Lanzhou Dining -- What to Eat

The food in Lanzhou is quite unique compared to that of central China, having been influenced by ethnic groups - especially the Hui people. Besides the beef noodles, there are local delicacies that cannot be tasted in other places, as well as Sichuan cuisines, hotpot, and western food.

Gansu Cuisine

Lanzhou dishes are representative of Gansu cuisine which features the roasting, steaming, and braising of beef and mutton. Local people enjoy many tastes including salty, fresh, tart, and spicy. Gansu cuisine can be sampled at various local hotels. Typical dishes include Jincheng Baita, Jincheng Babao Melon Carving, Baihe Tao, and albino leeks with chicken and roasted pork.

Baihe (Lily) Tao (Peach) is so named because the dish is shaped like peaches. The washed fresh lily - a specialty of Lanzhou - is steamed for about 15 minutes. The lily is then stuffed with sweetened bean paste so that it looks like a peach. The 'peach' is braised in a bamboo steamer for about twenty minutes and then served with a white sugar sauce.

Lanzhou dishes Lanzhou food

Jincheng Baita is an assortment of cold meats, imitating the famous attraction of Baita (the White Pagoda) in this city, which is a seven-story pagoda with eight facets.

Jincheng Babao (eight treasures) Melon Carving is a local traditional food. The carved melon peel is used as a bowl to hold white fungus, pineapple, cherry, longan, waxberry, and other delicacies. The carving is exquisite and the food is fresh and sweet. This dish will satisfy not only your palate but also your eye.

Silk Road Camel Hoof is a nutritious dish since the whole hoof is made up of tendon, which is very tasty.

Quick Fried Camel Hump, a dainty dish, has a history of 1,500 years.

Lanzhou Roasted Pork is heated over charcoal and served with spring pies or sesame pies.

Jinyu (golden fish) Facai (a kind of fungus that grows in the desert near the Yellow River) is a classic dish in Gansu Province. There is no golden fish in the dish; the name comes from the shape. The Fa Cai is soaked in water until it is soft and then kneaded until it is round. Minced chicken flavored with salt, egg white, sesame oil, and cooking wine is used to stuff the Fa Cai so it looks like a golden fish. The'fish' is steamed until it is cooked and then served in a dish surrounded with bree, giving the look of a 'golden fish swimming in water'. This popular Lanzhou dish goes well with wine.

For specialty-dishes, we recommend that tourists try them in the Chinese restaurants of the classic hotels because of their professional cooking style.

Local Delicacies

Stretched long and thin noodles
Stretched long and thin noodles
Lanzhou Beef Noodles (Stretched Noodles) is the most famous local dish. It was first created during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875 - 1908), Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1911) and it is now popular all over China. This dish has five main features: clear soup, white radish, red pepper, green caraway and yellow noodles. The noodles can be wide or slim to meet different preferences. Boys like er xi (a little wider) while girls like slim ones, the middle-aged and the old like jiuyezi (leek leaf) and maoxi (slimmer) and scholars prefer slim and jiuyezi. Farmers, soldiers and workers prefer wide or even wider. If a girl or an old man asks for wider noodles or a boy asks for maoxi noodles, it would be rather strange. The noodles have gone beyond food to become a culture.

A bowl of beef noodles costs 2 Yuan and takes only a few minutes to prepare. The chef twists and stretches the dough skillfully and in less than two minutes the noodles are finished. This quick and inexpensive food is undoubtedly the first choice among the locals. There are one or two beef noodles eateries on every street in the city.

Niang pi zi cannot be missed among the local delicacies. Flour paste is steamed for 3 - 4 minutes, then cut into strips and served with mustard, garlic, sesame butter, chili oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. This is a favorite among the locals and many of the tourists.

As many Hui people live in this city, barbequed mutton, boiled mutton, and lamb with wide vermicelli are local delicacies among the various ethnic groups.

Do not forget pie with preserved ham, casserole, and fried field snails, which are good choices for you to enjoy either alone or with friends.

Fried Sheep Tail is actually made up of egg, bean paste, and starch. It is crispy with a golden top.

- Last updated on Mar. 07, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Lanzhou Dining
Asked by Carolina from GERMANY | Sep. 18, 2023 23:20Reply
Safe and tourist friendly area to stay ?
Hi, we have a 2 night stopover in Lanzhou before we catch an early train. What's a safe, tourist friendly area to stay for me and my mother (2 ladies)? We have an early train to catch, so easy access to a bus stop or taxi would be great. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Sarah | Sep. 19, 2023 23:51

It is suggested to stay around Lanzhou West Railway Station as it is easy to get to other attractions by metro.
Asked by Betty | Mar. 05, 2023 20:45Reply
Where do they serve flatbread with garlic and onion?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mark | Mar. 07, 2023 17:09

What kind of food is it? Do you have its name? I cannot tell which one it is.
Asked by Phillip from USA | Jan. 23, 2017 10:03Reply
What vegetarian restaurants can we find in Lanzhou?
What vegetarian dishes are there in the local cuisine that we can try?
Answers (1)
Answered by Penelope from CANADA | Jan. 24, 2017 21:27

You can go to Baiyi Renwen Vegetarian Restaurant. It provides nice vegetable dishes. And the prices are reasonable. It is located at No.0006, 1F, Building No.11, Area D, Xingangcheng. Hope you like.
Asked by J.S. from USA | Aug. 17, 2015 16:12Reply
Where to stay/eat in Lanzhou
Hi we will be arriving the city at night (around 10-11pm) on Sept 12th and have a flight to Beijing Sept 13th in the morning at 8am. We would like to stay somewhere more interesting and try some local food so we were looking at a hotel by Nongminxiang. Will food still be open at night? Or should we look for somewhere close to the Night Market?

Would be great if either of those places also has convenient transport to the airport.

Any hotel recommendations in those areas would be greatly appreciated.
Answers (1)
Answered by Pola from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 22, 2015 01:47

Yes, it's ok for you to stay at Nongmin Alley Area. Super 8 (Panxuan Road Branch) is a good choice for you. The price is around CNY 200 per night. The hotel has good living environment and nice service. It's located at 688 West Donggang Road. The surrounding transportation is also convenient.

Well, as I know, many restaurants close at the time. But don't worry. You can also find some snack foods nearby your hotel. And Nongmin Alley Night Market is famous in this city. You can find all kinds of local foods there.

According to your flight, in the early morning, it's suggested to take a taxi to the airport directly. The fare is CNY 170 to 180 at that time.
Asked by shahab | Jul. 21, 2014 01:39Reply
I am coming to lanzhou and will stay near nanchang road, can i find muslim resturants nearby?
Answers (2)
Answered by Tina from INDIA | Jul. 21, 2014 04:35

I know two nice Muslim restaurants near the Nanchang Road.
Nanhaigong Muslim Resturant
No.665 of Nnachang Road, Chengguan District.
Muslim Dessert
No. 210 of Weiyuan Road.
Answered by sheyha from SINGAPORE | Sep. 16, 2017 01:28

I was asking almost the same question above about the halal food. is it possible to add me on fb so I can get your experiences of your stay in the city. Thank you so much. fb: sheyha sulong (
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