Something not to be missed in Guangzhou is Cantonese cuisine and especially, Dim Sum (CN: 點心; pinyin: dian xin). It’s also referred to as Yum Cha (CN: 飲茶) which means to drink tea, and that is exactly what happens, with families gathering together of a morning, the teapot is the first thing placed at the table with people chatting over tea while snacks make their way to the table.
While every Dim Sum restaurant will have its own specialties they will all offer the basic dim sum menu which can range from 30 to 80 options. Each dish generally contains three bite-size pieces and the general norm is to order four dishes per person which are all shared. Of course, if you are still hungry, you can go for more.
As for ordering, some restaurants, have trolleys that get wheeled around and you simply pick off those. Other restaurants use a menu with tick boxes and some modern restaurants now use tablets. If you are stuck, just show the waiter pictures of your favorites picks and they’ll fill the menu in for you. Usually.
You’ll also get given a card, on which the waiter will note down what you have received. At the end simply call the waiter over and she’ll go and tally things up and give you the bill.
Expect to pay around 100-200 RMB for two people and be very full for the rest of the day.
The Top Dim Sum Restaurants in Guangzhou
There are so many to choose from, here is a Baidu map link to find one near you. Otherwise here are four safe and foreign-friendly picks with links to their locations on Google Maps.
- Guangzhou Restaurant CN: 广州酒家 – address: 2 Wenchang S Rd, Shang Xia Jiu, Liwan District CN: 广东省广州市荔湾区上下九文昌南路2号
- Jade Garden – Address: 太古汇 Tianhe Rd, Tianhe Center, Tianhe District. CN: 广东省广州市天河区天河中心天河路太古汇号
- Bingsheng Mansion CN: 炳胜公馆 – Address: 2 Xiancun Rd, Tianhe, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China CN: 广东省广州市天河区冼村路2号
- Taotaoju CN: 陶陶居 – Address: Beijing Road, Yuexi District. CN: 广东省广州市越秀区北京路惠福东路
The Ten Most Famous Dim Sum dishes
scroll over to see names
Basic Menu Guide
Here’s a large image of popular dim sum items you can show to the waiter if they don’t have a picture menu