Guilin is famous for its exotic dishes and the sight of dogs, birds, turtles, snakes and other weird and wonderful animals in their cages is not unusual here! Don't be afraid though, if you are not feeling especially brave, there are plenty of tasty options for those who prefer their food to be dead before it arrives at the table!.

Guilin cuisine is also typified by its sweetness and delicate use of spice and chili. Bamboo leaves stuffed with sweet rice are a great Guilin snack available all over the city and also in some of the restaurants. The city also has some fine upmarket restaurants where you can sample typical local dishes. The Guilin Hotel Restaurant has a nice environment to sample some of this food and the Chicken Balls with chestnut are especially good here.

If you fancy a break from Chinese food there are also some fantastic options available here. The Empire Garden Hotel Restaurant has a fabulous Japanese and French restaurant where you can sample good food amidst an elegant environment. The little town of Yangshuo also has some surprisingly good western style restaurants where you can sit back and relax in peaceful and friendly surroundings.

Chicken Balls with Chestnut

This is a traditional Guilin dish, available in all the top restaurants in town. To prepare this dish, chestnuts are fried together with diced chicken and mushrooms and then made into small balls before serving.
Rice wrapped in Bamboo Leaves
Glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves is a variation on the popular snack of Rice wrapped in Lotus leaves. The rice in these Guilin parcels is also sweeter than other variations and often flavored with chestnut or lotus seed paste.
Rice Noodles
Guilin rice noodles come in two different varieties; round (mifeng) or flat (tiaofeng). Guilin rice noodles are normally served with beef or pork gravy in Guilin and the Weixiang Eating House specialize in serving up delicious bowls of these noodles.
The snails served up in Guilin are ones which live in the paddy fields. They are very small but have a strong and distinctive flavor although eating them can be a bit of a chore as it involves sucking or picking out the meat of the snail from beneath the shell.
Stewed chicken with Clams
The best place to sample this dish is in the Ronghu Restaurant which is where the dish was first invented! This is a very tasty way to eat chicken which is stewed with clams and ham in an earthenware pot for two hours before serving.
Western Food
For many China weary travelers to Guilin, one of the high points of the trip is the plethora of western style restaurants in Yangshuo. This area has become a kind of westerners stop-off and recovery point, and many people find it difficult to leave the quaint streets and banana filled pancakes! Amongst the "specialties" served here are great beef burgers, real hot chocolate and huge pizzas! See the restaurant listings for more details!