Because Shenzhen is a migrant city, all of China’s regional cuisines are represented here. Shenzhen Restaurants range from hole-in-the-wall establishments for homesick working class arrivals to opulent food palaces for businessmen and politicians entertaining clients. If you are a foreigner, spending 100RMB on a fantastic meal is no problem (though, you can spend 35RMB or less on a fantastic meal in Shenzhen). Treat yourself, and enjoy the wonderful food and variety of Shenzhen.
Areas to eat
There are a lot of bars and restaurants in Shekou which is the main residential zone for Shenzhen’s sizable Western expatriate community. There are plenty of eateries in the Hua Qiang Bei area, for non-China based brands, eg McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and AijiSen Ramen.
Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) is famous for its numerous dining options, including some of the best Korean restaurants in Shenzhen. All are within easy walking distance from Hua Qiao Cheng (OCT) Metro Station, behind the InterContinental Shenzhen Hotel.
As well as casual restaurants and fine dining, Shenzhen is famous for its “Eating Streets”. These are agglomerations of cheap and cheerful restaurants serving food from all over China. They are not elaborate but they are friendly and fun and some of the food is to die for. Different Eat Streets often specialize in food from different parts of China. Some of the best known are set out below.
- Bagua First Road Eat Street (八卦一路食街), Bagua First Rd, Futian 福田区八卦一路 (Buses: 7, 13, 24, 105 Ba Gua Er Lu 八卦二路or Kang Tai Wu Le Cheng 康泰吴乐城bus stops). This was Shenzhen’s first Eat Street. Food was originally Cantonese brought by homesick Hobg Kong factory owners. Cantonese food is still good here but you can get food from all over China. Snake is excellent in season (October to January) here.
- Renmin South Eat Street (人民南路).
- Che Gong Miao Eat Street (车公庙食街), Terra Industrial Zone, Futian District 福田区泰然工业区 (车公庙地铁站 Metro: Che Gong Miao). Good Sichuan, Hunan and Taiwanese food here. There is also a good if unauthentic Macau style restaurant.
- Huaqiang Bei Eat Street (华强北食街), Huaqiang Nth Rd Futian 福田区华强北路. The food’s in the streets and alleys parallel to Huaqiang Bei. Hunan and Chaozhou are specialities. There are several shops specialising in Uighur “nan” bread. An alley behind the main street specialises in Moslem food.
- Xinwen Rd Eat Street (新闻街食街), Xinwen St Xiangmihu, just behind the Special Zone Press Tower 福田区香蜜湖新闻街 (Metro Xiang Mi Hu). This is where the journalists eat and just being there is fun. Good Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Northern and Hunan food.
- Nanyuan Rd Eat Street (南园食街), Nan Yuan Rd, Nan Yuan Village Futian behind CITIC Plaza,福田区南园路南园村 (Metro Ke Xue Guan Line 1). Uighur food is very good here. This means lots of lamb and kebabs.
- Gangxia Village Eat Street (岗下村食街), Gangxia Village Futian 福田区岗下村 (Metro Gang Xia). One of the earliest and most diverse Eat Streets. It specialises in “northern” food, Beijing, Shanghaiese food, Yunnan (OK we know it’s southern but…) and Ningxia/Gansu Moslem food.
- Shuiwei Village and Huanggang Village Eat Streets (水匡村, 皇岗村食街). We put them together because it’s hard to know where one stops and the other starts. Cantonese is good here.
- Hubei Village Eat Street (湖贝村食街), Hubei Village Luohu District 罗湖区湖贝村 (Buses: 2, 10, 29, 104, 205, 220, 223, 311, 312). Hong Kong style seafood restaurants are the mainstay of this Eat Street set in the heart of an old Cantonese village in the heart of Luohu. But we also like the north-west China Moslem food of which there is plenty.
- Dongmen Food Street (东门食街), 2001 Jiefang Rd Luohu 罗湖区动门老街解放路标2001号 (Buses: 102, 103, 113, 203. (Buses stop in Dong Men Zhong Lu. Walk along one of the pedestrian streets near the Dong Men footbridge to get to the shopping area.) Metro:Lao Jie lines 1 and 3). Shenzhen’s favorite comfort shopping street also has lots of cheap and cheerful food. There’s the usual Cantonese, Sichuan and Hunanese but there’s also Thai, South=east Asian and even German food. All the chains are represented.
- Donghai Koreatown Eat Street (东海韩国城食街), East Pacific Gardens Boulevard, Xiangmi Hu 福田区香蜜湖东海花园东海坊 (Metro Che Gong Miao). Shenzhen’s leading Korean food. Lots of kimchi, bulgogi and the rest.
- Yantian Eat Street (盐田食街), Yantian Seafood Street, Yantian 盐田区盐田海鲜食街. Dine amongst the container cranes. The theme is Hong Kong style seafood, allegedly fresh from the markets next door. You choose the fish from the tanks, they cook it how you like it.