locals generally its worth checking out.
ive only eaten henan food in NY, but its reasonably tasty from my experience. id say you're best off trying to find a local
Also, I'd try to figure out what dishes are good in henan and go seeking those out:
here's some links i found