One of the things Dalian is famous for is the freshness of its seafood selection – fish, shrimp, crabs, shellfish, sea cucumber, sea conch, echinus, abalone, sea bream and so on. Therefore seafood is undoubtedly king of the local dining scene.
Moreover, the cooking is influenced by the city’s history. Many of Dalian’s residents have roots in Shandong province, and that’s why the dishes are featured in the style of Shandong (Lu), one of the famous eight cuisines in China. Due to the geographic location and the influence Japan had on the city, Dalian also offers a great variety of delicious Korean and Japanese dining options.
What to eat:
There are a few dishes and snacks that are a ‘must-try’ in Dalian, such as:
Stir-fried Prawns – with ginger, spring onion and spices. When cooked the prawn should have a bright look, like a red flower. Taste: fresh and tender.
Steamed Sea Bream – with ginger, spring onion, mushroom, ham pieces and bamboo shoots. A very famous Shandong dish and often served with wine.
Steamed Scallops – steamed with lima beans, shallots, wine and sauces. Served on tender, white egg pieces with vegetables and diced carrot. Taste: light and fresh.
Lantern-shaped Steamed Abalone – with seasoning of shallot, gingers and salt. Usually served with a simmering shellfish soup. Taste: fresh flavour of abalone
Men Zi 焖子 – traditional and most popular local snack with seasoning of smashed garlic, sesame, and sauces. Protein-rich and coagulated from an extract of pachyrhizus (something like potatoes)
Salted Fish and Corn Pancake (Xian Yu Bing’Zi) 咸鱼饼子 – traditional Dalian snack. Best place to taste it seems to be the Shuangshengyuan seafood restaurant.
Ban Hai Liangfen 拌海凉粉 – is seaweed that has been picked from the ocean floor. After it has dried, it has to be boiled for 8 full hours, shredded and mixed with parsley and other seasonings.
Kebab-style grills – of either beef, mutton or local sleeve-fish are also very popular among street diners.
Other delicacies include: dumplings, thin pancakes rolled with smoked meat, tea eggs and bean-milk
Where to go?
Night Market on Tianjin Jie – this location offers mouth-watering local specialities and barbeque seafood to be enjoyed while sitting outside with a cold beer or two.
New-Mart Shopping Mall – on the 5th floor of the mall is a huge food court.
Zhongshan Square & Friendship Square – here one can find plenty of small restaurants, such as the Wanbao Seafood City (No. 125, Tianjin Jie, Zhongshan District),
Tian Tian Yu Gang at Yan’an Road – a great place to find modestly priced but good seafood. Tian Tian Yu Gang has in total eleven locations in the city and is a locally well-kown restaurant brand (No. 41, Yan’an Lu, Zhongshan District).
Two famous dining streets for local Snacks – the Tianjin Walking Street and the other one can be found in Hei Shi Jiao
Dalian has numerous restaurants providing a variety of mouth-watering cuisine from the best seafood to authentic Brazilian grills. If you want to have a look at our special selection of places to enjoy delicious Dalian food, click here
Last tips: The dishes are usually salty. Make sure to tell the cook if less salt is desired. In addition to that, it is recommended for seafood lovers to avoid the period from July to August when fishing is prohibited (to protect the ocean) and the choices are limited.
You would also like to get a taste of Dalian and experience the ‘Real China’, then apply now!
(1) Bars and Restaurants, dalian.chinadaily.com.cn
(2) – (5) Eating in Dalian, chinaexpeditiontours.com
(6) – (9) 4 must-try local snacks in Dalian, whatsondalian.com
Dalian lies on the north-eastern coast of China, so the best food is going to be seafood. Along the city’s two popular food streets, Wuwu Road and Shandong Road, you will find the city’s famous barbeques, roast goose and seafood. The most popular local dishes are the Stir- fried prawns and the Lantern- shaped Steamed Abalone, along with the snacks Men Zi and salted fish and corn pancakes.
Top Restaurants in Dalian
Home restaurant – a budget choice in the scenic coastal area where you can cook the fresh sea food yourself
Wanbao Seafood Restaurant – has the reputation as ‘king of the numerous sea food restaurants in Dalian’ with extravagant decorations and the best service. It is the largest restaurant in the city and their most popular dishes include steamed freshwater crab, baked prawns, lobster and sea chestnut. However, be prepared to pay one of the highest prices.
Xiang Gong – a Cantonese restaurant popular among tourists in Dalian because of the excellent quality of the service and food. It offers a varied menu, and the dim sun menu is highly recommended.
Shuangshengyuan – an authentic century-old seafood restaurant and an equivalent to the Wanbao Restaurant. It started as a small food stall and has now many branches throughout the city. The most famous can be found at No. 643, Huanghe Lu near Xi’an Lu in the western part of the downtown area; a good place for a friends’ get-together, salted fish and corn pancakes.
The New Oriental Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant – popular for seafood and tofu dishes. It is highly rated among locals and tourists for the varied menu along with late opening hours and low prices. The most popular dishes include the Mabo tofu, dim sun and crystal dumplings.
Golden Hans – a buffet in Dalian renowned for its barbeque food, with the best reviewed dishes including beef and poultry kebabs.
Tian Tian Yugang – a restaurant chain renowned for its garlic scallop and grilled prawns. Other very popular dishes include eel, shrimp, flounder and sea snails.
Da Di Chun – popular because of their quick serving time. The Restaurant promises that all meals will be served within 20 minutes. They are well known in Dalian for their specialty pancakes rolled with meat and vegetables.
Longhai Yuwan Meishi Guangchang – provides both traditional Dalian seafood and Cantonese specialties. The most popular dishes here are the Dongxing grouper and the live sea cucumbers baked in egg yolk.
Sorabol Korean Restaurant – a popular choice for those wanting a change from seafood. The restaurant is liked for its authentic Korean decor and friendly service, along with the highly recommended Korean barbeque.
Acapella – a French cafe which is liked for the combination of good Western food and a lively, friendly atmosphere. There are different types of live music throughout the week along with special events hosted regularly. The best rated food here includes the Southern Smoke Burger and various sandwiches, along with a large cocktail menu.
Pinhailou – decorated in blue with designs of the world’s oceans on the walls. The service is considered to be one of the best of the seafood restaurants in the city
Bangchuidao Hotel – provides fresh scallops and abalone served with mustard juice in the southeastern coastal area (No. 1, Yingbin Lu, Zhongshan District).
Wanfulu – located on the 3rd floor of Wanda International Hotel it provides a buffet with a variety of local seafood.
If that list doesn’t sound mouthwatering, then I don’t know what does. Visit Dalian and collect some “real China” experience. Apply now!